Bulldogs preview second round showdown

Fifth-seeded Mississippi State is set for a showdown against No. 4 seed Michigan State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Starkville for a shot at the Sweet 16. Bulldogs’ coach Vic Schaefer along with guards Dominique Dillingham, Victoria Vivians and Morgan William preview the match-up against the Spartans.

Vic Schaefer, Mississippi State Head Coach:

Opening Statement…

“Good afternoon. I am excited about tomorrow. It is another opportunity that we get to play. I have a great team. I appreciated our crowd yesterday. I thought we had a tremendous crowd. I think we are going to have a great college basketball environment for two great teams. We watched film last night and again this morning. We know we have a tremendous challenge in front of us in Michigan State. I think tomorrow the country is going to see two great teams battle. This should be a great day and a great ball game. We will have to do our part to make it a great game, and I expect that we will. I am excited for Starkville and for Mississippi State to have this opportunity.”

On Michigan State…

“They are a big, physical basketball team. They have tremendous athleticism and great guard play. I think you are going to see two seasoned teams. I think they have a little more experience than we do, but you are going to see two seasoned teams. These two teams have been to the wars and know what it is all about. They are not going to be intimidated tomorrow playing here. I have tremendous respect for their staff. Consistently, they are always in the top two or three in the Big Ten.”

On Michigan State’s fast break play…

“I am always worried about transition defense. I think they are really good in the open floor. You saw a little bit of it yesterday. I am concerned about pace of play. They scored 107 in a game. They are explosive in so many different ways. You can compare it in baseball to good pitching versus good hitting. There are a lot of philosophies about which one of those wins. We are going to try to have both; good offense and good defense.”

Victoria Vivians, Mississippi State Guard:

On Aerial Powers…

“I met Aerial [Powers] last year at USA try outs. She is a very nice person on and off the court. We ran and hugged when she got here, not knowing if we would play each other Sunday. She is very nice and she is a great person.”

On Dominique Dillingham and Morgan William…

“When Dominique [Dillingham] and Morgan [William] are playing great it makes the team play well. I am very confident in them. I am going to pass them the ball instead of shooting it when they are making it.”

Dominique Dillingham, Mississippi State Guard:

On Michigan State’s fast break offense…

“I do not think they have seen a defense as good as we are. We are defensive minded and I think if we play our game we will be fine.”

On preparing for Michigan State…

“I have not seen them play a team that denies the floor like we do. They are able to run their stuff a lot more easily. They have great guard play and great footwork. We are obviously worried about that. We are going to implement what we are going to work on in practice.”

On improving from their performance on Friday…

“It is definitely important. They watched us yesterday, and they are going to key in Victoria [Vivians]. One of us is going to have to step up. We won’t play as bad as we did the other day, obviously, but someone has to step up.

Morgan William, Mississippi State Guard:

On being in foul trouble Friday…

“It was frustrating but I knew Jazzmun [Holmes] could handle it. I still had to cheer my team on even though I wasn’t out there. It was good to see her do some good things out there.”

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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