There’s an awful lot to talk about as Mississippi State tries to bounce back from Saturday’s loss to Arkansas and preps for games against Tennessee and Alabama this week. We caught up with coach Rick Stansbury and a handful of players this afternoon at The Hump, and I’ve got plenty to share.
I’m not gonna dump it all on you right now, but I will give you a good bit of what Stansbury had to say. First, though, here’s a couple minutes’ worth of Rodney Hood video.
So, the Bulldogs didn’t hold practice yesterday because several coaches and team managers were ill. But a good many players still got in the gym to put up shots. Stansbury wasn’t surprised by that.
“No matter how hard or how long we go they guys always seem to stay after and put up some shots. Their work ethic has been really good,” he said.
MSU is coming off a very disappointing 98-88 loss to Arkansas. It was one of the worst defensive efforts State’s had under Stansbury, and that was a big topic of conversation today with players.
“I’m not going to panic on the Arkansas game,” Stansbury said. “When I look at it there were some offensive problems, but there were some defensive problems, too.”
Here are some more thoughts from Stansbury.
• He’s not worried about teams having a book on MSU as far as pressing: “I don’t think so at all. We’ve seen a lot of different presses in a lot of different ways. That’s different up there, and it sped us up. It is just different, and there is no way you can simulate it in practice.”
• On Arnett Moultrie‘s frustration against Arkansas, which led to a technical foul: “He can’t do that, he can’t get frustrated. He knows what happened on that play right there. It really wasn’t that play that caused it to happen, it was the play before that caused it to happen. And that’s what he can’t do, hey, he can’t do that.”
• Is there any correlation between freshman point guard DeVille Smith and how Dee Bost was as a freshman? “There’s totally no correlation. … DeVille’s biggest adjustment is the focus part of it. Dee’s was just learning how to play point guard, understanding you don’t have to shoot it every time to be a point guard.”
• Renardo Sidney didn’t start versus Arkansas. Will that be the case against Tennessee on Thursday? “We’ll see. We’ll see. … You can only judge so much on your gut feel, now. Sometimes you have to go and make a decision. Is it always right? I don’t know.”
• On Shaun Smith, who’s played just one game this year due to a hip injury: “It’s just up and down with him. He’ll get some stiffness. Just up and down with him.”
• On the team’s play since Christmas (1-2 record): “I don’t expect them to be happy. Because I’m not happy. I don’t expect them to be in a rah-rah mood. I’d be disappointed in them if they were.”