Ohio State vs. Michigan State Postgame Quotes

Feb. 11, 2012

Notes |  Photo Gallery 1  |  Photo Gallery 2 

Postgame Quotes

Thad Matta, Ohio State head coach
On executing shots
“I talked to the guys at halftime and told them we weren’t playing out basketball game. We weren’t executing at the level we needed to execute. Some of that was shots weren’t falling for us. We weren’t good enough at the executing and getting where we needed to be and doing the things we needed to do. It kind of compounded itself. I thought defensively we did a good enough job, not a great job, but it all came down to our inability to get the ball in the basket.”

On Jared Sullinger’s frustration
“I thought down the stretch he wanted to make the plays. He was animated in the huddles in a very positive way saying ‘hey this is what we need to do’. I don’t know, I’m not sure I saw the frustration I’ve seen him have before. I thought he did a pretty good job of playing through all the things today.”

On the offensive struggle
“You have to make a shot, have to put the ball in the basket. Some of the looks we had down the stretch were rough. I’m not taking anything away from Michigan State; they had a lot to do with it. I thought our defense we good enough, but you can’t shoot 25 percent.”

On moving on from the loss
“It’s got to be a learning experience for a relatively young basketball team. We have to look at why we didn’t play well and get those things corrected. First and foremost you have to stay together. We’re still sitting at the top of the conference. As I told them, ‘hey we’ll see what kind of team we have tomorrow when we come back for practice.”

Aaron Craft, sophomore guard
On Michigan State’s defense
“You have to give them a lot of credit. What they hang their hat on is big pressure defense. They limited us to one shot and they shrink the floor. Our guys weren’t ready for it tonight. Some of our actions are supposed to flow from side to side and we got a little bit selfish and were just taking shots for ourselves.”

On moving on from tonight
“We have to refocus. We’re still at the top of the league. We’ve got a long way to go. You have to give them a lot of credit. They were the better team tonight. We’ve got a quick turnaround. We need to get some rest tonight, get in here, watch film tomorrow and get ready for Tuesday.

On Ohio State’s overall pl
“Looking at the final score, we didn’t do too well. They came out with intensity and we were trying to play from behind the whole time. They were able to execute and make plays when they need to. They were able to take us out of our offense and were able to win the game.”

Jared Sullinger, sophomore guard
On his turnovers
“Most of the turnovers I had were me going up for shots. I wasn’t expecting the double (coverage) because that’s not what Michigan State shows on the film. They dig but they don’t dig like they did today. We have to give them credit, they had a great plan and they stuck to their system. That’s what happens when you stick to your system.”

On the loss
“Our record is 21-4 so we’ve now played 25 games and we decided the 25th game we weren’t going to play our system. We were out of sync; we weren’t going to play our offense. Everybody wasn’t paying attention to the plays and didn’t run plays correctly. I think that’s what messed us up the most with our shooting.”

On Adrian Payne
“He played well. Everybody is going to say he scored on me every time. He attacked offensive boards and he got a lot of points off of that. He’s a great friend of mine and I wish him all the bets and with everything he’s been through he deserved it all.”

Tom Izzo, Michigan State head coach
On the game
“It was a hell of a game. We couldn’t do anything in the first half because their defense was better than ours. [Aaron] Craft was great with the pressure he put on us. He’s the best pressure guard in the country, if you ask me.”

On Ohio State’s play
“I thought Ohio State missed some shots that I see them normally make. We had to run them to wear them down a bit. It was physical inside both ways. I feel fortunate because they missed some shots that they normally make, but I think our defense is about as good as it can get. I don’t feel any different than I did a month ago, or six months ago. Ohio State’s the best team in the league, and that doesn’t change anything.”

On Jared Sullinger
“We have so much respect for them that we game plan around him. We couldn’t feel that we could double-team him because they have so many players that can make shots. [William] Buford makes all shots normally. We just couldn’t feel we could double.”

On Michigan State’s game plan
“We tried to wear them down by running our offense. It wasn’t our defense. We just kept telling our big guys to sprint on the break, even if it’s not there. They have depth, just not as much as they have in other years. Our offensive game plan was that the bigs run even if they’re not on a break; just force running defensively. I thought we did ok. I thought they got the ball on the block a little more than I thought they should. They missed a couple more threes than I’ve seen them miss on a regular basis.”