Michigan State Basketball Postgame Quotes
 
 
 

 

 
 

Dec. 22, 2007

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Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo

Opening statement...
We tried to keep them out of the lane. They are such a good penetrating team. I still think DJ Augustin is the best point guard in the country, as far as a true point guard. I think we did a decent job on him. We held Abrams in check until the last minute. I think we did a good job on Atchley. And that was the difference in the ballgame. We executed pretty well on offense. I told Kalin Lucas before the game, this could be his coming home party coming home. I think it was. I thought he played extremely well. As far as our team defensively, you know chasing those guys around and what they do, maybe some of the unsung heroes were our big guys. They are the ones who had to step up, shrink the court, and do the things to try to help out. One-on-one we weren't going to cover them with that dribble penetration, especially when we have Travis in foul trouble. So all in all, it's kind of bad for us that they made some of those big shots in the end. I think it tells you a little about Texas with how good they are. That team's going to win a ton of games this year. But I think it will tell us if you do what you are supposed to do, we can be a very good team too. Great Christmas present.

On the tempo of the game...
Well we did it a little bit in 2004-05 when we went to the Final Four and we had some depth with the guards. But they didn't have the points pushing it like we had. Travis is getting better and Kalin is a jet out there. I think as Durrell gets more and we get Chris Allen back, that's why I think this team's got a good chance to grow in to a very good offensive team. We got a lot of stuff thrown at us today. I probably did an average job, because we got the bucks and one thrown at us. I can't say we were totally prepared for that. We ran a couple things but I thought we adjusted pretty well. That tells you a lot about our guards.

On the turnovers...
I told my team after I was a little disappointed in the rebounding of course but the turnovers has got to be a low in my thirteen years here. They seemed to throw the ball around once and a while. That was big. That was really big. One of the turnovers, poor Durrell hits a three. I thought that was a big key in our points with the transition defense, stopping the dribble drive, shrinking the court, and turnovers. You had No. 3 and as you saw even when they hit those shots in the end, and I was very impressed with that, we still kept them out of the paint.

On the post players' effects on the game...
They did a great job on Neitzel. They were stepping up on him and he got some slips with our bigs and some lobs because they were stepping up so hard on him. I mean they really when they were running the box-and-one, even when they went man, they kind of denied him the ball. And our bigs had to get better. I think Raymar at the beginning of the game wasn't looking for a shot, then he started looking for it. Then Suton started doing the same. Then they started passing it to each other. This was the way they were playing us. The box-and-one was something, and the zone was something. I thought we did a very good job against it. Considering we haven't played against much zone or any box-and-one.

On Texas' defense on Drew Neitzel ...
I do want to get more shots for Neitzel. Make no mistake about that. I think you have to credit them. They did an incredible job on him. Then with Travis out of there, we just had so many different things. We went with a smaller lineup. And we haven't worked with that a ton. So Drew will get some. He hit a couple big shots. But he's got to get more shots, and we've got to do a little better job. The box-and-one, that was a great move on Rick's part.

Texas Head Coach Rick Barnes

Team's play after D.J. Augustin's second foul ...
Well, we thought we had to fight back, because we dug ourselves a pretty big hole, and they (Michigan State) don't need much help. Playing Michigan State, they really do so many things well, if you aren't on top of your game, it's really hard to beat them. They do a lot of the details that we are still not taking care of. We obviously didn't get much help from our bench. This week we didn't even practice our first team. We spent practice trying to give all of our attention to our bench guys. We know that if we continue to go through this, we have to have that. The things we really challenged our team with before the game; the rebounding, which we thought we had to do a job on the boards, and I thought they really made a conscious effort at that. We did miss some shots around the rim, which we have to finish.

On Texas' play during MSU's decisive run ...
Michigan State doesn't need any help, and I think we missed a couple of dunks, and a couple of lay-ups, but the one thing I am happy is that we got down there 13, but we kept saying keep playing it out until the end. Michigan State isn't going to give you anything. I think that we aren't there yet, in terms that we still give up too many points. They don't give you much, and I think that is where we have to improve of in terms of over the next month.

On team's game plan ......
They are a really good transition team. Those are the plays that we talked about that we need to take away. The fact of that matter is, we wanted them to shoot a lot of jump shots. You look at them, and I don't think they have taken any more than 16 in a game, and the most they have made is nine in a game. We wanted to force contested jump shots. We gave up too many plays, again, where they transitioned to the rim. They are going to score some off of their offensive rebounds. They do a great job of that. It was a good experience for us, because I don't think it ever hurts you to play Michigan State, because you are going to learn something every time you play them. There is not a better coached team in the country, and fundamentally, they aren't going to beat themselves. You are going to have to do that, and we weren't able to do that today.