Hoops: Washington 71, MSU 58

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Mississippi State’s Cinderella run ended here in Portland today at the hands of 15th-ranked and No. 4-seeded Washington (26-8). The 13th-seeded Bulldogs (23-13) never found their offensive rhythm, inside or out, shooting 33.9 percent from the field and 27.8 percent from 3-point range. Washington hit 43.5 percent of its shots and was led by Quincy Pondexter‘s season-high 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting. He had 15 at halftime, when Washington held what proved to be an insurmountable 38-27 lead.

Barry Stewart and Phil Turner led MSU with 11 points apiece. Jarvis Varnado was held to seven points in 22 minutes thanks to foul trouble. But back to the game in a moment.

When looking into the future for Mississippi State, it’s cloudy for a couple of Bulldogs. We know that sophomore Kodi Augustus, who’s become a force off the bench these last seven games, has been non-committal about his future with the team. “I haven’t thought about it yet,” he said after the game. “I’ll look at everything and take everything into consideration.” But then there is senior Brian Johnson, a projected starter who was forced to come off the bench due to a preseason ankle/foot injury. Johnson told me he plans to apply for a medical redshirt, although I’m not sure how that will work. He’s had one of those already, at Louisville, and sat out another year after transferring to State. I think what he meant to say was that he was going to seek an extra year of eligibility, not an actual redshirt, which wouldn’t make much sense.

“As soon as I get back I’m going to find out about that,” he said. He said he thinks he has a “50-50″ chance of his request being approved by the NCAA. I spoke with MSU compliance guru Bracky Brett, who sounded surprised to hear of Johnson’s intention. Brett said he couldn’t comment on it now but would be happy to in a few days.

OK, back to today’s game, with some postgame reaction. Starting with MSU coach Rick Stansbury:

• On his team’s energy level: “I didn’t think it was there from the tipoff. Not one time, except maybe in that second half, defensively about two or three trips, we really got into somebody and guarded them, but it didn’t last long. We just weren’t as quick as we normally are, as energetic as we normally are. I just didn’t see it in some areas.”

• On fatigue: “Y’all can write about it and think it’s a factor, I’m not going to make no excuses for our guys. I didn’t make it before the game, I’m sure not going to make it now. But it’s very obvious we weren’t at our best energy-wise and rhythm-wise, and I think you can attribute that to a couple of different things.”

• On Pondexter: “He was just a huge matchup, very athletic, bigger and stronger than he looked. … Everybody talks about Brockman and Isaiah, he’s kind of the wild card on that team.”

• On seeding/locale: “I’ve always said the SEC champion in that Sunday afternoon game, whoever that team is that wins it, never gets the respect or really the advantage of winning that tournament. Because they just plug you in somewhere. That’s the second time that’s happened to us, but again, we’re not going to make any excuses.”

From Ravern Johnson:

• On State’s shooting woes: “They played good D, they got into us, but I think we still had some pretty good looks. We missed a lot of layups.”

From Varnado:

• On his foul trouble: “I felt like if I would’ve stayed in there it would’ve been a lot different story. We’ve got to keep playing through it. If I’m out of the game, people have got to step up.”

From Turner:

• On State’s shooting woes: “It’s just one of those things. We’re a great-shooting basketball team, but give credit to Washington. They got into our guards, where usually we have some pretty good looks.”

• On Pondexter: “Pondexter is really a glue guy that gets things done; he was just big for them today.”

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10 Responses to “Hoops: Washington 71, MSU 58”

  1. thingreenline Says:

    I wouldn’t be suprised if Kodi left, but I really hope he doesn’t.
    We’ve had a bit of a consistency problem due to players leaving in between seasons. Why can’t we just keep the same guys for four years, w/out them transferring? It’s not like they’re thugs.

  2. db33 Says:

    Surprised there’s been no mention anywhere pre or post game, or during by the announcers, that Washington frosh guard Elston Turner, Jr. is the son of the former Rebel great.

    He hurt us in the first half when they were making their run.

  3. imabulldog Says:

    we SUCKED…no composure at all, I swear that Cal State Northridge had more composure and onions than we did

  4. imabulldog Says:

    That Turner kid is gonna be amazing for them

  5. thespear Says:

    I have heard a lot folks say that Jaquiese (sp?) wants to transfer out, to maybe Georgia or someplace

  6. carwwest Says:

    there always seems to be people transferring every year…not real sure why…i hope augustus stays….he’ll probably start next year if he progresses enough…its not like he would be a solid starter for any other team in america with the careless turnovers and clmusy offensive fouls….

    why would someone want to transfer to georgia unless he just doesnt see himself getting PT against some of our young players….

    but we have got to get ravern to take better shots and get to the basket more…i hope no one tranfers because the future is bright…

  7. thespear Says:

    he is from over that way i believe, car

  8. Brad Locke Says:

    There has apparently been a corrected box score, because the one on ESPN.com has changed the point totals of Stewart and Turner. The box I got after the game had them with 11 each, but now it’s saying 14 for Stew, 8 for Turner. Too bad the paper’s already gone to press.

  9. buzzardroostus Says:

    “there always seems to be people transferring every year…not real sure why” says Carwest.
    The answer is easy: COACH
    No one really gets that much better after they come to State. We have at least one player every other year that should mature to go into the 2nd or 1st round of the NBA draft. Yet where are they in the NBA now. Simple fact is they got behind while they were at State. Dampier is really the last player that’s had any longevity in the NBA and was coached by Richard Williams at State. If your dream was to get better and play in the NBA would you want to play for Stans?

  10. Tom Says:

    Here come the Stansbury haters. We’re not going to be Duke, UNC or even Kentucky for that matter. We’ve gotten to the Tourney in 6 of the last 11 years. That’s pretty darn good. We could be Ole Miss or Georgia or something worse. I am glad to have Coach Stansbury.

    Kids transfer because they don’t think they are going to get to play enough. Even if Kodi matures, he may not start. Osby is going to be a tough player, he might move up in the rotation. Turner isn’t going anywhere and he played some pretty dang good basketball as a starter this year. I look for the same starting 5 next year. Kodi will probably transfer. I hope not, but I won’t be surprised.

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