Bulldogs back on the road

No. 10 Mississippi State is back on the road Thursday traveling to Georgia. MSU head coach Vic Schaefer previewed the battle of the Bulldogs prior to the team’s departure.

Opening Statement:

“We have to go to Athens today and play a veteran team starting four seniors and a junior. Their new coach, Coach Joni Crenshaw (Taylor) has been doing a tremendous job with them. They play extremely hard and they’ve had a lot of success early. Just like all of us that get into the SEC for the first time, it can be a bit of a challenge. They have a really good team, great guard play. You’re talking about two of the best guards in the league, (Tiaria) Griffin and (Shacobia) Barbee, and a great point-guard in (Majorie) Butler. They are all seniors. It’s hard enough going on the road playing in this league, but when you have to go play a veteran team like this one, it is going to be a tremendous challenge.”

On South Carolina game…

“We haven’t mentioned a thing about Sunday. My biggest game on the schedule right now is in Athens, Ga. on Thursday night. The kids know that and that’s just the way you do it. You have to take it one game at a time.”

On after Missouri road game loss…

“Hopefully it got their attention. I think they realize you can’t be distracted and you can’t allow yourself to lose your edge. I thought we lost our edge at Missouri and part of that was my fault. Sometimes when you play certain teams you have to go in and be careful about this, this and this because they do this, this, and this. You don’t want to get into any kind of bad situations, so I’ll take responsibilities for all of it. Bottom line of it is, I think we lost our edge at Missouri and that’s what I’m making sure we don’t lose for the rest of the year.”

On Breanna Richardson…

“Bre has been in our rotation since she got here and LaKaris (Salter) did a good job filling that roll while she was out, but I thought Bre played well the other night. Seven rebounds in 17 minutes, she had a really big block, she just, obviously, provides a really physical presence, a speed presence. She gets up and down the floor pretty well. It adds to our depth. She’s definitely someone we desperately need to have and we are fortunate to go 1-1 with her out and it’s good to have her back.”

On the team’s community connection…

“When you talk about building a program, it’s more than just wins and losses. It’s more than just who the coach is and who the staff is. In my opinion, I think our kids have earned the respect of anyone who has ever come in The Hump and watched us play. Its how they play the game, how they honor the game with their effort. I think parents want their daughters and their sons to see how hard our kids play, how they play the game. They want their kids, if they are going to be in athletics or be in sports, to play and be aggressive and do some of the things that our kids do. I think that’s the infectious part. I think the other thing that is a part of our program is our kids going into the stands after the game. You get to know our kids. They all have beautiful smiles; they all have great personalities. I look up there and I have Teaira McCowan up there and she usually has a kid under both arms. Now it’s not just kids wanting pictures with my players, its parents, moms and dads and students too. It’s a part of the program. That’s part of building a program and it’s not what we do, but how we do it. A lot of people don’t do that. Even on the road when we played at Florida, we had 15-20 fans there and after the game we went into the stands and saw the 15-20 fans from Florida that just so happened to be Mississippi State Bulldogs. It warms my heart after a ball game. It’s what I really enjoy most, to see our kids and how they interact and see their personalities and the relationships that they’ve built with our fan base.”

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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