We’re talking hoops today. MSU (1-4), after a tough time at the Maui Invitational, is back home tomorrow night to play Alcorn State, and we spoke with coach Rick Ray and point guard Trivante Bloodman this afternoon.
I’ve got some video of Ray right here.
I’ve got more highlights for you from Ray’s chat. Here they are.
• On trying to hold young guys accountable with low numbers: “Our guys are trying to do the right thing, but you’ve got guys out there who have never played college basketball before, and they’re going and making mistakes, and they need to be taken out and get corrected and then taken back in. Whether it’s from those guys being tired or unfamiliar with the situation or not knowing the scouting report, I just don’t have the opportunity to take those guys out at this point in time.”
• On the return of forward Colin Borchert, who was suspended three games: “It’s going to help from a numbers standpoint, too. It gives us another opportunity to sub somebody in, and obviously he’s a kid who can make shots for us. He’s a good passer, but the one thing that Colin’s struggled with is defensive rebounding as well, so he’s got to come in and help us in that category or we’ll be in the same spot.”
• On learning from the 0-3 trip to Maui: “The big thing is, are we going to learn from the experience out in Maui or not? Because guys got a chance to see where we measure up against guys who are going to be playing against in the SEC. If we don’t get better here before we got into SEC play or even before we go out to play Providence, it’s going to continue to be the same picture when we go out and play quality competition.”
• On freshman center Gavin Ware: “We showed them a lot of tape and things we want him to work on but I’m really pleased with Gavin’s progress. He hasn’t backed down from anybody. He’s a guy who wants the ball in the post and when he gets the ball in the post, attack the paint.”
• On recent signee Fallou Ndoye, a 6-foot-10 center: “Fallou was our number one target at that position. It was a long, drawn out recruiting process and it came to fruition and paid off for us. Really ecstatic, because we wanted somebody with a long, athletic body that was a little different than Gavin.”
• Ray said point guard signee I.J. Ready is “going to change the program. I think I.J. is a prototypical point guard. He’s gonna be a defensive pest on the other end as far as getting up and jamming the basketball the way I really wanna jam the basketball 94 feet.”
I’ve also got video of Bloodman.