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Michigan State Basketball Postgame Quotes

Dec. 29, 2007

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Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo

His overall thoughts on the game...
The stats kind of say it all. One of the more awesome offensive performances in my short or long career, depending on how you want to look at it, and one of the more disgusting defensive performances. You have to give Green Bay a lot of credit; we went on a good run right before the half and had them down big. They shot the ball well early because we guarded nobody. They could've died, but they came out and played us even in the second half and deserved every bit of it. I thought they played hard; I thought if we didn't have that one run, the game could've been a different game. On an impressive note, 31 assists on 37 baskets is incredibly impressive and unselfish. (Travis) Walton and (Kalin) Lucas had 20 assists and no turnovers between them and Chris Allen was third on that list with two assists. I thought he played very unselfish and I was very proud of him. We rebounded below average and didn't turn the ball over too much. Those were the positives. The negatives were they exploited our guards, except for Walton. They went at us, posted us, and exploited our big men. They scored a ton of points in the paint. We've got so much work to do to live up to any kind of billing of where we are right now.

On what he needs to do to prepare his defense...
Keep them away from everybody outside telling them how good they are. They're not that good yet. I reminded them just now that a week ago, Texas was fourth in the country and in one short week, they might not even be ranked. That's how fast it turns around. We need our key guys to play better. Defensively, we've never given up that many points, and I don't remember the last team to shoot 49 percent against us. They shot 50 percent from three-point range, so it could've been a lot worse.

On the play of Kalin Lucas...
Kalin shot well. He's playing good. I think he'll tell you he didn't run the team as well as he did against Texas. He was one of the guys who was okay defensively. We had great (defense from) - Travis (Walton) - and a little bit from Raymar (Morgan). We had a couple of okay guys and absolute poor defense from the rest. I think Kalin made some shots. He has worked very hard on his shooting. He's shooting better in practice, but we're coming down to elite time now and in elite time, you have to be able to guard somebody.

On playing Wisconsin-Green Bay between Texas and the beginning of the Big Ten season...
I wasn't expecting a letdown. They've got nothing to do now but basketball and this is a game that prepares you for the Big Ten. We have nothing but respect for Green Bay. We know Tod, and we know he runs really good stuff. We know some of those players. They've played some good people. We watched them against Wisconsin. To our guys' credit, we practiced like it was an important game, but in the walk-through, I didn't feel the passion and energy. We need Drew Neitzel to make shots. Drew's an unselfish kid and the rest of the team thrives off Drew. When Drew's making shots, the rest of the guys like it. That's the respect they have for him.

On how Michigan State's non-conference schedule has prepared the team...
Who we played and where we played, I think was one of the tougher non-conference schedules. We're getting Durrell (Summers) going a little bit more. I would've liked to get Chris (Allen) going a little bit more. We've blended those guys together. We've got to get consistent with (Goran) Suton and (Marquise) Gray, and we've got to get Drew knocking down open shots because he can do that. We've been good defensively, but we haven't been great. When we can game-plan like we did against Texas, we can be phenomenal. When it's one-on-one or mismatches, we've been okay. It's going to heat up, defense gets more important when you get into the conference. There was one end that that was really good and there was one end that was really bad, and that becomes more important in conference play.



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