MSU Spartans
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Men's Basketball
Michigan State 54, Wisconsin 47
 
 
 

 

 
 

Jan. 6, 2010

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Michigan State vs. Wisconsin
January 6, 2010

Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo

Opening Statement...
That was a tough game to play in. I told Bo (Ryan) afterword, I don't know if we both played bad, if we both played good, or if we both played tough. That is one thing that I said that good team have to if win different ways, and tonight we won with some grit against a team that played with some grit as well. In the first half I thought we should have been up a little more, if we could have just made a layup and a couple of free throws. I am really pleased with our defense, and I think Kalin (Lucas) did an incredible job on Hughes (Trevon) and Taylor (Jordan) gave us a few problems. We just couldn't keep Raymar in because both teams were in foul trouble, but we did rebound well and we also checked well and that is how we won the game. I don't think either team of us shot very well because there were not many good looks at the basket even though I think both of us had some. The only thing I was disappointed in was that we talked all week about pulling up on those jump shots because you can't get to the rim against them, and we did not do a very good job of that. It was a tough game to play, a tough game to coach and a tough game to officiate, and that's what these two teams do. Yet, it was a good win for us at home, and one that I think will help us because we need to lean to win a very gritty way.

On Draymond Green's passing skills...
He is about as good of a passing big man that I have had. Delvon (Roe) is a pretty good passing big man too, but Green against Northwestern I think that seven or eight assists. With big men, their assist-turnover ratio is usually very high, but his is off the charts the other way. That is why I get so mad at him because I need to keep him on the floor and sometimes he and Raymar are making foolish fouls and I need those guys on the floor. Draymond made that great pass to Raymar that we got a three-point play on, and he made some plays. I though Kalin made some great decisions and we didn't finish them on those pick and rolls. Like I said, other than our guards not pulling up, I thought we played well against that team. I'm sure it didn't look that way on either sides, but that was an NCAA game, and that was a tough game.

On the defensive effort....
I thought there was a lot of great defense by both teams. A 10 or 12-point lead in this game is like a 20 point lead in most games, and I think that's what you don't realize. Give their guys credit because they didn't quit and I thought both teams showed a gritty performance. I think this will be good for us because we had to win a game like this. You always question your team toughness until see them against a tough team, and that was a tough team we played.

On starting Derrick Nix tonight...
I thought he did a pretty good job; he just has to start putting those layups in. He had two tonight that he normally makes and one was insane, but the poor kid is still struggling from the line. He is working on that morning, noon and night, so someone is going to get mad at me for it, but don't because I am very pleased with the time he is putting in and the effort he is making. The results are going to come and I really believe that. It makes him harder to play him down the stretch especially when we are in foul trouble. I thought he moved his feet pretty well and got out on those shooters tonight. If we keep getting some weight off of him and he keeps getting in better shape that will help too. I am pleased with Derrick and I started him not because I am unpleased with Garrick (Sherman) I just thought there was a little lull, and he deserved it. He is an interesting kid that I am getting to know a little bit better, and I like the fact that he's not afraid to hear his voice or give him opinion. He is a pretty knowledgeable kid, and I like Derrick.

On Chris Allen's play tonight...
Chris did do some nice things tonight, and he is starting to use those picks a little bit better. I think we needed to get the ball to Durrell (Summers) a little bit more, and we did get the ball to Delvon (Roe) a little bit more, and he got to the line which mean those would have been shots but we did miss some free throws. He too has been working on it hard, but I thought Chris made some shots and made some plays tonight. The difference in Chris Allen is that he's playing way better defense. Remember I told you he couldn't find a guy on campus? Well he found one, and now he's found two or three, and now he is really starting to check. I swear to you that his offense is better because his defense has gotten better. He is more into the game, and he's rebounding some. Durrell struggled tonight, but he had eight rebounds. Our guards really rebounded tonight with Kalin having three, and that was another big difference in the game.

Wisconsin Head Coach Bo Ryan

On his defensive team...
Tom and I talked a little bit after the game and it was kind of like, `were we that bad, were we playing that tough?' Basically two teams that really went after each other, I don't know about you, but I'm sore just from watching. You got two teams that are committed to that end of the floor, like most teams are, and they get more buckets so their on the left hand side. I like the way our guys played defense, I liked the way they got after it, I like the way we corrected our inability to take care of the ball. We had four turnovers boom, boom, boom, boom, and then six for the rest of the game. I thought that was a good sign, because it at least gave us a chance. Defensively I like the way are guys bought in.

On Jon Leuer's second half performance...
Tale of two half's is right. We needed him to do that in the second half or there would have been a lot of separation because some other guys were struggling a little bit. We've been on the other end of that, and you scratch your head afterwards and you go, `well ok you got to get on to the next one.' But Jon took some pretty good shots had his balance on the shots. When he does that he shoots a pretty high percentage.

On Jon Leuer's aggressiveness in the second half...
Well he looked pretty aggressive trying to get his shot or get some help to us offensively. In the first half it just wasn't in sync for him.

On Chris Allen's game...
When you're hitting shots it makes a difference, it's not like we were playing off of him. People ask us that when we have a player who averages four points and he gets twelve. Opportunities, he took advantage of his opportunities. It's not like we didn't think he could score, he can score.

On his satisfaction of his offense...
Well, you try; if we touch it every time then I'm happy. Or maybe I'd say we could have touched it one more. Sometimes you can't get it into folks, sometimes the angles aren't there. Sometimes the physicality of the other team takes certain things away. So you have to find some stuff, maybe over the top, maybe off the screens, there's a lot of things that people do to us when we take certain things away. It's a cat and mouse game.

On rebounding...
Athletically you just look at the bodies and you know that's a challenge, but we've been close so many times. But that doesn't get you a statistic here on a rebound. We just have to get better and keep improving at that. Our two juniors, I thought were a little more physical than last year trying to get position. But again with a guy like Ryan Evans, a freshman, it's a lot tougher for him in a game like this that he ha to learn from. And that's the only way to learn, to get in the mix. And obviously we'd like to rebound better.

 

 

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