Louisville vs Michigan State Postgame Quotes

first_img(Opening Statement) “I’m disappointed in how we played. I thought we did another horrendous job at the beginning of the game. I don’t know how many turnovers we ended up with. Seventeen, but we had 11-12 in the first half. And a couple of guys that probably played some of their best basketball, Cassius (Winston) played pretty well. Kenny Goins I thought did an excellent job. But we missed layups. We missed one-and-one three throws. I felt sorry for Foster (Loyer), he made 117 free throws in a row in high school and just didn’t work out tonight. But, a couple of plays we made and we had the ball with 30 seconds left and turned it over. And then we had a play called and we just didn’t execute as well, but the second half, I thought that Josh (Langford) played better. I thought we executed better. Now it’s a good team, good team, big team. And our number one key was not to get them to the foul line and we did a hell of a job. They shot 41 of them (free throws). And I can’t even blame the officials except – never understanding the breakaway, but other than that.” (On the team’s toughness) “I’m not pleased with the 17-rebound differential. That’s arguably a top-five offensive rebounding team every year. Every year. Players and jerseys change, the way they rebound doesn’t. We knew that. So, that’s a good litmus test for us, because if we don’t get better in that area, that’s really going to be an Achilles’ heel. You’ve got guys getting offensive rebounds off free throws. You’ve got long ones where our guards don’t account for their man. You’ve got some of them where guys get ‘big-boyed’. So, we’ve got to get better in that area for sure.”(On redshirt junior guard Ryan McMahon’s ability to reach the foul line) “Yeah, he’s got a hell of a coach drawing up some plays. But really, he’s savvy, Tim. He’s savvy. Give Michigan State credit, on the last one, (sophomore forward) Jordan (Nwora) got fouled because they didn’t put two guys on him. But, I thought Ryan did a really good job of using his eyes and acting like the ball was in the air and coming back to it, and CC (graduate guard Christen Cunningham) made a great pass. Being ball strong, not getting the ball deflected. Sometimes officials like to let you play a little bit until it’s an egregious foul, and Ryan was able to take the contact and go to the line. Believe me, we wanted the ball in his hands to ice the game.”(On driving to the basket and getting free throws) “Just being aggressive. Playing with one another, sharing the ball, landing in the lane, not jumping up to pass. All the fundamental things that are boring, that people don’t like to do, but we’re trying to continue to instill those. Toughness is seen in many different areas. You can be ball strong, and play through contact, and find the open man, good things can happen. We have talented enough players where we can stretch the defenses out. I think that’s a large part of it.” (On Foster coming in for Winston) “It’s hard for all the freshmen. Personally I think Foster (Loyer) will make 99 out of 100 free throws, unfortunately he just missed that one. Defensively he has a lot of work to do. The last thing I would expect is him to miss the free throw, and the kid had a lot of pressure on him and went up and missed the free throw. I missed one in high school myself so I understand how that is. I feel sorry for him. He is not a great free throw shooter, he’s a prolific free throw shooter. I think his record in the state is 117 or 138 in a row. It just wasn’t our night.” (On the absence of Michigan State point guard Cassius Winston and turnovers) “It’s their first true road game. They were in Las Vegas, just like we were in New York, and I understand they had more fans than anyone. It’s a tough challenge. We’ll have our first one coming up on Saturday. It’s been their Achilles’ heel to date. Knowing Coach (Tom) Izzo and how his teams improve, they’ll get that shored up. We weren’t coming in with a game plan to turn them over. We wanted to stay solid, stay within our gaps, make sure our ball-screen defense was good, try to double (Michigan State forward) Nick Ward when we could. There were just a few decisions they made, that without watching them on tape, some were errant passes, some of them were out of aggressiveness, but that’s sort of been their Achilles’ heel and it continued tonight.” (On the performance of graduate forward Akoy Agau) “(Redshirt junior center) Steve (Enoch) got taken out of the game a minute-and-a-half into it. We were going to play him in the first half and played a couple guys with two fouls. We were winning the whole half and just felt like, ‘Why go to the locker room with him having three?’ Akoy has really helped our team, he just has. He’s got such a poise about him. He doesn’t jump the highest, he’s not the best athlete. He’s older, but he’s really wise, he’s really poised, and he has a knack for tipping the ball, keeping it alive. Did a heck of a job on the offensive rebound that he got. It’s nice when guys like that that have given so much in college basketball, gotten hurt, haven’t always seen the fruit of their labor, sort of have the moment he’s had here over the last couple of weeks and hopefully, he can continue.”  (On the turnover in the last minute of regulation) “I’ve got to take the blame for that, because I must not have done a good enough job in the timeout of telling them we had another timeout if he gets at all trapped, so I think I’ll take the blame for that one. I think he wished he would have had that back, but at the same time, I’ve got to do a better job.” (Gabe Brown, what you saw from him, those two shots obviously didn’t look like he hesitated. An important night for him?) “I really appreciate you guys, because I’m not really happy the way we played and instead of you guys jumping on me, you’re trying to find the silver lining and I appreciate that. I thought we did get something out of Gabe. I just thought that our freshmen did look like freshmen. And yet, there’s nothing like the good experience to go on the road and lose a tough game. When, as you say, the inches matter, usually that will make you make practices a little better in what you talk about, or film sessions on what you explain and what’s going to happen. I think that Gabe learned something. It’s not the offense of those guys. They have to learn how to guard some people and all of them struggled in that area. I don’t want to under shadow Goins and Kyle Ahrens played his tail off. He played more minutes than he’s ever played in his life. He played hard and Kenny was good. X played good. Xavier played very good. He just missed a layup. You’d have to be in a practice from all coaches. Whenever you do the layup line, which every coach does, every minute. Start every practice and every coach says ‘layups cost you guys games.’ But maybe I’ll just keep rewinding those things. Free throws cost you games. Those are things you have more control over and yet I thought Louisville was a very good team. I’ll be honest with you, when we were six down at halftime, I was surprised. Or whatever we were down. I didn’t think we played very good. I don’t know how he thought they played. He’s got a good team. He’s got a lot of people to bring in and got some size.” (On playing without Matt McQuaid and the effort by Cassius Winston) “I told Mark Dantonio all year that it’s really great of coaches, the way we say that ‘next man up’ all the time. I always say that if the man up was as good as the guy we lost, he’d have been a starter. So I’m not trying to fool anybody, McQuaid was our best defensive player by far. He’s played the most minutes on our team this year and it was a loss. Really his replacement did pretty well. What he did was he got hit in the last minute of the game against Texas – two minutes, a minute and a half – didn’t think anything of it, got hit in the thigh. And took a shower, no problems, took a bus ride, no problems, got in the plane and it must have bleeding. It must have been bruised bad and it swelled up and I’m sure then the altitude didn’t help it, because we were on a three-and-a-half-hour flight back, so he’s day-to-day. I think once the swelling he’ll be okay… there’s nothing wrong, it’s not a bone bruise or anything like that, but it just depends on how long the swelling stays in there to see if it atrophies or whatever. I don’t know, you can ask our medical people about that. I don’t feel like a very good coach right now, so I’m sure as hell not a very good medical guy.” (On his celebration and shimmy dance) “That was a great feeling. Got my family right behind the bench and that was for my daughter Hailee. We’ve got dance contests at home. I thought I’d show her what I got in public and that’s probably the last time I’ll ever do that. Just excited, I was excited for our fans because I know they came out in droves tonight. They were awesome down the stretch in some of those pressure free throws that Michigan State couldn’t quite get at the end and could ice the game possibly. Our crowd really helped us, they were awesome.”Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo (When Steven Enoch picked up some early fouls, they were using him only in limited minutes. Were you surprised at how effective Malik Williams and Akoy Agau were for them down low?) “I like Agau and Williams hit a couple of shots. I thought they were pretty effective. They did a pretty good job at clamping down on Nick (Ward). We did a poor job at getting him the ball early. We did a better job late. Those two guys got some experience. They’ve been around, and I thought they did a very good job. (Jordan) Nwora is a very good player, but those little guards gave us fits. Especially when Cassius went out. So, I should be more pleased by the way we handled them. I don’t know, when did he foul out. (4:01 left). That’s nine minutes of a game. That’s a lot to go ahead and behind and ahead and behind. It’s just a shame that we didn’t do the little things down the stretch. Maybe we could’ve won it. Maybe they would’ve countered. You’ve got a good team in Louisville and they did a good job. I feel like we didn’t play at all. I just didn’t think you saw us play as good as we can play.  Maybe they didn’t play as well as they could play. We’ll learn from it. We’ll do what you said. We’ll try and use this as a teaching moment and see if we can get better because our road gets no easier. We still go home, then back on the road, in a day to Rutgers, then come home and play another game. We got a tough schedule ahead of us. We got to put this one behind us.”center_img (On the closeness of the game) “Inches, inches. Poor Xavier (Tillman), who I thought played his tail off, why are you trying to dunk that? Just lay it in. It was a game of inches. Josh (Langford) had that rebound, if we just hold on to it. We had a timeout. We just did some things that weren’t good enough to win. It’s a game of inches, and we didn’t value the inches. Give them credit. They had some shots and some plays, and yet give us credit when Cassius (Winston) went out and we hung in there, trying to throw a couple of different lineups in there. And we needed an offensive lineup and we needed defensive lineup. Just made someone uncharacteristic, ridiculous plays. Following a guy 35-feet from the basket and things like that. You can’t do that if you’re going to win at this level, especially on the road against a good team. It is a good team. They should’ve beat Marquette and gave Tennessee a hell of a game. So it’s a very good basketball team. So are we. But, tonight we didn’t do the little things and as you said, maybe we’ll learn from it, maybe we won’t.” (On playing another overtime game) “Yeah, I specifically talked about it. I said, ‘How did you feel in the locker room at Barclays on Friday night? How’d you feel?’ We’re in the same exact position. That’s up to you; 50-50 balls, not zoning out, not getting lost, not losing your man off the ball, forgetting to block out, have no regrets. And I told them after the game ‘You don’t have to be perfect.’ I try to give them a thousand details when I’m sure a lot of them are swimming around their mind. They have to matter to you and without watching the film, I thought those details of small little things; an angle to the screen, coming to meet your pass; in winning time, we executed those things. But, I did specifically talk about how we felt in the locker room being in the same position we were last Friday night.” (On the importance of the victory) “That’s who I’m most happy for, the guys in the locker room. It’s so ironic, because in New York a few days ago, it was the exact same situation. We were winning the Marquette game 90 percent of the game, and it’s forced overtime and we lose. Here, we’re winning the game 95 percent of the game, it’s forced to overtime. We didn’t let those negative thoughts creep into our mind. I’m sure they were there. But, we were tough enough and showed the fortitude to get the job done against a really good team. As I said in postgame out on the court, it didn’t hurt one of the best point guards in the country was out. We found a way to win.” (On the game plan for Ryan McMahon, why was he so effective) “Nobody guarded him. Foster (Loyer) struggles to guard. Had some guys early that didn’t guard him. He had nine points, three 3s in the first half. We told them his range is unlimited, and three feet behind the NBA three and we just didn’t guard him. Give him credit he made them. Give us the blame we didn’t guard him.” (On the Louisville crowd) “No insult, great crowd, but not any different than any other Big Ten crowd that’s for sure. I didn’t think the crowd bothered our players, I thought our players bothered our players. We just did not look sharp, did not do the things we needed to do. The turnovers early were, again, kind of ridiculous, and that’s a shame because you can’t overcome that. On free throw shooting… that’s the difference in a game. There were a lot of reasons we lost the game. We need to take responsibility for them. When we did execute, I thought we got some good shots, some good plays. I thought Josh (Langford) played well the second half. We ran some things for him, got him some shots. Just didn’t play well enough to win.” Louisville Head Coach Chris Mack (Opening Statement) “Really tough game. Really, really, hard-fought game. You have so much respect for the opponent coming in—Final Fours, Hall of Fame coach, great players, system they believe in. They take in so much pride. Where we weren’t very good was on the glass. Where they weren’t very good was turning the ball over. It’s great to see us get to the foul line as often as we did against a big-time opponent. And here’s the thing: I don’t think certain players played very well for us. I don’t want to come out of this thinking or saying, ‘We played a perfect game,’ because we were far from perfect. We’re far from perfect. We have a lot of room to improve. Certain players have a lot of room to improve, and we expect them to. I do want to thank our crowd. It was awesome. I love the Louisville faithful—they wanted a game like this, wanted some good news around here and happy that we could deliver against a very, very, well-respected opponent and one of the best teams in the country.” Story Links  Print Friendly Versionlast_img

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