MSU Spartans
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Men's Basketball
Michigan State 110, Nebraska Omaha 68



Dec. 4, 2011

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Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo

Opening Statement...
First let me say that I felt bad for Coach Hansen and his team because of a scheduling thing they had to play yesterday afternoon and I think that made it tough. The negative things for us were that we didn't guard very well in the second half. We didn't guard the ball screens very well almost the whole game. Give our guys credit that they bounced back and shot 50 percent from the field and 55 percent for three in the second half. Our rebounding was great and our shooting is much better. I don't care what you're doing, if you're 8-16 from the three you're starting to make some, and we had a couple of air balls there late. And poor Colby (Wollenman), we wanted to be under 10 turnovers and he turned it over twice so he will be running sprints tomorrow for causing that in the first game he was eligible. All in all, I was most impressed with the 35 assists, that means these guys are sharing the ball. I thought (Adreian) Payne and (Derrick) Nix did a pretty good job of that, and (Draymond) Green and (Keith) Appling were unbelievable at that. Brandon Wood is getting more and more efficient. We were better offensively, but I wouldn't call us great. We weren't as good defensively as we were in the last game, so this is a big week as you know with three games in six days and we need to get better each game because that is the way they were set up.

On the progression of Keith Appling...
You are starting to see him push the ball a lot better. Tonight he penetrated for some nice drop offs. He gave Alex (Gauna) some nice ones. I just think he is really starting to play within himself. He goes 5-for-6 and hits his three's and free-throws. He had nine rebounds and seven assists and no turnovers. He was messing with a triple-double, and in doing that, he was under control and looked very unselfish.

On the status of Austin Thornton...
He practiced some on Thursday and a lot yesterday. They put a special mouth piece in there for him and it is not broken but it's pretty sore. He is about as tough a kid there is. He got his first three today, which I am really happy about. He worked his tail off, especially in the summer, and I know he was pleased with that too.

On what he told Russell Byrd at the end of the game...
I told him the same thing I told (Derrick) Nix. Their body language is beating them. It's not the game that is beating them. He hits a couple of threes and thinks he's going to make every one, and that is not the way it is going to be. He wants to be a player so bad that he wants it all to come back quickly, and it's not going to happen. He is starting to make some progress in practice and I just told him not to beat himself up inside.

On the progress of Travis Trice...
I didn't play him as many minutes today, and one of the reasons is that (Keith) Appling was playing well and I wanted him to get a couple more assists. Travis (Trice) will be a 20 minute player and they will play together more. With Brandon Wood playing better offensively, I think you will see Travis and those two guys play together some too.

On the guards and how they are rebounding...
Keith Appling was great on the boards, he had nine and Brandon Wood gets six. Getting 15 out of your guards and 21 out of your starting perimeter guys is incredible. And yet I know it wasn't the biggest team we played, so I am trying to keep that in perspective by looking at things like assists, shots and free throws.

Nebraska Omaha Head Coach Derrin Hansen

Opening Statement...
A couple of things, first and foremost when a team can play at brake net speed like Michigan State can, it's something we can't prep for. The opponents we've played this year haven't played like that, not even your scouts can give you that, so that was some that was a shock to our system. They made jumpers early, which wasn't a good situation for us and then the couple that they didn't make they climbed on offense which we didn't do a good job on. A couple of things we had coming in, we wanted to get a couple of cheap ones, we got one right off the bat then couldn't get one for a while. Number two, like I said, they got a couple jumpers to go, and then three we couldn't keep them off the glass. You add all those things together then they play as fast as they play that didn't score its fate. I told coach after the game, I thought last year we at least competed. I wish we could have competed better at State, but that was not the case.




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