Feb. 25, 2012
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo
Sort of a strange night, I thought. I thought we really brought a lot of energy when we came out. We played awfully hard and awfully well for five, six, seven minutes. Then you had to give them some credit. They started doubling that post hard, and I just didn't think we were ready for it. We were passing (the ball) out. I didn't think Austin or Wood were ready to shoot it sometimes. We really took the shot clock down, and to get 39 shots out is not good. I guess you have to give Nebraska credit for their defense, too. I think Spencer getting hurt, hurt them. At halftime we talked about doing more with our defense, to knock some balls loose and maybe turn them into some fast break bucket...I think it started with Branden Dawson. He gets that big steal and kind of gets things going a little bit. Nix played very, very well, after Adreian Payne played very, very well the first four- five minutes. Other than Draymond, nobody had a big game. We turned it over a little too much, but we shot awfully well and I guess it was a good win to put in the books and we'll move on.
On Draymond Green's 1,000th rebound...
I was happy for him. It was a big deal. Gregory Kelser told me before the game, and I barely even knew it that we were that close. That's why at the end I wanted him to get it. I was hoping he would get it while he was at home. I felt he deserved it. It's more than scoring points. That's an award, that's a club, a very small club and one that I'm glad he got to celebrate with our fans. It meant a lot to him and so I was happy when he got that last rebound.
On the importance of playing the bench now for postseason...
What I think is really important for us right now is we need to get a little more consistency on our wings. I think between Wood, Thornton and BJ (Dawson), we need to get a little bit more consistency there. I'd really like to get Trice back, and then I can let Kearney play positions he plays. Right now, he plays some point, but he's kind of better when he has to guard other wing guys and then get some rotation, but I think it's going to be important. We tried to get Draymond out a little earlier today. Keith still played a lot of minutes today as well and I think that hurts him a little at the pace we'd like to play. And Keith did a heck of a job in the second half, putting pressure on that ball. That's why we got some steals. Our bench isn't as shored up as I'd like it to be. I mean the Nix and Payne part of it is really good. Bringing Wood in is really good and after that, it's kind of hodge podge yet. You know it's been that way all year, so why change now because we've been so successful, but I would like a little more consistency out of us.
Nebraska head coach Doc Sadler
Well, I thought first off, I'm not for sure that they were, obviously, playing at the very best that they could play. But then when they decided in the second half to really clamp down on us like they did, that's when the game got completely out of hand. They've got a good basketball team. We were going to have to do a lot of things right to have a chance. And we did do some good things, but we didn't do enough of it. The biggest thing is we just can't score, score the basketball and you've got to give their defense credit for that. You know, talking to some of their coaches before the game, they were bringing up the fact that we had scored some points and shot a decent percentage the last few ball games. I figured that was something that they were going to probably concentrate on and try to take away and they definitely did do that, so you know, give them credit.
They're a very, very good basketball team and like I said before, it's so fun to come in here and compete against a guy like Coach Izzo because when you come here, you know that it's been done the right way. And you know your team's going to play with so much energy and so much passion. You want your team, as a coach, to compete against that to see where you're at. But tonight, we just weren't good enough and again, give them credit. I thought we did some good things and I mean obviously, the whole team, even though they shot a pretty high percentage to only two offensive rebounds. That's something that we wanted to try to take away. And to only have 11 turnovers when you have some guys in the game that usually don't play is also something that we can maybe build on these last couple of games.
On the severity of Bo Spencer's ankle injury...
I have no idea. Have no idea.
On the message that he was trying to send to his starters by playing his bench players early in the second half...
You know, and I'm sure you watched it pretty close, because you've got the luxury of watching a team that does it the right way. And we're trying to do it the right way. If we're going to turn the basketball over, which we did, we're going to everything we can to get back as hard as we can on transition defense. We're not going to give you the lay-up or watch you go lay it up and that's what we did on those two positions. I don't care what the score is. We're going to try to do it the right way, and the right way is to play as hard as you can play, regardless of what the score is.