MSU Spartans
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Women's Basketball
Post-Game Quotes
 
 
 

 

 
 

Dec. 30, 2007

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Michigan State Head Coach Suzy Merchant

Opening comments...
Well, obviously, it is a good win and a big win for us. I think we were very disappointed in our effort, and how we played as a team on Friday. It looked as though we were very flat and didn't compete. We talked a lot about that, and did film. We actually had a walk-through yesterday, because sometimes I think being fresher is better, and I thought we looked very tired in the Minnesota game. We backed off them in practice and really talked to them about the mental keys to the game. One way I think you can look at our effort level and our ability to change games is in the rebounding. We went from seven offensive rebounds to 22 tonight. I think that says that the kids really had extra effort, and I think that is what is going to take, because we aren't going to out talent anyone. We need to play better as a team, and we have to outwork people. I thought we did a nice job of that tonight.

On Allyssa DeHaan's play...
I think Allyssa's state of mind was a lot different than last game. I thought in the game against Minnesota she got caught between the free throw lines. She just looked really tired out there. I thought today she had much fresher legs, gave us great minutes, and had a different mentality to her. We are really trying to work with her in not getting pushed off the block, and I thought she did a much better job in establishing position. When she did get pushed off of the block, she made that extra pass, and then reposted.

On the difference in attitude from Friday to today...
We had a film session where we showed them Minnesota clips, where we made extra passes, and the ball got inside, and then got kicked back out. I feel that the last few games have been a struggle as though there are five individual players out there. We talked about playing as a team and competing as a team. I thought our kids did a good job. Defensively, I felt that our worst effort was on Friday. I am not sure if this is spectacular effort, but in terms of execution, but we played hard. I think only good things happen when you by into just playing hard. I feel that it starts there, and our kids did a great job at working at that piece.

On MSU's rebounding effort today...
Well, I think offensive rebounding is only tagged by effort. I think that our kids weren't doing it on purpose, but I think that they were just going through the motions, and not finishing plays and didn't really work to push through some things. I hope that this is a validation, and the next time out we don't have to beg them. I do know that we need to manufacture points. We have to find ways to win, and one of the ways to do that is to get to the offensive glass. The hardest thing to defend is when the shot goes up. It is easy to make adjustments, but when the shot goes up the only adjustment you can make except for to box out. If you pursue the ball offensively, it is a hard thing for people to do. I think the effort was there and the focus was there. Now if they keep buying into this, it is the key.

On Kalisha Keane's play...
We have been talking about Kal, and how she brings a lot to this team, but she has to understand that her best game off the dribble is a power game. She is very talented from the perimeter, but I think she can settle sometimes on jump shots. I think where she needs to grow a little bit is the understanding of time, score, and possession. If you are going to take that shot, let's make sure that we have good rebounding coverage, and let's have a better understanding of what's going on, and when the shot clock is up. She can tend to take them pretty quick. She hasn't shot a great percentage for us, but we do need her to be a scorer for us because it helps Al. She is a face up four-man that can help make people play her outside, so that we can get the ball inside. She is a kid that is going to grow with time. Her effort is there, and her toughness is there, and I think she is going to just get better at making decisions down the line.

Ohio State Coach Jim Foster

On what happened between first half and second half...
I just think they outworked us. Their guards rebounding totals, determined the game. They had 12 offensive rebounds from (Cetera) Washington, (Brittney) Thomas and (Mia) Johnson, 12.

On the difference in Michigan State's game on Friday (vs. Minnesota) and today's game...
They played hard. They had lost three of four, they've got some drive. They are at home in a situation where if they lose their first two home games all of a sudden they've lost four of five. They just played hard and with a sense of desperation.

On play of Jantel Lavender...
She had 14 shots, probably could have had a few more rebounds. Not really wanting her to be a jump shooter, but we had as much to do with that as they did.

On getting Lavender more involved...
Patience, when she's open, running the floor, there was probably three or four opportunities to find her before the defense set and we didn't do it. It's little things like that.

On Brittney Thomas' turnovers...
The Thomas kid, I'm big on attitude and toughness. The kid has 11 turnovers, now there are a lot more fragile players walking around today. If they had 11 turnovers they'd be blaming everybody and their mother. She goes and gets five steals and five offensive rebounds, she went and got the ball back 10 times. She gave it away 11 times and went and got it back 10. That's a mentally tough player. She doesn't let something affect her and get her down, so I respect her for that.

On Allyssa DeHaan's size and how it changes the game...
I think it's a real disservice to her to talk about her size. I've coached big girls before; she is a good basketball player; she has a terrific touch. That's not about her size, it's about her talent and skill level. She disrupts defensively and she makes you have to work real hard on the other end of the court. There are a lot of big players that don't have her touch, her patience or athleticism. It's not just about her size, it's about the basketball skills that she applies to go along with that size.

On the difference in rebounding totals...
Effort. When guards get rebounds, they are coming from the perimeter. Every time one of those guards came to the glass, someone is responsible for putting a body on them, and we didn't do that. So effort. It's not rocket science, it's pretty easy.

 

 

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