Michigan State-Minnesota Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinal Postgame Notes

March 2, 2007

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Opening Statement...
Just a great battle, a great game. Minnesota plays very hard. I liked a lot of the things that we did, absolutely love our 22 assists. I'm not sure what to say about the turnovers, though, in that regard. But I just loved how we shared the ball inside and out. I thought Al was very dominant and very focused. I thought Aisha was doing lots of nice things for us in terms of ball movement, and I thought Rene (Haynes) was extremely solid and smart.

Overall, it was a great team effort and the rebounding does sting a little bit, the rebounding margin and not doing a better job there. That's something we're going to continue to work on and needs to change. We need to get better at that.

On what she told the team after the lead dropped from 19 to five...
You can't be really concerned. It's not scoreboard basketball. You know, leads come and go. We just wanted to focus on some things. I was really pleased with how we came out after timeouts. We generally scored or something good happened. I think you just can't expect anything to be easy.

It was a little easy early on, and I was not expecting that to continue. Not at this level, not at this time of year. All these teams are very good. You saw they had four people in double figures. They played a great game. It wasn't like Minnesota played poorly. They played a very, very good strong game. We were able to do some things and we shot the ball a lot better. I guess I'm not really concerned. I love the fact that we had to convert.

Our team made some smart plays while we were getting pressed, so we've just got to take advantage of every opportunity because games are going to be tough. I mean, nothing is easy. From this point out, it's a lot of work.

On Allyssa's overall progression into a starter...
She's been such a tremendous person and player. It's hard to believe she's a freshman. And she's allowed to have some lulls when she's had some, and everybody wants all these stats from her.

We've told Al to be herself and to enjoy her game, and I think she has great confidence. I think she's excited for March. I think Al has got this figured out, that this is the fun time of year, and I really credit her teammates for being patient getting the ball in.

I think we took some lessons from the Ohio State game obviously in terms of being more patient, getting the ball to Allyssa. She's just phenomenal. She's a phenomenal person, and there's just really nothing she can't do out there.

What I loved about her was her movement. See, generally on defense and on offense Al was moving more, either moving to the ball or moving more defensively to get to the spots. When she does that, she's going to be one of the very best.

On whether the team is where it needs to be going into March...
Well, we're getting there. You're never there. It's existential that way. You're never there. You've never arrived, you're just always sort of moving towards something.

On never hearing the word existential in a press conference before...
My daughter is here and my son and I have to educate them at every turn. They'll have to look that up.