"As a big guy, defense is very important.," said Herard. "Defense is much more important for a big guy than offense is. You have to get those rebounds, block shots and run the floor."
To make sure he is as good as possible on defense, the MSU coaches are working him very hard in practice.
"They are pushing me harder every day because I have a lot of potential and they want me to do better," said Herard.
He has seen a lot of improvement in his defense since he set foot on campus.
"My defense, compared to how it was before, I am getting better at it," said Herard. "That is why they push me so hard in practice, they know I can be better."
In addition to coaching, losing over forty pounds since arriving on campus has also allowed him to be more effective defensively.
"I am moving much better after losing weight," said Herard. "I was 292 (pounds) when I got here. Now I am 251. That has helped me run better down the court. I have more endurance. When I was 292, I got tired really fast."
One of eight freshmen on the team, he expects that youth to help bring excitement to the MSU basketball program.
"It is really exciting," said Herard. "We have to bring the fire back to the school. People keep downgrading us. We have to show them what we can do. Being young can't be an excuse for us. We have to play like big boys."
According to Herard, they will have the talent to help offset that inexperience.
"We do have a lot of talent on the team," said Herard. "It is really crazy (how much talent we have). We are going to have a huge year."
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network.