2005-06 BKM vs. Michigan State -- Postgame Quotes

Michigan coach Tommy Amaker

On his poise throughout the game ... "My knees were shaking. I was shaking so much I had to sit down. But, I really had trust in our players and I thought they were prepared for it and the situations we were in. I thought they were very tough, especially in the second half. Michigan State is a tremendous basketball team and program. They came at us and really knocked us on our heels right away with their transition game and their toughness. I really want to give credit to our team, their character, and their ability to bounce back after a tough stop. For us to be able to finish this type of game on the stretch that we have been on, I am really proud of our team."

On turning the game around with defense ... "I thought we were great. I thought we dumped balls out; I thought we were fighting; I thought we were blue-collar. We made a point of emphasis that we had to be a little tougher as a group and we did it collectively. Defensively, our team did a sound job. I felt we made really good decisions in the second half with the basketball, and it allowed us to get some shots on the other end."

On foul shots as a key to the game ... "I told our kids that I thought they deserved the opportunity to get to the (foul) line with the way that they played. Once you get there, you have got to cash in. We did cash in, and I thought that was the difference. It certainly helped that some of their players were getting into a little foul trouble and we were utilizing the foul. I thought that was smart basketball by our kids."

On defying the odds and winning this game ... "Having the momentum we have endured from the two games prior to tonight, I thought our kids came in with confidence. I thought we were prepared for this basketball game. I thought the toughness had to surface for us in the second half. For me personally, I have had my time to get excited and celebrate and run around in some shorts. It is their moment. It is their time and they did it. I am just proud of them and proud to be a part of it."

U-M Senior Guard Daniel Horton

On Michigan's scoring drought in the first half ... "The shots just were not falling. We had a couple good shots down low and a few good looks on the perimeter, but it just would not go down. You have got to give credit to them too because they played a great first half. They knocked down shots and they defended really well. We just wanted to come out in the second half and execute a little better."

On Horton and Michigan's stellar free throw shooting ... "Being a good free throw-shooting team has always been a point of emphasis for this program. My freshman year, we were a really good free throw-shooting team as well. We had tapered off the last couple years, though. We work on free throws in game situations as well. It is a big staple of this program."

On the game's impact for Michigan's season ... "It means a lot. It puts us another win closer to achieving our goals. It was a big win. One of the things we have to do is hold serve at home. We were able to do that tonight, and hopefully we can keep doing that."

U-M Senior Forward Chris Hunter

On Michigan's defensive focus ... "We were just trying to keep them in front. They have great shooters and we just tried to get hands up on those shooters. I think we did a good job of communicating and knowing where guys were. The coaches prepared us very well for the things that they (Michigan State) do. They run a lot of sets, and they run them very well. I think we defended it well and contested shots, and in the second half we did a great job of contesting the rebounds."

U-M Sophomore Wing Ron Coleman

On Michigan's offensive team effort ... "Everyone on this team can score, and we want each other to score. We want to get baskets as much as we play good defense. Tonight we executed defense and executed on offense as well. I think they were a great team and they played us well, but we played well tonight too and came out with the win."

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo

On the game ... "Well, as you can imagine, I was very disappointed to lose a game that I thought we had a chance to win on the road, especially to your rival and especially in the Big Ten race like it is," Izzo began evenly. "But we did not play good enough to win, and give them credit C they did. We had a lead of seven at halftime, and it should have been 12 or 13, Izzo said. "I have to figure out what words I can use. Officiating I question it. I really do. I question it. I guess I'm legally allowed to say that.

"The 34-10 discrepancy really kind of hurt us. It didn't cost us the game, it didn't cost us turnovers that we made unforced, and Paul [Davis] had a tough game. We had some guys who had tough games, but if you'd had told me we'd hold them to 41/31 [shooting and three-point percentage], shoot 50 and 43, I think you should win that game.

"But they hung around, they did a couple of things. I thought we did a pretty good job on the key guys. We put a thing on the board before the game that free throws and fouls and layups would be a big key. We did a pretty good job on the layups until the end, but the free throws both got us in foul trouble and, everybody knows, they shoot a great percentage and we shoot a great percentage. We just never got there.

"It was a game that slipped away. Give credit to them. They deserved to win it. It's just too bad, because I think we played well enough in a lot of ways to win the game. We just weren't in sync, with guys out half the night with the foul trouble. It got to the point where we were afraid to drive, afraid to do anything. Don't read into that, that I'm sitting here crying about the officiating. I did not like the way it was called. But I'm allowed to dispute that without getting personal. That's not what totally cost us the game, but we were very much out of sync. I think we did some other things well enough to win."

MSU Senior Guard Maurice Ager

On the loss ... "Definitely, it's a big deal. It's still a game. We still have more games to go. I will give them credit they played well, we have to chalk this up and take it as a team."

On the free throw shooting ... "Free throws are key to the game. That's one of the key things of this game. They got to the free throw line a lot and we are one of the best free throw shooting teams in the country. We knew that we couldn't let them get to the line more than us, if we wanted to win. That was something they did well."

On the outlook in the Big Ten race ... "Yes, we are still thinking about winning the Big Ten championship. Naturally, you have to take it one win at a time; we are not going to win it Saturday. We still have to continue to play."

MSU Senior Forward Paul Davis

On the fouls ... "We were just racking up the fouls somehow. There is not too much you can do about it, you just have to adjust and adapt to it. When they made 24 more free-throws than we do and it's a couple point game, it's hard."

On whether they struggled offensively ... "Yes, halfway to through the second half a little bit and we found a happy medium, but it was just one of those things. The thing is we had the lead and it seem like we had put them put away on the road."

On their offense and Michigan's defense ... "A little bit of both, they were over playing some things and I don t know if we were getting things quick enough. We were missing a couple shots here and there, I wasn't getting in the post and we weren't going down each time. That's just not how we play, not how we use to playing."

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