MSU Spartans
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Men's Basketball
Michigan State 74, Boise State 70
 
 
 

 

 
 

Nov. 20, 2012

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Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo

Opening Statement…
It was a weird game like Gus Ganakas said. It was one that you give Boise a lot of credit. They played hard, they played tough and somewhere you give credit for hanging in there through some bizarre things of injury, poor foul shooting, foul trouble and bizarre plays. Yet somehow we found a way to beat a good basketball team that will win some games. Keith Appling was the man and I think he wanted to watch somebody work since the spring and earn what he is getting. He’s done it the old fashioned way and worked his way in. Now there is no question or doubt in his mind for why we push him like we do. He played for forty minutes. He had five rebounds, 22 points, and seven assists. He turned it over a few times, but he did an unbelievable job. Down the stretch he was our true go-to guy. I thought early Nix played pretty well and Brandon Kearney came in and did the old-man’s job. I was watching a game today and talking about the point guard from USC and he is getting better, but it has now been fourteen months since the reconstructive surgery. They expect him to be full go by Christmas, which will be sixteen months. Brandon Dawson is in month nine, at the max 10.  Sometimes I expect so much from him, yet down the stretch he two-checked. It wasn’t a very good game for us, yet we shot pretty well from field under the circumstances. Harris is not good; we don’t know what it is yet. We will have an MRI tomorrow, but he will be out for awhile. I just didn’t like the way that whole thing went, but it is what it is.

On defensive play…
I wasn’t very pleased early. I thought in the second half we defended much better. We didn’t handle the dribble drive. I’m a little disappointed because my assistants did a hell of a job on the report. I think everyone of you even figured out that number two goes left. We didn’t do a good job on reading that. Other than that I think we did pretty good defensively. I don’t know what we are going to do with the elbow thing, I’m struggling with that. Petty good job defensively for the most part, covering a very difficult offense to cover with some guys that can shoot.

On the flagrant official call…
I think officials are sometimes put in a bad position like everything else in society. I saw the helmet hit the other day on [Ed] Reed and thought that was ridiculous. I was looking at in on the film at half time; I guess I’m not a very good judge of the rule. I guess we are going to have to start playing like Venus de Milo, no hands and no arms. We don’t flop, we don’t do those things. I got an explanation that they wanted to give, it wasn’t the one I wanted to hear. The second one, I didn’t see the film of that one yet, but if you put your arms up and a guy runs under you, you aren’t supposed to be able to move. I can’t say I agree with that. They are forced to call anything now, like football when you breathe on somebody wrong they are calling it. We set the rules; they just have to ref it.

On the extensive play of players…
We’re not playing the system I want to play yet. We are running some, but we can’t run with no players left. We’re not pressing at all. We’re trying to survive the ten thousand miles, the injuries and the foul trouble. I told them tonight that now we are going to have street fighting mentality. We are going to compete better. I thought we were okay, I don’t think we were great. I thought Nix during the first half was helping on the right and left side. He can’t play thirty minutes a game doing that. We have to get more out of some other guys because now they know they are going to play. Gary Harris will not be playing this week, I am 99.99 percent sure of it.

On Gary Harris’s injury…
I’m not saying it was a flagrant call, but it was a good hit. We have this thing where if arms go up, that means it’s flagrant. He got hit pretty good on a moving screen and knocked his shoulder out. Best case scenario is he sprained his shoulder and is out for the week, worst case scenario he is out a lot longer.

On Keith Appling’s play…
In the Kansas game he didn’t settle for a three. He took the ball to the rack and made an incredible play. Tonight he made another pass down there to Derrick Nix and is making better decisions. When you put the ball in the hands of a guy, we kind of cleared it out in that last one. They were in a zone and we still found a way to make a play. He is a phenomenal athlete and very good with his right or left hand. That’s what makes him more effective. I am happy that Keith that went from a guy that was stubborn and thought he was doing enough, to a guy last spring that just figured it out. He just worked his way, figured he wasn’t doing enough. If you asked him he probably has put in more time in the last four months at basketball than he has the past four years. That is always fun to watch a guy grow in that way.

Boise State head coach Leon Rice

On whether the technical was a turning point...
No I felt like the turning point on our bench was when they had a nine point lead and we were teetering a little bit. We could have caved, but our guys kept battling and we battled back to take the lead.

On playing MSU...
They have so many great players. Michigan State is one of the programs that I have always respected and one of the best programs in the country. Coach Izzo and his staff do everything the right way and that is why I wanted to have my guys come see it. The atmosphere is the right way, it is a great college atmosphere and their players play the right way. Izzo is one of the best coaches in the country and someone I have always respected, so it is great to be able to get out here and compete against them. I was proud of our guys because they did compete. These games are scary because they have so much fire power on their team and they can bury you. If your guys don't come to compete they will get buried and so I am very proud of our guys. We're not satisfied but I'm proud of them.

On the atmosphere during the technical and flagrant...
Our big thing about playing in an atmosphere like this is learning to control your emotions. So we don't get to high or too low, we knew they were going to get some dunks and that we would make some mistakes and we missed a dunk, but you have to continue on to the next play and compete the next play. Our focus was to be able to compete no matter what happened. When I go back and look at the film, I might realize that was a big emotional moment, but at the time we just tried to power through it. Derrick Marks stepped up and made four free-throws. He has a little moxie to him so he will do that; he wanted those free-throws.

On being up by five down the stretch...
One of the keys was Derrick Marks has to be able to stay in the game because he is fouling too much. In a situation like that, there aren't too many guys who can make a play on them, and he hopefully be one of those guys, but he has to keep himself in the game. When I go look at this tape, I'll see that he had three preposterous fouls and guys are going to pick up fouls but he can't have silly reach in fouls and that is part of growing up. We have a young team with 10 freshman and sophomores and we made just enough freshman and sophomore mistakes and that is one of them. He is such a good player that we need to have him on the floor for those last couple of minutes.


 

 

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