MSU assistant coach Robert Kirby talked to Gene's Page about the thrilling, 79-75, overtime victory over the South Carolina Gamecocks in front of over 17,000 Gamecocks fans."> MSU assistant coach Robert Kirby talked to Gene's Page about the thrilling, 79-75, overtime victory over the South Carolina Gamecocks in front of over 17,000 Gamecocks fans.">

Robert Kirby talked about the Dogs win

<img src="http://www.genespage.com/images/coaches/basketball/robertkirby.jpg" align="left"> MSU assistant coach Robert Kirby talked to Gene's Page about the thrilling, 79-75, overtime victory over the South Carolina Gamecocks in front of over 17,000 Gamecocks fans.

What was it like during the overtime?
"That place was probably the loudest place that we have been in. It was unbelievable how loud it was. The guys have this attitude about them when they go on the floor. They just refuse to lose."

When you were down by 12 with about 6 minutes, did you see it in your guys' eyes that they were about to turn it around?
"Our guys' mentality was always the same. It was in their eyes at the start of the game. They never had a look of 'we may get beat', never did they show that. We talked about it on the bench how South Carolina had that (we may get beat) look late in the game."

What happened at that point to turn it around?
"What did it was Coach Stansbury put them in the 1-3-1 halfcourt trap, the same trap we ran against Ole Miss at Ole Miss. When we put them in that trap, our guys, when they are doing something that they know has been very successful for them, they play with a lot of passion. And our guys play with passion anyway. What happened is (South Carolina) didn't make any adjustments to the trap. And the way our guys attacked it and handled it, we cut off passing lanes and made them hold the ball and have to think and make decisions. It's kind of like playing against a pressing team; you press them, they don't always handle it very well. We trapped them, they didn't handle the trap very well."

How do you intimidate a team that should be intimidating you because they are a top 25 team playing in front of a crowd that sounded more intimidating than the MSU crowds at the Hump?
"It was, it was very loud. Those guys stay together. You don't have one on that team that won't go out and not lay it on the line for the others. They will do whatever it takes to win the ballgame. We were struggling offensively and Branden (Vincent) stepped up and had 10 offensive rebounds, 18 (total rebounds) for the game. And Lawrence stepped out and knocked down a couple of threes to start the game. Then, we made adjustments with each of the other guys. Each person stepped up and made things happen for us."

What did it mean to the team when you came up to the Hump and saw all these students waiting to greet the team?
"The guys just love it. It makes it all worthwhile. It makes them want to lay it on the line. They know the students believe in them and they are trying to give it everything they can to make them happy."

What will the team do Thursday and Friday?
"We will do the same things we usually do. We will watch a lot of tape between now and Friday. We will prepare just like we normally prepare. This time of year it is hard to do five-on-five stuff because you are scared to death that you may get someone hurt due to a freak accident."

You are about to take another MSU team to Arkansas, a place where no one on this team has ever won. What makes you believe this team has a chance?
"The difference is the type players we are taking up there and the type of challenges they will take to the floor. These guys know they can overcome anything in front of them."

Does it concern you that this MSU team is not that deep, depth-wise?
"Actually, we are deep. We have some guys who are starting to come on and make basketball plays. We are just trying to find a way to work them into the lineup. The teams that we have played the last four or five ballgames have been very small. South Carolina's four-man was a starting two-guard last year. They were playing small, so we were playing small for long periods of time. And we don't really like doing that but we have to in order to get stops and make basketball plays down the stretch."


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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