March 18, 2012
Spartans ready to play at any pace against SLU
COLUMBUS - Good teams go home during the NCAA Tournament when they are unable to adjust to the style of play dictated by their opponent.
Conference USA champion Memphis could not adjust to the halfcourt style of Saint Louis. That is why the Billikens are playing No. 1 seed Michigan State in the third round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday instead of Memphis.
Saint Louis will attempt to do the same thing to Michigan State.
"We're going to muck up the game like we did yesterday and play dirty basketball," said senior forward Brian Conklin an Atlantic 10 All-Conference pick. "It's going to be fun and we're excited."
Memphis was unable to get its running game going against Saint Louis. There is a good chance that the Spartans will find also transition baskets difficult against Saint Louis. But Michigan State will not come unglued if transition offense is unavailable.
"I don't think it will be that big of a challenge for us if they want to play dirty or come out and try to make it a physical game," said Spartan captain Draymond Green. "That's how we play all summer. That's what we built our program around. So that will be fine with us. The one thing I think which helps us out a lot is the schedule that we play all year. We've played teams who like to play tough, some teams who play dirtyish and some who classify us. It's not something that we haven't seen or can't adjust to it. That's why coaches play the schedule we play every year. I think it will be something that if we're not used to we can adjust to it real quick."
"There is no one type of team we would like to play against and there is no one style that we would like play against," added senior Austin Thornton. "We played against all of them the entire year and that is why coach Izzo makes the schedules that he does. It allows us to experience what it is like to play against different types of teams and different types of styles that we play."
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