Post-Game Quotes
 
 
 

 

 
 

Feb. 13, 2013

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Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo

Opening Statement...
First of all I'm very proud of my team and my staff. We did an excellent job of preparing for the different things we wanted to do. Keep it in perspective that we probably played our best game in three years and they probably played one of their worst. They missed shots and things just didn't fall for them. Starting the game out we wanted to go inside and we did a good job of that. They started doubling so we adjusted and did a good job with that. When they didn't double we dribbled in and were able to kick it across the court. We did a good job with the zone. The job that Gary Harris and Keith Appling did on two of the best guards in the country was incredible. (Trey) Burke still had some incredible stats but I thought we did a great job with those two. Our whole premise was to try and keep it out of the paint and Derrick Nix did a great job on those ball screens. The stats that matter most to me are turnovers. They had 16 and we had eight which is very unlike them. Out-rebounding them by 11 was a big stat and we shot pretty well from the three. I said before the game if we can keep them to six, seven or eight threes and not 11, 12 or 13 we have a chance. It was like a perfect storm. We played about as well as we can play and they did not play as well. They are a much better team and I'm not sure we are as good as we played but I'll take it.

On the play of the freshman...
We have three pretty good freshmen. I was pleased with (Denzel) Valentine, he does enough to make me feel good and does enough to make me not feel as good. He bounced back after getting picked off in the first time and made some big plays. His defense is much better than it's been and we got a lot out of him. We got a lot out of (Matt) Costello. He stepped up and did a great job on the ball screens.

On setting the defensive tone early and the play of Gary Harris...
Branden Dawson was the guy we played on (Tim) Hardaway a lot, and we felt like Gary (Harris) had a better understanding of helping. Dawson has done a good job against defensively against teams like Ohio State and Purdue and he bounced back to play his best defensive game. Harris learned what the rivalry was about, he spent everything he had. (Keith) Appling asked to come out a few times which you like to hear believe it or not because you know they are spending it. You ask for 40 minutes of relentless work and we got every minute out of them.

On the crowd...
The crowd was just awesome. I sent them an e-mail to make sure they cheer more for us. I'm sure they booed some but they did a great job for us. The whole place, the older people, the younger people were great. It kind of reminded me of back in the days. Maybe this is what we need. We need our crowd to be back and our team to understand how hard we have to play. It was a big step for us. But don't think that's the real Michigan team because it's not.

On coming through in big game situations...
I think Appling is starting to be a better and better leader. The focus of Nix at the shoot around today was phenomenal. I have to make them understand that's the way it's got to be. Our young guys are getting better, and Dawson is getting better. I think this team can be good because we have an inside and an outside. We have another shooter when we get Travis Trice back.

Michigan head coach John Beilein

Opening statement...
Michigan State, as you saw today really has an excellent team. I've believed that all year long. They really played like that today. That was the worst we played in a long, long time and credit Michigan State for that. The experience in their post play was big. They really took care of the ball and offensive rebounds were extremely well. There were so many things we played poorly in, it's hard to put my finger on it. But Michigan State was excellent today.

On Michigan's offensive of play and Michigan State's defensive play...
They were very good; we couldn't get anywhere where we wanted to get to. When we did have open looks, we didn't make them. I said that before the game that we had to do that. We play in front of a sell-out every night, for the whole year virtually. Somehow we did not play with poise offensively that we needed to have to be able make shots when you're open and make some guarded shots as well.

On Michigan State's play...
They have tremendous talent, I mean tremendous talent. Derrick Nix has developed into really a tremendous post player. The other four guys they put around him are as high level as there are in the country. They're good, they have a great plan, they play very well together, and they played with great purpose today. They are playing freshmen like we are, probably not as many of them. The two, (Denzel) Valentine and (Gary) Harris were terrific today. We have to learn a lot from this game.

On the play of Tim Hardaway Jr....
He has been playing as good as any guard in the country, he had a bad night. He really had a bad night. You can credit the Michigan State defense. Tim Hardaway has been as good as any player in the country really, him and Trey Burke. That back court is terrific. Tim had a bad night and Tim Hardaway will bounce back like he always has.

On not being able to respond...
We had one of the best defensive rebounding percentages in the Big Ten, but it wasn't even close tonight. One of the things we emphasized was we had to seek contact on every shot and there was no contact. They got the best of us in that area, obviously that's a huge area that we need to work on. It's a physical game and you have to embrace it. We did not and they did. They just got away from us. There wasn't any turning back after they made that spurt in the second half.

What to take from the game...
We are going to practice tomorrow; Thursday is going to be our day off. I'm not going to say we weren't ready to play; we were pretty pumped up in the locker room. You are going to have days like this and you are going to learn that in every game you have to execute every time, you just have to do. Today the block out was huge. Paying attention in huddles, I thought our guys were distracted coming out of the huddle a couple of times. Just things that they have to learn to understand because they can snowball so quickly on you. We didn't deserve to win that game, and maybe we got exactly what we deserved. Maybe it's medicine for the future.