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Reactions from MSU head coach Tom Izzo and UNC Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach.
Dec. 29, 2004
Michigan State Basketball Post-Game Quotes
Michigan State vs. UNC Asheville
Dec. 29, 2004 - Breslin Center
Final Score: Michigan State 92, UNC Asheville 63
Head Coach Tom Izzo - Michigan State
"There were a lot of positive things in that game for us. Probably the most positive thing was our assists statistic, we had 26. And to have point guards with 15 assists and no turnovers is impressive. We got off to a good start. You never know with a game like this. I saw Asheville play well on film and they have a great head coach, but we had a great start. Our defense was good. We played awfully hard in the first half, but there are always things to improve upon. Still, our shooting percentage, our assists, our unselfishness and our balance were there. Individual performances were good. Chris (Hill) had nine and no turnovers. There were a lot of what we call `hockey assists' because two guys are involved, but only one can get credited."
On how the team has improved...
"I was really pleased with Delco Rowley and Drew Neitzel, and they are both playing better. Delco's performance with free throws was a big step in the right direction. Kelvin Torbert played well. Our point guards played better and almost everybody shot the ball better."
On Maurice Ager's resilience...
"Maurice Ager came back to continue playing after one of the uglier injuries I've seen, with his finger. That really shows his toughness. It is dislocated. I don't have the details, but I know that his hand was here and the finger was sticking to the moon. He thought it was broken, but I don't know if there is actually a crack to it. I took a look at it, but I'm glad I wasn't the doctor. It was ugly. But he wanted to play, so I wanted to let him play.
On MSU's transition game...
"It was awesome at times! We ran very well, but we just made some poor decisions in the first half. We got casual and careless at times, but there were other instances in which we made very good decisions, but fumbled the ball. Matt Trannon missed a pass from Maurice Ager and John L. Smith might get after them about that."
Head Coach Eddie Biedenbach - UNC Asheville
On Michigan State...
"Michigan State is a really good team. As you all know, they are ranked 20th right now, and I think that's about where they are. However, I think by the end of the season they will be much better. They are a very good shooting team, they are big and they've got a good set of subs. Kelvin Torbert is a much improved shooter. I think they are a very good team defensively, and once they get things together offensively they will be much better. They should get better all year long. I think Coach Izzo has the makings of a great team here."
"This is not a good representation of where we are right now. We are hurt right now; and that's not an excuse, that is just what it is. We haven't had as much good practice time recently as we did in the beginning of the season. We have improved in every game this year, I think, until this one.
On MSU's defense...
"We didn't execute well at all tonight, and I give most of the credit to Michigan State's defense. Things just didn't come together from an offensive perspective for us today, but that will come for us with time."
On UNC-Asheville's play...
"When you have certain injuries you just have to go with certain lineups, and that's something I can't fix. We didn't have a good travel day, and there really aren't any answers or excuses, we just flat out didn't play well. I can't put a finger on it, but I give credit to MSU, they're a good team.