Talk about the Kentucky win streak in the SEC.
"It is somewhat miraculous. I think they have gotten lucky a couple of times, but when you are good you get lucky sometimes. But Kentucky will never beat themselves. You have to take the game from them. We had a couple of opportunities with free throws and loose balls."
Do you think, after this game, there are no longer any doubters about this Mississippi State team?
"Yeah, I don't think there are many doubters after tonight's game. We showed our heart. I think we are on the verge of of turning this from a good team to a team on the verge of being a great team. I think people saw if we had come out and played our best ball from the tip, to be honest, I don't think it will come down to 2.5 seconds. I think we would have had a pretty good lead down the stretch. We have to come out with more urgency and find a way to start the games better."
Arkansas and Kentucky are two of the toughest places for team's to play. The reporters that cover both teams asked their coach about how tough it is to play at Mississippi State. Do you also feel the Hump has become one of the toughest place for opponents to play?
"I think tonight this environment was definitely one of the toughest places to play in the country. Our fans, from the bottom row all the way to the top row, were extremely loud and extremely into the game. Quite frankly, I think if we had come out faster I think that kind of energy from our fans would have made this game almost a big win for us."
Gary Ervin (11 pts, 2 rebs, 4 assists, 4 steals, 4 turnovers, 21 minutes)
You knew Kentucky was coming in and ESPN was coming in. Did you sense that throughout the day?
"I was laid back the entire day. It didn't get to me until about 6 o'clock when I was getting dressed and about to come to the Hump to play. I started to get a little anxious then but when I chew bubble gum I relax and that is what helped me today."
Do you think you showed tonight that you are going to be a contributor to this team the rest of the season?
"Oh yes, I am going to be a contributor. I am going to take this game film and see if I can learn from my mistakes."
What did you learn about SEC basketball that you maybe didn't see in the first two SEC games?
"It is tough. There is a lot of defense, a lot of ball screens, trash talking. But that's basketball."
You were really vocal out there tonight. Were the Kentucky players talking to you?
"It was me and Fitch. It was just a little bit of trash talking. That is how it is when the game is competitive. I was just trying to give my team some energy. And if that is the way to do it, then I had to get it done."
Timmy Bowers (20 pts (6-13 three-point shots), 2 rebs, 2 assists, 6 turnovers, 1 steals, 38 minutes)
What caused your team to start out so slow?
"I think it was nervousness. Another thing was we were quick-shooting it a lot, settling for the three-point shot too much. We weren't really getting much movement on the offensive end. We were also giving them easy shots. I think most of their first 10 points were layups."
How would you rank this loss?
"I think it is one of the toughest losses. But obviously the (NCAA) Tournament losses are very tough. To lose like we did tonight on a last second shot, those are always tough. It was devastating. It kind of goes back to the Butler game where we lost on a last second shot."
What did you do during the run that put you ahead of Kentucky?
"I think we just got hot at the right time. And we stepped our defensive intensity up. We started getting steals, rebounding the ball better and pushing it up the court. I think that allowed us to get some easy buckets in transition."
Winsome Frazier (9 pts, 4 rebs, 1 blocks, 2 steals, 3 turnovers, 33 minutes)
What did you get from this game?
"It is a learning experience for us. We have to go on the road Saturday against LSU. We'll have to put this game behind us and get ready for them."
This is the first loss of the season. What do you do to regroup and get ready for the next game?
"We can forget about it but it will still be in the back of our mind. We should have won this game. We should have put away."
Lawrence Roberts (15 pts, 14 rebs, 1 block, 3 steal, 2 turnovers, 37 minutes)
It seemed like they took you out of the game in the first half.
"Yeah, they did a good job of slowing me down. They kind of took us out of the tempo of the game."
What were you thinking Kentucky would do with the 2+ seconds left on the clock?
"That is a lot of time but they wanted to act fast and we kind of knew that so we zoned the up trying to get them in a bad shot."
Talk about that last sequence in the game where Kentucky scored the winning basket.
"We were going to come with a backcut with 2 seconds left. We had to act fast. We were going to kind of zone around the basket and make sure Fitch didn't come off for a good look at the basket."
How much of your hands did you get on the ball that last play?
"I got a pretty good amount but not enough to grab it or make a play on it."
Did they knock it out of your hands?
"No, I was just trying to tip it the other way but the ball just bounced."
How did you act against their double in the post in the second half?
"Just stay with the movement. We just kind of wanted to get it spaced out and make sure that if they wanted to double, they had to come a long way for the double. We just tried to open up the entire floor."
Talk about the play of Gary Ervin.
"He did a great job coming off the bench and giving us some energy and a spark in a good run at the end of the first half that got us to 9 at halftime."
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.