MSU Spartans
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Men's Basketball
Post Game Quotes Against IPFW
Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo
Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo

Dec. 6, 2006

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Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo
Opening statement...
I asked Dane (Fife) after the game what happened to his team, because I've seen them and they've really been playing a lot better, and pretty well. At times in the first half we didn't play as well, and our two guards struggled a little bit, and yet, as he said, maybe our strength and our defense was the key. This guy's going to do a heck of a job there, he's really been upgrading his recruiting. I thought the key to the game was we did a phenomenal job on their three guards. Johnson, Scott, and Perkins got two points between them, and that was really the difference in the game. They gave us some problems inside at times. We made some mistakes with turnovers in the first half, the way we ended the half was a shame. The way we out-rebounded that team the way we did, and with a better job of turnovers in the second half than the first half, we probably played pretty good basketball. The only other point of concern is that our free throw shooting has been going down a little bit. Dane Fife's team has been, like I said, playing well, and I think some of it was us tonight and I think some of it was them. I don't think they played as well or shot as well, and I thought that we did some pretty good things. It was a good win for us, but we can't make some of the mistakes we did, like not knowing where our men are, like our play before halftime. We step up three notches on Saturday, and we're going to have to be a lot better. I think Maurice Joseph and Isaiah Dahlman did a pretty good job for their first game with real pressure on them. With our bigs, we got a little bit more out of Goran Suton, and that's going to be important. I thought Drew Naymick was a key in the second half.

On Maurice Joseph and Isaiah Dahlman's play...
We felt like we needed to get (Dahlman) more and more time, and I thought he made some good moves with the ball, but I think I'm most impressed with his defense. I would not consider those two guys defensive stalwarts. Tonight I thought they both did a pretty good job. We had a little problem with the pick-and-rolls there for a stretch in the first half, and we tried to adjust a little bit, but they made some adjustments. Both guys I thought played pretty good defense, and I thought they were ready to shoot. For some reason Isaiah, even though he's not real strong, kind of has a nose for the ball, he's always around the ball, and he gets those put-backs, and tonight that was big. It was a good first game for them under a little more pressure than they're used to.

On Raymar Morgan's injury...
We were just sitting there with four players to rotate in three positions, and four players with 120 minutes means that each guy averages 30, and I'm constantly still paranoid about Drew (Neitzel) and Travis (Walton) playing too many minutes, but as we always say, somebody's misfortune is somebody else's opportunity. Those guys took the opportunity, and I even enjoyed having Raymar on the bench, listening to some of his comments. In that way maybe it'll be a blessing, he'll get to see things a little bit more. But I still worry about our depth, our foul trouble, or fatigue or injuries, because that's going to be a factor. We have to find a way to get through Saturday, we'll get to be a little physical, but with finals they'll be drained a little bit mentally.

On the play of the big men...
I'm pleased with what we're getting out of them collectively, and yet I'm not happy. Tonight, Marquise Gray, Goran Suton and Drew Naymick a couple times made simple mistakes - like not fully covering after a free throw - we gave up two lay-ups that way. We have to play the game the way it's supposed to be played, as Larry Brown would say. There's times where we're not doing that, but I think some of that is the number of different line-ups that we have out there, just trying to sub everybody and not having any rhyme or reason for doing it. It makes it so that people are playing with different people, and we don't practice that way, so that's part of the problem. I'd say in general, they rebounded pretty well, they defended pretty well, they're blocking shots - we had eight blocks - and we're getting a little bit more out of them offensively now, Marquise and Goran are starting to come around. I thought Marquise did some nice things, and he's playing better and better, we can go to him more and more.

IPFW Head Coach Dane Fife
Opening statement...
We came into this game thinking we had a shot and we were certainly wrong. I just want to make a comment on the Spartans and then I will talk about our team. A phenomenal job by Coach Izzo and his staff, everybody thought they'd be down, and I've got to be honest, I was one of those. I just can't believe the level that Coach Izzo and his staff have their kids playing at. I don't want to compare them to last year's team, but they are just significantly tougher than I thought they would be, as a team they are just so much tougher. The intensity level is right where a Michigan State team usually has the intensity. I just think it's an unbelievable job.

On IPFW...
I thought we did the right things early, we got the good shots, those are the shots that we needed to make in order to get in a groove and stymie Michigan State. I felt like we got good shots, we just didn't make them.

On Michigan State's defense...
Being a veteran of the Big Ten, I know Michigan State's going to play hard, play tough, but I've never seen anything like it to be honest with you. I haven't seen an MSU team defense as tough as they are playing at this point.




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