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Michigan State 84, Purdue 61

Jan. 5, 2013

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Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo

Opening statement...
Give Matt [Painter] a lot of credit, that team plays so hard it was scary. Even though I'm excited about the win, I think we beat a good team, but we're still not playing like we need to play if we're going to make any type of noise in this conference. And I singled out three guys. [Derrick] Nix has to make some of those shots inside. We kept going to him because I have blind faith in him I guess, and he did come through a little bit down the stretch, still hitting his free throws, but I thought we got him the ball a decent amount. The second guy I said was [Denzel] Valentine, he has to quit turning the ball over. He makes some great plays, though. He made some big-time plays one way and then some foolish turnovers the other, and started out the game with one there. And the third one is Branden Dawson, he has to play with more energy. I thought the first half he didn't and I thought the second half he played with as much as I've seen him play with in over a year, and it was a big difference in the game. He's head and shoulders above everybody on a lot of those rebounds, he gets 11 boards, he missed a couple of put backs dead or he would have had 20 and 11, and that was a big difference if those guys could get a little more consistent.

On the other side of it, I asked [Gary] Harris to be more aggressive and I thought he played a heck of a game, and I thought Travis Trice did an unbelievable job, and as crazy as it sounds being 2- 6 [from the field], Keith Appling ran our team pretty good, he had eight assists, he had one turnover, he was getting pressure and he made proper decisions. I was really pleased with the way Keith played.

We've got some things to feel good on, that you can see if we put it together. I thought we made some great shots. I thought we made tougher shots than we missed easy shots. But Purdue is a very well-coached tough physical team.

On Branden Dawson playing better in the 2nd Half after coming off his knee injury last season...
The injury has bothered the kid. He just hasn't come back. Would you say tentative, could have dunked some, could have got up? The second half, I think he just decided to let it go, and I don't think it's physically hindering him, but like a lot of people tell me, there's a mental hindrance to serious injuries like that, and I think B.J. played at a different energy level the second half. I don't think he played necessarily that much better, I just think he was always around the ball because he played at a different energy level. I was really pleased with him and told him before the game and I told him after the game that that's the way he's got to play. But it's hard to push a guy when you don't know how much is injury, and how much is laziness or inept, and that's a very delicate area right now for me.

He needed to have a good game. Now we'll see if he can maintain that kind of energy that he had in the second half because it was a big difference in the game.

On Gary Harris playing well in today's game...
He's such a good kid. He tries to understand what he has to do within the offense, and I think he'll find his niche. But definitely today, when you go 6-8 from the three, that makes a big difference in our team.

Purdue Head Coach Matt Painter

On limiting run from MSU...
Against a team like that they way they push the ball like that. I thought at times, at stretches in the game when we played well, we kept them out of transition. Then, when we struggled, the one thing that they do when they are in transition whether they make it, obviously if they make it its productive, but they just fly in there, you just don't have very good rebound balance. They just come in there, fly in there and get those extra-chance opportunities. We wanted to limit that and I tried my best with the timeouts, but eventually we ran out of those. It hurt us when we had the call go against us, and then A.J. Hammons had to go out. We felt like we had to get the ball inside and try to steal some points, and with him out of the game, we just don't have the same presence, that really hurt us. And then missing our free throws hurt us as well.

On the importance of getting his team in the paint...
Yeah, we need to continue to be aggressive, and that's what I try to tell Terone [Johnson]. He was 2-11 at the half, and ends up being 5-19. For him it looks a little unconventional sometimes, his shots, but he makes those runners, and those floaters and we want him to be as aggressive as possible, but don't take on the world. If you draw two or three people, make that extra pass. We continue to try to get an emphasis of getting the ball inside off the drive and the post and try to get some deep touches.

On MSU's transition points... 
We wanted to try to limit their touches inside on the half-court set, sometimes we did, sometimes we didn't, but they did a good job of getting in transition. Sometimes off of a tough shot, or a long rebound or one of our turnovers, we just allowed way too many looks. Gary Harris really killed us. Obviously, hitting six threes, he got into a rhythm and a couple of them we had to breakdown, and a couple of them just finding each other and making nice passes. You can't let a guy like that get going.

On comparing rebounds between MSU and Purdue...
We had a great stretch, I think they started the second half 0-7 from the field, plus we were making some baskets and keeping them from transition. So, that run right there was very good for us. Then, we started missing and having some breakdowns, and when you do that, they're going to get into transition and then your rebound balance isn't going to be as good. If you're scrambling to find your man before a shot goes up, you're normally scrambling to find someone to box out. They caved us in a couple of times, they got a lot of them off long rebounds and hustle plays.



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