Inside The Lockerroom

Nov. 27, 2004

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Michigan State Basketball Post-Game Quotes
Michigan State vs. Nicholls State
Nov. 27, 2004 - East Lansing, Mich. - Breslin Center
Final Score: Michigan State 102, Nicholls State 52

Head coach Tom Izzo - Michigan State

Opening statement...
"Well, I guess that teams go through this all over the country, where they play this nice kind of schedule. Games go like this one did and that is why I am not an advocate of a schedule this easy. It has given us a false sense of security that, thank God, will end on Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday. We went into the game with a game plan of what we had to do. There are a couple of stats that we keep that are significant today. In our last three games, we had 35 deflections at halftime and during this game, we had 15... It was a good win from the standpoint that we got a win, but it was not a good win in terms of what we wanted to do, what we wanted to take care of."

On what Coach Izzo would have had his team do differently...
"I was disappointed by the lack of effort on the defensive end. On the break, I think we missed some good plays. Like I said, missing some shots that we would have, could have, made, I don't have a problem with that. But the lack of focus; we weren't focused. Maybe that is understandable, but I like the fact that our seniors were a little bit upset. That is good news, so maybe they will take care of things."

On what the team will look to improve, next time out...
"I did not like the way that the team played, to tell you the truth... I have been happy all week. I thought that we practiced very, very well the last two days. I have been very pleased with practice. We did miss some shots. Kelvin Torbert missed some shots early, but he has been hitting them all, so I have no problem with those missed shots. He still shot 50 percent. If our inside game doesn't improve, we aren't going to be as good as we can be."



On Torbert's uncharacteristic inconsistency today...
"I am going to talk to him about it today. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, to use very bad English. But he has been playing so well. He had some shots early. We sat on the bench saying, `KT does this, this and this.' He is one of the best feed-in guys. He is one of the best at understanding the game. He ended up with 23 minutes, so he played the most. This one kind of depends on KT. I am going to talk to him and see how he feels, because everyone wants to start."

Head Coach J.P. Piper - Nicholls State
Opening statement...
"First of all, we told our kids that it's a privilege and an honor to come here in this environment. Down in the Southland Conference we don't see this kind of atmosphere. It's a treat and a thrill for us to come and play against a Tom Izzo-coached team and all the tradition at Michigan State. We were out in the snow last night looking at the statue of Magic Johnson, and if you're a basketball fan, this is a great experience. The 40 minutes that just took place were not necessarily a great experience in terms of having to sit through it, but as a basketball team, we will grow from some of the things that happened tonight. Some weaknesses were exposed and we have some things to work on and when we get down to our level and play teams in our conference, I think this experience will pay great dividends for us."

On comparing Michigan State to Mississippi State and Auburn...
"They're in a different league in my mind. Let me qualify that and say, because I have a lot of respect for both those programs and coaches, Mississippi State had played four games in a week and got home from Madison Square Garden at 2 a.m., practice the next day and then had to come play us. I don't think those guys really wanted to play that day and were a little sluggish and lethargic. But we were able to do more of our stuff against them than we were able to do today. Auburn is trying to rebound their program and doesn't have a lot of size, so we weren't exploited on the boards like we were today. But the ability of these guys to make shots, execute what they want to do, and to put pressure on you on the perimeter and in the post makes it a real tough experience for a team like ours to come in here. They're very good."