Feb. 3, 2007
Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo
I'm very disappointed in how we played, and I was impressed with how they played. I just felt like it was a game where we had too many guys that just didn't play well enough. We were really proud of our effort and performance down in Columbus, but we just struggled all day long, from the start to the finish. I guess you have to give us some credit for coming back, but we just didn't execute things. We gave up 16 offensive rebounds - they're good but that was ridiculous. And I thought we forced some things early. Give them credit, they played very good defense and made a couple of adjustments. We just couldn't get it going.
On cutting Ohio State's lead to 42-41 in the second half...
I thought a big play of the game was when (Raymar) Morgan had the breakaway and he tried to lay it up or dunk it. That was a tough play because they knocked it out of bounds and we didn't score. We didn't cut in on that free throw when it was a one-point game, then we fouled the guy and he made two free throws after we worked on it and worked on it. That kind of told me where the mental part of our team was. We didn't seem into it mentally, and maybe it's just because they're better.
On defending against Ohio State's offensive attack...
That is a very good Ohio State team. We probably did decent on some of the things; Oden went a little crazier but we did a decent job defending him. We held them to 37 percent shooting, but turnovers were poor and the execution of a couple critical plays were poor. Against a team like that, we're not going to win doing that.
On the play of Raymar Morgan... I don't think anything bad happened. He had good practices. He's young and he just struggled. There's no fault, no blame. He wasn't not ready to play. Raymar's just a kid that doesn't play with a lot of emotion yet. I think that's what he needs to learn to do, because it's hard to just slide around.
Ohio State Head Coach Thad Matta
Obviously, it was another high-powered basketball game. I thought our guys made some big plays down the stretch, and Drew Neitzel went crazy again on us. The adjustments we made from game one I felt were pretty good for us. When you get in this environment, when you're playing a great team like Michigan State, we told our guys in the last seven minutes of the game, "Hey fellas, we have to make plays." Fortunately, we were able to do that.
On the play of senior guard Ron Lewis...
I thought Ron was big down the stretch. That was the thing we wanted him to understand, to slow things down, and like he said, sort of letting it come to him, because he is explosive. If he can get an inch, I think he can get by. You know he can step up and knock the shots down.
On defensive adjustments during the game...
One thing we did was we pointed out, because they hadn't figured it out, that Neitzel was trying to shoot the ball every time down the floor. There were a couple small things that we thought we were screwing up. I don't know if I've ever seen a team that runs their offense as purposeful and executes the way they do. They can hurt you in so many ways, if you can do one thing, they can hurt you on the other thing. We had to be active. That was probably the biggest thing that they challenged us to do, just more activity defensively.