Nov. 20, 2009
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MICHIGAN STATE MEN'S BASKETBALL
Michigan State vs. Toledo
November 20, 2009
Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo
Well I'm very disappointed in how we played. I felt bad for the couple guys that did play well. There were a couple of bright spots. We had some assists. I thought our guards, Chris (Allen) played pretty well and Kalin (Lucas) I thought played pretty well. I thought we forgot who Durrell Summers was, but you know, we checked pretty well for part of the game and then we just didn't. And we're shooting the ball miserably because guys refuse to understand that Korie Lucious isn't going to have seven months off and be able to make shots right now. I have some other guys taking some bad shots. It was not a very good performance and the blame should fall strictly on me. It's my team, I wasn't very happy with them.
On if he was happy with Chris Allen's shooting...
I was happy with Chris (Allen). I was happy with Kalin (Lucas). It was a shame we missed some free throws. I was happy with the way he ran the team. We just seemed a little selfish with the way the guys which happens when you think you're going to win a game instead of go out and win a game. And as soon as we got some leads, I thought we got a little bit selfish and it wasn't our guards necessarily. And I tired to play a lot of people and I did some subbing at certain times. So that too should fall on me, not the players. But it was disappointing.
On the difference between tonight's and Tuesday's game...
We got physically beat up against Gonzaga but sometimes winning cures all evils. I just hope they can learn it before we go the other. But Kalin (Lucas) missed a couple shots that I think he's been hitting. He's been shooting really well in practice and the pull ups were really good. I think he does have another gear. It's a shame to because he gets six assists and I swear we missed lay-ups, wide open threes. He should be averaging seven or eight assists a game, and he's probably averaging two or three and believe me that's not all his fault.
On what Raymar Morgan's chances are playing on Sunday...
You know what, I am not a medical guy anymore and I just know this - I've been a little disappointed when I listen to people say, `Raymar's always injured.' Raymar Morgan right now, is the most valuable guy I've got, along with Kalin (Lucas). And he's has his moments. But he's played hurt. Last years injury had nothing to do with an injury. We all get mono, we all get the flu. If you keep playing with it, it turns into pneumonia. That kid did that and I appreciate that about him. He's got two bad ankles right now, he's been in rehab three or four times a day. He wanted to play tonight and I didn't even want to suit him up. He said, `Let me suit up incase someone gets hurt.' He can care less about his stats. He is becoming what I was hoping he would become. A lot better leader and I think a player that we just can't play without. He's just too good defensively. He's too good understanding. He knows his game. He knows what he can do and what he can't do. And he doesn't try to do things that he can't do. And right now I have two guys trying to do things that they just can't do. We'll get that straightened out, hopefully sooner rather than later.
On if he saw this game coming three nights after Gonzaga...
I was disappointed. You know what, so all you know. Since you all want to know what I think this program has to do to become an elite program. You saw it tonight. Duke beats this team bad. Get them down and they beat them bad. Michigan State doesn't. So for all of you that think where we are and I keep arguing where were not, give one to Izzo. He won. We are not where we need to be to have this program thought of in that elite status yet. And I'm going to keep working on it but don't kid yourself. You know great teams, they don't have those letdowns. We had a 20 point lead, an 18 point lead and we just didn't do the job. So I feel good about when we do, I do. And when we don't, I publically state it. We did not do the job. We meaning me, my staff and the players.
Toledo Head Coach Gene Cross
I have been here several times as an assistant and even as a player. It is a very tough place to play. They are a hardnosed team and a hardnosed group. They came out and played very well and got the shots that they wanted. I thought that we took their punches and we bent but we didn't break. I told our guys that no matter what throughout the year, you're going to face situations where you're going to get smacked, but it is how you respond to getting smacked and you end up smacking back. They're tough, they're good, and they are No. 2 in the country and I thought that our guys fought hard and never gave up.
They run the ball at you. Turnovers, missed shots, made shots, and we knew that when ever the ball changed possession that it was going to be a tall task to stop the ball and to stop them from scoring. Whether that was the difference or not, I think that any time you turn the ball over you automatically help an opportunity and they seized those opportunities like nobody in the country. Our turnovers were down from what they have been. We had 12 turnovers and I can accept that, but it's how effective the other team is from when you turn the ball over and they are one of the best teams in the country at taking your mistakes and capitalizing on them.
I am happy with the fact that we were close. They are a big, strong, powerful team and the one thing I have always tried to stress as a coach is defending and rebounding. Against an outfit like coach Izzo's team, if you can be anywhere in the stratosphere, then you're doing a pretty good job. I thought our guys fought and they battled. I am pleased with our fight, but I am never pleased with the results of losing.
On Stephan Albrecht...
Stephan is an interesting story because he had to sit out last year due to two back surgeries. It was almost a blessing in disguise for him because he was able to acclimate himself academically. He is a 3.75 student, which I am most proud of with Stephan. Out of everything, he is a terrific kid. He is quiet and has a real quiet demeanor, but when he gets out on the court he has a killer mentality. When it comes to shooting the basketball, he does not shoot it enough for me. I wish he would shoot it more when he comes off screens. He tends to hesitate because he is looking for his teammates and that is the type of young man that he is. He
has to understand that he is one of our greatest scoring options. He is scoring just under 50% overall in the three games that we've played. He is terrific to have and I am glad we have him for three more years, not to mention this is only the third game of the year.