Opinion Offering, & On the Links

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I’ve been pondering, as I’m sure you have, just how this young Mississippi State basketball team keeps winning and sits atop the SEC Western Division. In today’s opinion offering, I assert that most of the credit belongs to coach Rick Stansbury, who has managed to find a lineup that works despite its lack of both size and experience.

At 13-5, 3-0 in the SEC, the Bulldogs are finding their way into bracket projections. ESPN.com has them as a 12 seed in Boise, playing Minnesota. Up next is a road game against LSU (14-3, 2-1) at 7 p.m. Wednesday. No TV, so turn up the radio and follow my Twitter feed and blog.

In other SEC news, Arkansas’ Brandon Moore has been suspended indefinitely from the team after a DWI arrest.

On the football front, the Senior Bowl week, featuring MSU’s Derek Pegues, is now under way. Game at 6 p.m. Saturday (NFL Network).

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23 Responses to “Opinion Offering, & On the Links”

  1. buzzardroostus Says:

    I’m not ready to give Stansbury the credit yet. For the first time since I can remember we have a true point guard. That means alot. Plus these guys have a better understanding it seems of team play and what it takes to win. The best thing that happened to our team was losing Jamont Gordon. Last year everything revolved around him and how well he played. This year someone is stepping when others aren’t as hot. And Bost knows how to get everyone involved. Stansbury is a great defensive coach and I’ll give him that. We really don’t know how good of an offensive coach he is. This may be the first group of players that really let him coach or understand what he’s trying to coach them to do. And because they are so young they want to learn and win. It still frustrates the mess out me though when we can’t set up a great scoring opportunity after a time out. And that’s coaching. We know this: if Stansbury doesn’t do better than the first round of the NCAA, Greg Byrnes will put the pressure on. And as far as I’m concerned. There are no valid responses to anyones thoughts on our team till they prove they can make further into the NCAA tournament. Winning the West or the SEC isn’t that big a deal.

  2. dawgface52 Says:

    ” While I rightly retain a healthy dose of skepticism, it’s way too early to write the Bulldogs off.”

    Nice back handed complement. πŸ™‚ The way I look at this year…we have a very young team that is maturing before our eyes. They will certainly stub their toes as the season progresses, but I look forward to seeing how much more they can mature and improve. When the season started, I thought we would be doing well to make the NIT. And in the end, that may be where they end up. But it is exciting to see the improvement and the possibilities that are in front of them.

  3. imabulldog Says:

    Dawgface, I think this team can and will do some damage. They are as dangerous as I have watched this yr, when they get HOT -we are hard to beat

  4. phantomdawg Says:

    Best thing I heard all day imadog well said.

  5. markillas44 Says:

    i listened to kevin stallings (vandy HC) on the radio this morning and he gave the dawgs a lot of credit for the win on saturday. he said they’re a solid team, young but can play with anybody – stallings doesn’t BS, if the team he loses to isn’t good he’ll say it and blame himself and the team for the loss. he gave some nice compliments to bost and johnson – they’re getting people’s attention. stallings’ comments tell you they have a lot of potential.

  6. benzadawgfan Says:

    Buzzard, please man, cut it out. I’m not talking about the Stans take, although I disagree. For the record, it is Greg Byrne, Dan Mullen, Starkville, and it used to be Sly Croom. (notice the abscence of the S!) By the way, who would you suggest we go get to replace coach Stans? Coach K? Maybe Bobby Knight? We have a proven, consistent winner, who does a great job recruiting, and doesn’t attack cabbies. I am guessing that one more made three and a free throw against Memephis last year would mean he knows what he’s doing. I also don’t think Greg Byrne is out to clean house, he wants us to win, and Stans is doing that. Polk retired, Croom failed misersbly, I would consider this a ‘rebuilding ‘ year, yet Stans seems to have our team ready to possibly win the west……. again!

  7. deaddawg1 Says:

    I’m with you benza. Who else is out there that is better? I’m happy with a wining coach and Stans is a winner. We better hang on to him as long as he wants us.

  8. darkcooger Says:

    “Winning the West or the SEC isn’t that big a deal.”

    Of course, we only make this statement about basketball. It actually *is* a big deal, but we’re so used to it that we practically expect it at this point. Compare this to our expectations in football and you’ll realize just how good our basketball program must be.

  9. buzzardroostus Says:

    Difference is Darkcooger: If you win the SEC in Football you’re playing for the national championship. Getting hot in the SEC basketball tournament keeps us out of the national rankings. benza, many were saying we couldn’t get a better coach than Croom to come to State and they still may be right. But at least Mullen has done his job recruiting so far. Who’s to say Byrne would’nt be able to find the guy that could take us to the next level.

    My honest take on Stansbury.
    -Fantastic recruiter
    -Great emphasis on defense and rebounding
    -Produces a better than average team consistently
    -Over half of the close games we’ve lost over the past ten years have been his fault or missed free throws.
    -No one knows what his real voice sounds like because he’s lost it by the end of the first week of practice. Obviously he has to holler just to get anyone to listen to what he’s saying.
    -Will never get us to the Final Four (I want to be wrong).

  10. dawgface52 Says:

    “Will never get us to the Final Four”

    That may be, but that does not make me unhappy with Stansbury. If he can keep us competing for the West most years and win an occasional SEC title, I’m not too unhappy. But maybe my expectations are too low. That’s just me. But if you think we should be a final 4 team every other year, your probably going to lead a very unhappy life.

  11. benzadawgfan Says:

    Buzzard, Here’s the difference in replacing Croom, and replacing Stans. If we make a bad choice replacing Croom, (21-38? ish) we end up with another losing record. In other words, we have lost nothing. Make a bad choice replacing Stans, we go from a contender for the west year after year, to who knows? He has proven he will have the talent, and when we hit the tourney playing our best ball, we will go deep. The only programs in the final four with regularity are Duke, UNC, Kansas etc. They don’t recruit, they pick. I agree his coaching at the end of close games has been suspect at times, but the grass isn’t always greener.

  12. buzzardroostus Says:

    Sorry guys. I’m really on Stans side and yours. I just still have a bitter taste in my mouth about his betrayal of Richard Williams in order to get this job. Maybe a Final Four this year will help me get over it.

  13. midnightdawg Says:

    benza- (or anyone else)
    can u describe this “betrayal”? Just curious

  14. leeearl Says:

    Buzzard, go cheer for UAB…

  15. leeearl Says:

    Just kidding…

  16. leeearl Says:

    We need to beat LSU at their house and they need to turn around and take their frustrations out on #13/15 Xavier….

    I’ve seen a few improvements from our inbound passes and plays after timeouts so far where I’ve been impressed, I can see where Buzzard is coming from on that perspective though….

    We really haven’t had the shooters from the outside like we currently have to compliment our inside game, this makes for a more exciting team and when I say ‘team’ I mean we actually play as a team for a change, what a concept πŸ™‚

    Our outside shooting just makes it that much easier for JV to get a dunk or one of those nice hook shots he has developed….Go Dogs!!! Stans for Defensive Coordinator….

  17. benzadawgfan Says:

    I dunno midnight….. Buzzard can you clarify? And no need for an apology, everybody is entitled to their own opinion, no matter how wrong it is! ( just jokin’)

  18. midnightdawg Says:

    sorry benza, meant buzzard… saw the b and quit reading. oh well, just gonna have to move back home, get my hair cut and listen. Only way to get to the “bottom” of it. Nite. Seriously this time….

  19. buzzardroostus Says:

    If any of you were around Starkville when the scandal with Richard Williams dating a MSU cheerleader became public knowledge you might remember who leaked the info and made sure it was printed in the paper. Despite the fact that Williams had approval of the girls parents and they were planning to get married Williams still had enough pressure on him to resign. Stansbury had a meeting in private with the media. Only a few months after Williams was released was it made known that most of the info had come from Stansbury. It’s been a long time so my facts may be a little off. I’ve not been able to find any substantial evidence that I can refer you guys to. But it was a shame to see Williams and Stansbury feuding. They were the perfect match. Stans is a great recruiter. And Williams has one of the best basketball minds. But Stans dreamed of being the head coach and when the opportunity to step up appeared he jumped on it.

    By the way, I wonder where Richard Williams is now. Probably teaching Advanced Mathmatics for some Junior College.

    I promise guys, I’ll never bring this topic up again. Unless, Stans gets caught with a cheerleader.

  20. dawgface52 Says:

    I have no sympathy for Richard Williams. He did himself in.

  21. benzadawgfan Says:

    Buzzard, I was in school at State when all of that went down, but that was a real fuzzy year, and I had completely forgotten. Time heals all wounds, right? Or maybe time, another SEC title and a final four appearance.

  22. leeearl Says:

    That’s why I said cheer for UAB, Williams is the Director of Basketball Operations….

  23. midnightdawg Says:

    thanks buzzard, and I apologize to everyone. didn’t mean to dig at and bring up bad memories. I read from my daddies MSU history, and my boy is reading from mine, and no where in either books is the story of any rift between Stans and RW. I was VERY curious, err, OCD about it.

    That’s why I have such appreciation for this blog, and the internet (thanks AG, want a trophy:)) Living so far from home used to make it impossible to get the skuttlebutt on whats what. Thanks DJ, GE, aka big head, and now BL

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