Michigan State 58, Wisconsin 43
 
 
 

 

 
 

March 8, 2013

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Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo

Opening statement...
Honestly I don't know if it's enjoyment or relief. Come off a 3-game losing streak and you're playing Wisconsin, that doesn't lead to any long-sleeping nights, I can promise you that. But even through the first half I thought we missed some shots, I thought our defense was unbelievable. I thought we really hung in there. I thought we did a lot of good things defensively. Offensively, we did not shoot the ball very well. (Gary) Harris struggled. (Adreian) Payne struggled. BJ (Branden Dawson) had some great moves inside, great rebounds, and just missed some shots. And yet to win it that way, that's the way you've got to win it in tournaments. You've got to find a way to win; you've got to find a way to compete.

It might have been worth it for two reasons: One, of course, is the win, and two is seeing Keith (Appling) smile. That made my day and I really mean that. I think he felt better about himself. Gary (Harris) bounced back in the second half and played a little bit better. And we had some guys that missed some shots. I think we took a step forward, and that's the most important thing. I did think that Wisconsin shot the ball poorly. They're just a better shooting team than that, and very uncharacteristic that they turned it over. This time of year, a lot of teams look tired so I'm sure they'll bounce back. But I'm just pleased with the win and I'm happy for Keith.

On the hard work and hustle by Adreian Payne, his fall to the floor on a missed dunk and subsequent timeout...
It's fun to see somebody grow as a person, and he would have never done that as a freshman. The energy he's been playing with lately, I felt bad with him because he couldn't buy a shot. But he still played with some energy and, yeah, that reminds me of the teams I used to have. It is important to me, it's important to him, but I thought it got the crowd going, it got the players going, it got the coaches going, and it maybe even got the media going.

On his team's toughness and hustle in gaining the victory tonight...
I think it was a step forward. (Travis) Trice was on the floor, Payne was on the floor, Harris is on the floor. Appling spent a lot of time on the floor. I thought we gave great effort. I definitely think that some of those plays where we got after it a little bit and we came up with loose balls...we were seeing it in the film, when you play Wisconsin they get a lot of the 50/50 balls. It's one of their trademarks, and tonight I thought we got our share of them.

On still being in the running for a share of the Big Ten Conference championship...
I think I said it at the beginning of the year, I said I thought four losses could win it, and we're barking up that tree right now, it might even be worse. But it doesn't totally surprise me because there are so many good teams and so we were going to beat the daylights out of each other and then the one-plays come into effect and who's playing who twice and who's playing who once.

It's my dream that this program is to the point where every year in the last week, week and a half, last two, three games, we still have a mathematical chance to win a championship. The only sad part for me is we had a chance to have destiny in our own hands and we didn't take care of that, and so I'm pretty comfortable with feeling. What happens, happens. I mean that because we had our chance to do it and yet, I head LeBron James say last night `some times in long streaks, you've got to get a little lucky,' so we'll see if we're lucky or unlucky.

Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan

On scoring...
Our guys were out there hustling like crazy, trying to get some things done. Anytime you get them to shoot that [percentage] here on their floor, you would think at the end of the game they would go, `this is my chance'.

I would say that when I go back over the film and look at the shots, I like 97% of them. I'd say maybe three of the outside shots, it would touch the post. We actually got more free throws than them, which is rare. The rebounding was in and out. You can take a look at a lot of those things and you're on the right-hand side and not the left-hand side of it. I thought both teams defensively were working hard. They didn't hit shots and we didn't hit shots...

On turnovers...
They were jumping pass lanes every time we would attack. They were pretty active with their hands; I thought they were very aggressive with their hands.  So if you're not getting a call or two in there and trying to maybe limit some of that then a team is just going to be aggressive and break with their hands. So if you don't call them, it's going to happen.

On Keith Appling...
I don't know what he ended up with in shooting percentage. He got some tries, he got some jumpers where he hopped off on somebody; but I thought we did a good job of chasing him off the line. But his jump shot was pretty good.

On missed opportunities during Big Ten play...
With this team? What they've done? I'm not trading them. These guys have been working extremely hard; accuracy has gotten away from them here a little bit, a lot of opportunity. At the end of the year, you've already played the different teams a number of games. So you don't look at it as missed opportunity so much now, it's through the whole season. It's always accumulation of play. You've still got another regular season game, that's all I think about.

On shooting...
Teams go through this. You watch Illinois, you watch...I'll stop there in case I leave somebody out. How many teams have gone through these kinds of streaks in the Big Ten? We didn't make the joint. You look out when we break out, we've said that before, and then we broke out.

On second half play...
We get into five, we score early; it's always a combination of things. What they're doing; what we're not doing. You just can't have those spells. You've been on the other end of that this year, which you hear coaches talking. You say to yourself after a game, `there's no way in the world that could just have been beat by x-number of points. There's no way they're that mad.' Tom (Izzo) even mentioned it about the shots. He said, "You guys got some good looks.' I don't think we're this bad shooting-wise. You've got to be careful when you say that.