That was an interesting game for a coach because as all of you could imagine we didn't feel real good about last night, the way we played or how we handled anything to be honest. I think the credit definitely goes to the players and it's not easy to bounce back with one day prep and coaches on you about things.
A lot of credit goes to Raymar (Morgan) on my right, and even more might go to Travis (Walton). He started to lead this team like he led it last year when he was being half coach, half-player and he's an even better player than he was.
Raymar got challenged a little bit, he got challenged for two reasons, I didn't think he played that good in the beginning but in all fairness to him we didn't want to get fouls on him early so I kept him out for a couple minutes and it helped him both ways. He really responded and had an incredible game and he shot well from the line and he shot well from the field. He did everything you could do and still he didn't play that many minutes.
We're a different team when we're running, we're a different team when we check it and Travis did a great job of knowing where to get guys.
I thought our defense did a great job with the exception of the first couple minutes, but you've got to give Oklahoma State credit, those guys can make some threes, Anderson's a good player and we did a great job on him.
Strange couple games—
I'm sure it's been harder for me the last two weeks, we've had different lineups in there and last night when Ray was in foul trouble and playing without him and tonight. I think Draymond Green and Delvon deserve some credit too, I think Draymond did a nice job with Delvon in foul trouble. Like Fran Fraschilla said, he's seen him play in high school and he's still maybe 45-50% of the guy. He makes guys better because when he can go, he can run that lane and get out on the wing and run more. Strange is a good word, it was strange, it was good strange.
Importance of Travis shooting well—
I think last year would have been just about as good as he played so far as far as shooting the ball and then he got the stomach injury and missed the four months. He worked hard on his shooting last year. When he can knock down open shots, Ray's knocking down open shots, and Kalin's pushing it like the jet that he is instead of the plow-horse that he was the last couple games, it makes our team a different team and like I said, to be honest I challenged them today because I think you can find out about somebody's character when you lose, that's why these tournaments are hard to coach, when you have the four games like we've had in the six, seven days.
But you really do learn a lot about your team and you hope you can fit throughout the year because you have a point of reference when you play bad, and you have a point of reference when you play good. But you've got different things that you can bring up, and that makes a big difference.
24 hour prep—
These guys did a great job, we decided to practice at 9:30 at a local high school and then come back and eat a pizza. We came back and had a little film session, then we had a little walk-through, and there was great focus today. It wasn't the prep, it was the players. The players did the job and that's what excites me.
Senior guard Travis Walton—
I've been working on my game and just praying to God. I was coming out with confidence and working hard with our players and coaches, and shooting every day with Raymar and Kalin. I shoot the ball every day in practice. This weekend I talked to Ray, I talked to "K" and they said ‘shoot the ball.' I shot it with confidence and it kept going in.
It's all confidence and reps. I shot the ball so much this summer that coaches were saying ‘hey man, you've got to stay out of the gym, rest yourself a little bit.' I worked hard and it's just starting to pay off a little bit.
Junior forward Raymar Morgan—
It was definitely just a challenge. Coach challenged me a little bit and I just felt that I did some things that I know I could've did better in yesterday's game and I could've just played better.
On not starting—
It was a challenge. It didn't bother me, I knew Delvon could handle it, he's a great player. My teammates have my back though, they did a great job of giving me the ball, giving me some opportunities to score and just feel comfortable.
Playing a day later—
It was definitely good. You have an opportunity to start over and play a whole new game and start from scratch it's always a great opportunity for us to bounce back and show the crowd what you can do.
Coach Tom Izzo—
I'm not sure how we played last night, I know Maryland made some shots and played pretty good, but we were playing with such a depleted team that it was hard to sit whoever got in sync. Tonight we got into the flow of it a little bit more so there was a combination of things. Considering we've been going without Suton who's a very valuable player, it will make these guys that much better. They say sometimes the adversity might make you better in the long run because guys get some valuable minutes right now and more opportunities.
We've got to get a little bit more out of Chris (Allen), we've got to get a little bit more out of Korie (Lucious), but that's going to come and we have to make sure we keep understanding who we are because I think Trav (Walton) said it best, he made a big issue about our defense early on and it really felt like we were going to get some things done.
If Raymar regained his starting position—
He could've got 30. It was two-fold if I'm going to be honest and you know I really am. I just felt like he didn't play that bad last night because he really didn't get a chance to play, there was some things early on that we worked on and he was smart enough to know. I just challenged his focus a little bit because he's one of my smartest players. There was something for the fouls too, I'm sitting there looking at a team that has four guards and they're driving the ball and I couldn't afford for a cheap early foul because it would hurt him too so when I tell you it was for certain reasons, it wasn't.
I don't think I have to play games with Raymar and I'm not going to play games with him. There's no question he's one of the best players on this team and he's one of the best players in the whole league. I'm just going to challenge him every day. Not even every game, every day to be that. Every single day because he's even better than he knows he is.
On Kalin Lucas running—
I have to look at the film because we've been talking about is everyone running with him, but I told him that it's time for him to just push it like he's capable of and then make good decisions when he gets down to the other end. If it's not there, pull it out. I thought he attacked, he passed out, he made very few bad decisions.