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March 11, 2011

Draymond Green

Tom Izzo

Delvon Roe


Michigan State – 74
Purdue - 56

COACH IZZO: I'm really proud of this team for what they came back from. I thought last night, you know, they were so tired when we got back, and I felt like we've been emotionally drained as much as physically. I mean, we -- in 24 hours I thought my assistants and my players did an incredible, incredible job of prepping for this game with personnel. And we knew they were going to have different kinds of line-ups in there and who we were pressing and how we were coming with certain ball screens with one guy or another. To do all that in 24 hours takes an incredible staff and an incredible group of guys to just pay attention to what you need, and you know, Kalin, Durrell, and Delvon, early I thought made a couple mistakes, but boy, he was a man-child in that second half. I'm just as proud of this team today, only today (laughter), as I've been in a long time, in fact years, so it was a great win for us.

Q. Draymond, last night you kind of analyzed what tonight was going to be like in terms of you knew that Johnson and Moore were going to, as you said, do what they do, but you couldn't allow their role players, the Smiths, the Jacksons, the Byrds, and if you look at the box score, you were kind of a prophet there. Talk about -- that was what you had to do, right? You couldn't let Jackson or Smith go off for 15 or 20?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Yes, that was the game plan. Like coach said before the game, Jackson averaged 16 and a half points against us this year, but if you look at it, I can't remember what we lost by the first game, but I know the second game we lost by 20. If you eliminate them 16 points, that stops their run, because his 16 points always comes in the midst of their run. So it kind of eliminates their run. When Johnson or Moore is struggling, that's when he kind of gets his buckets more. If they're struggling and you don't let him get his buckets that's where our run comes, and I think that's where our run came tonight where we were able to build a lead. We kind of shut down Moore and Johnson for a minute. We stopped him, which was a big part.
Coach said before the game, role players, and he said Byrd and Smith, he said Jackson is kind of in that line of making the big three. So we knew we needed to stop him, and I think we did a great job on Smith and a great job on Byrd.

Q. Delvon and Draymond, I want to ask you about the stretch where you had the tip-in and then you're guarding Johnson, getting some stops, getting a block. Just talk about that stretch and how important that was, and Draymond, I wanted you to comment on that, as well?
DELVON ROE: I think that was the key in the game, that stretch in the second half when I made the tip-in and we made some plays on offense and defense again. But they're a great team, and Johnson is a player where he's going to get his points. He's too good of a player to eliminate him completely, but you've got to pick your spots where you can stop him, and I think we did a good job of stopping him that second half, and our motto here is players play tough, players win.
We knew -- when we got deep in that second half in the game, we knew we were going to win that game because we have a lot of veteran guys who have been in that situation and can pull it off.
DRAYMOND GREEN: I think Delvon was just trying to say he was the reason he won. (Laughter).
No, that was a key moment in the game. We were up 9, that's where they were making their run, Delvon comes in flying with a key tip-in and then he comes down and gets, I think, two stops in a row. It wasn't just a block. He blocked Johnson, and then the other little Johnson came down the lane and he blocked that. So I think that was a very key stretch in the game because, like I said, Purdue, they're a team of runs, and they were going to make their runs, and that's where they were making their run at, and we had to stop the bleeding. And he stopped the bleeding.

Q. Can you talk about Kalin's performance tonight? We knew he was hurt with the ankle and he comes out and is 4 of 4 from three tonight.
DELVON ROE: Yeah, Kalin is a warrior. We knew that he was going to come out and give it his all, and he was hot early. He made a lot of big shots from outside and driving to get people involved. That's what Kalin does, he's our leader, our quarterback, and we expect that from him. But the way he played through that ankle pain was phenomenal.

Q. You talked yesterday about that 20-point loss at home to Purdue, and you guys hadn't forgot about that. Was this what you guys were expecting? Were you guys that motivated?
DRAYMOND GREEN: We were definitely motivated. You don't expect to come out and beat them by 20. They're a great team. Everyone thought they would be in -- when Hummel went down, I think they went from 7 in the preseason post to like 23 or something like that. And now that you look at them everyone is like, wow, they're a great team. But guys stepped up. Kalin came up to me at our pregame meal and said, Draymond, let's go out there and beat them by 20. I'm thinking, okay, we've got to go out here and win this game with K (Kalin) hurt, not knowing he was going to come out and score 30. That just shows his mentality, he's a warrior, and he led us tonight. We all followed his lead and we got done what he wanted to get done.

Q. Draymond, there was a point where Delvon was jumping and going all over the place, and his stats don't show up in a stat sheet, but what does Delvon's playing injured mean to this team?
DRAYMOND GREEN: I always tell Delvon to crash the boards because when he don't crash, I don't happen to get as many rebounds. So when you do crash I get more rebounds. That's how I know with 13 tonight. He crashed and sometimes he gets his fingertips on them and I come clean them up. He always get mad at me and say, oh, you get the garbage rebounds. I tell him I got to come up with my rebounds some kind of way.
He means a lot to this team. You look at it in two final four runs, he started in both the runs, and he was very key. Even last year he was out there playing on one leg, and if you look at those games, he made big plays for us, and he sits up here and says Kalin is a warrior, but that's what I feel about him. I feel like if I'm going to go to war and I have to take somebody with me, I'm taking this man any day of the year.

Q. Draymond, do you feel this is about as complete a ballgame on both ends of the floor as you guys have played this season or thereabouts?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Yes, it definitely is. Everybody has been waiting to say when is that game coming with Michigan State where they just play a great game. Well, I've been waiting to say the same thing, when is we going to play that great game. I had a feeling we were going to do it tonight. Our backs are still up against the wall. It's a good win for us, but we still have more to do. We're happy with the win, but it was a good win for us, and we're going to watch some of this game and get back to the hotel and prepare.

Q. In any strange way did you draw any inspiration watching Michigan win this afternoon?
DELVON ROE: I don't think so. They're a good program, but we focus on us first. It's all about us, and players we've got in that locker room and the coaches we've got. That's the most important thing. We knew that we had a good match-up against Purdue, and we wasn't worried about what anybody else was doing, we had to take care of our own business.
DRAYMOND GREEN: It definitely didn't inspire me to be honest. I didn't even watch their game. No, nothing against Michigan, but I just was trying to focus on Michigan State basketball. You know, everyone said Michigan won their way in that game, and now people are saying we won our way in. Coming into this game our focus was not winning our way into the tournament.
Going into tomorrow our focus will not be if people say we're in, our focus will not be to stay in the tournament. Our focus will be to come out and take it one game at a time like we've been doing.
Like I said yesterday, the NCAA Tournament committee is going to decide whatever they want to decide. We can't control that. The only thing we can control is winning basketball games here, and we're going to keep on taking it one game at a time.

Q. If both of you can please comment on the 10-2 run to start things and how much of a difference that makes in your confidence and your mindset.
DRAYMOND GREEN: I keyed that run. I got two blocks. No, I'm just playing with you. No, that was a great way to start off the game. Everyone is used to us getting off to slow starts, and we wanted to come out and throw the first punch. We knew if we came out and threw the first punch, then we would have to sustain it, but it's better trying to sustain it than fighting back especially against a team that defends as good as Purdue. So we came out and threw the first punch, and you look at that run, everybody was out there contributing to it, Kebler, Durrell, myself, Adreian Payne, and Kalin. We all contributed to that run. We were locking down on the defensive. We got some scores on the other end, and after we made that run, you kind of felt a sense that guys -- everyone believed -- you could tell at the walk-throughs everyone believed we could win this game. But after that 10-2 run, it's like, let's go, everybody is ready to go now, guys come in on the bench flying. Austin Thornton come in to make it 12-4 right off the bench, everybody just came in and contributed and I think that was a great run to start off the game.
DELVON ROE: Yeah, Draymond pretty much said it all. So yeah, the keys in basketball games is always the first four minutes of the game, the first four minutes of the second half, and I think we came out and won both of those key points in the game.
They did a good job starting off the game and they did a good job starting off the second half, and when you can get runs like that to start off halves, it really helps you with the momentum and overall confidence.

Q. Have you seen a different look in the eye, and if so, how good does it feel?
COACH IZZO: You know, the strange part about the game is Draymond is 2 for 9 and Durrell is only 2 for 4, but he did eight rebounds. It wasn't like we played phenomenal, but I did think we played very well defensively. I thought we played -- I thought for the first time we went to the scouting report like never before. You know, we got a shot blocked at the end, but at our place they must have blocked ten shots, and I don't know if we got any, and here we get eight and they got one.
There was a look in their eye this morning. Last night I was worried. We looked mentally fatigued. This morning I just kept harping on we've all been there before and we're better than we've been playing for a variety of reasons. But we beat a really good team tonight, and I don't think Purdue played really well. I think we had something to do with that but not everything. I really think Matt has done as good a job as anybody in the country, and I think that team is really good. They just got off to a bad start and, God, Kalin was unbelievable. So I don't know if it was a look in the eye; I think -- I said it the other day, if we get over the hump, and everybody said, well, we barely won last night, but we barely won against New Mexico State.
These guys are battle tested in tournament time and they're battle tested with the schedule we play, and I really made that part of my pre-game speech, that we played three No. 1 teams in Texas and Ohio State and Duke, and we've been through this before, let's just go play our tail off like we know we can, and boy, we did.

Q. In this event, this basketball tournament of March, there's a sense of urgency sometimes, and there was that sense of urgency for you guys tonight. You said last night your guys looked fatigued, but today they really responded to what you had asked of them. How much of a sense of urgency to get that quality win, get to the next round and get in the tournament do you think played into it?
COACH IZZO: Well, I think it played into it and I think it hurt us. Since the middle of January -- I should say the end of January when we lost a couple Big Ten games and it looked like the chance to win the Big Ten was over, there got to be a lot of pressure on this team, then another loss or two and a chance to get in the NCAA Tournament is on the bubble. You know, we've been a bubble team for a long time.
I had a couple great coaches around the country call me, and they said, you know, just keep fighting through it because it's not going to be easy because you haven't been there very often. You don't know the road to take. I kind of explained it to my team, I said, hey, I'm not going to be the savior because I haven't been here, either, where our backs are against the wall. But since I was brought up in the UP it's fight your way out of it, and I think we are fighting our way out of it. We have a long way to go. We did not solve anything tonight, but we took another step forward.
I think we proved to ourselves what kind of team we can be, and I think we'll get Durrell a little better and Draymond will shoot a little better, and I think we can be a little better and that's going to be the goal because I don't think Kalin will shoot like that every night.

Q. Tonight there was a situation where you were getting ready to call a guy over to talk and Kalin went over to talk to him. Was that kind of the it factor you've been looking for?
COACH IZZO: Well, it is, and it started to happen in the walk-throughs. You get in those hotel walk-throughs and they remind me so much of the Louisville games and the different games we've played in these big events. And these guys have been there and they kind of know what the walk-through is supposed to be like.
This morning we had an early one, we had three of them today, and every one of them was really sharp and really attentive, film session walk-through. You really can read them, you know.
When we played Louisville, I told my guys after the walk-through, we're going to beat them. I didn't say that today, but what I felt today instead of just a player, coach, team, I felt like we were kind of all in it together, because hey, whenever you struggle it's everybody's fault, mine included. So I don't know if anybody was above anybody. I think we were all in it together, realizing we were fighting for our lives a little bit.

Q. Obviously the officiating had absolutely nothing to do with the game, but do you take any issue at all with the fact that Earl Walton was one of the officials in this game?
COACH IZZO: You know, it's a strange -- I don't know Earl as well as I know Tim, and I mean, those two guys -- Jud Heathcote was yelling at those two guys. They've been here for a long time, and they're probably two of the better officials in the country. And Earl, I had no problem with that personally because that whole end of the game thing, it was strange. You know, I mean, there were so many strange things that happened. I was more upset watching it on the foul maybe than the stepping out of bounds. Because when I saw Lav (Steve Lavin) walking down, I thought the game was over. I'm looking at the clock. There's so many things that happened.
Personally all I want is the best officials that can do a game. I think everybody has got to be held accountable as I was early in the year, but I don't think it's a reason that we -- guys have earned their keep over years, not over one time, and I'm a living example of that.

Q. Draymond talked about Delvon and I was hoping to ask you about the tip-in he had and the run he had, is he equipped to keep playing well day after day on that knee?
COACH IZZO: Well, they drained less fluid out of it than they have in years last week, so that's very encouraging. But the tip-in was a big play because they were making a run, and as I said, give us some credit, but Purdue didn't -- this team has played at an awfully high level, and as I look at them a little bit more like I looked at us when I thought we really had a chance to make a run to the Final Four, I look at them in the same way. We lost some games early in the Big Ten Tournament. As you know, that day when one team plays and the other one doesn't, it's hard. Most of the time I've been on the other side of that shoe, and it's a very difficult thing to do.
So I think, you know, some of it was our players, but I really think that we got two teams in this league, maybe three, that have a serious chance to make a long, long run. Whether we'll play ourselves into anything is yet to be determined, but when you look at Purdue and Ohio State and Wisconsin, they've got a chance, and if there's one thing I understand it's how to get to a Final Four. Those teams have got all the ingredients, just tonight they seemed one step behind, which I've been there before, but Matt will get them ready and they'll be good.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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