"Anytime you have a chance to play an opponent you never know what to expect, especially when you have a team like we have, so new and so young.
"The number one thing I was looking for when we started this game and that was effort. I thought the first 20 minutes we really came out and played with tremendous efforts on both ends. Defensively, I thought that we did a better job than I thought we would. I thought that we really pushed the ball in offensive transition and got a lot of easy baskets in transition.
"There's still a lot of things to work on and we have a long way to go. We made a lot of mistakes. In the second half, we played like we had a 20 point lead. We have to get consistent in putting people away and we didn't do a good job there. But, these games are learned as a learning tool."
What kind of team is Sioux Falls compared to an SEC team?
"I think they have some individual talent, but they haven't played together long, so they were new to each other. I think our quickness in the first half, on both ends of the court, got to their legs."
What do you know about your team now that you didn't know prior to the game?
"I'll have to go back and watch the film, but one thing we did is shared the basketball. I thought that everybody shared the ball, big guys and little guys. Our post guys, in particular Lawrence (Roberts) and Branden (Vincent), did a great job of making that extra pass in situations where they could have shot it and scored."
Talk about your player combinations.
"Our biggest job is to develop some depth. It is easy to see the six guys who have experience. From there, we have to develop 7, 8, 9 and 10. Right now, there are two freshmen in that group. That is the area we have to get better."
Are you going to use the same rotation in your next game?
"There is not a whole lot of experiments we can do. We know who those 5 or 6 guys are. And we, basically, know who those next ones have to be, but they just have to get some playing time. I think that Piotr (Stelmach) is a guy that have to be able to play with that other unit some because he is a guy that is going to have to play for us. I like his mental approach but he has to understand the quickness of this game. I don't think he shifted gears enough. By that I mean you have to change pace when those guys go back in transition. You have to find some way to get there with them. That is new to him because the pace of the game is so different. But, he brings some skills. I saw him make some high-low passes. I think he can make open threes."
Talk about the play of your perimeter game.
"Frazier did nothing more than what he has done for us all fall. I think what we are doing in transition allows him to spot up and shoot and that is where he is good. When he gets his feet set and that ball comes to him, he is pretty good there. We probably didn't get near enough of that for him last year, but he is playing with a lot of confidence (this year). He has done that from day one this fall."
What are some things you feel you need to go back and work on in practice?
"A little bit of everything. I don't think there is one thing that this team is really good at, yet. I don't think we are great in offensive transition, but our quickness and our ability to pass the ball gives us a chance. I think we have to improve in our defensive transition, in our half court defense, in all those areas. Again, this was a starting point and a measuring stick for us."
Is the tempo we saw tonight the kind of tempo you want to play this year?
"We want to push it both ends. I think we have guards in Timmy Bowers and Gary Ervin who can push it and make decisions. The more you push, the more chances you have of making easy baskets."
Do the 26 turnovers concern you?
"The key was we had 7 at halftime (actually 8). We had 17 in the second half. And a lot of those came late in the game."
Terry Licorish wasn't at the game today. What is his current status?
"I really don't know. He has some kind of virus with a temperature and rash. He has been in the Tupelo hospital for three days. No one seems to be able to find out exactly what is wrong with him. Terry is the kind of guy that needs (playing experience) bad."
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.