Ohio State-Michigan State Quotes
March 16, 2013
TOM IZZO: Well, disappointed. You know, I think we had some chances, and yet they just played a little smarter than us down the stretch. And I might as well start out with saying it was the correct call on that play. I don't think it was intentional. We got beat up top, and just felt like it was going to be a layup, so he reached out. And I've got absolutely no problem with the call. I thought I could see that from where I was. I guess they reviewed it and reviewed it and reviewed it. That's the first thing.
Some of our players on the floor thought it was the right call, so hats off to them. For once in my life, the officials were correct, first time.
I thought when you look at the stat sheet, we did a -- we just got in each other's way. We did some good things. We have B.J. [Branden Dawson] here and he did some good things, missed some shots, and at least he did some things defensively that we wanted to do and rebounded a little bit. It's a shame that [Derrick] Nix had such a productive game in some ways and yet not in others.
If you look at their team, we did a decent job on [Deshaun] Thomas. I thought we did a great job on him. We were guarding him, gave him a couple shots early, made some adjustments, that was our doing, not APs [Adreian Payne's]. But we did not do a very good job on [Aaron] Craft, and he beat us in a different way. The first time he beat us getting to the hole. He almost never got to the hole and this time he beat us with his jump shot. Those are about the only two guys that had really had any impact. We did a pretty good job on [Lenzelle] Smith, pretty good job on [Deshaun] Thompson, pretty good jot on pretty good job [Shannon] Scott. I guess they did a pretty good on us.
Just disappointing because I think we could have played well enough to win, but we did not play smart enough.
Q. Branden, Ohio State said one of the things they thought they could go after you guys on was forcing you to make switches on defense, if they could get their offense moving that you could make some mistakes. Was that something you were concerned about, making your decisions and making your switches quickly on defense?
BRANDEN DAWSON: I'd say that really wasn't something we were concerned about, because after the Iowa game we were definitely prepared for them. We played them twice, and we just went back to what we always worked on and walked through it on the switching. So I would say that definitely wasn't a concern. It was just miscommunication on certain plays, but we could have been better.
Q. For both of you, what did you see as the biggest difference in the second half in terms of offensive execution and just things being really bogged down?
ADREIAN PAYNE: I think we was getting the ball inside. When we get the ball inside, Gary [Harris] and Keith [Appling] and our guards can knock down shots.
BRANDEN DAWSON: I would say just what AP said, definitely when we get the ball into [Derrick] Nix and a lot of our guys, a lot of great things happen, especially when the ball is in Nix's hands and he made some great plays for us. I'd say when the ball doesn't go on the side, definitely our offense is going well.
Q. Adreian, what was going through your mind on the attempted block when you kind of grabbed the rim there?
ADREIAN PAYNE: When I went for the block, Nix went up under me and I didn't want to fall on my head so I grabbed the rim.
Q. I imagine you heard about Bill Carmody. Thoughts on him not coming back to NU?
TOM IZZO: You know, I understand we're in a profession where it's win or not. I swear to God the guy is a hell of a coach and even a better person, and I'm not going to get into all the logistics of everything because everyone has got to make their own decision, but sometimes fate isn't with you. I've never seen a guy go through more injuries to key people. I hope they know what they're doing. I'm sure they do because he is a hell of a coach, and he's really good for our profession. You know, he's been a head of the Big Ten and I've had a chance to deal with him. I called him this morning. It saddens me, sickens me.
I understand that -- I mean, George Perles sent me a note the first day I got the job, you will be fired, it's just a matter of when, so understand that. I think there's a reality and truth to that. A little different from last year's situation for me. I understand some of it.
But poor guy, about two or three times I thought had teams that were going to get to the NCAA Tournament, and then the injuries just mounted up, and this year's was almost -- it was incredible. So I feel bad. I hope he stays in coaching because he is a hell of a coach.
Q. You've had teams that have won this tournament, you've had teams that have gotten beat and made it to the Final Four. What's the secret from this point now to next week and getting your team to move on to the next step.
TOM IZZO: Well, I think what you do is you harp on little things. Somebody brought up AP's [Adreian Payne] thing. It was a weird deal. He didn't grab the rim for any other reason. He kind of got undercut a little bit by his own guy, it wasn't one of their guys. Two points ends up pretty valuable. [Derrick] Nix's thing at the end, and then we almost survived that a little bit, and then we don't get a rebound.
I mean, I think what you do, there's the difference at one and done time. You have to somehow find a way to make your guys understand that the mistake at the beginning of the game is the same as the mistake at the end of the game, and you don't get to make a lot of mistakes when you're playing good people, unless that team happens to make more than you. But I'd rather wish on what I do than hope that they play worse than we play.
One and done time, some can handle it, some can't. I think the hardest thing is that's when you really need some leadership to make guys realize that, and that's what I'll use this game as because I'm sure I'm going to be able to find four or five incidences in the game.
We played pretty hard. That was an interesting question. We've never had trouble switching, and we did today. Branden [Dawson] politely answered it, and we had a few miscommunications. I think we got caught up in personal battles a little bit, and you can't do that in these games.
I'm going to use this a lot, and hopefully it'll pay some dividends.
Q. The Big Ten is so physical and you guys beat each other up pretty well. Do you think that'll help or hurt Big Ten teams in the tournament?
TOM IZZO: Well, I think those that are smart enough to figure out that when you get in the other tournament you're going to get officials from a lot of different places that never saw you play, and I think one thing we've got to do this week is make sure players understand you've got to learn how to deal with the game in the first five minutes of the game. Some are going to let it go more than others. This year was a tougher year than most in this league. I mean, it was physical. I don't know if you saw [Gary] Harris, but I think he popped another shoulder. You could see on that one play.
I think it helps you. I still think the toughest teams survive, and we weren't the toughest team today. We played hard, got no problem with that. I didn't think we were quite as tough as we normally are. We had some loose balls that where we really needed them we didn't get, even though we out rebounded them. But today one of the weird things is we were not the smartest, and they were. They got what they deserve.
Q. Gary's [Harris] shoulder pops out. What is the status of it and how much did that affect him and your team going forward, him being hobbled a little bit?
TOM IZZO: Well, it was a problem because I needed him in there to defend, and I asked him, and of course he said he's okay.
I mean, could you see it? Did you see it when it happened? Yeah, it was obvious.
But he's done it before and stayed in and made a couple shots. But he had that one wide open in the corner, and I don't know where it's at. I didn't talk to him much about it after. He's played with it all year. It's something he has to deal with. But tough kid. It's a shame because he just didn't get in a rhythm offensively today.
Q. For years your teams have been known as the best inbounding teams in basketball, and that certainly has not been the case. Can you put your finger on it?
TOM IZZO: Well, yeah, I can. I don't think we've worked on it hard enough, and that's my job. And then I sometimes put Lezelle [Smith] in a bad position having him take it out. I thought we had something that we saw on film, and I think we did have it and we just made some crazy plays.
Yeah, I think that falls on me to be honest with you. You know, you start picking apart what you can work on, what you can't work on. You don't want to wear people out. And I think I've neglected that area because we were one of the best, and we weren't a lot this year. So that'll be something I'll take into the tournament, get a couple extra days here and try to do a better job of it.
Q. Those of us that have seen Big Ten play all season have seen a lot of those potential flagrant ones fouled, whoever it is at the end of the game, and then not called, maybe up in the air. What is your thought on that? Do you think it should have been in? Is that just typical at that point of the game?
TOM IZZO: I didn't see the replay. I must say that I am totally 3 million percent against this head stuff, I mean, the elbow. That's not what was called here. I am totally against that. I've seen it change games, I've seen it change plays, I've seen it change momentum. On accidental things early in the year, I mean, they tried to revive it a little bit, you've got guys coaching to it. This thing is out of whack, I think personally. Just my own personal opinion. I'm not allowed to have it much, but this is one thing that if I had a vote for the day, let the officials do their job. If there's a flagrant foul and they see it -- but an accidental thing just because you raised your arms, that wasn't this call. From what I saw from the bench, he went by him and he tried to grab him and he got him up in the air, and I had no problem with the call. I told him when he came over it was going to be that, from my view. But sometimes the view makes it worse, sometimes better. So when they didn't and then it came back, I just have no problem with the call. I have a big problem with those elbowing things. I think that is borderline, for me -- I keep wanting to state me because I don't want to get anybody else in trouble. I'd like to take trouble myself. I think it's ridiculous. Make sure now nobody writes I think that call was ridiculous because that had nothing to do with -- that was not the call here. You asked me a question about the elbow to the head, right? Flagrant?
Q. (No microphone).
TOM IZZO: You know, I don't know how many of those. I just want to make sure I'm emphasizing the elbowing is the one I have a major problem with. I have no problem with the one that was called today.
Q. Playing in such a tough conference and all the teams know each other very well, do you look forward to the tournament, facing teams that you haven't seen in a while?
TOM IZZO: Yes. You know, my God, we built my program together, he knows it better than I do. Some of these guys I've gone against now for 10 years. It's hard when you've got good players and even teams and you know what each other's gum is. It's hard.
I am really looking forward to playing somebody else, and I think all the Big Ten teams are, and deservedly so. We've beaten the hell out of each other, and we really, really, really have, and I think it's going to help all of us in the end, as you asked. I really believe the toughest team is the one that's been through the most, the one that can sit there at a pregame or at a halftime and say we've done this, we've been there, we've played these guys. It's going to benefit.
Yeah, I'm looking forward to playing anybody. I'd play the Lakers tomorrow instead of some of the teams I've played recently.