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March 27, 2009

Tyrel Reed

Bill Self


Michigan State – 67
Kansas - 62

BILL BENNER: We'll take an opening statement from Coach Self, then we'll go to the student-athletes for questions.
COACH SELF: Well, I thought it was -- it's obviously a hard-fought game. I thought we played really hard. I thought State played really hard. Even though we never had control of the game totally, we were up five with three plus left and they made all the plays down the stretch.
But certainly proud of my guys. I mean, a bunch of young kids came in here and competed hard and wasn't in awe of the atmosphere and the stakes. You know, we gave 'em a run. We just didn't finish the game.
BILL BENNER: We'll take questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Tyrel, talk about your shot late to hit that big shot. Did you think that was going to put you over the edge when you regained the lead?
TYREL REED: I mean, it was a big shot. But I think it put us up three. You know, felt like we were confident going into the last few minutes. But we just didn't make plays down the stretch.
So it was a big shot at the time, but not enough.
BILL BENNER: We will dismiss the student-athletes. Thank you. We'll continue with questions for Coach Self.

Q. When Lucas was driving in the lane, everybody cleared out, it was kind of the game-on-the-line, what were you thinking there? Seems like the best players come up big.
COACH SELF: Well, the best players need to make plays with the game on the line. We've had a couple of guys make a lot of plays for us when the game on the line. But if you go back and look at that possession, I could be off a little bit, they went flat, which basically let Lucas take the ball and try to beat his man to create for himself in the lane.
You know, when he started going flat, there was about six or seven seconds left. We defended the entire clock. Then he left Sherron. After he lifted him, we would have been better off just fouling the crap out of him rather than giving him the easy one. He stepped to the line and made his free throws.
Even with that, we come down and make our free throws to get it back to 63-62. Then we didn't mean to foul after that. But certainly when the ball was kind of being dribbled up the sideline, opposite the benches, we didn't mean to foul there, but we did. Then they made the free throws. Then we missed the front end after that, which kind of put the game away for them.

Q. Can you just reflect back on the season and talk about the team's growth, how you think the guys finished out.
COACH SELF: Yeah, I'm probably not really feeling like reflecting right now. But I do think this. We weren't a very good basketball team early. The guys really came together. They gave us a chance to be good. We had players step up all year long and really became a good team. We got tougher, as evidenced by us winning the rebound advantage tonight. We became a tougher basketball team.
We were never, I don't think, as efficient as what we could have been on both ends. But still the guys really, really did well. I'm really proud of 'em. It was a great group to coach, and I told them in there afterwards, you know, when you're in the game, you know, oftentimes it hurts the way it ends, because ultimately there's just gonna be one team that's really ecstatic leaving the season. So, you know, when you're in the game, it hurts, but can we learn from it in the future? If we're able to keep these guys together, I believe this can be a special group based on how much they improved over the course of this season.

Q. A lot was made about the other guys needing to step up here. How did they play tonight?
COACH SELF: We're up five against a great basketball team with three minutes left. So I thought they did good.
Cole and Sherron is going to lead us in scoring. When you say 'step up' you shouldn't think we're going to have guys take their place from a point-production standpoint. But we did better. We still didn't make shots. You know, we -- I think we were 1 for 7, those guys shooting the ball behind the arc.
But the biggest thing is we turned the ball over. I mean, Michigan State plays great defense. But they're not a pressure defensive team. They play, you know, from step out beyond the three-point line, and they really do a good job clogging things up. They really took Sherron's driving ability away because they shadowed him the whole night. We had so many unforced errors at crucial times which led to baskets for them. Of course, they can say the same thing. We got a lot of uncontested baskets in the first half off their errors.
I thought they did fine. There's no reason to say we didn't produce in this area or whatever because when you go back and look at it, hey, we're up five with three minutes left with a bunch of young kids in a big time game, so they obviously played pretty well.

Q. Speak to how difficult it was for you offensively there down the stretch in those last three minutes.
COACH SELF: Well, I don't know the exact situation on the time. But, yeah, we didn't get good looks. We had a couple -- well, I know we had one turnover that was really a bad turnover. We tried to call a set and we had a bad turnover.
But, you know, we got some fouls called, made our free throws, except for the last one. And it was tough. But you expect it to be tough. They're a good defensive team and they're strong. The biggest thing for us, when you go back and look at it, and I can't remember every possession right now, but free throw block out, the one free throw they miss, they come away with three points. Those are the things that are differences in the games.
We just didn't take advantage of the opportunities we had. I thought we tried really hard, though. And we played tough. We just didn't get enough done down the stretch.

Q. Cole Aldrich, he played an amazing first half, and he had some troubles in the second half. Which kind of learning experience might he have had by playing against Suton?
COACH SELF: I think every time you lace 'em up in these type situations, you learn. He's never been in this situation before. So he can't help but get better from it.
You know, he made a couple plays that he wish he had back. But overall I thought Cole played very well. It's a great rebounding team, and he was by far the best rebounder in the game, so that shows me something right there.
BILL BENNER: Thank you, coach.

End of FastScripts

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