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March 21, 2010

Draymond Green

Tom Izzo

Korie Lucious

Raymar Morgan

Durrell Summers


Michigan State – 85
Maryland - 83

THE MODERATOR: We'll get started with an opening statement by Coach Izzo and then take questions for the student-athletes.
COACH IZZO: With a minute and a half, two minutes left I told my team when we up four or six, whatever it was, we'll win this game. It's going to be one of the greatest wins in the history of Michigan State. And maybe that's an exaggeration, but if you know what we went through, as far as today with K out and Delvon just had nothing left and these guys having to play a lot of minutes and it just seemed like it was one thing after another.
You got to give Maryland a lot of credit. They came back, I don't know it was 16, 17, 15, and just did a heck of a job. And it wasn't our lack of anything, it was a little bit of fatigue, a little bit of a lot of things. I've been proud of a lot of teams through my career, but I think it makes what we went through all the better and so you all know why I did what I did to Durrell, I told him in practice yesterday Durrell, the only reason I sat you in the second half of the game in Indianapolis is so you would be have more legs for today. Well, he laughed. I laughed. And he had some legs today. He did a hell of a job. Raymar was unbelievable guarding different people. Korie had the weight of the world on his shoulders because everybody was coming at him. And Magic Johnson Jr here or Tragic Johnson either way you want to look at it, but the guy did a hell of a job. And I just couldn't be prouder of the team and yet I think we beat a very, very well coached and good team. And a great player in Vasquez. And I'm just fortunate we're moving on.
THE MODERATOR: Take questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Korie, just walk us through that last play and then the celebration afterward. What did you see on that final play?
KORIE LUCIOUS: It was a great move by Vasquez to get to the rim and he finished real well. Coach didn't call a timeout and Dray pushed it, they kind of crowded around Dray and I think I had the open look and he hit me so I just tried to get it up and it went in.
DRAYMOND GREEN: He yelled Dray, Dray, Dray, because I wanted to be the hero too, but --

Q. Raymar, talk about those last few Maryland buckets, just they were getting those steals and just everything that was kind of going on there and seeing that lead go away and put you in a position where ultimately Korie saved the day. But how difficult that was?
RAYMAR MORGAN: It was devastating. Especially with me turning it over. But I just got to thank my teammates for picking me up and Korie hitting the big shot.

Q. Draymond, before Korie hit the shot, what was called on that play? You looked like you knew all along that he was going to pull up and shoot that shot with confidence. Talk about that play.
DRAYMOND GREEN: The play was for me to screen down for Durrell and then post up and get the ball in the post but they were on Durrell so tough and I see why now, he was six for seven from the three. And so when he curled off they were just pressuring Delvon so I popped up, because that's where the open area was at. And Williams, he laid off a little bit and it wasn't a lot but he laid off just enough for me to get the shot up so I just put it up.
But it's no secret, this win, you put us in this situation three weeks ago we wouldn't have won this game. But it's a matter of us becoming closer as teammates and better teammates to each other and with us doing that, you can pull games out like this. But three weeks ago ain't a lot of time but it just goes to show how we all know that we have one common goal in that we want to send our seniors out the right way.

Q. For Korie, they pressured you guys in the second half. It seemed like a whole different intensity than they did the in the second half. Talk about the difference you guys had facing that from the first half to the second half.
KORIE LUCIOUS: I think in the first half they didn't really put that much pressure on us. We didn't get in and they would just fall back but in the second half they trapped a lot. A lot tougher. And it was just basically our willingness to get the ball in after they scored it and doing our jobs to get in our press breaker and breaking the press. But that pressure they have it helped that them a lot but we came back from it. We handled it, we had a couple turnovers at the end but what team doesn't? At the same time we fought through it through it and we got the win.

Q. Durrell, what kind of effect has coach been on you knowing that he has been afraid to hold you accountable, and knowing what you're capable of doing out there and what you did today?
DURRELL SUMMERS: It helped me grow as a player and as a man. Just I was able to make certain plays and make certain decisions, what coach did during the season, I think he just helped me all around just a life lesson. I was able to just be aggressive today and I took some good with the bad. I didn't play a perfect game, but I just played hard and I made smart plays.

Q. For any of you guys, how exhausting was that second half and what was it like when you kind of saw them starting to make their charge and what can you say about the guys that helped out at the end?
DRAYMOND GREEN: When a team pressures you like they did the second half, I wouldn't call it exhausting because that's what we worked for and that's what we work and do all summer long and all season long. But it does get kind of frustrating and it kind of wears you down a little bit but coach did a great job. If you look at this stat sheet, you got guys, Austin Thornton played 12 minutes, Mike Kebler played eight minutes. And what I'm trying to say is he, he, he said -- he threw bodies in there, just kept rotating, I mean of course some of it come with Kalin being out you have to use more bodies, but he kept rotating us and kept guys fresh and it worked out for us at the end of the game. We weren't dead tired and burned out and they did make their push, but we just stuck together.
KORIE LUCIOUS: I agree with everything he said. It just shows how deep this team is and how much confidence we have in each other. Whenever it's somebody's time to come in the game and perform, we all count on each other to do that. And that's what Austin and Mike did today. They were ready when their number got called and they came in and gave us a big help.

Q. Raymar, talk about the challenge of guarding Vasquez, especially early on it seemed like you were really frustrating him a lot.
RAYMAR MORGAN: I was just trying to be aggressive. He's a great penetrator and distributor with the basketball. So I just wanted to bother him a little bit and try to out-physical him down there in the post and things like that.

Q. Korie, talk about the pressure on you, what you were thinking at halftime when Kalin Lucas goes out what you thought you had to do in the second half.
KORIE LUCIOUS: I had to step my role up and take control as a point guard. I had to be the second coach out on the court. It was devastating when I saw K go down and they told me that he wasn't going to return so I knew I had to step up my leadership role and that's what I was trying to do was go out there and contain the time with the clock and everything like that and just keep my teammates in order and I just tried to do whatever I could to get the win whether it was scoring, defense, distributing the ball, whatever, I just wanted to get the win.

Q. Korie, there was a stretch there mid to late in the Big-10 season when you just about couldn't hit a 3-point basket. I think it was a stretch of about four games. Can you talk about that?
KORIE LUCIOUS: I thought I had tried for a while to change my form a little bit and get it off quicker and I did some things that I wasn't doing earlier in my career or in the basketball period, so I just got in the gym a lot and worked coming in at night and before practice and after practice and everything like that, just shooting, kept shooting and it all worked out for me. I been shooting very good these last couple games and I'm happy and it's -- I got to give credit to my teammates as well because they have been telling me just keep shooting the ball because they know how good I can shoot so it's coming in the gym, working with my teammates and everything like that. Just honing in on my jump shot and my mechanics has helped me.

Q. Korie, just also wanted to ask you about the second half with the press. Did you take that personally since it seemed like obviously they knew Kalin would be out and they would try to put the press on you more? So was that almost kind of like a personal thing for you like all right I got to do what I got to do in addition to either helping my team in Kalin's absence?
KORIE LUCIOUS: I don't think they tried to turn up the press, but they have been pressing the whole game, even when Kalin was in there, so when he went out I just tried to take it upon myself to whenever I got the ball try to be solid as possible, don't turn it over during the press, just get it out the traps and everything like that and just be as solid as possible.

Q. Can you just talk, Korie, a little bit about the moment of making that shot and when you dream of shots as a kid and being able to step up obviously Kalin was very emotional we just saw him in the locker room, and he said that you guys all said we have got your back. Just that kind of the whole process and the way the team came together and just the emotion of the final minute there.
KORIE LUCIOUS: We always preach about family, being together and sticking together through thick and thin no matter what it is, through the good and the bad. And when Kalin went down we all rallied around him and told him that hey, no matter, with or without you we got your back and we're going to get this win for you. And we just went out there and just tried to give it our all on the court and after the game. We all just celebrated with each other and I just hugged him and just told him, man, I told you I got your back and don't worry about nothing, because I'm here and all of us are here so that's why we talk about family every day on and off the court. We just try to be together.

Q. Speaking of shooting, Draymond, I think at one point you were 1-20 for the season shooting-wise. Talk about the confidence you had to take the shot you took and the shot you made.
DRAYMOND GREEN: I actually do remember that it was Purdue and Penn State, I'll never forget that, but...
No it was tough during that stretch. Coach just kept reminding me just stay in the gym and keep shooting, your shot is looking good, just stay in there. But it was tough. I came out of that slump and just staying in the gym and constantly shooting it paid off for me tonight. I think I had hit two mid range and one of them was would have been the biggest shot of my life if Korie didn't hit that shot, but...
But it's just a matter of staying in the gym. It's not -- it's to no secret.
DRAYMOND GREEN: Wasn't a gym rat before I came here, and I'm still not all the way to that point, but a lot better and a lot closer to the gym rat than not than I was when I got here. But it's just a matter of seeing guys like these three guys in there every day and you know I like to go up in the video room and just sit down with the managers and the video coordinators and look and see what they doing. Just talk to them.
But I look out and see guys like them down there shooting and it just tells me that you got to get down there and shoot. And that's what it was at the beginning of the year. Now it's kind of clicked where you have to get in the gym and shoot. And it's more so than that. And that's helping me out tremendously in these games and it's helping our team out as well.

Q. Wondered if you happened to see the Kansas and Northern Iowa game last night and I know it's probably tough to look ahead to next weekend but what are your quick thoughts on Northern Iowa and the opportunity that lies ahead of you.
DURRELL SUMMERS: Two teams that had to fight it out and we're looking forward to playing the team that won the game. We can't look at whoever lost, we got to advance and prepare for Northern Iowa. We're going to go back and our managers and coaches are going to do a great job preparing us for it and we just got to keep grinding and keep trying to move on.

Q. Korie, what was it like to be on the bottom that have dog pile there and did you know Sparty was taking part in that as well? What was that like?
KORIE LUCIOUS: I really couldn't see anybody. I just saw I was at the bottom and whoever was laying right next to me was yelling in my ear and I started yelling back. I couldn't really see who was on top of me. But I just knew it was everybody on my team. I didn't see Sparty, but I'm glad he was a part of that too. That just shows how close we are as a university. We all got each other's back and we were happy to get the win.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, gentlemen. We'll dismiss Michigan State student-athletes and take questions for coach.

Q. Wondering about Kalin, what's the prognosis there?
COACH IZZO: It looks like it might be a torn achilles to be honest with you. And that poor kid, he was devastated and I wish you all could have been in the locker room when we went out at the end and everybody went into this little room he was in and maybe one of the prouder moments I've had as a head coach is the way they -- we all talked to him and went out. But it's a shame for him. But it's part of athletics and we're just going to have to move on and don't know that for sure, so it's not a diagnosed thing as far as there's been no X-rays or MRIs or anything, but the prognosis is 85 percent of that.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about Draymond Green. You've mentioned his role on the team before and obviously he did a couple dramatic things at the end but just what he's meant to the team and also what was your Magic Johnson reference about with him?
COACH IZZO: Well, I just pulled him and Ray and said right when I walked in the locker room they told me that K was done and I said, you better be Magic Johnson quick because you two guys are going to be point forward here. You're going to have to handle the pressure. I think Korie must have got hit in the head in the bottom of that pile. We knew as soon as they found out Kalin was out that they were coming at us like sharks on blood. And I understood that.
Give Gary a lot of credit for that. But you know, it wasn't like we didn't handle it with our scheme. We just got fatigued and the lineups in there and poor Delvon, I mean the guy that's missing most is Delvon Roe, because there's just no way him or Chris Allen probably should have played at all and he just kept saying, I got one more for you, coach. And Chris, a guy that most of you know I haven't ever called a toughest cookie in the jar, he really came through.
So I look at Raymar and Draymond as they had to do more of the ball handling and Ray did a great job, Ray did a heck of a job, he had to cover a guard who's been playing the four, he had nine rebounds, he had 17 points, you can look at the turnovers, blame them on me, I'm the one that put him in that situation, not him.

Q. Obviously there have been a lot of amazing wins in Michigan State basketball history, but can you step away from the emotion of this moment and kind of rank where this is? Chris Allen told me he thought that Korie's shot could go down as one the best ever. Just the way you had to really mix up the lineups and the way you guys had to really scrape for this one and with all these different guys hurt, all these different guys out, just how -- what it means and how it ranks for you.
COACH IZZO: Well it does rank very high. I don't want to get dramatic and say it's the first round -- it's the first round of the NCAA tournament, but where it really might have ranked high is telling this team a little bit about why you got to be a better teammate and why you have togetherness and why you got to have people's back and why everybody is part of the team.
And Durrell, he grew up a lot in the last two weeks. As he says, at half court to me, I still got a long ways to go, coach and I said, yes, you do. But I like the direction you're headed and you're on the right road.
But I can't believe Ray's stats when I look at them, and the minutes he had to play and under the pressure he did. You're right, nobody knows about Delvon's -- you all know about it, but you don't know what he's going through and Chris Allen, a kid who couldn't walk yesterday. I mean he was in treatment for 24 hours. And he says to me today, I can go whatever minutes you get me in and out for a minute or free throws at the end.
And I took my team over to Gonzaga last night for a half hour just to shoot free throws. And Chris couldn't do anything. And I said, take your brace off, walk to that free throw line and knock down five free throws because at the end of the game tomorrow we're going to need you. I'm going to put you in. And I reminded him of that and he made all five. And didn't have to shoot them. But it was big for us. And yet make sure you give some credit to Maryland. The comeback was unbelievable. It was the perfect Gary Williams -- Vasquez, I just love that kid, he's tough. You know what, it was a tough, hard-nosed game, but nothing worked. And it was -- that should go down as a great basketball game as far as two teams that played their tails off.

Q. You talk about point forwards, what kind of impact do you think Draymond could make now knowing the needs you have ball handling-wise?
COACH IZZO: Well, he's going to have some, I'm hoping that Chris now with a week off will get back some. But I'm going to use both those guys in that role some. We're going to have some interesting practices here in the next three, four days. Just because we're down to that. Now Northern Iowa, I got to be honest with you, I saw about five minutes of that game and I didn't look at anything else, and I really don't plan on looking at anything else until Monday morning. I think I'm going to enjoy -- rock this plane all the way home and have some fun because God only knows we deserve to have some fun for the next 10 hours and we're going to do that.
But we're going to definitely use those two guys, just what I call them, point forwards, and maybe they will show up and help us out a little bit.

Q. I don't know, I guess sometimes the older I get the more amazed I am at resiliency of 18 to 22 year old guys, but you had a game today you play your best ten minutes then you lose your star, you're able to extend the lead, you get down to two minutes left in the game you're still in complete control. What is it about these guys once it got down to nut-cutting time that the panic didn't set in?
COACH IZZO: Well I think it set in a little bit, but the stretch of the game that was unbelievable was the middle of the second half when we must have came down four times in a row we had a back door, we had a lob, we had a three, I mean everything we called, the execution was as good as it's been. And of course we finished with some baskets, but then we really got fatigued.
Delvon, he hardly even knew he was going out there on the press breakers and things. And Austin and Mike Kebler, they have never been in together that much when somebody's pressing. Usually it's the end of a game, you know. And so resiliency? I think as I said, you go through enough battles all year and you try to hold people accountable all year, and I think it was Mike Garland in the locker room said, hey, Durrell, you reminded me of Morris Peterson. And around our place that's reference. That's as high a compliment as you can give because he did grow and he did make some great plays and he worked his tail off and he was fun to coach and so I think that's the most rewarding thing for me.

Q. After Lucious hit shot, talk about the way Kalin went out, you guys shared an embrace at center court, what did you say to each other and what did that moment mean to you?
COACH IZZO: I felt bad for him because I could -- I could feel the tears of joy and the tears of sorrow at the same time. I just felt bad for him. I told him I loved him, because I know how hard this is and I said, you know, I've been through this with Cleaves when he was hurt his senior year and hurt in the tournament game and things worked out for him later on and I just told him I appreciated him getting back out on the bench and trying to help us from a bench standpoint. He said a couple things to me, he talked to a couple players. He too grew. A lot of guys that grew, they're all the same size, but hearts and heads are a lot bigger than they were in a positive way and I'm going to try to enjoy that. I love Spokane. So thanks.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations, coach. Thank you.

End of FastScripts

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