Jan. 27, 2013
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Michigan State at Indiana - Postgame Quotes
January 27, 2013
Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean
“We knew that they were really good, and I don’t think there is any question about that. If they were a football team, they would be one of those teams that are so balanced with their inside scoring and their outside scoring. There’s really not one place where that you can say ‘well, we can give this up in the game’. We knew that we really wanted to get into the post and make it hard, and then they did a very good job of making that pass after the pass out to make some open jumpers. I say that because this was a game of adjustments, and that’s what it was the entire game. The one thing that never needed to be adjusted was our energy, our attitude towards winning and our spirit. They were high-level the entire way. I don’t know what Tom [Izzo] said, but from what I could see from them, it looked like theirs were the same way. I think that’s why after the game with the CBS interview, Greg Anthony said that this game had the feel and the execution of a Final Four game, and I hope he’s right because I think they are really, really good. For us to get this win in this environment, for us to make the plays that we made especially at the end, for us to make the defensive stops that we made to get the buckets that we needed to get, I thought that was huge. I think the statistics that were a big part of this game. The rebounds were relatively even, but I think the fact that we kept them off the foul line was huge because they’re an excellent foul-shooting team, especially Gary Harris and Keith Appling. Adreian Payne is getting better all of the time. We never really let them get a great break. We did give up some transition buckets, and some was our lack of alertness and awareness. They taught us something there, so we’ve got to get better in a hurry with that. It was a physical game. It was a hard-nosed game. It was a high-level game, and they are a great team and that’s why it’s a great win for us.”
On how a close win like this will help down the road as opposed to the blowouts:
“We’re not a team that’s going to get a lot of those types of wins, and we’re not in a league where you’re going to get a lot of those types of big wins, so you’ve got to be in some fights. We’ll get better from this, and I’m certain Michigan State will get better from this. If you’re going to win over the long haul, you’ve got to find ways. Our guys had great will. I thought Christian Watford was excellent in the second half because they were picking on him in the first half and he responded. He responded in a big way and played through a lot of things. I thought the charge that Cody [Zeller] drew and then the play that we ran where he got the layup off the high pick-and-roll is something that we’ve been sneaking into our 5-on-5 work and I knew I was going to call it at some point and he went out there and executed it. That’s a high-level player that can do something like that. He was 30 feet away from the bucket and drove that thing in for a lay-up with his left hand. Those are the things that make a difference. Victor Oladipo did something in the first half that I’ve never been a part of in coaching. He had 15 deflections in a half. He ended up with 22 in the game and six steals. Victor is a great example. We watch a lot of film as a team but he always watches that much more. He’s getting a knowledge base to go with those instincts and his talent and his athleticism and the more he does that, the better he’s going to be. Guys like that learn that your instincts cant’ get better without that knowledge. They can get to a point, but the more you add to that knowledge of’ I can do this and I can do that’ and ‘when he comes this way I can go there.’ That’s part of the game. That’s part of them taking the next step, and this game was like that. For us to have to make the adjustments that we had to make and find a way to win was big.”
On Victor Oladipo’s development since he got on campus:
“Well he came with the athleticism; he came with the work ethic. I think the fact that he started more games here in two years here than he did in high school says a lot about him, but I think also the fact that he has a higher GPA than he even did and he was over a 3.0 in high school says a lot about him. I think he’s a great example of the old boring statement of daily improvement. I have not seen him not have a day where he was not doing something extra in the day whether it’s after practice, whether it’s in the summer time or the springtime and being in the gym extra. I think the film thing is something that’s really, really helped him where he’ll watch that extra film. He’ll have edits made for him where he can watch the different match-ups. I think the biggest difference is he was always a very charismatic personality driven young man, didn’t really want to hurt anybody feelings. He’s not real worried about that any more as a leader. He’s grown and I say that with dead seriousness. You can’t be a leader without being demanding and hurting some people’s feelings once and being able to call them out and he’s getting there. I think his road to leadership, he’s got a great voice with this team. I think if you look at his numbers, and we did this the other day, if you look at his numbers six games into the Big Ten last year into six games this year, it was astronomical and I’m sure we will see the same thing when we looks at the stats from last year to this year after seven games. He just keeps getting better.”
On the trust that the team has in Cody Zeller to make a play like he did:
“Well, they know he can play. He can do a lot of different things. He’s not just an inside player. There are so many areas where he is just scratching the surface. He’s got to talk more, especially in the back line. They got a couple of lobs in the first half where he wasn’t as aware of where his teammates were as he needed to be. He’s got to take away certain things in the game but it was winning time and Cody answered the bell. He rang the bell. To get that charge and then get that drive and make that play in the heat of the game, that’s where his mental toughness is. He came with that, and I’m sure he was born into it and it being in the family that he’s been in. That’s a part of it. (His high school coach) Gene Miller did an unbelievable job of making him a better player. That mental toughness is always there. He’s so non-statistic driven, and that’s why he’s such a winner because he just does what it takes. I had no hesitation with that call. We didn’t call it out of the timeout. I had it in the bag and looked good because he ran it to perfection. The other guys were all in movement as well. He continues to improve. They just aren’t always as apparent but he’s getting better and better.”
Indiana Players Victor Oladipo
On what he can do now as a junior that he couldn't do as a freshman:
"There's a lot of things - impact the game on both ends of the floor at a high level, and that sums it up right there. My freshman year it was kind of like I wanted to, but I wasn't capable. I started growing my sophomore year and now my junior year, I have to bring it every night on both ends of the floor so my team can win and I have to keep doing that every night."
On what it meant to start out the game at such a fast pace:
"It just shows that we can run. Transition is a big deal on our team and for me to get those steals and start our break was a huge for us. My guys did a good job of playing defense and running on the break."
On whether he gets steals by watching tape or if they come to him as the game develops:
"A little bit of both. I kind of see it as the game develops and I just read the passer's eyes. I think I did a good job of that tonight."
On what they're capable of when Victor Oladipo plays at this level:
"That's just Victor now. It's definitely a part of our offense now. We feel like we're a great team when Victor does do this. He brings a lot of energy. Not only that, he gets us open by the way he attacks the basket. He did a great job tonight."
On how this game helps what they want to accomplish:
"This is a big game; it's definitely going to help us down the road. I feel like Michigan State is a great team, they never stop fighting. That's definitely how it's going to be in the tournament, the Big Ten tournament; teams are definitely not going to give up. It was a great team win for us."
Kevin (Yogi) Ferrell
On what Cody Zeller does and how he impacted the game:
"He's always impacted the game since day one he got here, before I was here. I was going to try to go to him before the end of the game because he can finish for us."
On what they were able to do on Keith Appling that took him out of the game:
"We knew, defensively, that he likes to get to the middle of the floor, so myself and my team kept him out of the middle and tried to keep him on the sideline. I think they played great help defense as well."
Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo
“We did some really good things and we did some really poor things. Our whole plan was to keep them out of the lane and not turn the ball over, and we didn’t do either one of those things very well. We got tired. We were doing so well down the stretch, and with three minutes left we had a chance. I thought [Derrick] Nix got clobbered on that traveling call, but that’s neither here nor there. We had our chances but our key guy wasn’t there. [Keith] Appling is the guy we go to down the stretch but he didn’t play the whole second half. The positive I got out of it, was how well some different guys competed and bounced back. For all the abuse he took, I thought Gary Harris was phenomenal; but we just couldn’t make the big play down the stretch, and that’s where we really needed Keith and we didn’t have him. Indiana’s a very, very good team. The explosiveness they showed the first five minutes was phenomenal. You have to love the way [Victor] Oladipo competes, and Yogi [Ferrell] made some shots that he hasn’t been making lately. I thought we did a pretty good job on [Cody] Zeller, but other guys hurt us and that’s the mark of a good team. We did some good things though, and if we learn from this game we will become a better team.”
On the fifth foul on [Keith] Appling:
“That last foul was just a frustration foul. He did not use his head at all. You don’t go after a guy from behind, especially a guy like[Victor] Oladipo who can jump out of the gym. That was not a very smart move, and he knows that. He apologized to the team. Keith’s been our man he just let the foul situation get to him.”
On what he learned from this game:
“I learned that our guys are fighters, but I also learned that when we get tired, we forget assignments and we need to get tougher mentally. Down the stretch, we were really sucking air and that caused us not to jam or step up or switch. Indiana’s a good basketball team though. I still think top-to-bottom they’re the best team because of depth.[Cody] Zeller isn’t going to have many games like that. I’m impressed with Indiana overall, but Oladipo just plays so hard. He’s the Ray Lewis of college basketball.”
On what he saw in Gary Harris when he was recruiting him:
“Gary Harris has been one of the best freshmen I’ve ever had because he does something that most don’t—he plays both ends of the court. He’s a very good defensive player, and I never thought he’d be a great shooter, but his high school coach told me that since he went straight from football to basketball he needed a little more time. The kid is tougher than nails. He took a serious beating and made some big shots. We feel very fortunate. We love Gary and he raises his game in big situations. A two guard that play both ends of the court doesn’t happen very often in college basketball.”
On Adreian Payne:
“If he continues to shoot 3’s, he can really help us. The problem is he struggles to stay in top shape. When he has to play both ends, he gets tired, and you can see it. That’s why those ball screens ended up layups for them. At the end, he wasn’t moving very well in the middle of that zone. The poor kid was dead. We played him a ton of minutes because[Derrick] Nix got into foul trouble. We got down to the nitty-gritty but we kept competing. I don’t want to feel too good about my team but I don’t feel too bad because I know there are a lot of potential losses out there when you look at the schedule. I said to my staff before the game, ‘We’re going to learn something about this team,’ and 90% of what I learned was positive. The one negative is when we get tired, we need to find the ability to suck it up. The key to that is [Keith] Appling, and he was the assistant coach. A real bad one to be honest with you. I don’t enjoy him on the bench at all.”
On how close the game was even without the play of Appling:
“It’s disappointing. We had a chance but we just didn’t do some of the things we needed to. The turnovers killed us. Points off turnovers is a deceiving stat because if you score within the same possession of that turnover, it counts, but the ones that lead directly to lay-ups kill you. I think they had 18 to our four. They did a much better job in that area, and I think that’s why they shot so well the first half. I can make layups, most people can make layups.”
On the recruiting of Gary Harris:
“We had been recruiting him since eighth grade. Coach [Tom] Crean had just gotten to Indiana when we started recruiting him. Gary had been up a lot early in his career before Indiana even started recruiting him. They had to get players to help build the program immediately. They weren’t looking at the ninth and 10th graders then. Now they’re looking at third graders. It was never dirty. It was never negative. I respect them. They respect us. There was no cheating. We had done a lot of work early, and they came on late. I know one thing though, I’m happy and proud he chose us because he’s the kind of kid I want to coach.”