Michigan State 63, Louisiana 60
 
 
 

 

 
 

Nov. 25, 2012

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Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo

On the close wins this season…
I don’t like the way the team is at all, we are just trying to figure out how much is given to preparation and lack thereof and the guys that are injured. If there is anything we can do it is not two of our key guys giving the ball over at will. When they start turning over from the very first minute of the game, you tell certain guys the same thing day after day. We are going to start sitting guys and that’s very disappointing, so don’t overwrite anybody, don’t over applaud anybody. I must have some guys who are reading their press clippings because our guards aren’t playing very well other than Keith (Keith Appling). It’s just the way it is. We have moments, moments don’t create good seasons, they create a good win here and there. Very disappointed in that, so that doesn’t change my opinion cause I don’t have a big part of my team right now. If we are going to have to play with this team, they are either going to have to improve a lot or we are going to be very average

On turnovers from today’s game…
We did a decent job; we did a decent job in the first half. We turned the ball over on the first play of the game. We threw a hook pass into the post that borderlines ridiculous. Especially after what we have talked about and gone through. So I don’t want you to think I am not coaching it. When you see guys getting pulled out there is going to be a reason. But we did a better job in the first half. I thought the only valid turnovers were in the last three, four minutes. I think fatigue played a little bit into that. I see Keith doing it. As we say, some people say well he can play forty minutes, it’s hard to play forty minutes; it just depends on the pace you play. Walk it up he played forty minutes and give him a rest on offense and he played forty minutes. Those turnovers, give them a lot of credit they played harder than we did. That is disappointing but those turnovers, fifteen of the twenty were, I mean I can’t give anybody credit for some of those.

On the play of Brandan Kearney and Denzel Valentine…
I wish I had your diplomacy, your politeness. I think Kearney when he plays when he plays within himself, when he hits an open shot, when the ball is kicked out to him, he is a very good defensive player; and yet when he tries to do too much, I mean four of those turnovers were his and it could have been a couple more and that’s the only problem I had.  But I thought we got a lot out of Brandan Kearney, he was one of the bright spots of the day. And Denzel, I think he is going to be a great player someday. If, and that’s a big two letter word, if he quits playing the game like the game doesn’t matter. I mean it has just been a problem with turnovers the whole year.  He is a very gifted and skilled guy and I have been amazed that he hasn’t, when you make the same mistakes two times, then three, and four. I think any coach is going to question that. So I guess being hard on him, I am disappointed that we can go out and talk about something and go out and do the same thing like a left handed cross court pass. You know it’s ridiculous. He is too good for that, way too good for that. So somewhere there is a backhanded compliment in there but he has to learn that at this level you cannot do these things in games and win games.  I think he will grow but the process will have to pick up especially with the players we have right now.

On the absence of Gary Harris and others…
Well I think if this was a normal situation, I thought he was going to be out for a really extended period.  I thought we would have to walk the ball up because we just don’t have any body’s left. We don’t have the guys who are runners are not the runner that Harris and Trice are. So we have to play a little differently, but I don’t see a long term thing and I hate to change everything we have done. So, today still, still, we are not playing well, you know we have ten, twelve point leads and the chance to break it open enough. Trice has made some big progress in his and Gary has made some progress, his will be a completely different thing. I don’t see it being that long where we are going to try to change everything. Although the one game series, like we have to play against a very good Miami team who has been missing one of their starters and is back now, I guess. We are going to have to rethink it a little bit. But I am not sure I am going to think as long as I’m alive that guys should turn the ball over four or five times a game that really handle it all the time. That and no matter what offense you come up with if you walked it up, ran it up, sat on it doesn’t matter. So we have to improve in that area, there has to be a little more discipline in those guys.  

 

Louisiana head coach Bob Marlin

Opening statement…
I thought our guys played extremely hard, I was proud of them after we played on Friday night. We weren’t very good in the first half and we beat it hard in the second half. I thought tonight they had the opportunity to play here against a very good Michigan State team in the Breslin Center. We were where we needed to be for the most part of the game and we had an opportunity at the end, and that’s really all you can ask for. We didn’t get many breaks and had a couple bad shot clock violations, one we couldn’t hit a three point shot and two from Kevin Brown when we were likely at back. That’s actually where we were going with 20 seconds to go and Shawn Long took it when he broke the play. Shawn (Long) took it off the perimeter, got to it, missed it, but he fouled a 50 percent shooter and had a chance to get the ball back, which we did. Payton (Elfrid Payton) just couldn’t make the shot and he played extremely hard, as most of our guys do, I am encouraged by this game as it leads into conference for us, if you can believe it we play a conference game Thursday night. So it’s been a long 2 weeks and a long road trip, 3 games in 5 days. So gonna head home tomorrow, get back to school, get back to the practice court.

On the last couple minutes of the game…
Well we fell down by 10, that was our largest deficit, I think. We were able to hang around, got some good steals. I thought Brown (Kevin Brown) and Peyton (Elfrid Payton) were both battling to get to some loose balls and Michigan State was being cautious at the end, which they should be. With Appling (Keith Appling) we tried to take it out of his hand and we were a little bit successful at that, but it all happened fast and one time I was looking at the bench of Michigan State to be honest to see what they were looking at. I thought they were about to put someone in and I looked there while we were on defense, then I heard the crowd moan and I looked up and we were coming out with it and I had missed one of Payton’s steals. It happened fast and we had a chance to win but we just couldn’t get it done.

On Shawn Long’s play in the second half…
He’s a little bit under the weather, he’s got an upset stomach and he is a very good shooter. He didn’t shoot the ball great, well he didn’t take good shots, let me rephrase that and that’s when he sat down for a while, but he’s a very good shooter. Early he was able to hit a couple and then I think he took some bad shots. They certainly bodied him up, yes. I thought Nix (Derrick Nix) and Payne (Adreian Payne), those guys, did a nice job on him inside, but he got us off to a good start and then he took some bad ones at the end of the half.

On guard play in the halfcourt defensively…
Active. I thought we had some deflections, we pressured the ball well. We actually played soft in our man-to-man early in the game because we wanted to keep the paint full and make them take some perimeter shots, knowing that they could but Kearney (Brandan Kearney), Byrd (Russell Byrd), some of those guys, have not had the ball, Valentine (Denzel Valentine) as well as they have and I give the credit, tonight they stepped up and hit it for them.

On last shot of game…
We actually wanted to go for three when we came up with it. If I remember correctly, Payne missed the lob attempt and we told Shawn during the timeout. I had Shawn in the game, we played small, but I had Shawn in there and told him to stay attached because they were gonna throw it up, and just fortunate that he missed it. It happened quickly, we were out of timeouts, I would have loved to have had one in my back pocket but I thought we used them judiciously throughout the game to help keep us in the game. We were trying to come off a high ball screen with Shawn headed toward the corner, near Kevin Brown. That was the initial play that we called after the timeout but it never developed. But yes, we were going for the three.

On a how young team responded to playing on a big stage…
It’s part of the process, they definitely grew up a little bit today. We played 11 people in the first half and had three freshmen out there on the floor at a time. We got six freshmen on our basketball team and we left a very talented one at home also, he’s not on this trip. So I am encouraged about their growth, we’ve had some growing pains on this road trip and the last, but I am very happy with the way they competed today.