On the Road … Well, Not Me

by

I regret to inform you all that I will not be in Athens tonight for the MSU-Georgia game. But this means I will probably be able to travel to Kentucky on Feb. 3.

But I’ll be DVRing tonight’s game to view at my leisure – 5 p.m., ESPN2. The Bulldogs (13-6, 3-1 SEC) are looking to bounce back from Wednesday’s 81-57 beatdown at LSU. Georgia (9-9, 0-3) is looking to bounce back, too – from a five-game losing streak. In today’s Journal, my game advance focused on State’s four-guard lineup and how they need to be more aggressive offensively. Here is the pregame capsule:

When: 5 p.m. today, Stegeman Coliseum, Athens, Ga.
TV: ESPN2.
XM: Channel 199.
Series: Tied, 49-49.
Last year: MSU, 60-49 in Starkville; Georgia, 64-60 in SEC Tournament.
Coaches: MSU – Rick Stansbury (221-121, 11th year); Georgia – Dennis Felton (184-143, 11th year; 84-89, 6th year at Georgia).
Notes: Georgia has lost five straight games. … Georgia’s last 0-4 SEC start was the 2004-05 season. … MSU junior Barry Stewart has 164 career 3-pointers, tying him with assistant coach Marcus Grant for fourth-most in school history. Darryl Wilson holds the mark with 258.

Probable starters
Mississippi State (13-6, 3-1 SEC)

C – Jarvis Varnado    6-9    Jr.    12.9 ppg
G – Phil Turner    6-3    So.    7.4 ppg
G – Dee Bost    6-2    Fr.    9.9 ppg
G – Barry Stewart    6-3    Jr.    10.8 ppg
G – Ravern Johnson    6-7    So.    12.0 ppg
Top reserves: F Romero Osby, G Twany Beckham, G Riley Benock.

Georgia (9-9, 0-3 SEC)
G – Zac Swansey    6-1    So.    6.0 ppg
G – Corey Butler    6-3    Sr.    7.1 ppg
F – Terrance Woodbury    6-7    Sr.    13.4 ppg
F – Trey Thompkins    6-8    Fr.    13.2 ppg
C – Albert Jackson    6-10    Jr.    4.1 ppg
Top reserves: G Dustin Ware, F Chris Barnes, F Travis Leslie.

If you’re not making the trip to Athens but want to see some good hoops, I highly recommend the Hotbed Classic in New Albany. Just $10 for all day, and it’s already under way. Matt Wyatt is calling all the action on Miss 98. And North Carolina coach Roy Williams is supposed to be there to check out one of his recruits.

And for what it’s worth, the Senior Bowl is on for 6 p.m. today. NFL Network carrying the game, which means I won’t be able to see it.

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42 Responses to “On the Road … Well, Not Me”

  1. mississippipitbull Says:

    I believe we’ll get the job done. Maybe by double digits. Bost shows up. Osby shows out. Jarvis will Jarvis. GO Bulldogs!!

  2. mississippipitbull Says:

    Mississippi State BULLDOGS!!

  3. JB Says:

    Your game get too boring, if losing, just switch change channels and watch the Ole Miss Rebels demonstrate their excellence against the SC roosters tonight.

  4. darkcooger Says:

    lol, JB. That’s funny.

  5. ukrainedog Says:

    Looking at LiveStats it looks like things are pretty equal except State is killing them in turnovers. Are we playing that well or are they playing that sloppy?

  6. buzzardroostus Says:

    Keep it up State. 41-27. We’re looking good.

  7. maxdawg Says:

    Georgia playing a lot sloppier than State. MSU makin more 3’s.

  8. mathistondawg Says:

    I guess they thought it was mop up time. They are playing awful in the second half and georgia is shooting lights out – of course it is easy when you have an open look. C”mon get it together!!!!!!!!

  9. maxdawg Says:

    Did a Tornado hit or what?

  10. midnightdawg Says:

    Sloppy got (is) contagious. We should’ve would’ve could’ve put them away before halftime/1st 5 of 2nd half. Is it because: road SEC game? coaching? a young team? Maybe a combination of the three, I dunno.

    I have flipflopped on my questioning of Stans as a “game coach”, or whatever you call it. He wins. We’ve had some tough luck, poor preformances in the NCAA’s, and I know the buck stops with the head man. But 4 of 6 west titles, consistently competitive, and the young talent we have… LOOK OUT! I was scared to death we’d lose him to KY before Gilespi got the job. He’s that good folks. Everytime there’s a high profile job opening, we ought to be worried.

  11. buzzardroostus Says:

    midnightdawg, I’ve questioned his coaching as well. I really believe there’s not a better recruiter and regular season coach around. But I’m still leery. Games like the LSU one may be the result of young players. And I wouldn’t mind losing by 10 or less because we deserved to lose that game. But no adjustments were made to stop LSU or go to our inside players. It’s nice to win the West and SEC every now and then. But I get tired of getting dominated in the first or second round of the NCAA tournament by some “out of the blue how did they get to the tournament team.” Either our coach doesn’t know how to prepare our team for big games or the SEC is not a good basketball conference. Believe me, if Kentucky had wanted him, they would’ve got him. That’s his dream, to coach Kentucky. There’s a reason why Kentucky didn’t go after him. They expect National Championships, not SEC championships.

  12. benzadawgfan Says:

    I don’t understand running the shot clock down, and never attempting to get the ball inside for a high percentage shot, or a kickout for an open three. Instead we take a 25-26 foot jumper with a hand in our face. Why not run it to ten, and then penetrate and kick it out, or get it to JV for a 6 or 8 footer? We put it away by running clock and scoring, not running clock and taking a 20 percent shot and hoping for an offensive revound.

  13. buzzardroostus Says:

    Benza you’re exactly right. And that’s coaching.

  14. midnightdawg Says:

    I hear you buzzard, but our time is coming, IF we (and our players/recruits:) stick with him.

    If there’s an AD out there with a “big time” HC job to give that believes as we do that there is not a better recruiter and regular season coach around, we’ll be lucky to hang on to him.

  15. thespear Says:

    Folks Stans made the adjustments…. Dee Bost didnt jus suddenly decide to quit pullin up and start feedin it to Varnado, Stans told him. I agree we sometimes sit on the lead a little too much, but thats not always an effect of coaching. Our guys just have to learn to keep that high level of intensity they had at the start of the game. One fact I would like to point, we won the game people. Stans got it done didnt he, reguardless of how pretty the second half was. Sometimes he may not be the best with the Xs and Os, but he has a group of young players playing at a very high level of basketball!!!

    And Ky went after BG because he was the hottest coach on the market after he had taken a T A&M program to new heights.

    Big ups to Ravern, wish his play would have carried over to the last 20 mins.

  16. midnightdawg Says:

    anybody got more koolaid??? LOL! Me and Croom hanging out telling stories bout the good old days. Expect Polk and LT anytime, but it’s just because they heard Jackie and mississippipitbull are coming with the good stuff.

    I realize I sound like a koolaid drinker, but I truly believe what I said bout Stans and his program

  17. robertd38606 Says:

    Congrats to Coach Stansbury and the team on the win.. Too bad you haven’t seen it, Locke… That’s pretty pathetic and lazy on your part as a beat writer— “I’ll be DVR’ing tonight’s game to view at my leisure”… I’ll say it again: pathetic and lazy on your part.

  18. mathistondawg Says:

    This win showed we have some issues. If it wasn’t for vanardo in the second half, we would have been talking about the crash and burn at georgia. 19 pt lead evaporated quick. Struggled down the stretch with free throws. Shot selection was poor at best. Georgia got too many open looks. Scary.

    And yet, we beat an SEC school on the road which is tough. I’m impressed, and concerned. But mostly excited about this team. They are finding a way to win!!

  19. mathistondawg Says:

    AND Stansbury is once again leading our team to the postseason. I would rather take my chances with him than decide to go another route.

    Our program is stable, we get good recruits, we are competitive and most of all, the people come to see the show at the hump.

    Anybody remember Bob Boyd and when kids played football in the upper deck? I do because I was one of those kids.

  20. mathistondawg Says:

    Hey robert – just a note, why must a beat writer who has a deadline HAVE to watch the game in real time? Can he never have a saturday off? Ever?

    I think you need to find something else to worry about. He will get his job done. He spends many nights (many many nights) up when you are home watching the tube racking his brain to come up with something that you and I will be impressed with. It isn’t the best of jobs I assure you.

  21. robertd38606 Says:

    Mathis, there are rarely more than 2 to 3 days a week with games that Locke would cover. Plenty of day and time to rest.

  22. darkcooger Says:

    Agreed, mathiston. No reason to rag on Brad. He does a great job bringing us all plenty of reading material. Why should he have to watch the game *right now*? His primary job is to write for the paper, not the blog, so there shouldn’t be any expectation that he comes and caters to us. We’re a secondary audience, and the paper doesn’t have a 10pm edition.

    Anyway, we were killed on offensive rebounds. AGAIN. I don’t know if that’s a coaching problem or if it just goes with the territory of running a pure shooting offense, but either way, I believe we would have slaughtered Georgia if we’d had more second chances. What bothers me most about our poor offensive rebounding is that it’s been this way for at least 10 years now.

    Also, agreed with mathiston again: I’d rather stick with a known winner than taking a chance on another coach. Stansbury might not be the best, but he brings the talent and I honestly believe he’s good enough to bring us a national championship. It may just take some more time. Anyway, I won’t be joining the call for his head unless we have a total basketball implosion.

  23. robertd38606 Says:

    It’s not that it was DVR’d. Sure, he can watch that later. He should have been in Athens.

  24. JB Says:

    You still have two (2) games left with the Rebs. Could count them as losses.

  25. shuffle02 Says:

    Hey, rob, where do you work? I want to come by and publicly nag you over something very irrelevant to you successfully completing your job.
    I hope that Brad was able to spend some great time with his kids and his wife because ultimately that is much more important than M State sports!

    Brad, please keep up the good job. You owe us no explanation of what was behind the decision of you not being in Athens. May we all keep our priorities in order.

  26. robertd38606 Says:

    There are no college sports in June-August, so that’s probably more time off than any of us get… Also, Brad’s job puts him in the public spotlight, shuffle. I’m not in the public spotlight, so I don’t have to deal with that scrutiny.

  27. robertd38606 Says:

    Oh and not going to Athens does affect his writing, shuffle… So yeah this is not irrelevant to him completing his job.. You can’t get the same detail of reporting (atmosphere, swings in the game, etc.) from watching a game on tv as you can by having someone in the stands.

  28. darkcooger Says:

    How does it affect his writing, robert? I could write about it, and I barely paid attention while it was on TV. You really don’t have to see every single detail first-hand to be able to make intelligent commentary about it. If you’re vaguely aware of it and can correlate statistics to different points in the game, then you have enough information to carry on a good conversation. Why does being present in person help at all? Seriously?

    Maybe you should pull that stick out of your rear-end and take sports a little less seriously. Life’s a lot more fun when you’re not a jackass.

  29. robertd38606 Says:

    cooger, you’re pretty dense if you can’t see how being at a collegiate sporting event helps when you’re writing about it.. You get a much better feel for the game in person… I’m not gonna post anymore about this though.. I just know that if this were my job, I feel that I would be obligated to attend the games as a beat writer, and I would take my breaks during the many off days when there are no games. I wouldn’t take it on what was a near must-win basketball game for a team trying to make the NCAA tourney

  30. buzzardroostus Says:

    In the words of Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?”

  31. shuffle02 Says:

    rob, I’ve watched games in person and on TV. I personally prefer to watch in person so that I can be a part of that energy you are talking about, however, I do believe that when I check out Brad’s writings tomorrow that I’ll be sufficiently informed about the happenings in Athens tonight. Therefore, I find him being there a very irrelevant point. I love some M State athletics just like the next guy, but the reality is that there is more to life.

    Whether or not your job is in the public spotlight make no difference to me. My point is that you would not appreciate having insults such as “pathetic” and “lazy” being thrown at you in public.

    Let me say again that I don’t have a clue why Brad was not at the game, but honestly it doesn’t really matter to me. (And if you’re honest with yourselves, it might not should matte to you either) My friend, you may be the dense one if you believe June-Aug is enough time for all things not work. (Albeit, I’d bet my bottom dollar that Brad has plenty to do at the Journal from June-Aug. We just might not see it.)

  32. thespear Says:

    Rob, your name obviously points out your from batesville with that area code…. There has to be something constructive you could go do over there

  33. benzadawgfan Says:

    Buzzard, Let’s take a look @ the where did they come from teams we lost to in the NCAA. ’02 Texas a 6 seed- we even got to play them in Dallas! ’03 Butler- your strongest arguement, this was a miserable game, Butler was a nobody, but they did go to the sweet 16 and if I remember right, didn’t loose there badly. ’04 – Xavier 7 seed we were a 3 I think they just couldn’t miss- they were a quality team. ’05 -Duke 1 seed how does anybody lose to those guys? ’08- Memphis 1 seed pretty good team, and we had a chance. I see 1 where did they come from, one shoulda coulda, and the other3, probably beat 60 out of the field of 65 in that tourney year. Sometimes you get chicken, sometimes you get feathers! I think in another year or so it’ll be winna winna chicken dinna!

  34. benzadawgfan Says:

    Robert, In case you weren’t aware, there is this thing going on called a recession. There is also the fact that newspaper sales are declining nationwide because of the net. Since Brad works at a local paper, and they aren’t congress, they have to stick to a budget, because if they don’t make money, they will go belly up. If you noticed, he said missing this one would allow him to go to Kentucky- a much bigger game. He has made the trips to the non-televised games and kept us updated, but with national tv coverage, I’m sure you were gonna sit by the computer to read and see if Brad said anything about the energy in the building. I mean those ESPN guys can’t be trusted! Brad, we appreciate your hard work, and I think you deserve your 2 month vacation(as if). Especially since if a person could count, they would know 2 whole months off is less than a person gets that is off Sat.& Sun. HE WORKS 7 DAYS A FREAKIN WEEK! How dare he tivo like the rest of us!

  35. benzadawgfan Says:

    Football sometimes starts end of August, and there is also SEC media days, probably the craziest week of the season for reporters.

  36. mathistondawg Says:

    Robert, I’m sorry man, but I do not feel anyone should judge another until they had the facts. If brad went on a “drunk” instead of covering the game that might be one thing, but since it was planned maybe it was his grandmothers 90th b’day. Who Knows?

    I just think he is the most candid writer on MSU sports I have read in a long time. He tells the good, bad and indifferent. He pisses some people off sometimes, but I have rarely seen him dead wrong. I enjoy reading what he has to say.

    He did state that this would allow him to make the KY game and I agree that the DJ has had to cut back on expenses. I agree we need to quit bickering on this.

  37. ericintupelo Says:

    I watched the game on tv yesterday and I’m not going to rag on Coach Stans or anything but we should’ve blew out Georgia and we lack the killer instinct that we need. Overall I’m estatic we won on the road again which is hard to do in the SEC. Wish Ravern would’ve put on a show like Meeks did but he disappeared in the 2nd half but I’m glad we have a veteran like Vernado to pick up the baskets we need. We got a little lucky with all the open threes they had and missed towards the end of the game. Completely agree with Benza’s take on our losses in the Big Dance. We got the shaft against Texas which is why the NCAA now chooses sites a little more carefully, I was there when Butler beat us and then put on a show against Louisville, Xavier would’ve beat ANYBODY in the country the day they beat us (never seen shooting like that especially the half court shot to end the half) played well against Duke and came this close to beating Memphis (wish we fouled earlier).

  38. Brad Locke Says:

    To clear up any confusion, my boss and I agreed I would not go to Athens so that it’d be easier to financially justify me going to the Kentucky game in a few weeks (and hopefully Tennessee). I would loved to have gone, but Robert, have you noticed how tight things are in the newspaper industry right now? I’m just glad I have a job.

    And I DVR’d it because I was taking my daughter to a birthday party.

  39. Brad Locke Says:

    And thanks to all of you who helped explain things. As for the summer months, you’d be surprised how busy I can be.

  40. ericintupelo Says:

    Brad you don’t owe anyone an explanation. Appreciate you dude

  41. sfwmdawg Says:

    Brad dont look at what people say out of content. take is as a badge of courage. You know, as a reporter, if you dont make somebody mad, the story aint worth anything. Keep up the great job and dont worry about it. Sometimes your going to step on our toes, oh well thats life. I bet these people dont go ragging on the preacher on Sunday morning when he steps on their toes. Chin up and keep it up!!

  42. imabulldog Says:

    Thats right, don’t hate on our boy.

    After all, name one reporter who has made it to every game of a season?

    Really…

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