Archive for January 6th, 2009

Stansbury: Keeping the Confidence

January 6, 2009

MSU coach Rick Stansbury addressed us media folks this afternoon at Humphrey Coliseum. He expounded on many topics during our 22-minute chat, including his team’s mental state heading into Saturday’s SEC opener at Arkansas, which is 11-1 heading into tonight’s showdown with No. 7 Texas (8:00, ESPN2).

The last two games, both big wins over solid opponents, have inspired a bit of confidence in the Bulldogs. Maybe even, dare we say, a little swagger? Well, of freshman point guard Dee Bost, who had 18 points last night, Stansbury said, “I’m starting to see him get a little swagger out there.” That’s a good thing for a young team beset by injuries (to Brian Johnson and Jacquiese Holcombe in particular) and the benching of Kodi Augustus (for reasons unknown).

The key will be to carry that confidence into Bud Walton Arena, which I’m sure will be rockin’. Stansbury thought his team carried confidence from the Houston win into the Western Kentucky game.

“Our challenge will be with this young team is to block all (the surroundings) out, take that same confidence we’re playing with right now, and take it on the road,” the coach said.

Arkansas, of course, is riding pretty high as well. The Hogs own a win over then-No. 4 Oklahoma, and a win tonight would send them into the stratosphere. I’ll take a closer look at the Razorbacks later this week.

But back to the Bulldogs, who have played 10 of their 15 games at home, where they are 8-2. We’ll really see what they’re made of Saturday. And while this next quote is something Stansbury has said many times, it’s very true: “Everybody’s good at home. At home, you get the artificial motivation. On the road, you’ve got to do it from within. It’s a different mindset when you go on the road.”

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On the Soaking Wet Tuesday Links

January 6, 2009

Mississippi State’s basketball team is getting on a roll, having won two straight – in convincing fashion – against quality opponents. Last night’s 95-67 win over Western Kentucky was driven by more hot outside shooting. Check out these numbers: Going into the Houston game, MSU was shooting 45.1 percent from the field and 34.0 percent from 3-point range. After these last two games, those numbers are up to 46.5 and 37.1, respectively. Can the Bulldogs keep up this pace? Probably not at this rate, but the Bulldogs hope it’s the beginning of an upward trend.

I’ll have more on the hoopsters later today after a press conference. Remember, they open SEC play Saturday at Arkansas, which plays Texas tonight (8:00, ESPN2).

On the football front, new coach Dan Mullen has to juggle two jobs for a few more days. Here is what Ron Higgins of the Commercial Appeal wrote about Mullen’s challenge. We media folks might get to hear from Mullen later today.