MSU NOTEBOOK: Ray stays contrite

RAY

RAY

By Logan Lowery

Daily Journal

STARKVILLE – Rick Ray considers the incident between himself and Marshall Henderson of Ole Miss after Saturday’s game to be over with.

The Mississippi State head coach apologized to both Henderson and coach Andy Kennedy shortly after Ray barked profanity towards Henderson following the Rebels’ 82-63 victory in Oxford.

“Both of those guys were really gracious and appreciated the fact I reached out to them,” Ray said.

Ray went a step further and publically apologized via social media Sunday afternoon. He was contacted by Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive, but the league issued a statement that it wasn’t getting involved.

Ray opted to keep the details of that phone conversation a private matter during his press conference on Monday.

“One of the rules in our program is don’t do anything to embarrass yourself, the basketball program, the university or your family,” Ray said. “Obviously I did that. That’s something I’ve got to make sure I hold myself accountable to as well.”

The Bulldogs are preparing to host No. 3 Florida on Thursday.

Foul trouble

Sophomore center Gavin Ware has played just 28 combined minutes in the Bulldogs last two outings due to early foul trouble.

“It’s Gavin’s fault,” Ray said. “He’s not where he needs to be so he’s always late helping and when he helps late he fouls. If he was where he’s supposed to be and following his responsibilities he wouldn’t foul.”

With Ware on the bench for a majority of the last two games, State has been outrebounded by 16.

Ware said he will put an emphasis on getting better positioning this week.

“I’m going to try to be more of a defensive threat as far as moving my feet,” Ware said. “I’m trying to guard on the perimeter as well as zone sets and ball screen action. I’m working on small things like my footwork and keeping my hands off people.”

Tracking Bear

Forward De’Runnya Wilson appeared in his second game Saturday after walking onto the basketball team following his freshman season as a football wide receiver.

Wilson, nicknamed Bear, logged eight minutes of action against the Rebels recording his first collegiate statistics – four rebounds and an assist. The former Alabama Mr. Basketball made his debut at Alabama on Jan. 15 playing four minutes.

“This season I’m just trying to help the team and be a role player,” Wilson said. “I want to do the little things like rebound or whatever we need help at. I just want to be that person Coach Ray can call on to go out there and get the job done.”

Ray stated his short term plan for Wilson is to have him available as a fourth option in the post in the event of foul trouble until he fully grasps the offensive and defensive game plans.

logan.lowery@journalinc.com