MSU players talk about their win

Mississippi State's players talked about their team's 72-50 victory over Tulane. With the victory, MSU goes to 10-0 on the season.

BRANDEN VINCENT (5 pts, 9 rebs, 4 assts, 3 blocks)

How was it to play in front of your family in New Orleans?
"It was exciting. I'm happy to come here and play in front of my family because it may be my last time to play in front of them down here."

Were you guys on fire today or were they just not playing well?
"We came out kind of sleepy against Santa Clara out in California and we knew we had to bounce back and get back to our game. Tonight was our chance to do that."

That 13-0 run really set the tone of the game.
"Yeah, we got a good jump on them with our pressure. It got them a little flustered. Last game, we didn't play a lot of pressure and we decided we would pick it up this game."


LAWRENCE ROBERTS (15 pts, 6 rebs, 2 blocks, 2 steals)

Talk about keeping the momentum in the second half that you had in the first half.
"Coach (Stansbury) emphasized to us to come out with the same intensity. When you have a large lead you don't want to let up and let a team back into the game."

With four new starters are you surprised that you are doing so well as a team?
"Somewhat, but not really. We have a lot of guys with experience even though we have four new starters. The experience is there and the talent level is there. We can go with a big lineup or a quick lineup."

Has your role for Mississippi State about what you expected it would be when you first came in?
"It's not anything different than what I expected. Whatever they need, I'm going to try and supply it."

Do you feel this was the best game you guys have played as a team?
"I think we came out and played the way we know we can play. We played tough defense and on the offensive end we played our sets. We fed off our defense and got some easy transition buckets."

Do you think you intimidated them in the first few minutes of the game and never let them in the game after that?
"Yeah, I think we gave them a pretty good blow at the beginning of the game. Every team has some runs. We came out and tried to stop them from making that run."


SHANE POWER (7 pts, 1 reb, 1 asst)

How different is this team from last year's team?
"It is a lot different. This team, to be honest with you, has more guys who can make plays, more guys that can come up with the big steal on defense. That's the biggest thing. I think the first seven, first eight guys can all make the play. That comes in handy in close games."

Now that Zimmerman is gone, Timmy Bowers has said he wants to be the leader. Do you feel he is doing that this year?
"There is no question that Timmy is a leader. He usually sets the tone for the team. He was our silent leader last year. This year the only difference is he is talking a little more."

Is this an easy team to play for? What I'm getting at is a lot of teams have one or two go-to guys. This team has four or five go-to guys. Does that make it easier to play on?
"It is easy in a sense but it is also hard in a sense. It's easy in the sense that the burden is never on one guy's shoulders but at the same time we are all competing to make the good play. I heard Teddy Lang, the linebacker for Oklahoma, say it is so hard to make a play on that team because you have 10 other great guys playing defense. It's almost like you are competing to make plays."

What happened to you guys out in California that caused you to get so far behind Santa Clara in the first half of your game against them?
"The first day we took time out to sightsee. After that, we were all business. We had grind it out practices. We just weren't there mentally the first half. I told one of the other reporters Tulane can blame Santa Clara for our fast start tonight. I think we learned from that game. That was a huge test for us to come back and win that game after being down at the half."

Was this game a game where you guys were on top of your game or was it due to Tulane not playing well?
"I think we were on top of our game. I had also heard they had a rough game against LSU, so their spirits might have been done a little bit. But I think they came out and played hard but we were playing so well that took the wind out of them a little bit. They are a good team and will make come back."


TIMMY BOWERS (14 pts, 5 rebs, 3 assts, 3 steals)

It was like two different teams the past two games. Against Santa Clara you guys start off slow and against Tulane you start off great.
"I think the difference was our focus. Against Santa Clara, I believe we went out there on a Wednesday and stayed out there a long time before we played. We were practicing, then laying around not really doing much. Coming down here, we talked about it and didn't want to come out sluggish like we did there. We wanted to come out with a lot of intensity on defense, try to get some steals and get some easy baskets. And that is exactly what happened today."

Why do you guys play so well here in the New Orleans Arena?
"I really don't know. Coach (Stansbury) told us before the game until somebody beats us here it is our gym. We play like it is our home court. We know we are going to have a great crowd here."

Is this an easy or difficult team to play on since you don't rely on just one guy to make the plays?
"It makes it easier for me, especially on the offensive end. I don't have to carry the load because you have guys like (Winsome) Frazier, Branden Vincent, Lawrence Roberts, Shane (Power), Marcus Campbell. Any of those guys can step up on any given night and get the points. On defense, we are getting better but we aren't where we were last year."


Winsome Frazier (10 pts, 3 rebs, 3 assts, 5 steals) Do you take great pride in your defense? The reason I ask that is Coach Stansbury said he would hate to be a guard playing against you on offense.
"In high school I knew I could play defense but I knew it wasn't where I wanted it to be. My freshman year at Mississippi State, Coach (Stansbury) kept emphasizing defense, so as I played more and more, it just came to me. That is what coach likes about me, I get in the passing lanes and play hard."

What happened when you were injured early in the game?
"The guy kneed me."

How does it feel now?
"It still is bothering me. It is aching right now but the trainer told me to keep moving around."

You guys were 2-19 the last game and 4-15 from three-point range this game. Does that worry you?
"Not really. We don't let it bother us. We are a shooting team; that is our mentality. If we can't shoot from the outside, we will pound the ball inside."


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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