As Michigan State prepares to begin postseason play in the Big Ten tournament in Chicago, last year’s star got a chance to talk about his impressions of the Spartans.
Rookie Draymond Green and the Golden State Warriors dispatched the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday and before the game, Green talked at length with Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News regarding his former team.
While an injured ankle limited Green during the game, here’s most of what he had to say about the current Spartans before he took the floor:
“I think they’ve been doing great. They’ve definitely figured it out. A lot of people counted them out because I left, because of who’s going to lead them, who’s going to do this, who’s going to do that? I said the entire time, there’s not going to be one guy — not giving myself any praise or anything like that — but there’s just not going to be one guy who’s going to, right now, be able to do what I did, because there’s not a guy with the same personality as me. But you have a lot of guys on that team who can collectively do what I did.”
On how far Michigan State can go:
“You just talked about us losing in the sweet 16 (last year). I know it wasn’t our normal run, what we expect but it was OK, it was decent. I think they have a chance to get to the Final Four. There’s not one team that we can’t match up with and beat. We played Indiana twice who everybody seems to think is the best team and we should’ve won the second game.”
On the makeup of the team:
“You have a Keith (Appling), who’s going to run and control the game. You have a guy, in B.J. (Branden Dawson), who has the toughness and is physical and is not afraid to say nothing to nobody. You just have all those different guys. You have (Derrick) Nix, with the experience, not afraid to say nothing to nobody. All those guys put it together and I knew they’d be OK. They’re definitely doing a great job, representing the school and the program very well, and I love what they’re doing, and just expecting them to make a run.”
On senior Derrick Nix:
“I’ve talked to Nix a few times. You have to let guys grow up. You can’t tell them everything. Some things you can tell them but they won’t know until they go through it. So you’re just telling them main things they may have to nip in the bud. I’ve talked to him a few times and he actually called me when he had a little problem. I told him what I would do. I can’t tell him, ‘This is what you do.’ As a leader you need to go about it your own way. I got advice from Mateen, Magic, Steve Smith, Jason Richardson, Travis Walton. At the end of the day, what’s gonna make your mark is you. Be who you are. And I think he’s done a great job of that.”