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NCAA Tournament Second Round Practice Day Update

Head coach Suzy Merchant addressed the media today at the Comcast Center.

March 24, 2013

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Michigan State women's basketball faces No. 4-seed Maryland (25-7) in the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament on Monday at 7:20 p.m. in College Park, Md. Today the Spartans (25-8) held a press conference and practiced at the Comcast Center. Tomorrow's game will be broadcast on ESPN2 and

Michigan State Notes | Maryland Notes
Michigan State and Maryland Sunday Press Conference Quotes
Michigan State Press Conference Video
Monday's Link

Michigan State Head Coach Suzy Merchant

Opening Statement...
We're excited to survive and advance and we felt good about beating a good team like Marist. Certainly we know what type of program Maryland is and the talent they have on the court, and we're looking forward to the challenge ahead.

On the teams having similar injury situations...
We've both had some pretty key injuries. We had to ACL's and an Achilles tear and I think all three of theirs were ACL's. It seems it's an epidemic around women's basketball, but I think both team's kids that are playing just don't make any excuses and they will go out there and fight and be the best they can be. They have every intent to go out there and win the game, regardless of the situation. I think the credit for where both of our teams are the players that go out there and put on the uniform and fight through the aches and pains. There's not time for injuries. There are a lot of similarities that way, but I think our programs are where they are because we have kids who fight every day.



On dealing with their injury situation...
We might battle Maryland for most walkthroughs. We're like the NBA. Get in, get a few shots up, walk through some things and that's about it. We really just gauge what they can do. At the end of the day, it's all about game night. You have to put the most physically and mentally fresh team out there. We have very high I.Q kids in terms of basketball. They were able to take a film set and just do it in a walkthrough and be able to simulate it live on game day. We've pulled back. We started to pull back in November. We just found what worked for us.

On Maryland joining the Big Ten...
It was conference appreciation weekend here with Quinnipiac joining Marist's league and Maryland coming into our league. It's interesting. It's still hard to wrap your head around Maryland and Rutgers in the Big Ten, but they've got great women's programs and it adds a unique twist to the Big Ten. We're looking forward to it. The nice thing is we've played here twice so when we play here we'll be like the old veterans here in terms of the Big Ten.

On Maryland's offense...
We feel like our nonconference and conference have prepared us for that. For example, for Penn State and Purdue, you have to really have the power and the strength to get at their power and their strength. I think we've been battle tested in that regard. Maryland has a great transition offense and their ability to get rebounds in completely different than Marist. Most of our conference is more like Maryland than Marist.

Michigan State Senior Guard Jasmine Thomas

On her durability playing a lot of minutes...
To be honest, there's not really much I do. It's just being mentally prepared to go in the game and contribute all 40 minutes if I have to. It's just a mindset.

On getting the team prepared to play as a captain...
I just think aside from being captains and seniors, [we know] the urgency it takes and determination to go out there and play each and every game. Just to get everybody on the same page is what we're here to do. I feel like everybody is on the same page we just have to have contributions from everybody.

Michigan State Senior Forward Courtney Schiffauer

On the challenge of facing Maryland's front court...
Well Alyssa Thomas is a very good player. We saw film on them today, so we have to be able to just match their physicality. We know that they have a good transition game, so we have to be ready for that. I think our guards play good defense, so I think it'll be a good match up for Monday.

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