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Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo
Well, that had to be one of the great weeks in Michigan State Basketball and maybe athletics period. It was culminated by one of the great days in
Michigan State University coverage by ESPN and College Gameday. The way
our community and our students carried themselves, it was special. I will
tell you right now, that was not the prettiest game in America but it was
one of the gutsiest efforts, by both teams.
This team is tough, and they played hard. But it was a gutsy effort by us as you probably could see. Drew Neitzel is sicker than a dog and he just
battled through it, and Drew Naymick, those were two of the guys who came
down with the flu last night. I didn't know how long Drew Neitzel was
going to be able to go, so I did him a favor--I rested him a minute.
Otherwise, I would have played him all forty minutes.
On the College Gameday experience...
Just the whole day, I can't tell you enough why it is so important that a
whole community and university get behind you to be successful. There is no way we win that game without the fans. I had three guys walking on their tongues at the end. The fans just kind of pulled them through.
Indiana Head Coach Kelvin Sampson
On the difference between the first and second halves...
I just thought that we were the aggressor in the first half. We forced 14 turnovers. We didn't shoot a particularly high percentage and I think we missed three point-blank layups in the first half, but I really thought our kids competed. They came out and really got after Michigan State. In the second half, we knew we had to withstand the first four minutes, and we did, but after that, the guards have to take care of the ball in this game. It's a guard's game.
On the play of Drew Neitzel...
I've never seen a kid that can go almost away from the basket, and turn his body to get balanced and still put a great stroke on the ball like him. Those were hard shots. I bet you every person from Michigan State thought they were going to go in. That's a great tribute to that kid when you can take amazingly difficult shots, and everybody thinks they're going to go in. We were there. We had a hand up, but give Drew Neitzel credit, those were hard shots he made and they got them back in the game. His threes and our turnovers - I think that was the big difference.
On home court advantage...
Michigan State struggled to win on the road this year. We struggle to win on the road. We haven't been beaten at home, and Michigan State's hard to beat here. There's about five or six teams in the league that do a great job of protecting their home court.
Michigan State junior guard Drew Neitzel
On first half play...
I was pretty disappointed the way I played in the first half, not only in myself, but in our team. We made a commitment at halftime that we wanted to come out and make some changes and play more physical. I was getting a little stagnant. I wasn't running off screens like I usually do and it showed. I got a few open looks in the second half and knocked them down.
I take some blame for that. I was out of synch in the first half. I made some bad plays and I told my team at halftime that I would take the blame. We were just out of synch offensively in the first half. A lot of them were unforced turnovers, but Indiana is a great defense team.
Michigan State sophomore guard Travis Walton
On Drew Naymick's performance...
He (Naymick) has been doing a great job stepping up defensively for us. He gives us a different type of presence on the inside.
On the lap around the court, concluding the game...
That was the coaches and players idea to run around the court. We just wanted to thank the fans for doing a great job for us at home and sticking with us.