"I was very pleased with the way our team came out of the gate. I didn't know what to expect, for sure. I thought we were sharp and sharp with energy. We came off of what I thought was a pretty good win Saturday night on the road and had only one day's rest. I thought that our defensive intensity got us going offensively. I thought we shared the ball and made shots. We tried to keep up the same intensity the second half, but I don't think it was quite the same. That is pretty difficult. We came out and did what we were supposed to do. We took care of business."
Is Gary Ervin's knee ok?
"It was a knee bruise that he got. He's fine."
Talk about the play of Shane Power. He continues to make clutch plays.
"I keep saying this about him: I don't think his offense is in rhythm yet and I don't think he is as quick as he is going to be, but there are two things that are consistent with him no matter how bad of shape he is in, he is tough and he plays with a lot of mentality, a lot of smartness. I still think he will get better and better, offensively. That is the part of his game that is suffering the most right now. If I had to take a choice of something suffering, I would that suffer than his ability to defend and rebound and his toughness."
You shot 59% for the game and held your opponent to 32%.
"Yeah, that was good. They shot 22% the first half and shot 40% in the second. And they got a bunch of points the last two minutes." (17 pts. to MSU's 8 pts. the last two+ minutes.Gene)
"I thought we were pretty sharp defensively. I thought, for the first time, we took their two best players out of the game. (Edward) Garriet got some threes but three of those came in the last three minutes of the game. Before that, we held him in check. We kept (Greg) Tucker in check most of the game." (Tucker, who was averaging 17.5 ppg was held to 7. Garriet, who was averaging 16.5 ppg scored 23, but only made 8 of 22 shots and 7 of 19 three-pointers.-Gene)
Your team had a lot of assists. (22 assists.-Gene)
"I thought that we shared the ball very well. We had a lot of turnovers. But stats can be misleading sometimes due to the people you have late in the game." (21 turnovers.-Gene)
Talk about your offense tonight.
"I think our offense has been that way. We score points pretty consistently. But I don't think we stop people consistently. That has a little to do with our opponents and our sharpness. But tonight, I thought we were sharp, defensively. I thought that we had great energy out of our wings."
Timmy Bowers and Winsome Frazier were really on tonight. (Bowers scored 17 points, going 6 of 10 from the field, while Frazier scored 18 points while going 8 of 11 from the field.-Gene
"When those guys are right mentally, we can be a hard team to guard. They were trying to trap and scramble a little bit and that leaves some shooters open. When you make shots, that makes the world go around."
Do you like having to play 4 games in 8 days?
"I don't like it at all because a lot of things slip as far as practice. But, on the other hand, I do like it. I like it because it allows you to see how your team responds over and over and over to different type people and different type challenges. We will find out about our team's ability to focus and come out night after night without a lot of rest."
How will you rest your team? Give them a day or two off this week?
"We don't do much right now. We have to be smart as far as their legs and energy. We can't really practice. We'll walk through with them tomorrow. Some of the guys who don't play as much will go through some conditioning work."
Talk about Dietric Slater.
"I thought that Dietric came off the bench and gave us great energy the first half. I thought that he locked in to Garriet and Garriet got no shots off and no penetration on him. That's what we need him to be able to do as this season goes on."
What does a road win over Western Kentucky do for a team?
"I think it brings your team together. This team has to find a way to become a team. The way you become a team is to crawl into those trenches together. When it is just you, that is when you have to bond as a team. That is what we will take from that game at Western."
Did you expect this team to play with so much confidence this early in the season?
"We have good kids, good people. These kids get along well. I think that our chemistry is definitely coming together."
McNeese State head coach Tic Price.
Talk about MSU.
"Mississippi State was a tough matchup for us because they are so big and athletic. And they are physically stronger than us. They are a tough team to block out because they are quick and have good speed. They have good outside shooters in Timmy Bowers, (Winsome) Frazier and (Shane) Power. You have to pick your poison, especially if you zone them. If you throw it inside, they just overpower you. I think they are going to beat some people this year and go far into the NCAA Tournament if they can stay away from any key injuries.
"I thought that Lawrence Roberts, especially when we were looking at a tape of him, reminds me so much of (NBA player) Tim Duncan because of the moves he can do when he places the ball on the floor. I think he is going to be a force (for MSU)."
Compare them personnel-wise to last year's MSU team.
"I think this is a better Mississippi State team. I say that without any reservations because they have too many weapons. The last couple of times we played them, we knew they were going to go inside to (Mario) Austin. Now, if you are down on their post, they are playing it out and they have guys that can knock down shots."
Did it surprise you that they played so well against your team?
"No, I'm not surprised. They just came off a big win over Western Kentucky on the road. People don't understand how tough that is a place to win. That gave them a psychology boost coming home. Each win, they gain more confidence. They have four or five more home games. I don't see them losing those games."
Your team has played LSU this season. What is the difference in MSU and LSU?
"I think MSU defends better, their perimeter players definitely shoot better and they have a committee of big guys, while LSU has a couple."
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.