Feb. 17, 2007
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo
Opening Statement... Well, I think you saw a game where we put a lot together today. Considering that Drew Neitzel didn't play much of the first half, there were a lot of guys that played, but lets not kid ourselves here. Iowa came off that Thursday-Saturday deal, and at the end of the year, this on the road thing is tough. That's an NCAA tournament Iowa team. I think they're building to that. They've improved enormously since the first time we played them. Looking at today you won't say that, but there's no question there was fatigue early. I told you, I saw it in our team at Purdue early, so I feel real good about how we played. I feel good about our preparation, I feel good about getting a lot of guys to contribute. Let's not think that was the same Iowa team that was playing last month. They've been playing some of the best basketball in our league. As far as we go, Travis Walton had 10 assists and I thought he did a heck of a job on Adam Haluska. I thought Raymar Morgan did a very good job on Tyler Smith. Getting seven blocks and 11 steals, our defense has been pretty good. As I said, it was real good today and yet I think some of that was them maybe being a step slow from the situation they were in. Either way, we needed a win and we needed to get some guys some scoring and we needed to execute our offense a little better. I think we accomplished those things. I was just happy for our team.
On the first half...
Well I mean when you score points, although our defense was pretty good too. The only negative in the first half was they did a good job on the offensive boards and they hurt us there. When shots were going in I thought we executed better. We spent a lot more time, save our legs, walk through the defense stuff, and go wide-open on the offensive stuff, and get more offense in. It's helping some. What I keep saying, is we have a long way to go.
On Drew Neitzel's strong first half...
Well, it was a tough week for Drew Neitzel. He lost a very close personal friend two days ago. He was kind of dedicating this game to him. He was jacked to play.
Iowa head coach Steve Alford
On the Michigan State basketball team...
I think they're a very sound defensive team. They're young and I think they're getting better and better defensively. Then all of the sudden when you start making shots you get even more excited about your defense, and they made a ton of shots today.
On the Spartans playing against Wisconsin...
It's going to be a battle. Both teams fight like crazy defensively. Both teams are big and physical. So that's going to be a special Big Ten war. Obviously, Wisconsin's very special, you're top five in the country when you've done things they've done. They're a very good team. In this building in particular, Michigan State is an awfully good team, so it ought to be a great matchup.
On Iowa's remaining schedule...
We knew this was going to be a difficult contest regardless, so we knew it was going to be a battle. Now the pressure's on this Wednesday. We're fine, we've just got to take care of Wednesday. If we take care of Wednesday we're still ahead of a lot of people in this league, then we're down into that last week and we get a bye. We're beat up, we're banged up just like a lot of teams are, but if we can get this one on Wednesday. It gets us to eight-and-six in the league and we get a whole week off before we got to go to Penn State and finish at home against Illinois. Wednesday's game is pivotal, and Purdue's playing extremely well right now. So we need to make good use of our day off tomorrow and really get back to work on Monday.