Mississippi State basketball players talked about their 84-77 overtime victory over the Columbus Riverdragons of the NBDL.

Pictured: Marcus Campbell

"> Mississippi State basketball players talked about their 84-77 overtime victory over the Columbus Riverdragons of the NBDL.

Pictured: Marcus Campbell


MSU Players Talk About Their Victory

<img src="http://www.genespage.com/images/01players/basketball/marcuscampbell-mug.jpg" align="left" width="121" height="160"> Mississippi State basketball players talked about their 84-77 overtime victory over the Columbus Riverdragons of the NBDL.<P> <h4 >Pictured: Marcus Campbell</h4>

MARCUS CAMPBELL (18 pts, 8 rebs, 20 minutes)

You looked pretty good the first two games. Do you feel you are where you want to be?
"No, by far, it is not where I need to be. I need to continue playing hard and listening to my coaches."

How did it feel to see Derrick Zimmerman on the other side?
"It felt different because I have never played against him before."

Now that you are about to start the regular season, where do you feel this team is?
"I think we are really starting to gel. We are trying to pull together as a team and win another championship."

How much better was this team compared to last week's team?
"Man, they were a whole lot stronger, a whole lot faster and they weren't as old. They were younger guys who could get up and down the floor just as good as we could get up and down the court."

How did they compare to some of the non-conference teams you played last season?
"They were the hardest. They have some proven players on their team, some guys on their team who proved themselves in college. They used more wisdom than athleticism. They played extremely well."

LAWRENCE ROBERTS (17 pts, 9 rebs, 28 minutes)

How do you think things are falling into place now that you have played two exhibitions?
"Each game we get better playing as a team."

You didn't have any personal fouls in the first half and had 5 in the second half. What happened?
"Man, I don't know. It was tough because they had some big guys. I was getting down there battling because I played a little more (center) in the second half. That probably played more of a factor in the second half."

How would you compare this team to last week's team? Marcus Campbell said they were faster and stronger. Would you agree with that?
"Yeah, you could see the difference. They were just a better team."

After winning so easily last week, did you need a better quality team like this before you start the regular season?
"Most definitely. When we have a challenge like we had tonight, that is always going to be a plus. This is a great way to go into the season."

Did you see any one thing that you guys improved on from the last game?
"Defense. We really worked hard on that all week (in practice). I think we did a good job of coming out and executing."

TIMMY BOWERS (20 pts, 7 rebs, 5 assists, 41 minutes)

There was one time in the game when you dunked on Derrick Zimmerman and he grinned at you and you had a very serious look.
"I didn't even think about it. It was just competitiveness. He is competitive and I am competitive. We are best friends off the court but on the court it is a business. I am going out there to try and get a win and he is going out there to try to get a win for his team."

I'm sure you guys have gone against each other in practice. Was it a little different going against him in a real game?
"It was real, but I don't think it was any different. I felt it was like one of those scrimmages we had last year. We just went after it like that."

After you easily defeated last week's team, was it good to face a team like this that was bigger, stronger, faster and younger?
"It was great for us to face a team like this. They made us better. We couldn't score as easily on offense and we had to knuckle up on the defensive end. Defense is what we build on. Anytime you get us playing defense like we did tonight, that is always good."

Where did you improve from last week?
"I think we improved on our conditioning. To be able to run like we want to, you have to be in the best shape possible. This week, we did a lot of conditioning. Guys pushed through a lot of drills this week. You can see the development of Marcus Campbell when he runs the floor on offense and defense."

What things does this team need still need to work on?
"Definitely improve on our rebounding. We have to improve on the defensive end contesting jump shots. It is early in the season, you have to get better in a lot of areas."

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 swindoll@genespage.com.

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