Postgame Quotes - Michigan State at Indiana
March 3, 2009
Head Coach Tom Crean
"I am very proud of the way we have bounced back since last Wednesday night against Northwestern with our mindset. They are believing that they can win. We are starting to play our best basketball in the sense because that mindset is so right. We played an excellent team tonight. We knew that. We knew we were going to have to be close to flawless to compete with them. And at the same time we were going to have to keep them off balance the best we could.
"It was a great game. Our guys were in it the entire way, to the very end. They could have packed it in at the 13-point deficit, which could have happened in previous weeks, but hey didn't do that. That is a sign of maturity and our goal as we go through this is to keep playing better basketball, keep building a better mindset, and keep building that belief that we can win now and we can win in the future."
On Devan Dumes' injury:
"(He) reaggravated an old injury, from what I understand. He couldn't return in the game, that became very clear. So we'll see. They are with him now, and I don't know if I would say day-to-day yet. There was no way he could come back in the game, so I am not sure what that means as far as down the road."
On the team's change of mindset after the Northwestern game:
"It is all part of the process. The light bulb goes on at different times. They've battled all year; let's not lose sight of that. They've been undermanned in so many different areas of the game. You want that mindset that they look out there, and they look back at me and I look at the them like we both feel like they will win the game. That is what you want. That is part of the whole mindset."
On winning turnover battle:
"That is progress. We were very active. I don't know what our deflections were, but the key to defending Michigan State is they're are doing such a great job of executing their sets and getting the ball inside, so our ball pressure was going to have to be good. There were a couple of times it wasn't. Right after transition defense and blocking out, making it harder for them to get the ball into the post was good. So we got some deflections, and got some run outs and things. We are getting better thanking care of the ball."
On the legacy of senior Kyle Taber:
"I would think that they would still continually remember his improvement. The fans should see the improvement over the period of time he was here. We've seen it and we've only been here one year. That he was a huge part of laying a foundation and put everything he that had into it, responded day in and day out, change his personality on the court and continued to improve all the way down the line. And if we can look at that with him five years down the road and say, you know what, the guys in that program are doing the same thing. They are getting most out of their talent, they are getting the most out of their mindset, all those different things, then I think that would be a great place to start."
On Taber's leadership:
"It has been force-fed a lot. I don't think that was ever a part of his role or make up. But it has really improved in the sense of what (the team) sees when they see him. They see him battle and the way he continues to improve. There is nobody that is resentful when I hold him out of a practice. That is a great sign, because when you are losing games there are so many things that can fall apart. And there have been times when I don't want to practice him. I was even starting to pull him out the last couple of weeks because he has had a lot of wear and tear on his knees. I listen to Tim (Garl) close on that. Those guys, they support him. That is a great sign of where our team is coming and that is a great sign of what Kyle's leadership is becoming."
On Brett Finkelmeier seeing increased playing time:
"(I liked him) very much for his defense. He has earned his way in. He's earned his way in the practices and things of that nature. Certainly the bench had the potential to get a lot smaller tonight with Devan out. But we weren't going to allow that to be a crutch. We just had to go out there and guard, and that is what de does. He is a tough-minded guy."
Senior Forward Kyle Taber
On playing a close game on Senior Night:
"It means a lot. To play hard against a top-ranked team, unfortunately it didn't come out right, but we battled and played a great game. I'm proud to be a part of something like that. It was a really good experience for me."
On how things have changed since his freshman year:
"I came in with six or seven other people, so I never thought I would make it five years and be the only senior. It's something I never expected."
On how hard the team played:
"They did a great job tonight. They kept saying that they were going to win it for me. They played extremely hard for me, for the program, for the fans and for the coaches."
On what he'll miss the most:
"(I'll miss) playing out here in front of packed houses, people yelling all of the time. At one point (tonight) it was the loudest it's been all year, so I'll miss that a lot."
A portion of Kyle Taber's Postgame Speech
"This is unbelievable. We're 6-23 now, and we're playing in front of a packed house. This doesn't happen at any other place in the country. I'm proud to be a part of it.
"I would first like to thank God for blessing me with this wonderful opportunity. I would also like to thank my mom and my dad. They supported me the whole way and gave me a lot of encouragement and guided me through everything.
"I would like to thank the Hoosier Nation who has been wonderful. I can't say enough about you guys. This program is heading in the right direction. You guys helped us in coming within one or two possessions of the a top 10 team.
"This has been an incredible experience. I appreciate what everyone has done for me. I will remember this for the rest of my life."
Indiana guard/forward Malik Story
On coming back from 13 points down:
On Kyle Taber:
On what he's learned this year:
Indiana guard Verdell Jones III
On what Kyle Taber brought to the team from the start of the year:
On the loss and almost coming all the way back:
On his three-pointer that would have given IU it's first lead of the game with about two minutes left:
Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo
"I think I'm starting to see why a couple of things starting to see why Lucus is so important to this team. I thought he made some great plays down the stretch and Raymar Morgan is much needed to get back in our lineup. You kind of get an idea of how important he is to our offense. He's one of the best big time rebounders I've seen in a while and that was critical. We made enough mistakes to keep coaching. It's been a heck of a trip for us. We seemed a little flat early. I guess in a way I understand it. I am a little disappointed for us, but I'm proud of Tom Crean. I guess you're not allowed to be when you are playing your rival, but I am proud of the way he coached them. I think Indiana is going to be a great place in the future."
On Raymar Morgan's game:
On how most championship teams have to go through tough games like tonight:
On whether the score takes away from any celebration the team may have had:
On his team's execution:
On what excites him with this team:
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