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Men's Basketball
Michigan State 72, Ohio State 68 Post-Game Quotes
 
 
 

 

 
 

Jan. 8, 2014

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Head coach Tom Izzo

Opening Statement…
I didn’t like a couple things. I didn’t like how the game was called. I didn’t like how we responded in the last seven minutes. The crowd was unbelievable. My two seniors were hurt.  (Adreian) Payne wasn’t going to play when he came into the building tonight. The doctor said, ‘Don’t warm up’ and he didn’t. I told him to see how he felt when the game started and see if the adrenaline starts running. When the game started, he told me he wanted to play. You guys know that I’m always on Payne, but I give him credit. The team usually goes how your seniors go. As disappointed as I was in a couple of juniors and sophomores, I was really pleased with my two seniors. We probably played 30 minutes of the greatest basketball we ever played - our break was good, only four turnovers at half, we were shooting good. We were beating them at the things their good at.  But they killed us on the boards and there were a couple of guys that just didn’t show up for us. To lose a lead like that, it’s hard to feel good about.  I still think it says something about a team that loses a 17-point lead then comes back to win it.  Maybe the crowd deserves the credit.  We are beat up; it’s the same old story and I’m getting sick of it. (Travis) Trice is sick again. He got sick before the Indiana game. He hasn’t even seen in this building in three days.  I guess when it’s over I’m going to say heroic effort by our seniors, unbelievable effort by our crowd. We showed some character with our young guys like (Kenny) Kaminksi and (Alvin) Ellis (III) who stepped up and did some things when others didn’t.  I’m just playing (Gary) Harris too many minutes right now, but I kind of had no choice when (Denzel) Valentine got in foul trouble. This was the worst game for Trice to miss.       

On how senior guard Keith Appling was being contained in the final minutes of the second half…
Keith just couldn’t go. Both his legs were cramped up; they were working on them every minute. He couldn’t get open to save his life. You want to write a story? Write it on his character and his heart. Because he sucked it up and so did Payne. 

On the importance of Kenny Kaminski’s three point shots…
Kenny is a hell of a shooter. When he grows up, he’s going to be a great player. I give whoever threw him that pass at the top of the key credit, because when he hit that shot I thought it was a big turning point in the game. Kenny was a stabilizer during that stretch of foolish turnovers. He also did a decent job defensively. 

On whether there was an emergence of any vocal leaders in the huddles down the stretch…
Keith was trying. Keith was getting worked on every huddle from halftime on. I can’t tell you how much that kid sucked it up tonight.  Most of the time cramps bury you and I’m not kidding you, he was hurting. So he wanted to, but it was hard for him to be that guy. I was waiting on someone else to step up, but we didn’t get a lot of that. 

On the decision to play Adreian Payne...
It was totally up to him. We had his foot x-rayed.  His plantar fasciitis caused him to walk on it weird lately, which causes other things like sprains. There are no breaks or any of that stuff it’s just pain. So it was totally his call. I talked to him before the game and he was jogging around a little bit and he was in tears and told me he couldn’t go. I said fine, just come out here and see how it goes. I think I’m going to hurt the other ankle tomorrow to be honest, because he was pretty active with all the dunks and what not.

On whether he can grasp where his team is at today…
No. I have no idea. I know this - we must be pretty good because we are beat up. It’s not one player. It sounds like an excuse, but we are so beat up. We had a decent week, but then Trice got sick and Payne’s not 100 percent. Payne probably learned something about himself tonight though. I probably should be happier than I am I guess considering the circumstances. 

On his comments made to ESPN about some of his players playing like “little boys” and the effort of his team…
Everybody knows they’re the best defensive team in the country. Everybody knows those guards are leading the country in steals. They get after you. You just have to man up. I don’t know what else I can say.  I don’t know what’s going to happen next game, but we’ll be a little more ready. That’s a promise. I still don’t want to overreact though knowing what Appling, Payne and Harris were going through. I’m not going to make excuses though. I don’t like the way we played and I don’t like how we handled the last eight minutes of the game at all. I have to take some responsibility, because we looked completely out of sync out there. We really couldn’t get into anything because Keith couldn’t go and I couldn’t take him out of the game because I don’t have another point guard.  We survived though and great teams have to do that sometimes.   


Ohio State head coach Thad Matta

On what he wanted to get on the last play…
Honestly, just a pick and pop. We knew they were switching and they were going to be late getting there. We were hoping for a catch and shoot; we were going to shoot quickly. It just didn’t work out.

On the fight OSU put up…
Yeah, as I told them afterwards, I’m proud we came back, but we weren’t as sharp as we needed to be in this caliber of a game to start the game. We can’t come on the road and have 21 turnovers. We are not a good enough basketball team to waste possessions like that. Some of them were kind of unforced. Give Michigan State credit, they did a great job defending us. 

On Keith Appling…
He’s a special player. Four years in this program – he’s won a ton of basketball games. He is difficult to guard and he hit some big free throws, some big shots down the stretch.

On Shannon Scott…
You know, he got out of position one time and they made us pay for it, but Shannon is quick. He is a great defender and it just seems like each game he gets more and more confidence in his defense. We have to continue to build on that.

On late game turnovers…
Yeah, it was a little bit problematic for us. We didn’t have a flow to us offensively. It was amazing in terms of bobbling passes and not delivering them to where they needed to be. We were getting the ball where we wanted it, we just weren’t ready once it came to us.

On whether Michigan State caused the late game turnovers or if it was the team not connecting on offense…
Probably both. They’re really, really good defensively – they don’t get credit enough for their defense. They’re really, really good.

On the defensive plan against Adreian Payne…
With Adreian, his three was huge there in overtime. He’s a great player. We know the block he likes and we know what he is capable of doing. He had a couple of big offensive rebounds.

On what they had to do to have a chance to come back in a game like that…
Well, we had to score. Even on the one time out, I said, ‘We have got to get this thing down to eight.’ And, you know, see what happens from there. And we did that. Like I said, we had a shot to win it. 

On what this game says about the Big Ten Conference and if this is what he’s expecting all year…
Yeah, no question about it. I don’ know who Michigan State plays, but I know we’ve got a tough one on Sunday. You know, it just keeps coming. We’ll build on the positives from this game and we’ll correct the negatives. We’ll get ready to go again, because it doesn’t get any easier.


 

 

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