Nov. 25, 2006
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo
I should feel really good about our first half because we might have played some of the best basketball in two years, but basketball is not a game of halves so you are looking at a pretty frustrated coach. For three days we have been talking about playing a full 40 minutes and playing against the game and not the score. I know that is good in theory and kind of bad in reality, but that Oakland team is a very good team. I watched them against Pittsburgh and Duquesne, and they are not what they played like in the first half. I don't know what our team is right now.
I am pretty disappointed in our team right now. To play so well in the first half, do some of the things we wanted to do, and get Gray and Suton more involved, and then to turn the ball over like we did and execute like we did in the second half, there is going to be a character analysis this week. You have to question the character of some when you are riding so high and one thing goes wrong and you fall off the map.
This isn't my Knute Rockne before the Boston College game, but I should give credit to a couple people - my assistants Dwayne Stephens and Mark Montgomery did an unbelievable job of scouting. I thought we knew exactly what they were going to run and defended it well in the first half. Our team deserves a lot of credit for a nearly flawless first half, and their team deserves a lot of credit for bouncing back and playing well when they were almost 30 points down. If it keeps going this way, you can just start adding figures to the other column. Our players need to grow up a little bit because right now the immaturity is rearing its ugly head.
On Marquise Gray's play...
I was pleased with everyone, including Marquise Gray, in the first half, but I wasn't really pleased with anybody in the second half, including Marquise. Don't call it a perfectionist approach, call it an approach were you expect guys to be held accountable for the job they are supposed to do. I think Marquise played like you and I thought he was capable of playing in the first half - he made some good shots, and we executed well on some of our slips and he had some dunks and some three-point plays. We put him in position and he finished the job, Suton did the same thing for the most part.
Oakland Head Coach Greg Kampe
Obviously I'm not very happy right now. I'm extremely disappointed. I don't think you can play a worse half of basketball than Oakland played in the first half. You can give all the credit you want to Michigan State, and you write it the way you want to write it and that's fine, but that's not the way I see it, we stunk. They took our first option away and then we stood there like `I don't want to make a play.' The ball was 45 feet from the basket, I blame us. We were a very poorly coached team and we were not prepared. It was awful.
On the second half and Oakland's defense...
I think in the second half we played a little bit better, and we started running our offense and making plays and some of our kids relaxed a little bit. Some good things happened for us, we battled them pretty hard in the second half. Defensively, I think we played very well except for a four minute stretch at the end of the first half. We looked at our team in the last timeout at the end of the half and said that, you can't play any worse than you have offensively, and we were down only 14 points because we defended well. We let up some bad put backs, like on the first play of the game, but besides that stretch we let Michigan State score only 25 points and I think we did some pretty good things, but it just blew up in those four minutes. They had 25 and ended with 40, so they got 15 points in those four minutes. If you take those 15 points away, in 36 minutes of the game they score 55 points, and I thought we defended well against a very good team. We held our own on the boards, they didn't dominate, but we kept putting ourselves in a bad defensive position with our offense.