Where’s the Heart?

I have an opinion offering in today’s Journal, and yeah, I go at MSU’s basketball team pretty hard. Because this is a team that while it has some really good parts, it’s lacking the most important component: A heart.

Dee Bost said as much following Saturday’s 75-57 loss to Alabama in the SEC opener. When faced with adversity, the Bulldogs shrank away from it. Bama switched from a zone defense in the first half to a man-to-man defense in the second half, and for some reason State couldn’t adjust.

Really? This is the same team that couldn’t adjust when Florida Atlantic switched from man to zone. So I’m not sure the problem is MSU’s inability to figure out defenses. It goes deeper than that. Maybe it’s poor coaching, but that seems too simplistic an answer. There’s just something missing with this team, something it had when Jarvis Varnado and Barry Stewart and Phil Turner were still around.

Coach Rick Stansbury and his players keep saying things will work out, but I don’t see it. Renardo Sidney needs to show more moxie on the offensive end. He’s told us that he’s “too dominant” on the block to step out and settle for jump shots, but he’s yet to show that.

So while sophomore forward Wendell Lewis is making nice progress, he’s not the full-time answer in the post. He’s a complementary player right now.

“He gave us good minutes, and that’s what you’ve got to have from him,” Stansbury said. “We can keep that up and get the other guy starting more productive, and that’s what you’ve got.”

Meanwhile, MSU has lost its outside touch, and that plus a weak post game equals a lot more losses.

There’s just been too much upheaval with this team. Romero Osby transferred to Oklahoma after last season. Turner basically wasn’t invited back. Then you had the fight in Hawaii between Sidney and Elgin Bailey, who transferred last week. Twany Beckham also transferred.

This MSU team is falling apart, and I don’t know if Stansbury can keep it together.

I’m thinking a little heart could go a long way in solving all these problems, but it might be too late.