Nov. 23, 2012
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo
“I thought that was the worst game Michigan State and Oakland have played. I think I told Kampe the same thing Kampe told Izzo, both of us didn’t play very well. I think more of it’s my fault than players or anyone else. We just got so many games in a row with so many new bodies in there. B.J. (Dawson), I’d throw him into the 4-spot, we’ve never practiced it against a zone. We just haven’t been able to do anything. We had some guys that just didn’t play very well, turned the ball over ridiculously. Then when we got the ball inside, we had some good things happen so there were some positives. The positives were how we shot 53%, I don’t know. The 83% from the line is a big positive, the 15 rebounds is a big positive, and (so is) holding them to 20%.
“I told my team Travis Bader has taken more shots in this gym than any player I’ve got because he started doing it when he was in about fifth grade. As happy as I am that we did a good job, he’s the one guy I feel for a little bit because when you think of a walk-on at Oakland, as he did, and we put 75% of our scouting report on him. I think that speaks volumes about how much this kid has made himself a player. That’s pretty awesome.
“We defended everybody pretty well. A little bit inside, but we kind of wanted it geared that way that we wanted our inside people to help. Because of that, I thought (Corey) Petros didn’t get very many baskets but he got some free throws. I don’t think either coach is very excited about how they played and I feel bad because it was a great crowd, the place was filled. Again, part of it is missing two or three guys and realizing that B.J. (Dawson) has got a lot of ways to go basketball-wise because of that injury. Maybe more importantly, it was the lack of preparation, the lack of time that we could spend putting guys at different positions.
“The other big plus besides their two post guys was Keith Appling is becoming a man. He was great in the huddles; he was great with the players. I moved him all over, I moved him into the middle of the zone, I moved him onto the baseline and I just tried to find ways to get a couple of shots. He hit that one big three late, rebounded the ball, and defended the whole game. I know there are some pretty good defenders in this league, but some of the best defenders are not offensive guys and this kid is doing it at both ends. I’m tickled to death for him and we’ll figure out a way to get the other guys a little better here in the next 30 hours because we play another game in this NBA schedule that yours truly made up. I’m really disappointed in what I did to my own team.”
On Keith Appling’s comeback today…
“I didn’t even see him go down until he was laying there. I didn’t see what happened but one thing I don’t worry about is that is one tough hombre. I would’ve told him the same thing I told (Mateen) Cleaves, have a sprained ankle, just do it after the game, I don’t have time for it right now and I think he would’ve obliged. I love that about Appling, he’s tougher than nails.”
On Derrick Nix’s performance late in the game…
“Well he reverted a little bit. He kicked out where he had layups or dunks, but the one was for a big three. We’ve been saying, last year he was a guy that kicked it out all the time, we had some inside out threes that were good. This year we aren’t getting any inside and out threes because he’s taking it up. He’s taking up good shots but he’s not making some of them. So we asked him to find a happy medium and I think he reverted a little too much to the right again. He did have big baskets, went up and got big rebounds. For him and (Adreian) Payne to play almost 30 minutes apiece, there were some positives in this game. We beat a pretty good basketball team and we’re in dire needs right now as far as our rotation it’s just we’ve got some guys that aren’t ready to do what they need to do.
“That includes (Branden) Dawson, athletically and physically he’s back, conditioning-wise not, but it’s the skill and the understanding. He just made some plays that he hasn’t made before and I think he gets frustrated because he can’t do what he wants to do and I’ve been through that with a couple players. Then I move him to a different position that he’s not ready for and so I’ve got to take some of the blame for it. If we had a couple days in-between these games to work on some of those things. We’re just in survival mode right now and tomorrow we’ll just try to walk through because we aren’t going to have a lot of time to get healthy. We’ve got to find a way to get through tomorrow, get some rest and then do some work for the rest of the preseason.”
On Denzel Valentine’s anticipation in playing against his brother Drew Valentine…
“You know what, that kid Drew, he’s just a hell of a kid and he’s mentored Denzel. I didn’t see anybody going at anybody and I mean that as respectfully as I can say it. There’s such a respect, Carlton and Kathy have done an incredible job with those two kids. I think Drew’s a little hurt and he just sucked it up. I told Denzel in the first 10 minutes, boy, you better learn something from your brother now. I don’t think anybody enjoyed it. I don’t think it was one of those things that was thrilling because it was an important game for both teams. I think there was great respect. I felt bad for Drew a little bit, but I’ve known the kid forever. Just like (Travis) Bader, the kid grew up in my office.
“I’ve great respect for Kampe and his staff, he’s got a really good staff. So a lot of respect for both parties and yet I think both parties agreed we didn’t play as well. Yet I look at some of our stats. I hate to come to these press conferences and look at the next day. The last game, Boise, if you’d looked at the game, we did a pretty good job in a lot of areas. We’re just missing two of our best shooters right now, two of our three and so nothing looks good. Every time you want to go to something, you have to improvise. The minutes played and the time, these quick turn-arounds, there was never a worse time to have five games in 11 days and four games in eight after that trip when you get the two injuries.
“(Branden) Dawson’s been unbelievable at times. Overseas he was unbelievable but boy, that guy has missed a lot of time, seven months. You see him getting frustrated with himself and it’s going to happen for a while, he’s a couple months away, probably after Christmas before he gets his basketball stuff back so a long way to go. If we survive this, I really think that this is going to do us good. We got more out of Kearney tonight, especially the last 30 minutes of the game after a slow start. I look at some guys and I think why would they be nervous? I forget a lot of them haven’t played on a 15,000 (person) stage before. We are looking a little bit brook trout-ish to me with different guys at different times. I think some of the guys, like a B.J. (Dawson) at a different position, that’s the coach’s fault not the player’s.”
Oakland head coach Greg Kampe
"I can’t tell how disappointed I am in the way we played. We did not play very good basketball. I said to Tom after the game and I think he agreed. I think that was probably the worst played Oakland/Michigan State basketball game series since we moved into Division I. The first year we played, we weren’t very good but I think we played a good basketball game without very good players. They won by thirty but I think it was close at halftime and it was a good game. I thought tonight was very bad basketball. I’ll be interested to see if Tom Izzo agrees out there, I’ll be interested to see if he agrees with me in here."
On the quality of possessions…
"I know Tom Izzo can’t be happy, I’m not happy. I don’t know what was going on in our minds in the first five or six minutes of that game. Our shot selection was just horrible. I mean it was like, “Oh I’m at Michigan State I’m going to show everybody here I can play.” I mean it was just awful. It’s not us, we are team scorers, we run, we get guys. We have four guys that average double figures. Everybody gets shots. I have no idea what was going on in the first five minutes. I thought in the second half we got it back to where we’re supposed to be. I thought we started running good offense and distributing where we needed to get it. It looked like we knew what we were doing again. Then when things got bad, we went right back to it. It’s very disheartening, I’m very very disappointed. To play on this stage and to do that. I’d rather get beat 99 to nothing and play good basketball than what we did."
On the defensive play on Travis Bader…
"I guess Tom has gotta answer that if he thinks they played good defense, I don’t know. As a coach you give up 56 percent. I thought we played pretty good defense and they shot 53 percent. I thought we played pretty good defense tonight. Travis’s shooting percentage, this guy is missing it. We took a lot of bad shots that we took on our own. If you give them credit for that, I’m not smart enough to know why guys miss. I know we took bad shots and that’s why we missed. I’m sure that deep inside Travis and Drew Valentine this was a huge huge game, one they had thought about for a year since the time it came out on the schedule. I’m sure that they had visions about it going a little bit better. Travis Bader isn’t a good player, Travis Bader is a great player. He’s only a junior and when he’s done he will have his name as one of the greatest to ever play at Oakland. I think he’ll play after college; he didn’t look like it tonight. I’m sure he’s sad about that, I don’t worry about that. It has nothing to do with our future. He didn’t have a good game, I feel bad for him because he didn’t. Same with Valentine, I don’t think he had a great game. He had a typical hustle, blue collar game that’s how he plays. He missed some free throws and things like that. I’m sure both those kids are hurting and I hurt for them, but I think it was just one of those nights."
On last five minutes of the game…
"I think you are looking at a basketball team in Oakland that played in Louisiana, then we flew to Boise, ID, then we flew back to Oakland and bussed to Pittsburgh, we blew an eighteen point lead in the last five to six minutes at Pittsburgh and an eight point lead in the last minute. Then had to get on a plane and fly to Houston, flew back from Houston and came here. Now we have to go play at Tennessee, so I think you looked at a tired team. I think it was a tired team that was playing pretty good. We ran a set play at 55-51 with four minutes to go, 3:50 or something out of that timeout. The ball went half-way in, then came out. It rolled around the rim and came out. It rolled around the rim and it goes in, it’s a one point game. They go down to the other end and I think they kicked it out. Nix got a dunk and didn’t see it and he kicked it out to Appling maybe and he buried a three. It went from what it could have been, one, to seven and I think our kids just went “pfff” cause they had given everything they had to get things back to where it was and everything was going our way. A ball rolled around and came out and I think that ended it. I think we scored one point the rest of the game. It wasn’t cause we weren’t trying, it wasn’t cause we weren’t playing our tails off, it’s just the way it is. When you’re who we are and you gotta do all of that traveling, eventually it’s going to take its toll. I give the kids a ton of credit that they fought through all that. We gotta get on a plan and fly to Tennessee, who we’ve beaten the past two years. You think they’re ready for us? I personally think that this basketball team can be not a good basketball team, a great one. We got size, length and we can score. It didn’t look like it tonight, but we can shoot and we can score. We came into the game, all road games and we are shooting fifty percent on the season. Who does that when you have to play all their games on the road? I think this is going to make us who we will be in March and I think we’re gonna be a pretty good basketball team in March."
On Duke Mondy running the offense…
"We were on a set play to start the game to give Bader a three and it never gets to Bader. The next possession we shoot a fifty foot three. I mean we didn’t run our offense the first ten to twelve minutes of the game. It’s 10 to 9, I took him out and a sub went in the game and did the same exact thing he did. Came down and didn’t even pass the ball and fired up the next two possession shots and it went from 10-9 to 18-9. We didn’t run our offense early in the game. Nobody facilitated our offense until the second half, then I thought Duke did a very nice job in the second half."