By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
MSU had a pair of heartbreaking home losses last week, first to Texas A&M in overtime (55-49) and then to LSU (69-68). The Bulldogs have lost six consecutive games, the last three at home.
MSU returns to the road, visiting No. 16 Ole Miss (17-4, 6-2) on Wednesday and then No. 4 Florida (18-2, 8-0) on Saturday. State lost to Florida at home on Jan. 26, 82-47.
Freshman center Gavin Ware has found an offensive groove after a slow start to SEC play. Ware scored 14 points in each of his last two games to go with 11 total rebounds. He’s made 12 of 19 field goals. For the year, Ware is averaging 8.9 points and 6.8 boards per game.
After a productive stretch, freshman guard Fred Thomas has cooled off. Last week he averaged just 5.0 points on 3-of-12 shooting, including 0 of 6 from 3-point range.
MSU dropped a few spots this week, with a rank of 232, lowest in the SEC. Its strength of schedule rank is 128. Looking ahead, Ole Miss is ranked 43rd in RPI, while Florida is third.
MSU lost two games it should have won. It held double-digit halftime leads in both, but turnovers and sloppiness hurt the Bulldogs in both games, and a lot of missed free throws doomed them against LSU. Now it looks as if this losing streak could last a while, because the schedule gets considerably tougher.