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Men's Basketball
Post Game Quotes Against Minnesota
 
 
 
Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo
 
Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo
 
 

Jan. 24, 2007

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EAST LANSING, Mich. -

Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo
Opening Statement...
Well it was an average start, I give Lawrence McKenzie credit, then we kind of clamped down. I'd like to say it was a tough situation, Jimmy's (Molinari) a good friend of mine, and I feel for what he is going through. I respect that the team kept playing hard and when we got them down a lot, they didn't quit. I guess I can't imagine what it's like for those players and that coach, but I want to publicly say I've got a lot of respect for Jim. I think defensively, what I was most impressed with what we did, is maybe what Minnesota didn't do tonight. They've been holding teams under 40 percent (field-goal shooting) and you know we were up in the 60s early, so I thought we executed pretty well at times. To shoot over 50 percent against that team, that was one big goal for us. The other was get the rebounding down and we won that by 14.

The other stat that I thought was incredible and was really pleasing, and I'm really happy for Travis Walton is the 25 assists on 29 baskets. Drew Neitzel said he had some shots that he'd make in his sleep, especially a couple of threes, and he felt bad that he let Travis Walton down a little bit. The assists on that number of baskets was great.

On the breakdowns...
I thought we had some breakdowns. We are getting more play out of those big guys, but I don't think they played as well tonight. Second half, we were out coaching for the future there towards the end, trying to explain to guys that you've got to get more solid and consistent.

On the play of Travis Walton...
I thought again, Travis did a great job on Lawrence McKenzie, and I thought he did a decent job on Dan Coleman; the two guys that we really had to defend, and that was a difference maker.

On the play of Raymar Morgan and Maurice Joseph...
Again getting 23, 24 points out of Raymar Morgan and Maurice Joseph, where we were getting none out of them, for that month and a half, I think really makes a difference if we can get some (scoring) consistency.

Minnesota Head Coach Jim Molinari
Overall thoughts on the game...
I feel like President Bush trying to explain Iraq. I think the reality of it is, I try to keep them going, I try to get little victories, and talk about people getting better and what they can do better. First of all, I want to give Michigan State credit. I've said this a million times, I've been in this for 24 years and Tom Izzo is as good of a coach there is anywhere. That team put up 91 points on Saturday at Penn State, and they were really sharp today. They're not as talented as they have been in the past, but they might play even harder than they did last year. And that's a credit to him and his staff. With that said, for us, yeah, it's hard. These young people need to work hard and they need to get some rewards, but they might not get them this year, but they will get them. I really do think they will down the line.

On the 24-point loss...
I think offensively we tried to change it up a little. People going off stagger screens and Lawrence McKenzie hit tough shots, but we didn't defend. I want to give them a lot of credit, but that might have been our worst half of defense since I've been here in three years. And if we don't defend, we couldn't defend inside and we couldn't get to (Drew) Neitzel, that's a credit to him. We lose our confidence when we can't defend. We don't lose our confidence when we can't score.

On the difference from last year's squad that beat the Spartans in Minnesota...
Last year, this team started five seniors. Last year when we beat Michigan State, there were five seniors on the court, so this is a much different team that we have this year. This group, we have to look for bright spots to get better. I thought Brandon Smith was a positive. We have to look at those little things and try to get them better.

 

 

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