Post Game Notes

Jan. 9, 2010

Recap | Box Score | Photo Gallery 1 media-icon-photogallery.gif | Photo Gallery 2 media-icon-photogallery.gifIowa Head Coach Todd Lichliter
Overall Statement…
“Well the good news is we started the game the way we should start it. The last two games have been really tough. We had a stretch in the first half where they got away from us as well as in the second. It was difficult for us. We threw it away and they were able to score at the rim, but I’ve said this before that our team, in almost every category, has improved over last year except for wins and losses. You’re competing against a schedule that’s 11th best in the nation to start the Big Ten. You’ve got two ranked teams early in league play. We knew that this year was going to be demanding. I really feel that this is a good nucleus of a team that we have. If we had two veterans to go with this group I think this would be a team that we could really compete with. That doesn’t take anything away from this group because they are becoming veterans and they’re getting better. Today was tough, and I saw some good things. We will continue to keep working towards improvement. When you get beat by a team I don’t think you should hang your head. I think you should use it to get better and hopefully that’s the course we are taking-I think it is.”

On defense in second half…
“We turned it over a couple times and they were able to get run outs on us. They were curling into the paint and we weren’t picking up those curls. We did it on our guards and it wasn’t in one situation. Guards were curling up ‘bigs’ and ‘bigs’ were clip screening and we weren’t picking them up. It was two things. It was that, and the run-outs that hurt us.”

Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo
Overall Statement…
“To get a road win in the Big Ten is something you savor, but it wasn’t all in the way we played, and rather than blaming the players I’m going to blame myself. We’re struggling with those two different lineups we play a lot, how we cover ball screens, how we’re doing different things. We were sloppy in the first half, I thought Iowa did a great job of attacking and Iowa missed some shots that they would normally make. At halftime we did adjust a little bit and did a lot better job defensively. The turnovers are something that has been haunting us all year, and as a coach I think I have to take responsibility for that. It doesn’t seem to be changing, so I guess I’m not doing my job. That’s going to be a point of emphasis this week. There were some good things we did when we moved the ball, when we ran it, and when we held them for five or six minutes without a basket, because we did do what we were supposed to do defensively. All in all, it wasn’t vintage Michigan State.”

On Iowa and Head Coach Todd Lickliter
“You have to give Todd and his team a lot of credit. It’s been tough playing all the freshmen and young guys he has. I like a couple of them a lot, they’re going to get better, he’s just got to keep fighting and hang in there. He won’t quit, I’ll tell you that.”

On if he thinks he has another Final Four team…
“I think we have what it takes to be a very good basketball team, but I don’t think we’re there yet to be honest. We’re just not in sync yet. We have played pretty well three games in a row, and we did do some good things today, but I thought we let everything get to us today a little bit. A veteran team shouldn’t do that, a veteran team shouldn’t turn the ball over as much as we are, and as we learned in football, that will usually be the difference in winning or losing the big games. A well coached team doesn’t do that, so I’m going to put a lot of the onus on me, I really mean that.”

On the team’s maturity…
“You have to learn how to get up for all games, and if you’re a true competitor, you get up no matter what the records of other teams are. I felt like we had a good practice yesterday, we had a good walkthrough today, but I felt that our locker room was a little flat. We went out and made a couple mistakes right off the bat. They made some threes that were missed assignments on our part. If I had to rate the game [according to maturity], then I’d say we’re in trouble, so I’ll just say we’re a work in progress. We’re 13-3, we’ve played some good people, we have a good basketball team, I’m just not ready to canonize us yet as a great basketball team, and this time of year you hope you’re making more progress than we have made.”

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