Ready to run
Wisconsin drudgery behind, MSU embraces Florida test
Posted: Monday April 03, 2000 02:20 AM
By Josie Karp, CNNSI.com
INDIANAPOLIS -- Michigan State has been a symbol of versatility all season. In trying to win the national title, versatility is the one quality the Spartans will have to draw on most.
As slow as their semifinal win was over Wisconsin, that's how fast the final figures to be. So to a Florida team that left its four previous tournament opponents sucking wind, Michigan State on Sunday offered two words: "Race ya!"
"Playing Wisconsin, that's an ugly game," said Mateen Cleaves. "When you're playing the game, you kind of get frustrated because you want to get up and down. But hopefully we can get up and down and play our style of basketball against Florida."
"These guys want to run too," said coach Tom Izzo. "We don't want to take bad shots, but I think we want to run and take good shots. That style will be 180 degrees from what we went through yesterday, but I think these guys have been through it before."
"We also have guys who can get out in the open floor," said shooting guard Charlie Bell. "At least Morris [Peterson] and myself, we come from high schools with run-and-gun type styles. We all come from that type of pressing background, so its gonna be our type of game, and it's gonna be a little more fun than yesterday.
Izzo said he's not concerned about having enough bodies to match up with Florida's depth. But he is concerned about their ability to score.
In the past four games, the Spartans' reserves have totaled only 16 points.