"That was a very exciting basketball game to watch. Arkansas is a very good, young, talented team. Coach Heath has done a tremendous job with them. They will keep getting better and better.
His team's performance
"I was really proud of our basketball team. I think what makes us a pretty, good basketball team right now is because we are a team. I think that is what makes us a little bit special. We have different people step up every night and do different things. And we were able to do this tonight, basically, without Timmy (Bowers) and (Winsome) Frazier having great offensive nights. But we had other people pick up some points. It was good to see Shane (Power) gets some points. I really thought that (Marcus) Campbell gave us some good, productive minutes today. And, there was Lawrence Roberts. He basically dominated the game, offensively and defensively. I thought in the second half, there was no question who the quickest and strongest team that was on that floor. I thought we really got into their legs pushing the basketball. It was a great team effort."
Do you feel this was your team's best performance this season?
"I thought it was pretty good. I loved our effort. I thought that we executed pretty well. Probably the thing we didn't do as well was we didn't shoot the basketball from the three-point line. We were 2 of 15. All of those shots we took, I would say, without looking at film, they were all wide open shots. But, when you can shoot it that poorly from the three-point line and still shoot 47% for the game, that tells you that you are getting a lot of penetration off the dribble and getting the ball inside a lot. I thought in the second half, we were able to score in transition."
Talk about Lawrence Roberts play.
"He did what he does best today. He is a tremendous rebounder. He told Coach Kirby before the game he was going to go 20-20 (20 rebounds, 20 points). He got one of them right (29 points). Offensively, I thought it was his best game. When he is playing with that kind of energy his game goes to another level. And it was at another level today. That is what we need from him."
How's his shoulder?
"I think he's ok. I think he was elbowed on top of it. He wasn't complaining about it after the game."
Branden Vincent didn't play much in the first half.
"I thought we survived the first half with Branden Vincent getting two fouls. It changes our basketball team a lot. The last thing I told him when leaving the lockerroom, 'Branden, made it to the first timeout with no fouls.' Well, when the first timeout came he had two. And that changes our team. The second half we were able to play him a bunch of minutes."
Billy Pharis scored 15 points in the first half but in the second half, with Vincent on him, he only made 3.
"He made three 3's in the first half, two of them were against our zone. We didn't zone him in the second half. I made the decision at halftime that when he was in the game we were going to play man. We made one mistake on him in man defense when Branden got off and helped on a drive motion. But there was no question in the second half we did a much better job against him."
What was your strategy against Jonathon Modica?
"Nothing in particular. We knew he was good on ball screens. We wanted to stretch those screens out. We had a pretty good defender on him. We knew he drives the ball, baselines a lot, so you know you have to take those drives away. When you have Frazier, Vincent, Bowers and Slater on you, those are pretty good defenders."
Although you have won 13 in a row, you haven't beaten anybody in the top 25. How good are you?
"I think we are an average ball team right now, but I think we have a chance to get better. All I know is this Tuesday night we have a chance to play a pretty good basketball team. I guess we'll see how good we are because we will have a chance to play one of the best basketball teams in the country."
Kentucky game is this coming Tuesday.
"Kentucky is next on our schedule, Tuesday night. It's a day earlier than normal. We are here at home. There will be a lot of energy out there. Our team will be ready to play Tuesday night."
Talk about Arkansas' play.
"They are good. They have the third leading scorer in Modica. You have a sophomore guard who is like a senior because he played forty minutes a game last year. Brewer is a very hard player to guard because he posts up and drives you. Then, you have a mixture of a guy in Pharis. He is a guy who has helped them more anything because he can step out and shoot the ball. We were trying to trap him one time in the corner and he shot out of the trap before we got there. They have a lot of depth. Their freshmen are going to be tremendous players. They are going to beat some people."
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.