Nov. 8, 2006
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo
Our defense looked great, but it was because of their deliberate style of offense. This was a tough prep for our team. We have such a young team to prepare for all the things they do offensively. We put a lot of time in the past two days preparing for that and I thought our assistants did a phenomenal job with that. Consequently, we didn't spend as much time on the offense in preparation for that amoeba-type defense that they play, and I take full responsibility for that. It is a difficult defense to practice, especially with four walk-ons, because it involves so much movement and other things. In saying that, we didn't to a very good job moving - our big guys especially. But don't forget, they did a pretty good job in that zone, and they did a great job setting up that Princeton-style offense. They ran it as well as Northwestern does.
We saw some immaturity too - when we weren't playing as well, we hung our head or lagged a little bit on defense. Am I surprised? Not totally. Am I disappointed we didn't execute better offensively? Yes. We are definitely going to have to get better by tomorrow because now we take this young team into a no-prep game.
On the play of Maurice Joseph...
He is playing better, and it helps to have another scorer in there. But in fairness to Drew Neitzel, we have to get the ball in his hands anytime he is open. A couple of times, we did a very poor job of getting him the ball when he was open, especially when we set a pick for him. Joseph gives us another option offensively, so everyone is not just setting their sights on Drew. But because our post guys did such a poor job of moving, we never got the ball to them, and therefore didn't loosen up the defense. In the case of Neitzel's 1-for-8 shooting night, he was forced to take some shots that weren't there, and that is going to happen some this season.
On Brown's play...
That is just such a tough team to play against early in the year because they do so many things. Last year, in the tape that we saw, they did similar things with their offense and so our team was kind of prepared for that. They did a nice job with it, and he deserves a lot of credit for that.
Brown Head Coach Craig Robinson
I told these guys in the locker room that that's why we have to play a perfect game. If we want the opportunity to beat a really good team, we have to play perfectly. We can't have the mistakes that we made. You can't be down by five with a chance to cut it to three and miss a foul shot. To their credit, Travis Walton's basket (with 3:28 left) is as big as they come. We were really on a roll there and, as the clock is winding down, steps back and hits the shot. I have to be pleased with the effort, but the outcome I'm very disappointed in because we had a chance to win the game. And that's what we're trying to change - we're trying to change the way this place thinks about winning games. We can't be satisfied with just playing well.
On Michigan State's defense...
I know this league and they're very physical. We couldn't match their physicality every step of the way. Especially when you run a moving, cutting type of offense, when you run into physicality, it's going to be a problem. It played a role, but it's not like we didn't know it was coming.
On his team's defensive performance...
I was really happy with our effort, especially on defense, and you have to understand it's like I have 13 freshmen because I'm asking them to do something completely different from what they did last year. Like any young team, even though they're not young chronologically, the defense is ahead of the offense. I think our defense was good tonight, not great, but good.