Men's Basketball

    Postgame Quotes - Michigan State at Indiana

    Go Hoosiers!
    Go Hoosiers!

    Go Hoosiers!

    March 3, 2009

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    Press Conference Video

    Crean Audio
    Jones III
    Taber Audio
    Story Audio

    Head Coach Tom Crean

    Opening Statement:

    "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:
    "We just buckled down and played defense. We got down and we just tried to grind it out and play defense. We just tried to get in the flow and not force anything."

    On Kyle Taber:
    "He's meant everything. He's been here to work out with us...he works hard on defense. He works hard on rebounding and he just fights. And that's what we need, especially in a senior. When he dives on the floor, the whole team dives on the floor. He's showed great leadership all year and I thank him for that."

    On what he's learned this year:
    "I've learned that we can play with anybody if we just play hard and don't let their height or our experience effect us. If we just play hard and play as a team we can play with anybody and be in the game and win the game."

    Indiana guard Verdell Jones III

    On what Kyle Taber brought to the team from the start of the year:
    "He brought us experience because we were all new to the whole situation. He wasn't a real vocal leader but he was quiet leader. We really couldn't have made it through this year without him. His vocal leadership has gotten much better throughout the year, both on and off the floor. Now he is relaying messages to us from coach and giving us more of that senior leadership that we needed."

    On the loss and almost coming all the way back:
    "This is a tough loss when you feel like you have it in your hands and then you let it slip away."

    On his three-pointer that would have given IU it's first lead of the game with about two minutes left:
    "I thought it was good. Everybody on the bench started cheering after I shot it but unfortunately it came out. It was rough, it was rough."

    Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo

    Opening Statement:
    "I think I'm like everyone else at times, being spoiled and forgetting how hard it is to win on the road. There have been a lot of championship teams that have gone to certain places where we were the superior team and we won in overtime, one by one, won by two. I was disappointed with our performance. But, I was impressed by Indiana's performance. We just hung in there and we played hard. We had that thirteen point lead and then missed a layup and then I went and got a technical. For a half good reason, I don't appreciate anyone coming into my huddle, but a half good reason to be honest with you. It's getting very difficult for all coaches though when you are playing one game on a Sunday and its hand to hand combat. I have to take the blame for that one though, that was my fault and it helped change the game, so between a layup miss and my technical, and their good plays, all those things added up to a heck of a comeback. Crowd was great.

    "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:
    "His shooting got better and he's starting to make his outside shots. This last week he's been around fourteen points, six or seven rebounds a game, his defense is better. We just had so many other guys that struggled tonight. There will be a lot of work, but you know, but I guess a lot of the teams do. I am just happy Raymar is back. I think I can say now that he's back where he's feeling comfortable and confident. He had twenty two minutes, but probably could have given us some more. I'm sure next week he'll get more. "

    On how most championship teams have to go through tough games like tonight:
    "Yes, think it is the teams that survive them, but at the same time, we have had such a bizarre year with all of our injuries. It felt like the Illinois game we were starting to get over the hump. You really want to see of your kids are maturing and you can move to the next game now on a three and a half hour bus ride. All of these little adversities that you go though when you have back to back game. We are running out of time and it's not the players fault. It's just the injuries that we've had. You hope the team starts to grow together. Maybe we grew because we could have lost a game and we hung in there. We have to improve on some things, we did some uncharacteristic things today, the dribble drive, we stirred our defense up, things we wouldn't have done. We just went a little bonkers if you ask me and that's not good. I think they were trying to make up for a bad start. You are probably right, when you look at the number of games we've won on the road and with the scores we've won them by, other than the Purdue game, it's our first real close game and that's pretty good.

    On whether the score takes away from any celebration the team may have had:
    "Yes, sure it does. I should be more mature than that. I'm the only immature one here. I shouldn't let it bother me, but I don't want time to run out because I think this is a talented team that could be real good. You have to understand, it's not all their fault. We just haven't practiced together enough with our key guy enough to be a great team. Right now we are still a very good team maybe, but I don't think we've taken that next step and the road doesn't get any easier now, so we will see if with some practice time, we can get better. "

    On his team's execution:
    "We didn't execute very well. We had a couple of turnovers and every time we touched a human being it was a foul. That got real sickening to be very honest about it. I did not really understand after like the fifth, it's so much different, it's hard for a player and it goes both ways. The consistency of those things are hard and difficult and I think that got to us a little bit. But, we quit executing. Goran (Suton) had a rough night. We needed him s in the middle of that zone, when they went zone, get him the ball, making some key plays, and we didn't do that."

    On what excites him with this team:
    "Well, right now, nothing. Nothing at all. By the time I get home, I will mature a little bit. What excites me is I think we have good talent, good depth, I think we can play fast, we can play slow, I think we can play big and I think we can play small. I think we have a great point guard and we should have a great wing in Raymar and a heck of a center in Suton. One of them hasn't played much and the other one, was a little off tonight. We have to get him playing better. We can go real big and Idong doesn't play four games and he helped us win the Illinois game. You know I told Tom, if you want to box and one us, good luck on who you'd put it on, because I don't know who I'd put it on. We struggled, we just didn't have the energy tonight and maybe I should understand that. But I don't and maybe I will after I watch the film. And saying all that you know whenever a coach says that, it sounds like you are disappointing your team. They had a lot to do with it, they played hard. They hurt us because D was kind of out of it. They did a lot of good things, they did a nice job."

     

     

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