Michigan State 65, Florida State 49
 
 
 

 

 
 

Nov. 30, 2011

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Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo

Opening Statement...
It was an old-school basketball game in a way and I thought it was physical and as hard fought as we could play. We had guys bloodied up, sprained ankles and maybe a broken jaw and it all sounded great to me. I love that team (Florida State); I think they are tough and play hard, and they had it tough playing four games in seven days. But we were worn down a little bit too. Austin Thornton was playing so well then he got in trouble and Branden Dawson struggled tonight, so we didn't have as many guys to go to. But Brandon Wood, Keith Appling and Travis Trice did an incredible job. We ran things pretty well, and I thought Draymond Green played really well in a lot of ways which was a big difference in the game. That was a big win for us. They are a very good team and I thought defensively we were very good.

On the play of Brandon Wood throughout the game...
I thought we ran some things for him and were starting to run our offense better too. Not only did he make some shots but he got 10 rebounds and we said we would have to get guard rebounds because the best we could do is battle with them inside and knock balls loose and our guards came up with them.

On the guard play defensively...
We felt like when they put it inside the ball didn't come out much and we did a good job of rallying to the ball tonight. When they got it down low without help you could tell those guys were very good. I thought doubling down from up high was part of our game plan and it worked pretty well.

On the play of Keith Appling and Draymond Green and the struggles of Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne...
In a way Derrick Nix played alright. I didn't think he was bad but he wasn't great. I didn't think Adreian Payne was great either fumbling balls down low but they were good defensively. We need to get more balance but if our two best players start playing like they did tonight, a good team can become a really good team, and Nix and Payne will get there eventually.

On Adreian Payne being challenged physically tonight...
We came out of a couple huddles and free throws tonight and him and Dawson really struggled running what we were supposed to run. We did a poor job of that and I was on them about it, but I thought he did a decent job battling for rebounds and running the court well.

On the injury to Austin Thornton...
Austin (Thornton) was gone the second half. And to be honest, he was really playing well. I don't know what his stats were or if he even had any, he was really playing well. He had three rebounds, but defensively and running the lane, all of the things that Branden (Dawson) wasn't doing Austin was doing. I thought he brought tremendous energy to us. And then he plays those eight minutes and then goes down, but it was an important eight minutes during that run.

On the cheerleader...
I didn't see it happen but I think Day Day (Draymond Green) did, I think. One of the guys came in the huddle and told me. I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I did check on it after and our doctor said that everything seems to be ok with her. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her. That was tough.

You see a difference in our crowd a little bit. Our students I thought were awesome. It is going to take everybody, because we aren't good enough to do it by ourselves.

On playing Keith Appling in half-court sets...
Because we were going to go just with those high ball screens and a couple of guys kept screwing them up to be honest, I won't say who. I wanted the ball in Appling's hands because I thought he could get by people, plus he felt good. He wore down too, not a great job of subbing or managing by me. Day Day played a lot of minutes, he had that one rest. You kind of go with your horse and Keith tonight was the horse that I think he should be. Whether he can keep doing that, we'll see. He sure did look like the player that I thought he'd be this year. And under a tough circumstance too, because those guards could check and they were good.

On the upside for this team...
I think the upside is we don't have a ceiling right now. There are so many guys that aren't playing well yet. Branden Dawson, I guarantee is going to get there. Russell Byrd is just starting to practice (full time), for two weeks now. And we have (Derrick) Nix and (Adreian) Payne getting a little more consistency. But Dawson and Bryd, I wasn't even displeased with (Alex) Gauna's minute; we will get him in there a little more lately now that we may have some guys out. But I think that we have a high ceiling, I really do, a long way to go, don't be fooled. We did enough things wrong tonight, we let them back in the game twice. But we kind of ran out of gas a little bit and I think I deserve the blame for that. Our guards were beat by the end. Those guards were moving all over and we were trailing them and trying not to give them any three's, they were 4-20. But there was an expenditure of energy to do that. I thought that hurt our offense in the second half so give them credit.

Florida State Head Coach Leonard Hamilton

Opening Statement...
We knew this was going to be a hard fought game. Michigan State does a great job with their physicality, working the boards. Two of their guards had 17 rebounds and 40 points. Kind of broke our backs. When we went up 40-39 I thought at that point we turned the ball over three times and they got about four offensive rebounds, converting several of those plays and extended the lead at that point it was very difficult for us to come back. They did a very good job executing in their half court, to make an extra pass and be extremely patient. I thought at that point we became impatient as a result of the urgency. And we didn't do really as good of a job as Michigan State did of executing down the stretch. You have to give them a lot of credit due to they haven't been shooting extremely well from the 3-point line, but in the first half I think they were 5 from 10 from three. They knocked some threes down but we were very fortunate that we were able to cut it to four. At halftime we were able to even for a half. They had their spurts four minutes in a row from that point we weren't able to get over the hump. We give them credit to have the ability to execute what they wanted to do in those stretches and our inability to come away with rebounds, defensive stops, and then we turned the ball over several times. I thought Michigan State did a good job striping our big guys and putting the ball on the floor.

On the team's tough stretch...
I think it is kind of what we need to be honest with you. I have no doubt we are going to be a better basketball team as a result of going through this. We have some age on us, but on experience we are still an inexperienced team. We have some guys that are just starting to learn how to play. I do feel we are going to be a very good basketball team. We are a similar position we were in last year; I think we have enough talent and when guys get healthy hopefully here pretty soon. I am not discouraged, it is easy to find our short comings tonight, they did a better job executing tonight then we did. They took care of the ball down the stretch and their ability to get to the free throw line. We shot six free throws they shot 20. We made three free throws they made 15. There scores even, I am not saying the officials weren't calling; we weren't strong with the ball to hold on to it, finishing our plays around the basket. We made it easy to not make any calls because we were turning it over.

On play of sophomore guard Keith Appling...
He is an outstanding player and he always has been. He is just coming to his own and I thought he was very smart and clever with the ball. They played him at the one, they moved him to the two. He is a guy that is going to be a force in the Big Ten. Very clever, smart, athletic, talented youngster with a lot of speed and quickness. When they have Travis Trice coming off the bench and giving solid play to allow him to play some off ball to give Brandon Wood some rest. They are going to be a handful for a lot of teams in the league this year.