Dec. 1, 2012
Michigan State head coach Suzy Merchant Quotes
On how important balanced scoring has been and major contributors to that…
I think some of it is match-up situations, but I do think we share the ball really well. People are playing within themselves and know what they can do; they don’t try to force things or create things that aren’t there. You look at (Courtney) Schiffauer, KB (Klarissa Bell) and Jasmine Thomas in those situations; their assist numbers have been really good and they are making good decisions. It is nice to see them play where it is not just one or two people that have to get the job done. What I like tonight with the balanced scoring was a couple things-one was that we were actually led by our posts today in scoring; it hasn’t really been that way. It was nice to see Jasmine Hines and Becca play that well. The second thing was Milwaukee was playing a lot of junk defense; they were going a triangle and two and switching back and forth. The triangle and two can throw you off if you’re not ready for it and we had one day preparation, so it was a little difficult. I thought our kids really handled the fact that we could score 81 points against something different where they are trying to take out Annalise and Klarissa out of the gates there.
On the way they have started the season and what they have learned about the team…
I don’t know yet, it is still a long season. I was really worried and anxious to see how our team would respond. Sometimes when you have those hard-fought, competitive, emotional games and you put a lot into it and then you come home when you have a one-day quick turnaround and it’s not against another team that’s a BCS-level team, but still a very good team, sometimes it’s easy to have a letdown. I was anxious to see how our team would respond. I think that says a lot about those core six kids that have to play and log a lot of minutes. I know they are trying to be the best team they can be out there every night and I was really excited to see that.
On the unselfishness of the offense…
We had some choppiness down there on the stretch, but some of that you have to credit Wisconsin- Milwaukee. They did a nice job of keeping us off balance by going man and then switched one through five screens, which is unusual. Most people don’t do that and that was the first time we have seen switching aggressive one through five. They tried to take our high post entry stuff out, which is really smart; I thought we did a nice job of changing up what we do a little bit there. For us, the flow and unselfishness comes from running so many different looks. We had to do that because it was a triangle and two and can’t run one or two things against it. They will get into a rhythm and know how to defend it. We kept trying to run as many man plays as we could against it and just keep our vision of the court open, because what we think is open against man is not going to be open against the triangle.