"We felt like coming into this game that in order for us to have a chance to pull off a big upset some things had to go our way. We would have to do a good job defensively, especially on the inside. We knew we would have to take care of the ball and try to figure out how to take the crowd out of the game, so they wouldn't get the momentum going with their transition game. They have a very strong transition game. We didn't do quite enough in any of those areas and the inside was more than enough. We tried to do different things, but they had a lot of answers, especially from Roberts. He was tough to deal with. We weren't able to stop him or control him at all. That is a credit to him as well as his teammates. I thought we did a good job on Timmy Bowers, but that just shows you that they are more than Timmy Bowers. And he is a very exciting and talented player. They are a very good basketball team. They are as good as any team we have faced all year long. They have a lot of different weapons."
Did you try any differ things against Roberts after seeing how well he played in the first half?
"I know it looked like we weren't doing anything but we had two or three different strategies that just didn't work. They worked in some other games, but the difference with him is he can play a little bit away from the basket and face you up. He has good, quick moves and can go in either direction. That makes it a difficult matchup. And he is not a bad passer. If you try to do too many things and he can see over the top of you, he had Campbell sitting right there, that's not an easy task to put a guard down there on the double team. When you cover him single coverage, he finds a way to still score. He is a difficult matchup. It will take a team with good size and strength in the post to hold him off."
With a loud and rowdy crowd cheering them on, it seems like the Bulldogs play with a lot more energy here. Do you agree with that?
"I would agree with that. I think they have played a bit on the road the last four or five games. They certainly looked like a better team here than what I saw on the tape."
How do you think they matchup with LSU?
"I think they matchup well. It will be a good game. If I had to say, LSU is a good team, but I would give the edge to Mississippi State. I just think that the insides will be a big battle. It will be who gets whom in foul trouble. I think the difference will be if Bowers and Frazier have it going, that could be an edge there. Being on the road and being at home is also you have to consider."
You played man early in the game, was that your plan?
"I tend to sub on feel. But I just felt like Roberts and Campbell were so strong around the basket I needed to find some way to keep them away. That's why I went with man."
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.