Mississippi State head coach Rick Stansbury talked about his team's 82-60 win over the Tennessee Volunteers. MSU is now 17-1 overall and 6-1 in SEC play."> Mississippi State head coach Rick Stansbury talked about his team's 82-60 win over the Tennessee Volunteers. MSU is now 17-1 overall and 6-1 in SEC play.">

Rick Stansbury talks about his team's win

<img src="http://www.genespage.com/images/coaches/basketball/stansbury-action.jpg" align="left" width="120" height="161"> Mississippi State head coach Rick Stansbury talked about his team's 82-60 win over the Tennessee Volunteers. MSU is now 17-1 overall and 6-1 in SEC play.

Opening Comments

Concerns about Tennessee.
"I was really concerned coming into this basketball game for a lot of reasons. Tennessee has a terrific basketball team. They had just come off two losses against the top 3 and top 5 teams. And they could have and should have won both of them. I was also concerned about whether my basketball team could find the energy to play against a Tennessee team that they could have easily overlooked."

His team's effort.
"This team finds a way to do what it has to do to take care of business. I thought in the second half, after we talked a little bit at halftime, our team came out and made a statement about what it is about. There are periods in all games where the games are decided. And our team came out in the second half and left no question who was going to win that basketball game. We did it with tremendous effort defensively."

Wesley Morgan's play.
"We have to continue to finding ways to inject enthusiasm and energy into our team. We had that tonight. I thought that Wesley Morgan was a young man who came in and gave us that tonight. We have to have young men who help you by doing that."


Were you worried that you team might not be ready for this game?
"I have never questioned whether we would come out and be ready. That's wasn't my question. I have to make sure it doesn't happen. They have yet to show me that they weren't ready. I think the challenge of this basketball team is to not take victories as something that we think are expected, that we are just going to show up and let it happen. That is going to be the key to this team. Every game you play in the SEC is going to be a war and we don't need to get comfortable thinking we are going to beat teams 20 points or in double figures every night."

Teams have such a tough time scoring against your guys right now. Is your team a hard team to handle?
"We present a lot of problems offensively and defensively. Defensively, we are very quick. We can pressure that ball. We have an undersize four player, Branden Vincent, who can really get out in that perimeter and guard. We have (Winsome) Frazier, who, if you make a mistake on a pass, is going to go and get it. Timmy Bowers and Shane (Power) play great position defense. On offense, the thing I have been preaching is showing offensive toughness. That means running back to the offensive end just as tough as you would the defensive end. I thought in the second half we showed toughness on both ends. I thought that we really pushed that basketball and got into them and didn't allow them to change defenses as much as they wanted to."

Talk about the large number of turnovers Tennessee had tonight.
"We forced 21 turnovers. That is a big stat for us. That is a stat showing how much pressure and quickness that we were putting on people."

Why did you decide to bring Wesley Morgan in during the first half?
"It is something that I have been saying for two weeks that we needed to do. I have been telling our coaches that Wesley Morgan has a chance to help us. His first two years he only practiced three weeks each year, a total of six weeks. This is the first time he has been on the floor. Because of his work ethic and attitude, he gets better and better each day. He does all the little things. There was no question that he could help us, it was me finding that right opportunity to get him in there. He is one of those guys once you get him in there, you may never get him out. He is one of those players does something to you chemistry, does something for the makeup of your team. Those are the kind of things that you have to continue to have, changes in your chemistry and changes in your energy. He is a young man that will give it to us. Shane gave it to us the first five or six games. That is where your bench is important."

After seeing Morgan play tonight, will you put him in more often in a game?
"Both (Campbell and Morgan) are going to play. But I think it is very obvious that Wesley Morgan has earned some playing time. I always say this; I don't decide how much you are going to play. You, as a player, make that decision. The more productive you are, the more you play. Wesley Morgan was productive tonight. 7 points, 7 rebounds in 9 minutes, that is been productive."

Will Lincoln Smith play Saturday?
"Probably not, he is out with some kind of virus."

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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