Postgame Quotes
Feb. 13, 2018

Recap |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 1  |  Photo Gallery 2 

Head Coach Richard Pitino 

On what it’s like being down so many players to injury…
“It’s hard. It’s hard. But nobody is going to feel sorry for us. I just have to keep these guys scratching and clawing, staying positive. It’s tough to do against Michigan State, but we get a little time off to regroup and get our confidence back…and continue to move forward.”

On Jordan Murphy moving around during the game…
“He is battling. He tried to go big, obviously Bakary is not a big time offensive threat so you lose a little there. You kind of have to tinker with some things, especially when you play with a team of that size.”

On talking with Izzo...
“We just kind of talked. He is always really good to other coaches. He takes the time out to talk to you and just give a little bit of wisdom.”

Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo

Opening Statement... 
“I’ve been where Richard is twice in my career with a slew of injuries. Even though I thought we did some things that we needed to do, I was pleased that after a big win, after the ranking moves up, that I didn’t think that we handled some of those things as well the first time. I wanted to see how this young team would respond, and I did think we practiced well and responded good, but not at Minnesota, not at Michigan State, not at Duke or Kentucky can you have four starters or three starters and your sixth man out and expect to play at a high level. We shot the ball well, we wanted to go inside early, it was one of those nights where Nick just went a little too quick and turned it over, I think he had six turnovers in the first half, I don’t know if he ended up with eight or whatever but he played much better the second half. It was disappointing, what was exciting was that Jaren stayed out of foul trouble and played well and made a lot of shots, we got him the ball in the post, we got him the ball off the post, we got him the ball from three, and I give Myles a lot of credit to come off that big game and he was just hunting for passes more than shots, and I thought Cassius Winston played awfully well in that first 10 minutes of the game where the whole standards were set. So there were a lot of good things defensively we did, broke down a little bit at the end and they hit some threes, but in general I thought the job we did on defense was good, I thought offensively we did what we wanted to do, but those turnovers made it look like an ugly first half. The only thing I was disappointed with personally was I didn’t think we moved the ball as well the in the first half, I thought we did a better job in the second half”


On focusing with Jaren Jackson Jr. on not getting into foul trouble…
‘We did talk about it a lot. I thought my two things I talked to my team about: Number one how do we handle this slow success now and maybe a spike in the rankings or a big win, how does a young team deal with it? That was one. Number two we thought we had to get Jaren and Josh going a little bit. Cassius has been very steady, Myles has been pretty steady, Nick has been okay, but Jaren and Josh we really needed to take a step up tonight. I thought Jaren did, I thought Josh, maybe not quite as much, but we’ll get Josh going he’s still so valuable defensively, but he’s a good offensive player and we gotta get him scoring. If we’re going to take another step to get this team to one more level, which it has to get to another level, and Jaren and Josh are going to be very important.”

On Michigan State’s best start in program history…
“You know somebody said that to me and I forgot about it before the game, but that does mean something to me because it gives this team a chance to have some identity of their own, you know we always talk about the championship team and this team and that team, and it seems like sometimes unless you win a championship you’re not worthy of things. They’re setting some marks in their own way, and I think that is pretty cool. 25 and 3 is a hell of a start, and we’ve had some good teams that never got close to that. One team that did was I think 2001, so for me I think it’s great and we’ll see now, can we handle this, can we embrace a little bit of pressure, can we embrace the opportunity we have in front of us instead of letting this bog us down."

Junior Forward Jordan Murphy

On preparation with teammates missing due to injury...
“We have to prepare like they’re not coming back. We have to prepare for the worst-case scenario. We have to keep preparing and working hard in practice. We have to roll with what we got.”

On Nate’s attitude through this cold streak...
“Nate is always telling us to never stop fighting and take it one possession at a time and that's something I try to stress to the guys as well. He is definitely rubbing off on us in that aspect, in keeping that fighting spirit alive.”

On the team’s love for the game and the future going forward with this team...
“I don’t think I’ll ever stop having fun playing the game, I have a passion for it. I just think that this is a growing experience. Me, Nate, Dupree, Bakary, and Gas have all been through this before, and it’s something that will make you stronger. We just have to keep looking at it that way and keep learning from all these experiences and just get better.”

On Michigan State hitting their first six three pointers...
Basically we just need to guard the three point line better, that's the only thing I was thinking. We just need to keep fighting. When stuff like that happens, when adversity hits, we can't hang our heads or anything like that, we have to keep fighting. I think that's the main thing.

On what its like battling through a tough stretch of games with an injured team...
It's tough, it's definitely tough with injuries. Four players out right now with injuries, it's definitely tough. We just got to keep getting better, keep trying to work hard and get in the gym, stuff like that. We can't let this stop us from progressing.

On the stress a player with Jaren Jackson's size can put on a defense when shooting the three...
Very talented player, he puts a lot of stress on the defense. Being able to knock down shots like that, and also when he drives up he's just going to finish over you. He definitely puts a lot of stress on defenses I think, definitely a matchup nightmare for regular forwards in the league.

 

 

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