Thoughts on play in Old Spice Classic:
I think our young men just really got focused on one game at a time, really focused on the team, and just went out there and did whatever they had to do to win.
It was a great opportunity for us there. A great challenge for us, and our guys were just ready to play. They were excited about it. We were very focused on this trip.
There was a lot at stake with each game, and we made our guys aware of that.
Thoughts on setting a rotation:
They are learning that I'm going to play the guys that are getting it done. That's the bottomline. We're trying to win games and I think one of the luxuries of having depth is that we can do that. We can play the players that are out there getting it done and it really doesn't matter.
For them it's just understanding that is the way it is. We want to win games, you support your teammates, and be ready for your time.
I thought Dennis Horner did an outstanding job. He came in a ballgame, was playing well, that group was playing well, and I let him finish out the ballgame. I think that's good. I think that's good for the competition, I think that's good for the team, and I think it lets all the guys know that all is fair here. If you're playing hard, playing the right way and getting it done, you're going to play.
Thoughts on rebounding problems:
It is a concern... I think we're making adjustments to having a guy that can block a shot. He's going after shots and our other guys aren't used to that. So our cover-downs are a little slower than they should be.
We have to make an adjustment because we can't take away J.J.'s aggressiveness of going after some blocked shots. I can't even count the number of shots he altered in this tournament which probably would have been layups for the other team. We've got to do a better job of covering down for him.
We also have to be very physical with our boxouts. We have to really get on a body and push those guys back... you've got to be able to hold your own.
We're going to see that at Michigan State. They are going to push us, I don't mean that illegally, but physically they are going to push us and use their strength. We have to be strong enough to push them back.
Will you send more people to the boards?
Will we send more people to the boards? If we send anymore they'll be coming off the bench.
Our guards have been getting in there. It's our bigs, the cover-downs, that's where we're really getting hurt. We're sending all five though.
Thoughts on the play he received from Courtney Fells in the Old Spice Classic:
I hope it showed him what we thought all along and what we know. He's a very talented player. If anyone on the floor, he certainly has the ability to impact the game. Not just offensively, I know a lot of people talked about his offense this past weekend, but he defended. He chased guys around, he denied the ball... he guarded some of the toughest guys in the country to guard this weekend... he just played a great tournament.
He was vocal, which ormally he's kind of laidback, but he was vocal in the locker room. Outside of the locker room when the guys were getting ready to warm up I could hear Courtney. He was the one talking to the guys... 'It's championship day... it's championship day. This is ours.' He was just very positive and very focused. He was ready to go.
Is he going to guard Drew Neitzel?
We're going to put him on the toughest guy. Whoever is scoring for them he's going on them. He'll probably start there... yes.
What concerns you about Michigan State?
Besides the fact that coach Izzo has about 200 plays, it's just their talent. Their talent level and aggressiveness... they are a very good ballclub and they really come after you. They are going to pound you on the boards and really go after you.
I think the main concern right now is their aggressiveness. We know about the talent they have, that's a given... just the way they play. We have to be ready to match that, and I think we will be. We certainly have been tested before, and we'll be tested again.
As we talk about them, we'll still talk to our team about what we want to do. We'll watch film again and show these guys what they do but then we need to get on our team. I don't like to spend a lot of time talking about the other team. I like to talk about what we want to do and focus on our job. That's one thing we can control.
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