Video: Steve Pikiell Analyzes Rutgers Loss at Michigan State

EAST LANSING, MICH. -- After a blowout loss to Michigan State on the road, Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell addressed the media about what went wrong, his team's improving effort and a four-game losing streak.

Opening Statement...
Michigan State is really good, our first time in a great environment. I actually thought we defended them until I looked at the numbers; they shot the ball extremely well. Obviously they’re well-coached and I have a ton of admiration for Coach (Tom) Izzo and his program. His program’s so good; it’s been so good for a long time. I thought we had a decent game plan coming in. Obviously it’s a great win by them and now we’re on the road again, going to Iowa.

On facing Miles Bridges on his return, and Eron Harris and Matt McQuaid (who had been struggling) …
They played great and made some terrific shots. I’ll have to watch the tape; I thought we guarded them, too. Obviously they have a lot of weapons. (Nick) Ward is playing great and (Miles) Bridges comes back and gives them another terrific player. They’re young and extremely talented, and when veteran guys chip in like that it makes it really difficult to take away anything. They play at such a good pace; (they are) the fastest paced team we’ve played this year. It causes problems for you.

On the game slipping away from Rutgers in the second half …
We left so many points on the board from the free throw line. In a game like this when you come on the road and play in this environment against this kind of team and miss three one-and-ones, to go with 15 free throw points (missed), I think we could have hung around a little bit. To their credit, they hit some big shots and just when we felt like we could make a little run, they answered, so a lot of credit to Michigan State. I think we played hard, I think they played extremely hard, too. They just have a lot more bullets.

Every time we got to the foul line, it never felt like we could answer. I wanted to substitute and kind of slow the pace down. Our game plan going in was to chop this thing up and have that horn blowing. We left so many free throws on the table and some timely turnovers down the stretch. They’re relentless in their transition game and eventually they got us a few times.


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