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Notes from MSU women's basketball practice Wednesday

By Stephen Brooks          Posted: 01/16/13 8:17pm         

Sometimes there’s just too much content to stuff into the humble slot reserved for my story in the print edition of The State News.

After talking with MSU women’s basketball players and head coach Suzy Merchant after practice Wednesday in preparation for Thursday’s game against Iowa, this is one of those times.

Here’s a few interesting notes and quotes left on the cutting room floor.

Merchant on depth:
“You really can’t (worry about depth). I mean we are what we are. I think we’re managing it pretty good. And also, we’ve got some high-motor kids, some high-athletic kids. You look at the men’s team too, and (Keith) Appling plays a whole lot of minutes, Gary Harris plays a whole lot of minutes.”

Merchant on senior forward Courtney Schiffauer, the vocal leader of the Spartans:
“She’s (a) tough girl. She’s like the Bill Laimbeer of Michigan State basketball — and some people would take that as a compliment, some people would not. But that’s who she is for us, I mean she’s physical and tough and nasty. I think we feed off of her energy, you know, she’s got a little sizzle to her game.”

Junior guard Klarissa Bell on Schiffauer:
“Schiff is a beast down there. And so when I see her getting all feisty, then I’m going to start getting riled up. And then (Annalise Pickrel)’s going to get fired up and Becca (Mills’) going to start screaming and then (Jasmine Thomas) is going to get a steal — we just all feed off of each other. I think thats one thing that’s working well with us as a team.”

Bell on Taylor’s impact:
“Akyah is a hustler, man. She is diving on the floor, jumping up in the air, boxing out people, getting steals. She’s just the Energizer Bunny — she’s just go go go go go go go.”
“She can give Schiff some rest at (power forward) and that makes (Pickrel) not have to play the four, so then a guard can probably get a break. Then (Pickrel) wont have to play the four, so I won’t have to play the three, so (Thomas) doesn’t have to play the two and Kiana (Johnson) play the one. It just trickles down having another four being able to be in there makes a big difference.”

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