MSU Spartans
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Men's Basketball
MIchigan State 85, Ferris State 58
 
 
 

 

 
 

Oct. 30, 2011

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Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo

Opening Statement...
It's hard to believe it's here already. All in all, I was moderately pleased with what we did. When you think about so many different lineups we tried to juggle in there. If I had to give hockey stars, Draymond (Green) would definitely get the first one. He was unbelievable if you ask me. Keith (Appling) was the other one. I say that because (Green's) a senior and it's his last year, and (Appling's) a sophomore who's used to scoring. They were so unselfish, it was unbelievable. Both of them should have more assists, we just missed some shots. That was very encouraging in that respect. I think (Derrick) Nix was very efficient, not against the biggest team, but he ran pretty well. He ran six-minute stretches a couple of times; that was encouraging, very efficient; shot well from the free-throw line. I was very pleased with him. I didn't think (Adreian) Payne played very well during the first half. We told him at half time and I thought he bounced back second half and played better. (Brandon)Wood, even though he didn't score a lot of points, he was pretty efficient, decent defensively. (Branden) Dawson said he's going to be one of the best offensive rebounders we've ever had, and I think he will be. I think Ferris ran some nice stuff, very well-coached team. They played a little zone, a little man-to-man, they pressured a little bit, so that's going to help us. I think they're going to be okay as the year goes on. It's hard to get real excited because we know what's right around the corner, but I do think we got a lot out of the things we wanted to get off. We shot almost 75% on the line, didn't shoot well from the three, almost 50%. We threw up some bowling balls; I guess at the end, I don't know what those were. Austin Thornton I thought played pretty well; never got beat defensively.

On the freshmen's energy...
(Travis) Trice did. We jumped him hard because there were certain things we wanted him to do, and he responded. I love that, I really love that. Branden (Dawson), we pulled him out early because he was jogging back and he responded. I think in general, our team played pretty hard. We don't have anything defensively where on switching, on ball screens; we've taken it from step one, which is one-on-one. We're behind in that respect, considering that. I think there was a high energy level. I think both freshmen responded very well, and that was encouraging.

On (Branden) Dawson...
He's got to shoot the ball better. I think he's got to realize he's an inside-out 3-point shooter. We've got to get him coming off of picks harder. We just have to take him out of second or third gear and get him into fourth and fifth; which most freshman you have to do that with. He's been used to gliding and I thought he didn't get back at times. If he wants to move his feet, he can move his feet. He reminds me of JR (Jason Richardson) in that respect. JR struggled his first couple of months; we don't have the luxury of having Morris (Peterson) and Charlie (Bell) back there, so we're going to have to speed the process up with him. He was listening and learning. Brandon Wood, pulling for guys on the bench. It was fun being around the guys; it was fun to get on somebody and not have them hang there head. It was a positive step.

On how his freshman were listening and paying attention...
I really did. Coaches play games once and while, especially early. When I pulled B.J. (Branden Dawson) the first time, I wanted to see how he reacts. You overdue things. You tell him that he's the worst defensive player you have ever coached in your life. It's fun when guys respond. I think that's what you're alluding to. I think the responding was really, really good. I give DayDay (Draymond Green) and Austin (Thornton) credit. Today I jumped Travis (Trice) a little bit. I watched DayDay go right over and put his arm around him and talk to him. I can't explain for a guy that went 4-for-10 and six rebounds and eight assists. He might have had the best game that he's played in awhile when I look on the bench and on the court.

On if it is Adreian Payne's responsibility now to be the sixth man...
It could be. (Derrick) Nix talked to me about it after the game. A.P. and Nix have been playing kind of the same. Next time I might start the other one and see who comes off the bench better. I thought A.P. came off a little sluggish early. Maybe that's from not knowing. Maybe he's a better starter and Nix is a better guy coming off. What I did like, was that he too, after mopping in the first half, responded in the second. Nix was great both halves. It was really matured and growing up. I hope that continues.

On playing zone defense...
We are going to see some zone. I've said that for a few years and we're probably going to see some in the next week. We just haven't been able to work enough on it. It's a shame that we get so few practices right now. I think the NCAA has to change that. It's not fair to the players. I think every coach is complaining about it and it's not just us. We're going to play more zone and we're going to do a better job on those ball screens. Again not their fault, blame that on me and my staff. We just have to get more done and we're trying to stay within the 20 hours. All of those things are a little more difficult to do than you think.

On what they need to do to get ready for the North Carolina game...
I think the next game will be important for us. We can't have those stretches where we turn the ball over. They got about 10 points on dead, bad plays on transition. North Carolina, that's their strength. Some of that was that we did a poor job on some things. B.J. (Branden Dawson) did, Alex (Gauna) did. We'll clean that up.

The next game will be different too. You're talking about a team that's going to have five guys shooting 3's, picked to win the league, I think. Ferris was probably the best team in the league last year. Hillsdale might be the team this year. They're a team that's going to do a lot more. Maybe not as athletic as this team but they're going to do a lot more shooting and shooting from long range. That's one of the things we talked about that we had to improve. We wanted to hold teams under 30 and they shot 27 today. If we can do that next week, that can really help. We just have to improve in leaps and bounds. What do we have? 12 days. I try not to think about that game right now for two reasons. One it makes me nauseas and two I have other games and things to coach. When Friday night is over though, it's going to be full sails ahead for that game.

Ferris State Head Coach Bill Sall

Opening statement...
I would just like to thank Michigan State family and coach Izzo for allowing us to come down here. I think it was a thrill of a lifetime for the players to actually have a chance to play on Breslin's court, as well as the head coaches. We certainly enjoyed our time here today.

On how Jerrell Sanders translated to the higher level play against MSU...
You know, I think Jerrell has a lot of skill and some size and athleticism. To tell you the truth at the beginning of the game our guys didn't have that deer in the headlights look. They came out and competed really well and I was really happy with that. Last year, we played Indiana and had a very good game as well, so he is one of those small college players that has really refined his game since he was in high school and has really become a great player.

On the story behind how the game was scheduled...
It's a great story actually. I think the reason we are here today is from some rain at St. Ives. Mr. Hollis was out playing one of our nice courses we have over at St. Ives golf course right by Big Rapids, Michigan. It was a rainy day, he went into the golf clubhouse area. Dan Sutherlin, who had a very good game today, is working out at St. Ives and struck up a conversation and Mr. Hollis was kind enough to say I'm looking for an exhibition game for this season and low and behold he followed through. We got a call right before school started and said they would like to play us. So anyway, it helps to have players at a golf club on a rainy day in St. Ives. It was a good thing and we appreciate that Mark could help us out there.

 

 

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