By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
STARKVILLE – Dee Bost can talk a little smack about Oxford and Ole Miss because, frankly, he’s owned the place.
Mississippi State’s senior point guard is 3-0 at Tad Smith Coliseum, and he’ll try to make it four in a row tonight when the No. 18-ranked Bulldogs (15-3, 2-1 SEC) take on the Rebels (11-6, 1-2) in an 8 p.m. tip.
Bost took to Twitter on Tuesday to take a few jabs at Ole Miss, including this message: “We in Oxford tomorrow lol.”
He said it’s just part of the rivalry.
“Everybody talks trash, especially during the game,” Bost said. “It’ll be wild. I’m just starting it off early on Twitter.”
In his previous three games in Oxford, Bost has averaged 21 points, 6.3 assists and 4.0 rebounds. He’s shot 50 percent from the floor (18 of 36) and 81.5 percent from the free throw line (22 of 27).
He’s scored 25 points in each of the last two trips there. Why have Bost and the Bulldogs been so good in Oxford?
“I guess because everybody takes it personal. If we lose to them, we’re going to hear it for a long time,” Bost said. “I just seem to play my best up there, you know. For some reason, I tend to attack the basket than settling for jump shots. That’s what I’m going to keep doing.”
Bost and his backcourt mates should have an edge tonight. Ole Miss is inexperienced at the guard spots, with two freshmen – Jalen Kendrick and Jarvis Summers – expected to start.
The Bulldogs have Bost and sophomore Jalen Steele, plus good depth with senior Brian Bryant and lightning-quick freshman DeVille Smith.
Where the Rebels might be able to hold their own is on the blocks. State is solid there with Arnett Moultrie – the SEC’s leading rebounder – and Renardo Sidney.
Ole Miss counters with Reginald Buckner, Terrance Henry and Murphy Holloway.
“I think we have the best frontcourt in the SEC, let alone the country,” said MSU freshman guard Rodney Hood. “Defensively and offensively, we do a good job on other big men, and I think we’ll do good in this game.”
This is the first of back-to-back road games for State, which visits Vanderbilt on Saturday.
While head coach Rick Stansbury has said he puts no more emphasis on tonight’s game than on any other, Bost does.
It means a little more to him.
“You can lose three games in a row, but if you lose to Ole Miss – that game probably means more to our fans and our school. Playing Ole Miss, you always have to come to play because everybody is watching.”