By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
– Looking back: After picking up a crucial win against Western Division foe Arkansas on Wednesday, 67-56, the Bulldogs turned around and had an epic collapse on Saturday at Auburn, seeing a 19-point lead evaporate in a 65-62 loss.
– Looking ahead: MSU is on the road again Tuesday with a 6 p.m. tip at Kentucky (17-7, 5-5). Then it’s back home Saturday against rival Ole Miss (16-9, 4-6) at 12:30 p.m.
– Who’s hot: Point guard Dee Bost has been the one constant on this team, and last week he averaged 20.0 points and 3.0 assists while shooting 57.7 percent from the field. However, he did commit six turnovers against Auburn.
– Who’s not: Ravern Johnson was still suspended for the Arkansas game but wasn’t missed. Then he came back for Auburn and scored only three points – on 1-of-6 shooting – in 19 minutes.
– RPI watch: After a big jump last week, MSU took a hit with the Auburn upset – the Tigers entered the game with an RPI rating of 284, worst in the SEC. The Bulldogs’ RPI rank is now 145, according to RealTimeRPI.com.
Looking ahead, Kentucky’s current RPI is 14, while Ole Miss is at 61.
– Bottom line: The Auburn loss is the kind that can rip the heart out of a team. Question is, did State have heart to begin with? It’s something Bost has questioned before, but even he was at a loss to explain what happened. It was just another episode in a season of wildly dramatic twists and turns.
– Brad Locke