Addressing reporters at Humphrey Coliseum on Monday, Moultrie questioned his teammates' desire and ability to pull Mississippi State out of its current slump and make a postseason run of any sort. The 6-foot-11 junior forward, who's in his first season playing for MSU after transferring from UTEP, was clearly frustrated with how this season is going.
After curtly answering a few questions about confidence and defense and the like, Moultrie said, "Things have definitely been down the wrong path lately. We've let it get too deep. It shouldn't have went this far. A five-game losing streak is unheard of at any level of basketball - especially when you've got all this talent."
Does this team have the collective inner drive to pull out of its five-game losing streak?
"Maybe not. Probably not," Moultrie said.
This season at one time was going pretty well for MSU, which was ranked as high as No. 15 in the country. But SEC play began ominously with a loss at Arkansas, and now the Bulldogs (19-10, 6-8) are reeling as the final week of the regular season begins.
State has gone from being an NCAA tournament lock to a team just clinging to the proverbial bubble. Moultrie doesn't see the Bulldogs making a run in the NCAAs if they get there.
He said that during such troubling times, he turns to his old high school coach and others who have supported him over the years. But he said he does not turn to any teammates.
"Everybody's got their own agendas," he said.
Senior point guard Dee Bost is the "head of the snake," as coach Rick Stansbury has called him. Perhaps it is he who should take the reins of this team and lead it in the right direction.
Sophomore Jalen Steele said it's Bost and Stansbury he turns to for leadership.
But Bost said, "Man, at this stage right now, man, I can't do nothing. You have to be self-motivated. If you're not self-motivated then you shouldn't be playing."
While Moultrie's words painted a portrait of a team becoming fractured, Stansbury said there is nothing amiss in the locker room.
"Ain't no problems there," he said.
When told of Moultrie's comments, though, the 14th-year head coach stressed a need for unity, which according to Moultrie is lacking.
"You win together and you lose together," Stansbury said. "It's easy when things don't go well to separate. The hard thing to do is to stay together and keep fighting. And we're still playing for a lot."
Up next is a trip to South Carolina (10-18, 2-12) on Wednesday, then MSU closes out the regular season at home Saturday versus Arkansas (18-11, 6-8). State must win these next two and then will probably have to do some damage in the SEC Tournament in order to earn an NCAA at-large bid.
This was once a team that many penciled in as a Sweet 16 squad that could possibly advance even further.
"I see how (teammates) come up here and say how bad they want to win, how bad they want to go to the Final Four," Moultrie said, "but everybody don't work as hard as they say, with as bad as they want to win."