When Richard Hendrix flashes to the elbow of the free throw line drawing multiple defenders he has a sense of where his teammates are on the floor. Quite often it's Jermareo Davidson who is the beneficiary of a snap pass from Hendrix, who drove tonight's inside game with scoring as well as passing.
"You just gotta have eye contact," Hendrix said.
"Maybe it's just something coming from a coach's son or whatever. High-low feeds -- especially with me and Jermareo -- I think we're getting a little chemistry going on. It's going to be tough to stop."
Hendrix was credited with just one assist to go with seven of ten shooting and an eight of 13 night from the charity stripe, but his passing was a noticeable facilitator.
"That's just my game," Hendrix said. "I enjoy passing just as much as I love rebounding and scoring the ball. Anytime I see an open teammate and I can get them an easier shot I'm always going to do it. That's just the type of style I play.
"It's something that we've always had, but with Chuck gone you're missing that much point production we realize you have to rely on each other much more than you had in the past."
Davidson also had one official assist to go with 14 points and five boards.
"We realized we can swing it to each other," Davidson said. "We always look to each other, and tonight we realized they couldn't stop us down there. We got them in foul trouble and kept going at them."
Combined, Hendrix and Davidson are averaging just under two assists per game in Conference play. But as Mississippi State big man and MSU Head Coach Rick Stansbury found out, stats don't tell the whole tale. Bama's big men were frustrating on the defensive end, too. Davidson had three blocks and two steal in the game, and Hendrix had one steal.
"I heard them getting a little frustrating," Davidson said, "yelling for the ball and asking for the ball and getting mad when team didn't get it to him. But I think he really played a good game.
Said Gottfried, "We didn't want to play small. I didn't want to take Richard or J out of there and go with a small group.