Written by Brett Holloway | 15 February 2011

Steele2The good news: MSU shot 52% in the 1st half. The bad news: UK shot 67% in the 2nd. MSU led by 10 with just 10 minutes to play before the Half, but the #22 Wildcats slowly chipped away at the Bulldogs' lead as the 1st period came to a close. To make things worse, State's lead was 5 with just seconds to play, until UK's Brandon Knight drove past half court looking to pass the ball to Terrence Jones for a buzzer beater, but was fouled as he left his feet. Knight was clearly trying to pass the ball, but due to his upward motion the referees ruled that Knight was in the act of shooting. After finding out the official ruling, MSU's Rick Stansbury rightfully contested thecall, but received a Technical Foul. If you do the math, that's 5 FT's for the Cats. Knight made 4 of the 5 from the stripe, and Calipari's young team went into the Half down 1 instead of 5. After the half, UK's perimeter men benefited from wide open shooting opportunities and strong press defense to work their way out in front. UK took the lead at 51-50, with 15:22 left, and would never look back. State fell to as much as 12 with 3 minutes left, but the Dawgs' scratching and clawing-that was at times impressive, was not enough in the long run. Here's the positives and negatives from the night, but it's weird though, my positives also made the negatives list...

Rick Stansbury...Believe or Not-Though many might blame his technical as the momentum swinging moment in the game, I can't blame him. For one, it was a terrible call. And two, he is sick of getting screwed by the officials in games against UK. It was the Stansbury of the past, the one that stood up for his players and signaled in set plays. Where has that been all year? Negatives: With all of that good that Stans contributed, I still feel he abandoned the inside game too early and didn't stress the fact enough-to not give the Wildcats any breathing room around the perimeter. We also blew an 11 point lead early on and a 5 point lead after the half, because Stans took his foot off the gas. Like I said yesterday, where are the set plays that cut into an aggressive defense like UK's, especially in pressure situations? Indecision led to numerous turnovers and a lost lead each time.

Jalen Steele's Play- If there's one bright spot besides the play of Dee Bost this season, it's the emergence of Jalen Steele. The kid is going to be special. 17 points off of 5-7 shooting from 3 pt Land. Negatives: The only aspects of his game that he needs to improve are: (1) Knowing his limits- Taking the ball inside vs bigger defenders does not work for him. (2) Defense- He has to do a better job of sticking with his man. He allowed too many open 3's, when he lost his man in motion. Otherwise, I'm just as excited about this kid, as I was when Bost arrived on campus.

Ravern Johnson's 21- If State needed a big 3, Ray responded. Steele started over Johnson, but upon his entrance into the game, Ray made his presence known with a 3-ball. 21 points, 7-7 from the FT line, 4 of 5 from 3, Ravern showed us why he is so important to our offense. Negatives: In 2 crucial situations, Ray was unable to field Dee Bosts' passes. Even though the passes were not crisp, they were in pressure situations where you have to be ready for anything. Ray also forced a few shots with his impatience, that could have been pivotal possessions. But, despite the closing minutes, Ray played solid.

Dee Bost- No doubt our most solid player. Dee hit some big shots and set the tone early, but...Negatives: Dee got outplayed by Freshman Doron Lamb. Lamb, who started in place of Miller, hit 7-8 shots and posted 20 points on the night. Lamb hit 3 daggers that kept State at arm's length. Dee got lost in ball screen situations, struggled to hand with Lamb's speed on the dribble, and on the offensive side of things, just made some poor shot choices. Dee needs to take the 22 footer instead of the 26 footer with the game on the line. He also had 5 turnovers. But, Dee did announce that he plans on coming back next season (as of yesterday), which is huge for us!

Sidney Disappears Again-After a strong start, Sid once again disappeared. Early on, Sid showed some aggressiveness down low and attacked the basket. Negatives: It didn't last long. Sid missed out on a perfect opportunity to shine on the big stage last night in Rupp. Not only did he disappear after that solid start, be he tried to re-insert himself in the game with terrible shot choices. I don't know what his infatuation is with the baseline. Every time he drives that direction, he forgets that he is 300lbs and has to walk a tight rope. I am also sick and tired of him RUNNING out of the way of a driving player. I've said it a thousand times here on the site, if the shooter has left his feet, it allows you to jump and make a play. If you jump before him or at the same time you are looking at a foul call. But, just let the guy pull up his shot before he gets to you, and then leave your feet and contest the shot. Sid has missed out on about 25 EASY blocks this season, because he is worried about drawing a foul. I'm sure that Varnado is at home shaking his head in disbelief. Rick needs to bring him in this summer to work with Sid. With all that said, I am glad to see the kid starting to rebound. He has around 30 the last 3 games combined.

Ravern Johnson- 21 pts 5 Rebs
Jalen Steel- 17 pts 2 Ast
Dee Bost-16 pts, 4 Ast, 3 Reb, 2 Stl
Renardo Sidney- 11 pts, 8 Reb

State did nothing to stop UK's top scorers: Knight- 24, Lamb-20, Jones- 17, Miller- 13

State host TSUN on Saturday at the Hump (12:30 tip)

Thoughts? Comments?

Do you think Steele is the future of MSU Basketball? I do.

In case you missed it yesterday, here's an article by former MSU QB Matt Wyatt. The article pretty much talks about how the NCAA chose to look past their own laws in the Cam Newton scandal. Link

no comments

Written by Brett Holloway | 14 February 2011

brandon_knight3Auburn 65, MSU 62
Saturday's game at Auburn, was the kind of game that can kill a season.

State led the Tigers by 12 at the Half, and would eventually push that lead to 19 with just 11 minutes to play. Auburn coach Tony Barbee, decided that he'd seen enough after Kodi Augustus slammed home what seemed at the time, as a game sealing dunk, and called a timeout. But, following Barbee's drawing board session, the Tigers were the ones who came out more focused and with a better game plan. 4 minutes later, Auburn had completed a 17-0 run. For State fans, there is nothing scarier than Rick Stansbury's coaching with a BIG lead, and I think we could all sense where this game was going as Auburn began to chip away. Long story short, the Tigers finished the game on a 23-6 run and completed their 2nd largest comeback victory in their school's history. MSU, who looked as if they were easily on their way to their 3rd win in a row and the same team who was identified by commentators as 'the team no one wants to play right now' (at the Half), awarded Auburn just their 2nd win in SEC play.  Anyway, as I always say, game stories are for newspaper writers...here's a fan's perspective of WHY we lost on Saturday.

Stansbury Was Out Coached/ Can't Hold a Big Lead- I know we haven't had leads to blow this season, but Saturday was the perfect example of Stansbury teams of the past. Rick's inability to put games away and step on the throat of his opponent has cost us 25+ win seasons, national prestige, and deep tourney runs. I do not want a coach who has the mentality that he can allow the opposition to catch up, as long as he 'thinks' he can win by 4 or 5. Stans has ALWAYS taken his foot off the gas. The fact is, State owned the ball game up until the 11 minute mark in the 2nd Half, but the 2nd Half coaching edge went to Auburn. The Dawgs missed some good looks from 3, but Barbee found ways to take away State's hot 3 point shooting from the 1st Half (State was 8-15 in the 1st Period, but were held to just 1-9 in the 2nd). Auburn defended the perimeter, which forced MSU into second guess taking a deeper shot from behind the arch. Barbee also made it difficult for the Bulldogs to get the ball down low and create. Following that timeout at the 11 minute mark, Barbee completely changed how his Tigers would attack the Dawgs offensively, calling for his players to cut down on 3 pt attempts and focus on attacking the paint. Auburn continually drove into the paint and took advantage of the officials overly-sympathetic whistles. I can't blame him. Now, what did Stans do during this time? On offense, he ran ZERO set plays, which is what you need to do when facing an already 'strong' defensive team, who is stepping their play up during the final stretch. We passed the ball around the perimeter, with none of the passers setting their feet and looking to shoot. And, after the perimeter guys saw that Sidney was not working to get the ball in his hands, the 25 second game of hot potato resulted in a poor shot choice. Defensively Stans did nothing to keep Auburn from driving the paint, or to put distance between the opposition and the basket. Rick didn't even stand up for our players on poor calls, which allowed the officials to play to the home crowd and take the game into their own hands. We all know you can't control the officials, but you can control how you plan to stop the opposition and how you plan to score. I didn't see that Saturday, and I hardly ever do. I'm glad to see leaders on our team such as Dee Bost, stand up and take the blame, but I'd much rather see Stansbury step in for once and admit his faults in the loss. 

SEC Officiating is TERRIBLE- I know that home teams typically get the nod when it comes down to a tight call, but this year it's just different. Anyone who watched the Bama and Vandy game last week, or State and Auburn on Saturday, would have easily seen just how bad the refs are. Never before have I seen refs taking so much pride in awarding the home team with calls that result in "and one" situations. If you took the logos off the court and the lettering from the jerseys, it would be hard to distinguish whether or not you were watching NCAA or NBA basketball. I know Renardo Sidney has a terrible relationship with the zebras, but his final 2 fouls were ridiculous and so were Kodi Augustus'. Possibly playing some of the most solid D they have played all season-in the final minutes, both were whistled for blocking fouls that clearly should have been no-calls. Don't even get me started on the Benock charging call. This batch of officials just can't wait til a critical basket comes up and they get to dance around with their hand signals and blow their whistle to the applause of the home fans. Sad...just sad. But, as I mentioned earlier, where is Stansbury?!? Stand up for your team! Get a technical! Let your team see that you are in this fight with them. In the final 11 minutes that included the Tigers' comeback, State was whistled 9 times to Auburn's 1. Sounds like the UK game last season. The officiating was so bad, that I don't even blame Augustus for his technical. On 2 previous possessions, Augustus' man flopped and drew charging fouls, but on the 3rd attempt the Tiger didn't draw the call from the refs. As Kodi's shot cleared the bottom of the net, he had some words for the Auburn player who continued to flop and cost him 2 bad calls. 

Your thoughts?

MSU Basketball Needs a Dan Mullen
How long will Scott Stricklin choose to settle for mediocrity? We need a coach who can revive the program and spark a renewed interest. Just look at what Mullen has done for the Football program. His passion, his energy, and his on field product is something the fans believe in and get behind. Stansbury can barely pack the Hump without a free T-Shirt gimmick. I'm sick of the same old excuses from State fans who want Stans to stay for as long as he likes. I'm not greedy, I'm just unhappy with mediocrity. I'm unhappy with underachieving with the most talented team in the SEC West on a yearly basis. I want a coach who I don't have to question whether or not he has prepared his team for an opponent,  who's going to get everything out of his roster, who sends in the right play, and even in a loss-has shown the effort that's worthy of a respectful applause. Is that too much to ask?

Agree or disagree?

Dee Bost, who scored 22 against Auburn on Saturday, made it clear that the Bulldogs have to put the tough loss at Auburn behind them. John Calipari's young Wildcats have struggled on the road, but are as strong as any team in the country at home. Home is the historic Rupp Arena, where MSU won the last time the Dawgs visited Lexington. But it's also the place where State has never won back to back games-in the series. Calipari has continued to win with the same methods he used at Memphis, where he brought in the nation's top high school talent that quickly leaves for the NBA. Even though this team lacks the W's that last year's team brought UK, they might be just as talented from top to bottom. No longer is it the 2 man show of Cousins and Wall, but now it's Lamb, Knight, Jones, Miller, and Liggins. Here's a look at their season averages:

Terrence Jones- 17 ppg, 9 Reb, 2 Blk
Brandon Knight- 17 ppg, 4 Reb, 3 Ast, 41% from 3
Doron Lamb- 13 ppg, 2 Ast, 47% from 3
Darius Miller- 9 ppg, 4 Reb, 43% from 3
DeAndre Liggins- 8 ppg, 3 Reb, 2 Ast, 36% from 3

UK is favored by 20 tonight, and to me it's a debatable line. In UK's corner, they rank 26th in rebounding, 30th in scoring, and are undefeated at home. State has won just twice on the road this season and that's not including the 12,000 mile road trip from H-E- Double Hockey Sticks. State is 207th in ppg and 111th in total rebounding, which might have factored into the odds makers' predictions. The only common ground in this game, is the fact that UK and MSU are both 5-5 in SEC play. 

-State is 5-43 all time in Lexington
-MSU is 1-9 vs ranked UK teams
-Stans is 17-11 vs the East in the past 4 seasons
-Stans is 20-50 vs ranked teams
-Per Gregg Ellis

Keys-State must take advantage of Sidney's size vs that of Jones. Continued consistent play from Bost is essential. Sid must look for open shooters when the double team is drawn. Johnson and Benock must be prepared for and knock down open shots. Calipari's teams are disciplined defensively, and State must make smart decisions when it comes to pulling up for a jumper or leaving their feet while driving to the lane. Dawg defenders must work the defensive perimeter and not allow Knight, Lamb, Miller, and Liggins to shoot open 3's. Sidney and Augustus must take away Jones' presence in the paint early on.

*All in all, this is the kind of game that Stansbury wins in order to tug at your heart strings a little. But, if we don't bring it, this will be our worst loss of the season.

What does this game mean for MSU, or is it too late to even matter? Keep in mind that State is still a game up in the chase for the #2 Seed in the West.

Mark Richt: The SEC's Classiest Coach
Many of yall are quite aware of the Bulldog Coach's testimony and how he carries himself. I myself, found out first hand that Coach Richt is the real deal. A friend of mine in Seminary here in Memphis, who had struggled with depression and cases of suicide attempts, reached a point in which he almost quit school and headed back home to Georgia. I knew he was a huge UGA fan, because his apt looks like my man cave, but with UGA memorabillia. I called Richt's office, asked for a personalized autograph for my friend, and explained the situation to Richt's secretary. A week later, my friend received a personalized, page long letter addressing the guy's situation, and an autographed picture. Long story short, the guy is set to graduate this fall. Check out Richt's most recent gesture here. Link

no comments

Written by Brett Holloway | 09 February 2011

SadWith the exception of Alabama, MSU is not struggling with any of their SEC West brethren. Just ask Arkansas. State topped the Hogs 67-56, to improve to 13-10 (5-4) on the season. Outside of the 2 whippings by the hands of the Tide, State is a strong 4-0 in divisional play. When the Bulldogs face off with Auburn this Saturday, they'll be riding their 2nd winning streak of the season- in SEC play (first streak consisted of wins @Ole Miss and  against Auburn). Earlier in the week, Riley Benock brought attention to just how important it is to continue to fight and win the 2nd place spot in the West, which could help out a team's chances such as MSU's-in winning the SEC Tourney. A tourney banner would grant State an automatic invitation to the Big Dance come March. Though many such as myself, have all but written off this season and all the embarrassment it has brought, the Dawgs could still make a run. Stansbury's teams of the past, have a niche for under-acheiving during most of the regular season, only to play to their potential in the latter half. Anyway, it's going to take a heck of a lot more wins to change my mind about this team's odds, but I have to give them credit for winning 2 straight without starter Ravern Johnson (Indefinitely Suspended). I think the perfect gauge for this season, awaits State in Lexington next Tuesday night.

I did not see this one, thanks to the fact that this one was only on ESPN3 (for me), so this will not include my usual game breakdown and analysis, since I did not have a visual on what unfolded. But, here's some things I'm wondering about:

(1) Is Sid Buying in to the TEAM Concept?- I know, I know, it's been 2 games. But in those 2 games, Sid has put up 28 pts, 21 Rebs, and 2 Blk. The funny thing is, the kid is so talented, that he could give us 75% a night and dominate. With his height and frame, all he has to do to play average Defense is to get his hands up, move his feet, and use his body. That's all we need him to do on D and that's what he seems to be doing (NOW). I also like the fact that he is taking fewer shots, which means he is trying to be, key word 'trying' to be...less selfish.

(2) Brian Bryant, Better When Not Handling the Ball?- The last 2 games, Brian Bryant has stepped up and shown his ability to create and score. I've been very critical of Bryant's lack of ball-handling skills, but a lot of that has to with Stans relying on BB for that role. Bryant has the ability to score and create, but needs to be freed up from his reserve PG duties. Get the ball down court for him, then work the ball around to him when he is in. Bryant can shoot the ball and I'd like to see him become more of a focus in our Offensewhen he gives Bost a breather. The fact is, our Offense is extremely simple to run and always looks for the open perimeter man, or Sid when he's guarded one on one.

(3) Kodi Must Protect the Basketball-I really like Augustus. I've stood up for him in the past when others have not, but one thing has never changed with Kodi, and that's turnovers. He had '8' last night. Butterfingers, lack of focus, second-guessing himself on passes, you name it, he can't protect the basketball. He has turned the ball over 66 times this season alone. But, Kodi always seems to find a way to contribute. 4-4 from the FT line, 2 Blks, 1 Stl, 9 Rebs, and 2 Asst. Now, if we can just teach him to settle down and not put him in situations where he has to make too many decisions with the ball.

(4) Wendell Lewis' Where Art Thou?- Last night, Lewis had 8 pts, 6 Rebs, and 1 Blk in just 15 minutes of play. The thing is though, he has played major minutes this season and not come away with those numbers. It's time to set the kid up with chances to score, so that he is ready to take the reigns next season. Sid will more than likely be gone, so expecting Lewis to go from a garbage (put-back) points kind of guy to a scorer is an unfair expectation for the youngster. The fact that he doesn't get more looks, is a pure example of the fact that Stans has done nothing to improve the kid's game and prepare him for the bigger stage. Right now, his job is to get tough boards and make the put-back. Dig into this kid's physicality Rick!

Random Notes
-Bost becomes 33rd MSU player with 1,000+ points
-State had a 23-6 run during a 7 min stretch in the 2nd Half.
-State dominated Arkansas 41-28 in Rebounding. What?!?
-State shot 46%, as compared the Hogs' 33%
-Benock, even though he was not expected to play, pitched in 4 pts, 3 Stls, and 3 Rebs in 22 min of play.

TSUN's New Billboards- Hurting More than Helping?
To me, nothing says 'identity crisis' like these signs. They were put up by the Col. Reb Foundation, in order to support the survival of the school's beloved mascot, while trying to kill the possibility of a Black Bear mascot (We can only HOPE). To me, this only hurts TSUN. State and Mullen have signs that promote state 'dominance', while the Rebs, or Bears, seem more concerned with 'defeating' an internal mascot issue. Anyway, I just think it hurts the school, more than it helps it. I myself am a Southerner and dang proud to be one, but this is just another area that screams how 'delicate' of a situation TSUN is in right now. Besides good recruiting, there's not a lot going good for the University of Mississippi right now.

Recruiting Rumors Surrounding Tobias Singleton
Word is, that an Ole Miss Booster accompanied Singleton on his recruiting visit to UCLA. Conflict of interest? Yep. Guess we'll see how that unfolds.

Thoughts on the win vs Arkansas, TSUN's Billboards, and Singleton rumors?

no comments

Written by Brett Holloway | 07 February 2011

relfWell guys, with Basketball going the way it has thus far, and with Baseball season still a few weeks off, I couldn't help but to still find myself thinking about MSU Football. Yesterday's thought process raised an interesting question in my mind, and though it sparked my own intrigue, it's sure to face a variety of opinionated responses and possible laughter from opposing fans. That question was this:

Could MSU and Dan Mullen, find their way to Atlanta next season?

Trust me, I wish I could hear all of your initial responses and internal reactions-when you completed reading that question. For those who are laughing, let's really take a look at 2011, and see how it could possibly shake out. Here's a foe-by-foe look at this upcoming season.

Memphis- W  The Tigers are terrible and the town is a huge alumni base and in easy driving range for Bulldog fans. State will paint Memphis Maroon, on their way to crushing Memphis for the second season in a row.

@ Auburn- ? 
But, NO Cam Newton, Darvin Adams, or Nick Fairley. A fresh and inexperienced QB, and an absent game changer on D, should make for an interesting game. Plus, how much bad blood will brewing before this one? Auburn will win 7 or 8 next season.

LSU- ?
Thursday night game, Davis Wade will be rocking. State will be catching LSU at the beginning of the season. Jordan Jefferson is back, but No Kelvin Shepard, Patrick Peterson, Terrance Tolliver, or Micheal Riddley. Many are saying that LSU is going to be the Preseason #1. Just imagine the atmosphere that a game of that magnitude will create. Not to mention, what it could do for MSU's ranking and national attention.

La Tech- W

@ UGA-
State won last season in Starkville, but UGA will be better. Still, not a stretch to win in Athens. Btw, AJ Green Akeem Dent, Kris Durham, and Darryl Gamble are gone.

@ UAB- W 
The Blazers gave State a run for their money in 2010, and a Tommy West Defense will only make UAB better. But, yet another road game close to home, should give the Dawgs a slight home field feel. Plus, State knows not to overlook them now.

The Gamecocks are as schizophrenic as anyone in college football. Who knows 'who' will show up. Advantage MSU, this one is in Starkville. WR Tori Gurley is leaving early for the NFL.

@ UK- W
State won in Lexington in 2009, with just a 5 win team. Another Cat and Dawg fight, as always. Derrick Locke and Randall Cobb are gone, which should deal the UK Offense a major blow. Not to mention, UK has and will continue to struggle on Defense.


Bama- ?
NO McElroy, Juilo Jones, Mark Ingram, but still the Tide will be loaded. Still, Starkville gives State a better chance than T-Town.

@ Ark- ?
Little Rock hasn't been friendly to State, but anything can happen. Ryan Mallet and DJ Williams are gone, but the Hogs return pretty much everyone.

3 in a row. Mullen will not lose to the Bears.

So to recap, this year is what I call State's beneficial rotation year, in which it gets Bama, LSU, and TSUNat home. Though the foe isn't any different, the SEC road is still tough for teams visiting Starkville. Mullen was 5-1 last season at home and has proven in his first 2 seasons that he is indeed engraining a 'road warrior' mentality in the Bulldogs.

One other thing you have to think about, is that the SEC is going to experience the most 'pairity' it's seen in over 5 years. The West's winner, could be a 2 or three loss team in Conference play. This will truly be a season in which the SEC beats up on each other. Bama, Auburn, and Arkansas will all have a different look in the West, but the East should keep their identity intact from last season, with the exception of a new look Gator team. In my opinion, the West will shake out like the East did last season. No undefeated teams in the SEC next season. In fact, at a minimum, all SEC teams will have 2 losses.

Bulldog Basketball: Stansbury & Johnson/ Andy Katz Weighs In
I hope you guys didn't mind me not writing up a game rewind on the LSU matchup. A weekend of travel and a Sunday night spent watching the Super Bowl cut into my writing time. But, a win over the SEC's worst team is nothing to waste time on. On the other hand, State has a competitive Arkansas squad coming to town tomorrow night. The Hogs (14-8, 4-5) took down Vandy last week, only to fall @ UGA by 1, and the @ TSUN by 9.

As it turns out, the Rick Stansbury and Ravern Johnson saga is an on-going matter. Stans released that after Johnson's one game suspension was made public, the Bulldog player pretty much "disappeared."  On Monday, the two met to talk things over and Stans had this to say:  “Actions speak louder than words, so we’ll see. He seemed to be very remorseful for things, but, again, there’s accountability if you don’t do things right.” Johnson was allowed to practice last night and will play when 'he' is ready according to Rick. “He’ll make the decision, if and when he ever plays."  Many such as myself, can't understand how Ray got the hook, but Sid didn't. Sidney not only re-tweeted Ray's status, but added negative comments towards fans just like Johnson did. ESPN's Andy Katz shared his thoughts about the issue:
       [Sidney should be fortunate that any fans are still in his corner after two suspensions, an embarrassing nationally televised fight in which he literally could have put some innocent fan in the hospital with his wild swings, and this latest debacle. Sidney played in a win over LSU on Saturday. He at times looked dominating inside, scoring 16 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in 31 minutes in the 58-57 win. Great. But if Johnson didn’t play, why exactly did Sidney? Stansbury decision was worse than the one that reinstating Sidney after the fight. If Johnson was out of line for tweeting critical comments, then so was Sidney. The double-standard here lessens Stansbury’s credibility with the fan base, the rest of his colleagues in the league, and one would think the players in the locker room. Stansbury has had a tremendous run at Mississippi State, especially given the limitations of the school. But this wasn’t one of his finest hours. This season can’t end soon enough for the Bulldogs.]- Andy Katz

Anyway, your thoughts on State and Mullen possibly winning the SEC West in 2011?

Did Stans handle the Johnson situation poorly? Should Sid have been suspended as well? I completely agree with Katz...

no comments

Written by Brett Holloway | 02 February 2011

mstateI don't know if you saw Dan Mullen's presser yesterday, but it was yet another moment that you could take pride in knowing that-that was the Head Coach of 'your' university behind the podium. Mullen addressed what many felt was a signing class that left something to be desired, as a class that helped fill the needs of his Bulldog team. Here's some of the high points, with the topics in Bold:

As far as the decommitted recruits (ex. Johnson, Whitehead, Brassell, and Singleton):  “I guess a commitment in my mind, and maybe the media’s mind, is very different. A commitment in my mind is someone coming to Mississippi State and not taking a visit. If you’re visiting other places, I never considered you committed in the first place...I view it as a guy that’s committed is someone that is coming to Mississippi State, that’s where I’m going, I’m not taking any other visits, that’s where I want to be at school, hold my spot for you. If they’re taking visit, I don’t really count them.”

What's the right word for a 'soft verbal'?:  “A reservation? Right? I mean, if you make a reservation to a restaurant they don’t hold you to getting there, you know."

What did Mullen felt he got, talent wise?:  "As I view it, the two top safeties, the top three DBs or top four in the state if you talk to the coaches were Kendrick Market one, Dee Arrington two, Zach Jackson three, and Justin Cox four. That’s how I viewed it.”

How he grades a recruit:  “I listen to our coaching staffs and our needs, and where we think we are. Are there more players we want? Sure. It’s hard. I have to meet with kids sometimes and I wish we had more scholarships to give because there are a lot more kids I’d like to give scholarships to. It just becomes that tricky balancing of need and position that you fill those needs.”

Mullen on NOT Grey-Shirting players:  "You hear all this talk of grayshirting and of all the people oversigning. That’s not our program. We have a distinct plan in what we do for young men. When you hear about how unethical some of those things are, you know, it’s hard for me to tell our guys we’re going to be a man of our word and then I’m not a man of my word during the recruiting process of these young men. That’s not the type of program we are. For us, that’s how we looked at it.”

Speed in this class:  “When you look at a Justin Cox, at camp…lightning fast. Really, really fast. Any player that plays quarterback and leads his team to two state championships is a pretty good football player. We had him in camp, he ran great times for us. Josh Robinson the same way, he ran one of the fastest times we had at any of our camps this year, Josh did as a pretty stout running back. Derek Milton came in in the same way. So I think we’ve added some speed at those skill positions. And Darius Slay is a guy we recruited a couple of year s ago, a very dynamic player in the return game, played a lot in the secondary this year; you don’t get to see him to a lot because I think people stayed away from him up at ICC this year."

TSUN finished in the Top 25, your thoughts on that?:  “Good. I thought we did pretty well, too. I guess we’ll find out next Thanksgiving. Just like the last two Thanksgivings.”

My Thoughts
(1)We've said it before here on the site, and I have to believe that Mullen does indeed have an eye for talent. Like Mullen said, throw the internet recruiting sites out the window, and give me what coaches around the state have to say about certain players. I believe that Mullen signed some guys that are going to have a strong impact on the program in the future. Guys that are strong teammates, who make those around them better, and those that have leadership qualities.
(2) Mullen shared his thoughts on the issue, I'm glad that we do not practice grey-shirting players, and feel that-that method is a poor way to handle relationships with kids and their futures. I'm pretty sure that will earn Mullen praise in recruits' living rooms across the south, when parents can bank on the fact that their child is being taken care of. Like Mullen said, if a kid gives us their word, we must give them the same from our side.
(3) I really like what Buzzard calls Mullen's- line in the sand mentality. You are either for us or against us. The one thing that makes fans' and coaches' stomachs turn is a committed player who continues to take visits. Either wait til the end to commit and sign, or sign early and stay committed. The perfect way for a kid to get the media's attention off of himself is to commit to your favorite school, rather than commiting and then continuing to milk the process til the very end. Of course, those that want all the attention do the exact opposite. Anyway, I don't want any kid who's not excited or sure about coming to MSU-to actually come (Montrell Conner). Like Herbstriet said on tv yesterday, so many of these kids need to put their selfishness aside and play for the name on the front of the jersey, not the back. College is not the NFL, where you worry about yourselves, but the team as a whole. Something tells me that Auburn and TSUN better watch out, because some of their signees did this.
(4) Finally, I love Mullen's swagger. Just like I mentioned earlier this week, Mullen will decide things on the field, which is the only place where you can earn a victory in football. "I guess we’ll find out next Thanksgiving. Just like the last two Thanksgivings.”

Bama Pounds MSU AGAIN
Well, there's no doubt who the best team is in the West-if not the SEC as a whole. Not UT, not UF, not Vandy...but Bama. Any time you play blue-collar, physical, unselfish basketball, you are going to win almost every time out. Bama beat State by 18 earlier in the year in Starkville, and capped off their season sweep by a margin of 14 last night. This one wasn't  on tv, so I can't critique the game like I usually do. Looks to me like it came down to fundamentals, and our inability to rebound, play D, and protect the basketball. When is the last time State was 11-10 (3-4 SEC)? I don't know and don't care, I just want a new coach by this time next season. Say...Anthony Grant? I say we hire young Pitino off of Donovan's staff at UF.

Did you see the game? Thoughts?

Your thoughts on Mullen's comments about the signing class?

no comments

Written by Brett Holloway | 02 February 2011

PJNational Signing Day 2011 is here! That means it's time to welcome aboard some new Bulldogs. Below, I've listed 23 solid MSU commitments, who have already given their word to Dan Mullen (CJ Johnson not included). Before we get to that list, that includes some of my thoughts on a few of the players, here's a look at a few players that you should keep an eye on throughout the day, in order to see where these players who these players will sign with.

(1) Kevin McReynolds #24 DT 3 Star- still uncommitted, but has offers from Oregon, K-State, Syracuse, etc. But, was rumored to have been talking smack to an Auburn recruit, about beating the Tigers. In case you haven't figured it out yet, no one except MSU is playing Auburn next year. Scout's Steve Robertson, said MSU's chances are favorable.
(2) Leon Mackey3 Star Juco DE- it is down to UT and MSU.
(3) Jermaine Whitehead 4 Star #24 CB- Still undecided, but MSU is still a part of his decision making process. Not coming in my opinion.

Bulldog Recruits by Position (#= Position Rank)

3 Star #70 Dak Prescott- My fellow bloguin writer Kris from the LSU site, has raved about this kid from day one. He is a slimmer version of Chris Relf, with a better arm and a more finesse running style. Don't get me wrong, Dak can take a beating, but is more of a Vince Young type runner than the rough, hard-nosed style of Relf. Very athletic and a natural play maker. Keep in mind, Patterson won the top award at MSU's Big Dawg Camp last year.

3 Star Derrick Milton- Sleeper! Spent his Senior year at Hargrave Military Academy to improve his academics. Milton is 5-11 and weighs just over 200 lbs, and has the tools to be a quality back. Quick feet, patient behind blockers, explosive even on weak side runs, quick to the edge, and has enough speed to pull away in the open.
2 Star #152 Shaq Perry
3 Star  #79 Josh Robinson- This kid is also a major sleeper in my opinion. Started the season unranked at his position. He's quick to the outside, then he hits the burners. He will torch you on the sideline, looks for contact and drives through. In my opinion, he has a lot of Dicenzo Miller in him, but with more break away speed. Could be a household MSU name.
3 Star #53 Devon Scott

4 Star #30 Joe Morrow- No explanation needed. A Stud.
3 Star #188 Devin Fossleman- Even though he doesn't carry Morrow's resume' around, the kid is sure handed and is not afraid to catch the football in traffic. Only 5-9, Fossleman reminds me of ex-Bulldog Larry Huntington, because of his feet and moves in one on one situations. He may not break loose for a 70 yarder, but his feet will get you a first down when you need it.

3 Star #44 Daniel Knox- Knox will move to OT more than likely. Came from a run-heavy offense in high school. Great blocker, plays to the whistle, seals the edge, and redirects defenders with his strength. Not a guy that's fun to face off with for 4 Qtrs.
3 Star #69 Rufus Warren- Warren was used in more of an outside WR role in high school. Caught 17 passes for 243 yds. His height and frame could be a valuable asset across the middle.

2 Star JUCO Joey Trapp
2 Star #147 Justin Malone
3 Star #35 James Maiden
3 Star #47 Nick Redman- Great feet, physical, and hard working. Should be able to use his 6-5 300lb frame to drive defenders away from ball carriers, which will only aid MSU's rushing attack in the future. Like what I've seen and heard from this kid. Just needs to smooth out his rough edges, keep a level head, learn his position rather than relying on his natural strength.

3 Star #43 PJ Jones- Quite possibly State's biggest pick up on D. PJ has a quick first step, sheds blockers with ease, and finds a way to disrupt any play that requires time to develop. In the tackle spot, he reminds you a lot of Nick Fairley and his skill set. When blocked low, he has the athleticism and control to regain his footing and attack the play. From the DE position, his quickness around the edge is a mismatch for many. It's easy to see why 6 SEC teams were after him.

3 Star #127 John Harris
2 Star #171 Preston Smith

2 Star Taveze Calhoun
2 Star #148 Kendrick Market- I really like the fact that Market is either always around the ball or finds a way to get involved in a play. He is a great low tackler, has the ability to meet a bigger player head on-without giving up too much ground.
4 Star #9 Darion Arrington- I'm not quite ready to rule out the fact that Dee won't help out on Offense while at State. 1,200 yds rushing, almost 300 in receiving yds, this kid can fly. On the Defensive side, he does a good job from the Safety position. Attacks plays before they become big gainers, has a nose for how the play will unfold, and can deliver a decent hit. He finished with over 100 tackles, 4 INTs, and forced 4 fumbles.
3 Star #71 Zachary Jackson

3 Star JUCO Darius Slay
3 Star #95 Justin Cox

Not a bad class, especially when you place these recruits beside the other players at their respective positions. Just think of Joe Morrow's company: Bumphis, Heavens, Carr, Clark, Smith, Lewis, and Johnson. Or PJ Jones with Cox, Boyd, Fergeson, McCardell, Stigers, and Jones. Dee Arrington with Whitley, Bonner, Banks, and Broomfield. And finally, Derrick Milton, Devon Scott, and Josh Robinson with Ballard, Perkins, and Griffin. These players will fill areas of need one day, and they are going to have some excellent players to make them better and teach them the ropes.

Any thoughts on any of these commits that I haven't talked about? I just wanted to highlight a few that I really liked and feel really good about. I'm sure yall have your own opinions.

Would picking up McReynolds and Mackey change your feelings about this class to an extent?

Any shot Whitehead signs with MSU today?

MSU vs Bama Tonight in T-Town @ 7pm
MSU has to play unselfish basketball and strong defense, if they expect to win tonight in Tuscaloosa. Bama beat State earlier this season by 18 in Starkville, so tonight will be all to familiar, tough game with the Tide in T-Town. Bama is 1st in the West with a 5-1 mark, fresh off a 70-46 win over LSU. State on the other hand, will be trying to build off of their 71-64 win over UF this past weekend.

Can State win in Tuscaloosa?

Go Dawgs!

no comments

Written by Brett Holloway | 31 January 2011

mullen2Well guys, National Signing Day is 24 hours away.

I still feel that there is some panic amongst the Bulldog Family, so I feel that I must once again do my best to calm everyone.

This will be my final viewpoint on the whole recruiting battle. After today, I'm finished talking about it and will only bring this up again, when it all comes to pass. So...

In what started out as a stellar 2011 class full of top-notch commitments for MSU, it appears that it's going to end with Dan Mullen and Bulldog fans having witnessed some of that star studded talent de-commit and choose other schools such as TSUN and Vandy. Former MSU recruits CJ Johnson, Nick Brassell, Tobias Singleton, Jermaine Whitehead, and Baron Dixon are the bulk of that talent, none ranking lower than a 3 Star. Rumors have flown about the recruiting or should I say 'mud slinging' strategies used by Houston Nutt in order to pull the state's best recruits to Oxford. Nutt is doing his best to promise recruits a bright future and all the praise the grove could offer, as compared to what he is forecasting as a down trodden and probation clouded Starkville, due to the Cam Newton saga. What we have here, is a man who is desperate to save his job. After stomping MSU 45-0 in 2008, Nutt rolled over Sylvester Croom's Bulldog squad on the way to the Cotton Bowl. A few weeks later, Croom was out the door, the Maroon Nation was left in a state of confusion.

But, from the very dust of the Egg Bowl's stomping- rose Nutt's worst nightmare. Since his first day on the job, Dan Mullen has been a thorn in Nutt's side. Nutt has had no answer for Mullen- on or off the field. To put it simply, whether verbally or between the lines, Mullen has owned Nutt and Ole Miss. Dan has even claimed that a MSU team coached by himself, will never lose to TSUN, and I believe him. While dominating the University of Mississippi is a drop in the bucket compared to what I hope MSU can accomplish in the long run, it's a start. You see, you have to establish yourself as the number one school in a given state before you move on to topping your division, your conference, and eventually competing on the national level. Mullen appears to have gained the upper ground in everything but recruiting, when it comes to the rivalry. But, as I mentioned just the other day, there is a big difference in reeling in the top recruits and actually being able to coach them.

So, I ask you once again Bulldog fans to rest easy. I'm not trying to minimize this current, significant loss in talent, but just be patient and let it all unfold. Allow TSUN fans to temporarily relish what is relatively a small victory, that will ultimately be the fall of Houston Nutt and send Oxford into a back slide. After all, it's all they have. Looming in the distance is a date in late November where recruiting battles, propaganda, and the lies of Nutt won't matter. MSU will make it 3 in a row over their arch rival, and those recruits who turned their backs on Mullen and the Bulldogs, will have their first taste of their mistakes. Nutt will have to answer the questions of back-to-back losing seasons, that began with top 25 recruiting classes, and will more than likely lose his job. State is going to win the right way, with kids of character and young men who gave us their word. Not with kids who bought a lie or whatever Houston Nutt and UM sold them.

All of us State fans need to take a step back and let Mullen settle this on the football field, which is the only place where victories matter. No knees! No mercy! We cannot afford to get so caught up in losing these 4 recruits, that we forget about the solid kids we have on roster and that we are signing on Wednesday. It's great that our expectations have changed, but one season does not change everything. Another season like 2010 or better, will leave no doubt in the minds of recruits and those around the country, that MSU and Mullen are for real.

State Faces Bama Tomorrow
Even though there is just 2 games difference in their overall records, Bama (5-1) holds a 2 game advantage over MSU (3-3) in SEC play. That includes a win over MSU already this season. Tip is at 7pm tomorrow night. Big game, and I hope this new MSU team shows up in Tuscaloosa.

Your Final Thoughts Today? Tomorrow, we welcome in our newest Dawgs and we will not rain on their big day with 'what ifs'.

no comments

Written by Brett Holloway | 30 January 2011

DB1Just as I said last week, despite the season that the MSU Basketball squad is trying to endure, don't be surprised if Rick Stansbury finds a way to beat either Vandy or UF (if not both). UF Coach Billy Donovan entered Starkville with a 10-7 mark against the Bulldogs, in what is usually an entertaining match up. The Gators and Bulldogs split the series last year, as UF took the regular season battle, while State handled UF in the SEC Tourney. Much like the latter matchup, State came out on Saturday, racing off to a 25-15 start at the 12 minute mark. Kodi Augustus was especially hot during that stretch, where he added 11 quick points. But, It wouldn't be MSU Basketball if we didn't lose a big lead, so Bulldog fans were forced to watch UF's Chandler Parsons help the Gators tie the game at 38, before State took a 42-38 lead at Half. MSU led my as many as 8 in the 2nd Session, only to see UF earn their first lead of the game at the 13 minute mark. From that point til the final seconds, neither team led by more than 3. State made their FT's, protected the basketball late, and capped the night off with a Kodi Augustus block on UF's Irving Walker, as drove for what appeared to be a wide open lay up. Kodi provided weak-side help for an absent Sidney, and met the ball as it hit the glass and palmed the ball on the way down. State moved on to a 71-64 victory over the #24 Gators.

Anyway, as always, here's some positives and negatives from Saturday...

Kodi August- On Friday, I called on Kodi to step up, become more selfish in his shot choice, and re-insert himself into State's Offense. Kodi scored 11 right off the bat, fueling the Dawgs 25-15 start. Kodi started the game 4 of 5, including 3-3 from 3pt Land. Kodi finished with 16 pts, 6 Reb, 2 Ast, and 1 Blk. That's was what we all had in mind for Kodi this season, after a strong 2009-2010 season. His block was the #8 play of the day on Sports Center.
Dee Bost is Top Dawg- Since Dee re-joined the team in January, he has spotted games of 14, 25, 9, 20, 18, and 24. His lowest output of 9, was in a blowout win over Auburn. Bost is improving his 3pt shooting, and his average would be even better if not for all of the 'in and outs' over the past 2 games. Either way, Bost's play is key to MSU's success and his leadership is more evident now than ever before. Dee is also learning to finish around the rim, especially in situations where he is trying to draw contact and throw up a decent shot. He isn't drawing many whistles, but is making some very acrobatic shots. And as I've said before, he is shooting as confidently as ever. Dee is also the only player that seems to have a connection to the home crowd, which feeds off of his energy. Dee, who is getting front teeth pulled on Thursday, finished with 24 pts, 3 Reb, and 5 Ast.
Ravern Johnson Contributes- Even when Ray isn't hot from 3, the kid finds ways to pitch in-in a big way. I also like the fact that Ravern shoots enough to realize if he has the touch on a given night or not, and then looks for ways to have an impact. He was 1 of 5 from 3, but used his driving and mid-range game to score points. Ray was also 4-4 from the FT line and challenged UF's tough combo of Tyus and Macklin for boards, coming away with 8 for the game. He probably shoots more than anyone else on the team when no one is down low to rebound, but I like his drive to contribute.
Sidney Gives us a Glimpse- All year long, Sid has settled for the jumper, until Saturday. After a few fouls on Big Baby Uno, Sid commanded possession of the ball, backed in UF's big men, and finished around the rim. Strong spin moves and use of his 6-9 figure, resulted in 16 tough earned points on the night. That's what we need more of, a presence in the paint. Why step back for 10-12 footers, when you can lean on the opposition for short baskets. High percentage shots will open up the jumper when you need it. The kid also plays better with a chip on his shoulder, as he did Saturday and in Oxford. I still say though, that the kid has only given us a glimpse. Finally, I'm also impressed with his FT shooting ability. Never have I seen a big guy with so much touch. Sid is 73% from the line and that will only improve. His performance on D though, will make the Negatives list.
Home Crowd- Much better than the Vandy game, didn't wait til the final minutes to get involved. I was just glad to see butts in the seats, so that the t-shirt gimmick didn't go to waste. Props to Scott Stricklin who continues to impress me as an AD and as a PR person.

Weak in the Paint / Rebounds- We still give up way too many easy baskets in the paint. Sidney fears the relationship he has built with officials will get him in foul trouble and rightly so. But, smaller players that are driving into the paint, are not going for contact, but rather the floater. So, Sid has to use that separation to his advantage and swat some shots. It's different to hold back when a driving player is seeking contact, but when they're not, you have to attack the shot. State got outscored 38-16 in the paint. That's unacceptable. State also gave up 17 offensive rebounds, and at one point late in the game-had surrendered 24 second chance points. Also, unacceptable. 
Stansbury Cannot Hold a Lead- Losing 8 and 9 point leads cost State vs Vandy, and almost did again on Saturday. A 10 point lead is when you go for the jugular, and at worse you allow the opposition to get within 5. Stans has terrible timing in bringing in subs, and usually does so when we have a lead. For instance bring in Smith, Bryant, Riek, and Steele when we have a big lead, and you are asking for trouble. He has ALWAYS done this in the past, but needs to get up a healthy 15 or so point lead, and then bring the subs in. Then, if the subs struggle, bring the starters back in. Anyone else noticed the #1 way to lose a lead?...Brian Bryant.
Steele in Place of Bryant, PLEASE?!?- I don't know when Stans is gonna realize what we already know, that Steele is10x better than Bryant. He handles the ball better, especially under pressure, and the kid contributes on O and D. Steele had 2 crucial steals on Saturday, and though he didn't score, he didn't hurt us. Bryant only played 2 minutes, while Steele played 16 minutes, so maybe Stans is starting to see that. But, watch our O when Bryant is in: long possessions, worrisome ball handling, and he is never able to work around the defense to set the play up. And, we usually settle for a terrible deep shot that is lucky to hit the rim, since the shot clock horn is sounding.

-Per Gregg Ellis
(1 State is shooting 80% from the FT line this season.
(2 Augustus leads State with an 87% mark from FT
(3 Only 4 Bullldogs scored on Saturday

Did I miss anything, your thoughts?

Calhoun Commits
Taveze Calhoun is the most recent Bulldog commit. The Safety from Morton is rated as a 3 Star by Rivals. At Morton, he saw time at WR and DB. He finished with 90 tackles and 6 INTs in his Senior season. From what I saw on tape, I like the kid. He anticipates the ball well, jumps and meets the ball at the highest angle between him and the Wideout, and seemed to have the ability recognize a route before the snap, you could see this with his stance. This may just be one of those overlooked kids that Mullen can coach up to a valuable asset. Calhoun was also recognized with 3A- All State 1st Team honors.

Whitehead Update
"They're still in consideration, but I'm very open. I'm gathering all the information I have."- Rumor was Ole Miss, but now it appears that Auburn just claimed him. Say goodbye yall.

Mullen Speaks Out About Recruiting

“This is the craziest time of the year as a coach. I love being around the team and things we control, which is our hard work, our effort. And that’s really important to us. There’s no shortcut to the top of the mountain. Nothing is given to you in this world and our kids know that. They know nothing is going to be given to them for them to succeed. In recruiting, right now, you’re telling guys that. I think they can see that in the program and you never know how 17-year-olds’ minds are thinking to make decisions...We’ll work as hard as we can. You see everything about our program. We’re going to do things the right way and win through hard work. There are no shortcuts to the top and that’s how we’re going to do things. I worry about our program. I don’t worry about other things.” I couldn't help but think one of those lines was directed towards TSUN. Man, I love our coach!

Your Thoughts on Recruiting?

no comments

Written by Brett Holloway | 28 January 2011

DeebostLast night was the type of game that even if you'd been told we were going to lose before you watched it, you wouldn't have believed it until the 5 minute mark. Don't get me wrong, I expected us to lose this one, just due to the fact that Vandy has more talent than State from top to bottom, and they are coached better. Anyway, game stories are for the media, here's a fan's perspective and the stuff they can't say in the newspapers.

(1) Poor Officiating-
I usually don't call out the officials, but the Zebras completely controlled the outcome of the game. I counted 6 or 7 missed traveling calls on the Dores and to make it worse, they would get away with the travel and score after being fouled. That's a big deal when we are talking continual 3 point swings, when compared to what should have been 6 or 7 more possessions for MSU. That was one of the worst officiated games in the history of the Humphrey Coliseum, and ranks right up there with the UK game last season. You would have thought that Vandy was the home team and that the officials were entertaining a huge audience with their calls, but it turns out the only cheering was coming from the Vandy bench. Cheap foul after cheap foul kept Vandy on the line and allowed them to work their way back into the game with the clock stopped. The Dores had 31 opportunities from the charity stripe, which was 14 more than State. What we saw was a ranked SEC East team, being protected on the road. The final 6 minutes were hard to watch, as the whistle-blowers clearly influenced the final minutes. In the midst of eyeing calls for Vandy, one of the biggest no-calls if the night, was on a Brian Bryant lay up in the closing seconds. Bryant appeared to fouled going up for an easy basket that would have put the Dawgs within one. The missed calls on the travels were what killed me the most. Sidney and Augustus were picked on early, and their foul trouble led to easy baskets underneath, due to the fear of fouling out. That really hurt us. State could hardly go for a rebound or contest a shot without a whistle, especially in the 2nd half.
(2) Poor Coaching...Once Again- (A) When State went up 7 with 9:50 left, Vandy decided to full-court press the Dawgs. After a few possessions of turnovers, forced shots, and bad decisions, Stans did nothing to adapt the offense to Vandy's press. We were lucky to get the ball across half court, but when we did, you could count on a rushed 3 point shot with 3 seconds on the shot clock, followed by poor attempts to rebound the shot for second chance points. We should have put the game away at that point, instead we went without a FG for 3+ minutes. Stans' teams have never played well with a lead. (B) We run very few set plays, which is evident when you have 2 confused big men come out to set a screen at the same time, or when we throw up a jump shot with no one under the basket rebound. Vandy played a lot of zone, but never did I see Stans make the adjustment of moving Sidney, Lewis, or Augustus around to break up the zone and find the open shooter. Instead, they just stood in the paint, which makes the zone really easy to defend. (C)There's a lot of teams that I would like to ask, "what's it like to have a coach make changes or draw up a play during a timeout, and then see your players execute it?" The sad thing is, the players made it somewhat easy on Stans last night by hanging with Vandy and eventually leading by 9, forcing him to only earn his money in that final 9 minute stretch. (D) I completely disagree with Rick's strategy to double team John Jenkins, which left Vandy players open on the wings and down low. That led to exactly what we witnessed, easy open shots for the nation's #20 scoring offense. I could have told him that Tinsley and Taylor wouldn't miss open shots. (E) Our players continually try to defend around an on-coming screen, rather than cutting inside the screen or trying to draw a foul. You cannot give players like John Jenkins any room to shoot, and it would be nice to see us draw some fouls on the defensive end. (F) Why on earth, in the most crucial possession of the game, do you inbound the ball to Brian Bryant rather than your playmaker and PG Dee Bost??? Stans handed the ball to a kid known for not handling the press well, in an evident situation that called for tough defense. Not very smart.
(3) Kodi Augustus' Play, or Lack Thereof- I like Kodi, so don't get me wrong, but what is he doing? For some reason he can hardly ever finish around the rim anymore. His poor passes and carelessness with the basketball cost us 2 possessions-late in the Vandy game. He·was hesitant to take advantage of opportunities in the paint, and looks as if his confidence is gone. I miss the Kodi that was selfish with the ball and gave us 15-20 points a night, who took the open 3 from way out, but now I just don't get it. His play this season reminds me of Romero Osby's first season. Timid, unconfident with the basketball, trouble finishing in the paint, etc. I really hope Kodi can bounce back, we need him. Maybe he can watch some film from the last 2 seasons and remind himself that he can be a strong player.
(4) Vandy's Jeffrey Taylor- What a freakin' thug. Act like you have made a shot before. Not only that, but act like you play·for a consistent, winning program. All the kid does is yell obscenities after making every shot. And after his dunk in the closing seconds, he should have been T'd up for his celebration and lack of sportsmanship. You Mr. Taylor, are a thug. Go pro, where you can get paid to act like a fool.
(5) Home Crowd-If I lived within 30 minutes to an hour of Starkville, I'd be at every game. Not only would I be there but I'd make some noise. Our weak crowd didn't show up until there was 4 minutes left in the game. The ones who show up just·sit on their hands and contribute nothing. I know this team has underachieved and many are just as mad as I am with how the year has unfolded, but last night's crowd and attendance was an embarrassment for our school. So bad, that it made the Tad Pad look intimidating. I know Stans isn't giving anyone anything to cheer about, but still, it's our team.
(6) Sidney- I know the officials called some poor fouls on you, but did you peak in Oxford? I'm starting to think so.

Dee Bost- He tries to do too much by himself at times, but he is the motor of this team. He's a warrior if you ask me. Dee is shooting the ball with more confidence than ever, but I'd still like to see him drive to the basket more and draw some fouls. Everyone does it to us, time to return the favor.
Wendell Lewis-In 19 minutes of play, Lewis had 6 points on 3-3 shooting, 6 Rebs, 1 Stl, and 1 Blk. I really like the fight he shows under the basket. He will be valuable this season and in the future.
Ravern Johnson- Welcome back Ray, we missed ya. Even though Johnson hit just 2 of 7 from 3, he drove and tried to create, and made his FT's. Not to mention a pretty good night on D.
Rebounding-State was only out-rebounded by 3 last night, which is a major improvement from the UGA game, in which the Dawgs got crushed on the boards. The rebounding deficit in that game, was the worst in Stans' tenure.

Top Dawgs
Ravern Johnson- 19 pts, 4 Rebs, 2 Blk
Dee Bost- 18 pts, 6 Asst, 5 Reb
Kodi Augustus-10 pts, 5 Rebs, 1 Asst
Wendell Lewis, Renardo Sidney, and Riley Benock- 6 pts

Your Thoughts on the Vandy game?

Recruiting Weekend- (Visitors with an Offer)
Jevante Watson- #123 CB, 3 Star, Medium Interest
Chandler Rogers- #118 QB, 2 Star, Medium Interest
Lauren Jackson- DE, 2 Star, High Interest
Terrell Pinson- Wr, 2 Star, Medium Interest (Walk-On Offer)

Committed Visitors
Darius Slay- CB 3 Star, JUCO
Shaq Perry- #152 RB, 2 Star
Preston Smith- DE, 2 Star

Thoughts on these visits?

no comments

Written by Brett Holloway | 27 January 2011

vandyWell guys, we always seem to come to this point in the season with our Basketball team. Not only is it a big stretch of important games, it's yet again another stretch of important games for our season and Rick Stansbury. That road starts tonight against #19 Vandy. Vandy enters Starkville with a 14-4 overall record (2-2 SEC). Vandy's 2 wins: UGA(73-66) and Ole Miss (84-74); Vandy's 2 losses: @ USC (83-73 OT) and @ UT(67-64). If State has one edge in this matchup, it's that the Dores have struggled on the road. But, most recently, Vandy whipped a Saint Mary's squad 89-70, who pummeled State94-72 earlier this year...not an encouraging measuring stick. Either way, the Dawgs have a chance to make a statement today and on Saturday vs UF, who continues to win.

As for Vandy, keep an eye on these guys...
John Jenkins- 18 ppg, 3 Reb
Jeffery Taylor-14 ppg, 5 Reb, 2 Ast
Festus Ezeli-12 ppg, 6 Reb, 2 Blk
Brad Tinsley- 10 ppg, 4 Reb, 4 Ast
Lance Goulbourne- 8 ppg, 8 Reb

My Thoughts
Stansbury has already made it known that State will abandon the 2-3 Zone, which I completely agree with. #1 The Zone style is for unselfish players, which is the opposite of what we have this season. #2 We are way too sluggish and undisciplined to play the zone effectively. This is by far Stans' best decision of the season and I hope it yields results. Vandy has the inside game and outside game, and continuous motion by their wing men would confuse the Dawgs in the 2-3. Ravern Johnson played the most solid man-to-man the has ever played earlier this year. Throw in Dee's defense and hopefully a stronger performance from Sid, and we could have some success in man. Kodi Augustus will have to battle one of the big guys, but will have to stay out of foul trouble. We really need Ravern Johnson to get back to giving State at least 15 ppg, as well as Kodi finding his identity again. If those two can get it back together, then State fans could be in for a treat, if not, it could be a looooong night for the Dawgs. Dee Bost called his team out this week- saying they lacked 'heart', and I cannot agree more. And as far as I'm concerned, he can say whatever he wants because he plays his butt off every night. Deejust needs to let the game come to him and not try and do too much when things go wrong. I expect a close one, but State better bring their 'A' game, because Vandy is 20th in rebounding and 22nd in scoring.

Rest Easy Bulldog Fans
One thing came to mind last night when I caught myself thinking about all this recruiting mess, and I have to say it's was quite comforting. I really think that bringing in all this talent is actually going to hurt Houston Nutt, rather than help him.·The last 2 years, we've seen·what the Reverend was able to accomplish with the crumbs left over from Orgeron's table. Back to back 9 win seasons and consecutive Cotton Bowl trophies. As for 2010, it couldn't have been worse. 4-8 overall, with only one conference win, a controversial QB situation, and the SEC's worst Defense. Since Nutt took over, TSUN has had its' share of suspensions and over-signings, which means that some of the talent he has inked has not seen and in some cases-will never see Oxford. His 2010 recruiting class, which ranked 25th nationally, saw JUCO players underachieve and young players get thrown into the fire. Keep in mind that everything we saw last season from Ole Miss, we are bound to see yet again this season. In some areas, veterans were supposed to hold their own and didn't, and will be replaced by young players once again. There may be a different QB under center, but it will be the same old Houston Nutt Offense and a shaky Tyrone Nix Defense. So, with all that said, Houston Nutt is one season away from facing some major heat. You see, as long as Dan Mullen is winning 8-9-10 games a season with his recruiting classes and beating TSUN in the meantime, imagine how bad it will look for Nutt when he continues to underachieve with his higher ranked classes, on top of losing to MSU. You see? So, what appears to be a problem for State right now and a big win for TSUN, will eventually end up benefiting Mullen and hurting Nutt. All it will take: is another season like last for both schools; accompanied by some disgruntled Black Bear boosters with whispers building into a single voice; another failed attempt to bring the Egg back to Oxford; which will of course be followed by another clever jab at TSUN by Mullen about dominating the state. Add all that up, and Nutt will be packing his bags in December. Nutt has shown that developing talent is not his strong suit, due to his past resume' with QBs. He apparently lacks an eye for talent, considering it took him 3/4 of the 2009 season to realize that Dexter McCluster was the key to the Rebs' success. And, he is already on unsteady ground with Pete Boone. In fact, both might be shown the door if Nuttdoesn't win football games this season.· Analysts will eat Nutt alive if he is unable to produce wins with his recruits, especially after winning the in-state recruiting battle. Am I the only one who can see this coming? The fact is, Mullen·started with·leftovers from Sylvester Croom, once again...Croom. If he has accomplished what he has by raising the level of those players, while sprinkling in his own recruits, good things are on the way. There's a big difference between getting the recruits on campus and actually being able to coach them. Rest easy Dawg fans.

Your thoughts on the Vandy game and its' importance?

Will the talent backfire on Nutt, considering Mullen is clearly out-coaching him? no comments