Gene Swindoll, Gene's Page

Travis Daniels Impressed With Coach Howland

Mississippi State senior forward Travis Daniels has been very impressed with new head men's basketball coach Ben Howland.

"Coach Howland cares about his players a lot and he puts a lot of confidence in us," said Daniels. "He doesn't get on you and put it over your head; he puts the fire under you and tells you to bring it. That helps me play better because he has a lot of confidence in me, and he didn't even recruit me."

Daniels is a very unselfish player, which fits right into what Howland is asking from his big men.

"(The big men) are doing a lot of pick and pop," said Daniels. "We are doing a lot more screening. We are staying out in the three instead of going to the goal. We are trying to open up the floor more (for the guards)."

One big man that has really impressed Daniels this year is senior center Gavin Ware

"Gavin is totally different, especially with his body," said Daniels. "He is jumping higher and he is ultra aggressive on both ends of the floor."

Due to the improvement in the returning players, the addition of several very talented newcomers and the coaching of Ben Howland and his staff, Daniels expects a much-improved team this season.

"I feel like we will be a lot more successful this year because we have a lot of talent on this team," said Daniels. "We've added a lot of talent and we have a lot of seniors. We have a great coaching staff. We can do some great things this year."

After four tough years for the program, Daniels hopes fans will see the Mississippi State basketball of the past begin its return.

"We are trying to get past the four-year drought that we have been having and show that Mississippi State has a great basketball program," said Daniels.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network.

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