On the Links: Hoops and Baseball

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Mississippi State is officially in a slide. The Bulldogs fell to Tennessee, 81-76, last night. It was their third straight loss and fourth in five games. Scotty Hopson scored a game-high 21 points (on 7-of-11 shooting) to lead the Volunteers (17-10, 8-5 SEC). MSU (17-11, 7-6) never led in the second half. Barry Stewart was solid with 20 points and four assists, and Ravern Johnson scored 18. Point guard Dee Bost offset his 17 points and five assists with six turnovers (State had 17 turnovers to UT’s 10). Jarvis Varnado struggled, getting just eight points, six boards and three blocks. The Bulldogs shot pretty well – 47.2 percent from the field, 36.7 from 3-point range – but the defense was not there. State has given up 80-plus points in four of its last five games.

Big picture, this means MSU is losing its grip on second place in the West and the first-round bye in the SEC Tournament that comes with that. With Auburn beating Ole Miss, the Bulldogs and Tigers are now tied for second. They meet Saturday in Starkville (Auburn won the first meeting). I’ll have more on the Bulldogs in tomorrow’s Journal.

I’ll also have something on the Lady Bulldogs, as I’m covering their game tonight against South Carolina. Final home game of the year.

To the baseball diamond, MSU pulled out a 4-3 win over Mississippi Valley State yesterday. Brent Brownlee‘s pinch-hit double in the eighth inning broke a 3-3 tie. Reliever Justin Bussey (1-0) earned the win with 1 1/3 innings of work. True freshman David Hayes, who learned about four hours before game time he would start, gave up a run on two hits in 1 2/3 innings. Greg Houston and Lee Swindle also pitched for MSU.

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6 Responses to “On the Links: Hoops and Baseball”

  1. dawgfan01 Says:

    with everything that has gone on in the MSU mens basketball program the past few years it begs the question what is wrong in starkville? Alot of talent has moved on and it seems like we can not get to the next level. I wonder how safe Stanz is? I really like the guy but will the NINJA make a move? Stanz is a great recruter and a great guy but will we ever see the final four again with him at the helm? I know the 96 team had alot of talent Dampier, Wilson, Jones, etc. but to be honest Dampier is the last “real” big man we have had. Not to knock swat he is great in his own way but not like Eric Dampier. Does anyone see change in the near future? I’m not saying that is what I want I really like Stanz but we seem to be stuck in a rut.

  2. deaddawg1 Says:

    Too much Hopson, not enough defense last night. I think we’re still reeling from the LSU loss. Stans will have ’em ready for Auby. GO DAWGS!!!!!

  3. dawgfan01 Says:

    I hope so I would hate to lose Stanz but we have a AD in place that will make changes if he feels like that is what he needs to do. We beat KY on the road and UT got beat like they stole something by KY, I thought the guys would have got up for this game. We really need some inside help Swat is a great shot blocker but that is about it. We rely so heavily on jump shots take it to the rim once in a while. Too many early shots kinda like street ball, there is not alot of set plays. Also if we are going to use 4 guards why not use there speed in full court pressure or at least extend the defense?

  4. carwwest Says:

    i think a lot of stans bashers dont realize we are being forced to play a 4 guard system…the augustus issues are wierd in their own right but he nor osby are ready to be everyday starters and bailey and johnson are terrible….

    listen, dont get me wrong, i love varnado but he is not the beast people think…he is a very very good player but gets beat down low a lot….defense isnt just about blocks, not taking anything away from him because he is a very good player…

    the thing is we have a good team but inexperienced even now this late in the season…we lost three starters from last year and despite having talent, thats hard to overcome…and even though i am a stans supporter, last nights last 3 minutes bothered me….why wait till 15 seconds ran off the shot clock to foul??….its cliche but we will be better next year but we have to do something about stewart taking so many shots and rayvern being so lazy….

  5. dawgfan01 Says:

    I really like Rick and I know that we are young this is a given. I just wonder why kids jump ship it makes you think something is wrong. The only player I hear about is another guard committed to State, we need a Big man presence. I know that we will be alot better next year but with Stans tenure shouldn’t we expect to good to great every year? I like Dee I know he had a bad game last night but he will be a star. Is there any chance on building a bigger gym? I love the Hump but more people = more money. Does anyone know of other players looking at State? Also why not bring in a bench coach? Anything to help Rick get these guy’s attention

  6. s084swd Says:

    It’s hard to win on the road against a good team and turn the ball over 17 times. That may be the biggest reason we lost last night. Just from looking at the stats, it looks like everything else wasn’t bad. We did get outrebounded by seven though. Our frontcourt players (center, power forward) took a total of nine shots to the backcourt’s (guard) 44.

    My main complaint or concern about Stans is that almost every time I hear him speak, he sounds like he has throat cancer or something. He may have one of the weaker voices of all the other coaches I’ve heard. A coach needs to be able to communicate good with everyone in the program.

    Last, I don’t think we’re running a four guard lineup because we absolutely have to. Surely Bailey, Brian Johnson, Augustus, or Osby one could step up and start along with Varnado if given the opportunity. I know not one of them is perfect or as far along as we might like, but they’re capable. Let’em learn. It would probably also help to take some of the pressure off of Varnado.

    That’s it for now. Go State!

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