Video & Quotes: Tom Izzo after 64-54 win over Michigan

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Here’s Tom Izzo’s press conference after the Spartans’ 10-point home victory over Michigan.

Transcript after the jump.
Quotes from MSUSpartans.com.
Opening Statement…
“As you can imagine I have a lot of players to feel good about in a lot of different ways. Some that scored, some that rebounded and one guy that did them all. When you look at a guy like Branden Dawson who didn’t play well at all in Ann Arbor and we challenged him to guard Hardaway and did a decent job on him. If I had to give a star out it would go to my two big guys and how the defended Try Burke who hurt us a lot down in Ann Arbor. Keith Appling did a good job on him but Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix did an excellent job on how we wanted to cover the ball screens. I don’t think we did a great job turning the ball over early. We had some foolish ones, but it was an intense game and a tough one to officiate and play. After the first ten minutes I thought we were in control of the game but could never get over the hump. Draymond Green came off and didn’t know if he could play on Wednesday or Thursday, but bounced back on Friday and performed incredibly with his rebounding, his scoring and his passing. If he isn’t one of the most valuable guys in this league I don’t know who is. Big win for us, and I thought we had a lot of different guys perform well. Our defense and rebounding is the thing that kept us in the game.”

On what it meant for Draymond Green personally to have such a big game…
“I don’t care where you’re from, but this game never means as much to the people who are from in-state. There aren’t many guys on this team that this game means more to than him. He has experienced success and failure, and he kind of reminded me of Travis Walton when we hadn’t gone to the Final Four. Draymond didn’t want to go out losing for in a row to them. Hopefully we switched the trend and it will start going the other way again.”

On the mindset of the team coming into the game…
“I don’t know if this was a must win–I guess they are all must wins when you compete for a championship, but this was more about the rivalry than it was the Big Ten. My guys understand how important this game is to people in the past. We get our identity back. We are defending pretty well but when we start turning the ball over a little too much and miss some open shots inside its tough. I said that the team with the most energy would win and I thought we had some energy and I thought the building did as well–it was off the charts.”

On the success of the rebounding…
“We really wanted to go inside more with it, but they do a good job of helping and doubling down there. It was a war in there. As you can tell both coaches struggled with some of the things, but it was tough and that’s where we wanted to go and was one of our advantages. That’s the way we approached it and spent a lot of time working on the ball screens.”

On what he and his coaching staff wanted to drive home from this game…
“We wanted to get back in transition and make them beat us in their half court game and of course cover the ball screen. They are running that a lot more in their offense and I thought we did a decent job of defending it by committee. They followed the game plan about as well as they could follow it. Appling was much better today than the last four games and he didn’t even take many shots. But Nix and Payne were a wall in there and didn’t allow any deep penetration and I thought that was the most important part.