Dec. 10, 2009
MICHIGAN STATE MEN'S BASKETBALL
Michigan State vs. Oakland
December 10th, 2009
Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo
We did a lot better. It's one of those games where we caught Oakland on one of our better games. They didn't play as well as I saw them play on the film but I thought some of that was our guard play. Defensively, Korie, Kalin and Raymar Morgan did a great job of stopping penetration. Johnny Jones has been phenomenal and (Derick) Nelson has been playing very well. When we didn't let them penetrate I think that took some things away. We couldn't completely stop Benson, but he's a very good player. He's as good of a post player as we've played in a while; he's a very, very good player. I thought we did a good job on Nelson, (Larry) Wright and Jones and that was the key to the game as well as getting points off turnovers, getting our running game going and it's the third game in a row we've shot over 53%, so that means we're doing something right but we still have room for improvement so that's the good news. Draymond Green played unbelievable. Raymar Morgan did some good things that unfortunately didn't show up in the score sheet but he did some real good things defensively. I was even pleased with some of our bigs. But I was not pleased with a couple. It's nice to head into these eight and nine days with finals and everything and see if we can take some steps forward after we had what I think was our best performance of the year.
On Delvon Roe coming back from injuries...
He's been through a lot of adversity, yet I think he still has a lot of basketball growth that he can do but he's never satisfied and that's good news because I'm never satisfied. So we're on the same page. It's fun to watch him grow. It's fun to say to people that you're just starting to see the Delvon Roe I recruited and I really believe that. He hasn't come back yet but he's a lot closer. I think as we get in there now the next thing is rotation. I started a different lineup in there for a variety of reasons and I think that we responded in some ways but we never have the same type of lineups in there that play together. I think that's the next part that will help Delvon, getting a running-mate and a click between a couple of guys. Delvon is a special kid, special athlete, special player and yet is still in the growing stage of where he is going to be after fighting those injuries. The way he has bounced back and has had no problems, that's really incredible if you think of what he's gone through.
On Derrick Nix having a weight off him after making a free throw...
There ain't a hell of a lot of weight of Derrick, he's still got a lot of weight on. Not a someone else's expense but it's fun to smile. But the only way you smile is when you work for something and you know how much time you've put in. Derrick and Mike Garland have spent an absorbent amount of time on his free throws. It's been free throw after free throw, after free throw and he really has been shooting them well in practice. I don't know if he's off the schinde yet, but as I told Steve Smith after game, he must have put some pressure on him because he was one of the greatest free throw shooters we've had here You know what I really liked about Nix tonight is that he moved his feet. That's two things he has good feet and good hands. A couple of times he moved his feet as well as anyone that we've guarded against. We've still got a lot of work to do inside with those two guys but I think we're making progress.
Oakland Head Coach Greg Kampe
On the team's local players...
We're all embarrassed. I feel badly for them because they are embarrassed. Two years ago we came in here and lost by four points and we competed and played. Johnathon Jones is a great basketball player, he really is. You probably wouldn't know that if you walked in and that was the first time you've ever seen those guys play.
On his overall feelings about the game...
The first ten minutes of the game, I thought we guarded extremely well. The game was slow and ugly like we needed it. We got a lot of really good looks and couldn't make them. We had three wide-open threes and we missed them. We turned one wide-open three down. We got it inside and [Will] Hudson air-balled a lay-up. We got inside to [Keith] Benson and I think he was 1-for-6 from point-blank range. It was 7-4 when it should have been 14-7. The game might be a little bit different then. Eventually Michigan State was going to figure it out and we put no pressure on them because we didn't score. We turned it over a couple of times and a slow, ugly game turned into a track meet. We can't win a track meet with them and not many teams could.
On the play of Draymond Green...
I've known that kid for a long time and I think he'd probably like to have my team in the gym a lot more. Obviously he was pretty good tonight. I don't know what he ended up, but he was 8-for-8 at halftime. He made some tough shots and he made some easy shots. Coach Izzo said to me after the game, `we haven't shot like that all year.' We had talked about each other's teams before the game and we both had struggled to shoot the ball. He was almost apologetic. I told him, `you know, you probably haven't been open like that all year.' That probably had a lot to do with it. They were really open. I might have been able to make a shot and I couldn't shoot very well.
On the team's play in the second half...
There was no pressure. We did talk about being embarrassed and that we were better than that. I think the play that typified the whole game is when we worked real hard on offense and had maybe the fourth possession of the second half when we got Benson the ball and he laid it in and then [Delvon] Roe dunked on the other end in like two seconds. We didn't get back. We didn't compete. How do you lay it in at one end and they dunk it at the other end? I bet if you look at it, it's less than four seconds. So we made some shots in the second half, we still didn't compete. How many open dunks did they get? I wasn't a great player, but I know that if a guy dunked on me 45 times in a row, the next time he went in there he'd probably be picking himself up off the ground, but we were just in awe of what was going on. It's very disappointing from my standpoint.
On what his team needs to do in order to compete in big games...
With Kansas at that arena, where they've won 3 million in a row, it was 71-58 or something with five minutes to go in the game and then the floodgates opened up. At Memphis, it was an eight point game with 15 or 16 minutes left to go in the game. When things go wrong for us, we don't handle that very well. That's discouraging from a coach's standpoint. We do not handle teams like this very well. Tonight, it was from the start. We weren't very good and we got what we deserved.