Feb. 13, 2013
Michigan State head coach Suzy Merchant
Thoughts on the game vs. the Hoosiers …
We don’t always have that luxury in the Big Ten, that’s for sure. That was one of the first comments I made. It is nice to have a team victory where everybody gets to be a part of it. A lot of the kids who don’t get to play a lot of the time, it’s neat and it’s fun for them to get out there and get some minutes. They work as hard as everybody else and when you have three games in a week, this was nice to have one in the middle to give an opportunity to spread some minutes around and rest some kids for a tough game on Saturday.
On the importance of Klarissa Bell…
Yeah, I think we started off connecting on some shots that people got a little excited about. I thought Klarissa (Bell) out of the gates was very aggressive. It was really good to see her like that. I mean I think she can be her own worst critic at times. It was nice to see her play, not think, but just use high energy, high focus, and staying in the moment. Again, she did a tremendous job on (Aulani) Sinclair. That kid had six points and could only get eight shots; some of those weren’t really on her. I was really proud of her defense, both her and Jasmine Magee as those guys are talented kids.
On the lift Annalise Pickrel gives the team…
Well Annalise (Pickrel), when she is a three we like to post her, obviously, because she is such a mismatch at 6’4 when she is face up. When she is a post player at the four, which we played her a lot more tonight, it gives her the opportunity to shoot it from the perimeter a little bit more and take people out of the bounce with her athletism. She’s such a work horse and a tough kid. She never ties emotion to the game too much with the exception of when she plays the possession, she is in. Sometimes that can be good and sometimes it can be bad. But the one thing she does is she doesn’t overthink things and I think she is playing as hard as she can. We are trying to utilize her skill set, as you mentioned; we want her at the three and we try to get her on the block. When we run her at the four, we try to bring her away from the basket.
On using the win as a springboard for a strong finish…
I hope so, I mean we played them to ten down there. That’s a good team and Curt (Miller) does a good job. They have been in every game; it’s not like they have been getting blown out much. They struggle with their numbers right now with injuries, taking over a program that struggled, so it’s not like Rome was built in a day. I have known Curt a long time; I feel for him. But he will get it rolling so I am not going to feel bad for him for too long and at the end of the game he thanked me for subbing in as much as we did. So I thought that was pretty classy. You know I have a lot of respect for him, and I wouldn’t want someone to keep the starters in there. I subbed Mariah pretty quickly in the second half. She played twelve minutes and then we got are walk-ons in from like six minutes on, which is a lot of Big Ten minutes so I appreciated that comment. I know he will do a good job in our league and we want to represent our league well so, it was good to get other people minutes.