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Post Game Quotes: Oakland

Nov. 13, 2017

Michigan State head coach Suzy Merchant

On having a deep bench…

It’s fun. They’re a really good group. As a coach, you never want to coach attitude over effort. I felt really good about this group from that perspective. To have the depth that we have, and have everyone bringing their energy, it doesn’t mean they aren’t going to make mistakes. I’m really excited about this group. They’re fun. Every team is going to have an issue or two. It’s fun to be around this group. They want to win at a high level. They understand depth is one of our strengths, and the team is really buying into that.

On Shay Colley

She doesn't always put her foot on the gas. She reminds me of a Hall of Fame running back; the Walter Payton’s of the world. She can see a hole, and the next thing you know, she’s darting through the hole. She’s a quick one that can change directions. She’s extremely selfless and is a joy to be around. Shay is a special kid with excellent talent who can change the game around in an instant.

On playing different styles defensively…

We can go really big. I didn’t play with that line-up a lot tonight. We have to get better at some things and be able to adjust. We aren’t finished with the things we can do. Tonight was pretty simplistic, just the way Oakland plays with their screening actions, you really couldn’t trap, which would have been fun with this group. You can’t do that though just because of the spread offense Oakland plays.

On being able to switch on screen plays...

Our guards are pretty big - Shay (Colley), Nia (Hollie), Coco (Gaines), Branndais (Agee). That is a major piece for sure, especially when we’re playing these mid- major teams who are 5-11 across the board, and everyone can shoot it. We have to practice more traditionally though, especially when we play against the higher ranked teams. At times it’s nice, though, having the option to switch on screen plays.

On improving on the boards…

I don’t think the problem is that kids don’t want to rebound, it’s the combination of box out and pursuit. If we're preparing to play the best and beat the best, which is coming, and you don’t box one of those kids out and pursuit, it’s going to be a problem. These kids know what's coming, and as coaches we need to do a better job of tightening things up. It’s important to get rebounds, especially since we’re trying to play at a fast tempo.



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