Howland set for first SEC Tournament

Mississippi State coach Ben Howland will coach in his first SEC Basketball Tournament Thursday night against sixth-seeded Georgia. Howland spoke about his team’s previous loss to UGA and how they are going to try and change the outcome this time around.

On last meeting with Georgia…

“We really played poorly and a lot of it had to do with them. If you watch that game over again we struggled to score big time. We attacked their zone very poorly. We played man to really drive us and make plays, but we did a poor job defensively to make plays.”

On going for a deep run…
“We’re trying to win one game right now. All were looking at is Thursday night.”

On momentum carrying over from the end of season…
“I think it can and should help teams that are playing well down the stretch. We have been playing better in the stretch, which we’ve been talking about. Hopefully we’ll play our best game, which we need to do, against Georgia who is fighting to get into the NCAA Tournament.”

On first game in SEC tournament…
“I’m excited. Post season is always fun. It’s always a great season and a great opportunity. I obviously haven’t coached yet in the SEC Tournament so this is a first for me and my staff.”

On senior success in SEC…
“It’s a whole new year. It’s a single game. I don’t think what has happened in the past, good or bad, effects anything to do with our preparation. We want to win the game badly and so do they.”

On Quinndary Weatherspoon being named all SEC freshman…
“You have to remember, I had never seen him play other than on film when I arrived here. So my expectations were formed when I first started working with him in June. I’m not surprised by it. A lot of it comes from his attitude and his work ethic. I’m happy for him and I’m excited to see how he’ll progress for us. I learned yesterday that he didn’t start playing organized basketball until he was in the 9th grade. To me it means his ceiling is higher because he started so late. There are so many areas that he can improve on and get better and I’m excited for that.”

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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