Suzy Merchant Weekly Presser

Suzy Merchant 121018

After upsetting #3 Oregon over the weekend, the MSU lady Spartans are on a roll. The above video is Suzy Merchant's weekly presser and the above transcript is here post game after the win over Oregon.

Michigan State Head Coach Suzy Merchant

Opening statement…
It was a huge win for us. We played them a couple of years ago and it was probably one of the worst games I have ever coached on the sideline. When I left, I was very disappointed with how we played and I know this team is a lot different. I felt like our schedule has prepared us to play these guys. We scrimmaged Notre Dame, we had played North Carolina State and that could have gone either way... they are a top ten team. We had played that level of competition in non-conference basically coming into this non-conference game. We felt good about it, I did feel good about it. I knew there were certain things we had to do and do well. Quite frankly at this point too, you need your seniors and your veterans to lead the show a little bit. It was good to see a lot of kids step up, while still missing some of our key players as well. It is just going to make us a better and stronger team in the future and we were sick of being close. It is time to go win one.

On today's emotions…
You never want to be too high or too low but I told them this is kind of a game of heart a little bit. Every time the ball goes up on the glass it's a loose ball. You're either on offense or defense but it is a loose ball. We have got to get those, we have to really study and understand what their players can do. We tried to make spot up shooters, drivers as best we could. We tried to adjust some things around #20 (Sabrina Ionescu). We tried to take #24 (Ruthy Hebard) in a different kind of way. If we didn't let them get spot up threes in transition, which they are really really good at. If we could really just eliminate Ruthy (Hebard) getting the ball on a roll and a simple score with the backside of our defense I thought that would affect them. Our kids did a great job, for the most part of handling that. We also thought that if we could get our stops, our transition would be a little bit tougher for them to guard because we run two different breaks off miss and make.

On where this win ranks…
It is up there for sure. We have had quite a few good ones. We have won a couple of Big Ten titles on the floor there, we have beat a #1 team in the country here and this is a #3 team so this is definitely right up there. Especially given the circumstances with some of the challenges, and adversities we have had this fall. Some of our kids that are playing are kind of banged up so to see them play with that kind of heart and toughness is really inspiring. I am just so proud of Jenna (Allen). She is just playing like a senior should. We haven't always had that, but when you do it's just a really really special feeling. I am super super happy for her and proud of her for her leadership.

On the long term potential of the team…
I hope it gives us confidence too. The one thing that is different with this team from other teams is that they genuinely care about sharing the ball. It is never about how many points did I score or how many minutes did I get. I know everybody wants to play and I know everybody wants minutes but it shows collectively we are finding ways and different kids at different times that step up. I think we are getting stronger as a bench even though we have the injuries. A kid that I wished we played a little bit more tonight might have been Kayla (Belles). She kind of… her knee was a little bit banged up from Virginia and we played her at Oakland and I didn't think she was moving that good and these guys move really really well off ball screens. I am disappointed in myself that I didn't get her in the game because I think that she is really good and she is going to continue to help us, so that's on me. Everybody I felt that came in contributed, and we didn't have Shay (Colley) ...and Claire (Hendrickson) is still hurt so there are a couple other kids that I think can come in and help us.

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