MSU-Minnesota Post-Game Quotes
 
 
 

 

 
 

Dec. 31, 2010

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EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo
Opening statement ...
It was definitely a game just like I expected, I figured it was going to be a very physical game. We went into the week last week, with three or four major objectives for our team, even though we spent two days on Minnesota, we spent strictly three days on Michigan State. What we wanted to do was improve our free-throw shooting, ironically my two best free-throw shooters missed three in a row at the end or we would have shot 80% from the line, so I thought we did that. We wanted to quit turning the ball over against one of the stingiest defenses, we had eight turnovers, only three the second half, and we accomplished that. Our goal was to try to out-rebound them even though we were watching them against Wisconsin we knew this was maybe the best rebounding team in the Big Ten, in fact it is. They got four offensive boards in the last minute and a half or we would have accomplished that, but we were right there with that. And we wanted to get our point guards back where they were getting some assists, we have the lowest total of assists for point guards and Lucas gets seven assists and two turnovers, Lucious gets six assists and no turnovers, when you have 13 assists and two turnovers it leads to an incredible stat and that is 21 assists on 24 field goals. That along with our defense was pretty good. I thought Keith Appling did a phenomenal job on Hoffarber, I think he is a great player and in fact two of his baskets were not on Keith, so I thought Keith did a phenomenal job especially for a freshman and we thought Delvon Roe did an incredible job on the offensive glass. Durrell and Draymond really cleaned up by scoring some in the second half. I'll finish by saying after a very good start I thought we went away from getting the ball inside, we felt like we could get it inside even though it might be harder to score, but both those guys are such good passers, that's why we started them and we did a great job and all of a sudden we went away from it. We started launching good shots, but shots that were not inside out passes and we shot poorly. Yet I told them at halftime keep taking the same shots instead of getting the ball reversed around, just get them inside out and back to going inside and our whole team changed. I'm proud of our team because at least the things we wanted to work on, we played like we practiced and that does not always happen.

On Delvon Roes improvement ...
We did one thing with Delvon, when we had two-a-days he only had one. We just figured we have to be smart with him; he's got to be smart with himself. The four or five days off were great, it is not like he has problems with his knee but it is still never going to be perfect. So we have to be smarter, I think that helped him, he said he has felt as fresh and he has felt in a long time. He has been more active in the last couple of games, just not finishing as well and I really thought he was a big difference. Even defensively, he got a little sloppy at the end, but sometimes we put him on guards and that was impressive the way he covered them.

On the shots MSU took and shooting percentage ...
I was frustrated to be honest with you, yet I was not upset because I thought 90% of the shots we took were good. Those corner shots were wide open, we just could not make one and that was a little frustrating. I thought we started out pretty good because we went inside, but give Minnesota credit they went zone and changed up and did some things. I really like Tubby's team; they struggled a little bit the second half like we did the first half. I told them at half time, keep shooting we just have to be inside-out more. I thought getting it in, getting it out was a lot better for us.

Keith Appling's performance ...
Ironically, that was what I started off my talk with the team after (the game). One of the guy's I am proudest of is Keith, because we learned that he is pretty tough. He goes against Kalin, goes against Durrell, he challenges people, he's got a little nastiness to him, and yet he is really athletic. He's getting smarter, and it is too bad because when you go 0-1 and you are a scorer, you have got to be a little frustrated, but even he had a smile on his face at the end. I thought most of that game he did an incredible job for his 21 minutes. He is going to get nothing but better and he still can score. Someday he is going to be a hell of a player.

Minnesota Head Coach Tubby Smith
Opening Statement ...
Well it was a good game for a while there, until we started turning the ball over and Durrell (Summers) got hot. We couldn't find him and didn't do a good job there. Anytime you play a Michigan State team you are going to have to take care of the ball. That is something that we didn't do. I thought we did some good things again, but in the end we didn't get the win. But again it was a good college basketball game. I have to complement the Spartans, they do what it takes to win. Somebody got a hot hand and they found opportunities inside. I don't think we really attacked the rim like we should have at times.

On the Big Ten opener and the physical play of the conference ...
We feel like we are a team that can compete and we have to find a way to win some of these games. We are just not getting the execution and the stops that we need at critical times. There are times in the game when the momentum is going to shift and you can feel it shift. The crowd got involved, we took a couple of quick shots and Michigan State got out on a run. So in this league it is going to be like this. Whoever can hold serve at home and steal a couple games on the road is going to have an opportunity to win the Big Ten. The way it has always been.

On the defensive adjustments that need to be made in the future ...
[We have] to not throw up bad shots and take care of the basketball, give them less opportunities. If you look we had 14 turnovers and eight of them were by our guards. It wasn't as if they were pressing us, both teams were pretty much playing half-court basketball, and we have to do a better job there. And then with Durrell (Summers) you are doing what you can, but we have to keep the ball off of him. I thought we did a poor job; obviously, we had the wrong guy guarding him. We were playing a lot of zone, and he got a couple of them out of the zone. But we just didn't get out on him, pressure the ball, and make him put it on the floor. We have noticeable problems with guarding the three point shot. We need that guy that can be the defensive stopper or at least take it upon himself.

On who may be the go-to guy moving forward in the season ...
Well it has to be a team effort. We really don't have that guy where you're going to say, `ok we're going to throw it in to you inside and you're going to get us a bucket.' I think Trevor (Mbakwe) may be that guy and as far as in the post, I think Ralph (Sampson III), he can make the free throws. He has to get a little more physical inside. If we throw it in there, you have to want it and you have to call for it. You can't let a guy run around you and take the ball from you. We just have to get tougher inside. We really don't have that (one) guy, it sort of has to be by committee.

On the potential that you have moving forward in the Big Ten season ...
I think we are going to be ok. We just have to work on those areas that we just talked about. Taking care of the basketball, guarding the three point shot, and we can rebound with most teams. But you can't have just nine assists and 14 turnovers; you are going to lose every game like that.

On where the team is defensively ...
Well we're not very good right now. We are having just too many defensive breakdowns and it is coming mostly in transition, guys getting open looks. So it is not good right now. We're passing but we are barely passing.