Feb. 9, 2005
Michigan State Basketball Post-Game Quotes
Michigan State vs. Ohio State
Feb. 9, 2005 - East Lansing, Mich. - Breslin Center
Final Score: Michigan State 83, Ohio State 69
Head Coach Tom Izzo - Michigan State
Opening Statement... "I felt like that was a workman's win. Ohio State played very well early. We did not play as well, defensively, early. We gave up several lay-ups, which was much of Ohio State's doing. They played very well inside; we struggled in there a little bit. It wasn't all Paul Davis's fault. We weren't getting enough pressure on the ball. We did a better job the second half. It sure was nice to have No. 5 back. I can't tell you how good he feels and how good we feel to have him in a position that he can do something like that. Maurice Ager deserves a purple heart. He was sicker than a dog this morning; didn't know if he was going to play at all because of the flu. He battled back and made some big shots and key plays. In the second half, Shannon Brown did a much better job, and so did Kelvin Torbert." On the difference in the second half... "We did a lot better job of pressuring the basketball, so that the throw-ins weren't so easy. We knew we couldn't help much because with (OSU's) four men on the perimeter, all of them were able to shoot the ball, so we couldn't sag off much and give (our guys) much help (in the paint). And so what looked bad for Paul (Davis) wasn't always bad for Paul. In the second half, I think we did a better job of that. Ohio State has done a nice job with its team. They have a lot of guys that can put the ball in the basket and I thought we did a pretty good job on them."
On Chris Hill...
"Yesterday, he shot the ball really well. Today, he shot the ball well. I do think there has been some pressure off the court. I am happy for him; I don't know what the reasons are. I think the reason is that he has a career 43 percent three-point shooter, which means he has done that over time. He went through a little bit of a slump like a lot of guys do. It helped his whole game, there was no question. His defense was better."
Head Coach Thad Matta- Ohio State
Opening Statement... "I thought our guys came out and competed hard. Michigan State is one of the best teams in the country and I think they showed that tonight; how they were able to withstand us and kept coming at us. The blitz they put on us at the beginning of the second half was probably the difference in the game. Chris Hill, I remember watching him in high school in Indianapolis, and we had no answers for him; he put on a clinic tonight. They're a good basketball team. Like I said, we had some chances, but I give them the credit. They were able to get the job done tonight."
On Chris Hill... "He's 44 percent career, fifth in all-time history in Michigan State basketball, and I know he was shooting 28 percent coming into the game, but I knew from watching him from when he was in high school that he can shoot the basketball. He had one of those games; he has good size, good strength and created some separation."
On having an answer to Hill... "Not having Je'Kel (Foster) in the first half (due to foul trouble) hurt us because he did a pretty decent job on him in the second half, he slowed him down a little bit. We had that eight-point lead in the first half, and let them get back in the game. They got some transition buckets on us there, and when you're playing a team like them, they're going to make you pay."