Dec. 29, 2005
Tennessee Tech Associate Head Coach Steve Payne:
Opening statement... "They just have so many weapons. We did a good job in the first half of sticking to our game plan - slowing their transition and making them play in the half court. We had some let downs. I don't know that it was our defense, but our offense hurt us. We took some bad shots and had some turnovers and let those guys get out and run. They are one of the best transition teams in the country. We like to run, but we had to put the breaks on a little bit tonight just to keep them from getting out and getting transition points."
Michigan State's second half play... "We took some bad shots and had some turnovers and that's when they really got out to galloping. They got 16 offensive rebounds. They used their size and they used their physical strength to move us around the rim. They did a good job on the glass. Ager did a good job getting fouled by going to the rim. They are a good team and are well coached."
Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo:
Opening Statement... "For 12 of the first 13 games I thought that our three star players were as consistent as any group I've coached over the years, and tonight for whatever reason we weren't as consistent. It's always tough coming back after Christmas break. As a coach you've got to make some tough decisions. I've had some teams come back on Christmas eve like Kentucky and Oklahoma did this year. I think we looked like a team that came off a four day break. I thought we had some good practices, but we just didn't look as sharp or efficient."
On MSU's play...
"I thought our point guards struggled in the first half, and then played very well in the second half. Paul (Davis), Mo (Ager), and Shannon (Brown) were just not the same players tonight. Down the road we need those three to be better. There were some bright spots tonight, our defense in the second half was better. And Marquise (Gray) did some better things and that was an encouraging sign."