Jan. 7, 2007
Final Stats |
Indiana vs. Michigan State
Jan. 7, 2006
Head Coach Kelvin Sampson
"Michigan State is a tough team to prepare for because they do so many things good. We felt like we had to really pressure them and get out to them. It was unique at halftime when I looked at the stats sheet, they shot 61 percent, and we were up 11. Normally, that doesn't happen. If you go over two columns, you will see that we forced 13 turnovers, and we got a lot of easy baskets from our defense today. These two kids up here with me I thought were tremendous. I know Earl (Calloway) ... (Drew) Neitzel, the way he plays he requires discipline. You have to be disciplined on how you play him. I can't say enough about how Earl was disciplined today. I thought he was really tough. I thought our kids did a good job helping. D.J. (White) played today. We weren't predictable on the post. He was able to go to both shoulders, and he did it comfortably. He looked good. I thought our bench was good. I thought our best defensive team today was when (Xavier) Keeling and Mike White were both on the floor. We had contributions from a lot of people. Our kids played tough. Michigan State is only going to get better. I've had a lot of kids out with injury and people think now we have them back. It takes them a while to get to where they are 100 percent. (Maurice) Joseph and (Raymar) Morgan ... it's going to take a couple of weeks before they are in the grove. We caught Michigan State at the right time. We aren't going to run around saying we are that good. We also know that we played a Michigan State team that was injured and had some kids that had been out for a long time and this is their first game back. They will get a lot better as they go along."
On what the team learned from the Ohio State game:
"I think we were up 12 in the Butler game and kind of disintegrated. The Duke game, I think they scored the majority of their points at the free throw line in the last four minutes. Sometimes, it's a matter of can you get to the free throw line and keep them off of the free throw line. Remember that little shot Mike White hit tonight? I think he was 2-for-7 from the free throw line, and I'm not sure if he had a basket. He's a lot better now. Our team is improving. I've said this every year as a coach at this level, it's hard to play February basketball in November. Especially when you have new players and new coaches and they are all trying to please you, just play. It takes a while to get to the point where you can be a good team. I can se our kids growing and getting a lot better ... I have said this before. We are a lot better today than we were two weeks ago ... For us, we just have to scrap and claw and fight and find ways to win. We are getting better, I know that."
On the play of D.J. White:
"When D.J. came here as a freshman, he was more like a 4-3. Sometimes we tend to stereotype kids based on their size...Because D.J. is 6-9, 250, he's got to be a good inside player. You have to be there mentally, though. We are trying to do some things with Ben (Allen), but Ben is more of a 4-3 than he is a 5 ... D.J. is really a sophomore. This is his second year of college basketball. He is still improving and learning the game ... He is learning on the run this year. You can see that he is improving, but he is getting a lot better. You forget that Armon Bassett is a freshman, Joey Shaw is a freshman, Lance Stemler is a first-year junior college transfer, Keeling is a freshman. We are really young. D.J. is really young in a lot of ways too."
On the turnovers:
"Our pressure was good tonight. Our kids were active with their hands. For us, I think that's about what we average. As we have learned to run our offense, we have cut down on our turnovers...Now, we are a lot more disciplined and are scoring out of our offense a lot more."
On the crowd:
"I noticed it in the second half. We got off to a great start. Our kids were ready to play ... We played good at times, but our defense was good throughout ... Our defense is what we were best at tonight."
Redshirt sophomore forward D.J. White
On the game:
"We put in a couple new plays specifically for this game and most of them were run to me. I demanded the ball and got open. I worked all week in practice. Coach worked with me on going to my jump hook and that's what I did tonight."
On the teams play in the beginning of the second half:
"We relaxed a bit and they scored a lot of baskets. Coach called a timeout and regrouped us. After that we pushed the lead back up."
On the team's rebounding:
"It was all about effort. We knew that they were the number one rebounding team in the conference and we were just going after every ball. [Rod] Wilmont and [Lance] Stemler really did a good job on the glass tonight and helped us win."
On the win after a tough loss at Ohio State:
"This is a tough conference every year and we didn't want to put ourselves in the hole. We came out and tried to protect home court. That's what you want to do in this conference, protect your home court."
Senior guard Earl Calloway
On the team's defensive effort:
"The coaching staff did a great job of preparing us for Michigan State and we were disciplined and ready to play with energy. We were ready to help each other on defense and we pressured them, really tried to force turnovers."
On the team:
"We learn from experience, and we are growing and learning every game. We are learning how to win games and after each game we learn more about how to play together. We are getting prepared to win on the road."
Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo
"Looking at this game, we thought there were three or four things we had to do. First was not turn the ball over, the second one was contest the 3's and the third was to neutralize (D.J.) White on the block. I'd say with the 24-4 points off turnovers we didn't take care of turnovers. They were 3-for-17 3-point shooting, I thought we did a decent job on that. We picked our poison, we didn't want to double D.J. We thought we would do a decent job on him, but he did a heck of a job. We just felt like if we double him, and the way (Lance) Stemler played in the last game that he would hurt us with the 3-pointer. The game was decided by their effort in doing certain things and our lack of and that turnovers created a lot of problems. We just didn't look very good executing.
I think it really hurt us when (Travis) Walton went down. We were down 12-4 from the get-go and we get it back, and then we make a couple subs. We are not really cohesive right now with guys not being able to practice. It's probably my fault for trying to run some things that I thought we could execute with guys in there who just haven't played together. I'm very disappointed with how we played, I am very impressed with how Indiana played. I thought they got to every loose ball and I didn't think we did. We're going to have to look at our lineup, and we are going to have to go small ball a little bit.
Our bigs have a long way to go. We've been on the road, it's going to be good to get back home. We shot well in the first half and executed well when we didn't turn it over, but that was only half the time. My hat goes off to Kelvin and his team, I thought they played exceptionally hard, and they didn't shoot the ball as well as I've seen them shoot the ball. If they would have, it really would have been ugly. D.J. White is getting back to his form, which is scary for me. He finally has some lift in his shot again. In the last two weeks it has started to come back. We just have to regroup and do a lot of things differently than how we have been doing them."
On the team's lack of effort the last few games:
"I have been very disappointed with that, and I think I should be held completely responsible for that. It's been probably the worst year I had as far as practices. Everybody says I have enjoyed this team, I haven't enjoyed them at all. We don't practice, we just can't practice. There's just not enough players to compete against. Every team loses some players, but no one was as thin as we were to start off with. It's an excuse, but it's a reality I have to deal with every day in practice. I have to sit there and say we can't go too hard today because (Drew) Neitzel and (Travis) Walton have to play 40 minutes. Our big guys have to learn how to compete. The biggest problems are that our bigs aren't competing, and we are turning the ball over."
On Indiana's play creating turnovers:
"I think they deserve a lot of credit. We weren't running things. We had different guys in different positions. And we tried to go through Goran Suton because he's our best passing big man, and he just struggled today, so that created some problems too. I think Indiana deserves a lot of credit. I have played against Kelvin's teams many times, and most of them have been fist fights on hard wood. Tonight there was one too, but only one team was fighting."