Jan. 10, 2007
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo
I don't think that it was beautiful, but it was definitely a better performance after the first five minutes. We must have had five or six turnovers, and I thought all in all we still are a little out of sync, which is understandable with the lineups in there sometimes. We got to run a little bit, that was kind of enjoyable. We got to sub a little bit, and that was great. I thought we executed at times, and that's a tough defense. To me, a 20-point win on Northwestern is like a 40-point win, because they are very disciplined, they run their offense very patiently, and that defense is hard to crack when they go to that 1-3-1. It's difficult, and early we looked like the "Bad News Bears" against that thing. After we got going, I think we attacked it pretty well. We only turned it over three times in the second half, we did a much better job with that.
On being able to substitute more frequently than in recent games...
Yesterday was the first time we all practiced together in 39 days. You don't think of it as being that long, but that was a long time since they practiced together full, instead of 20 minutes or 15 minutes, do this or don't do that, and I think both Raymar Morgan and Maurice Joseph are not in great shape, but they're not awful. They're not where it's going to be two minutes and then they're dying. They worked pretty hard on the bikes, and that may not translate into what they're doing now, but the intensity is going to have to pick up too. At times, we looked very sharp, and we covered their stuff pretty well.
On not starting Raymar Morgan after coming off his injury...
He's not ready to start yet. When you start, you automatically play more minutes usually, and we're trying to see what we can do with Idong Ibok for reasons that we have, in starting him both halves. He too has to get better. It was Marquise Gray's turn and Drew Neitzel's turn, but Ibok and Goran Suton struggled. One of these times we have to get at least three out of the four to go, and we're going to be a much better team than we are now. I think that Neitzel had some open shots that maybe he's thinking about right now, but probably the last thing that I worry about is his shooting.