Alabama played well.
"Give Alabama some credit. They came in and just shot the basketball. And they made very difficult shots."
His team wasn't as sharp as it normally is.
"I didn't think our team, for whatever reason, was as sharp, energy-wise, as we have been. I don't have an answer for that."
Offensive and defensive spurts not there in this game.
"One thing this team has done all year long is make spurts. We either get a spurt offensively or defensively. Tonight, we never had either one of those. We kept waiting for them, but they never happened. Even nights when we weren't doing one very well, we've always had the other."
Your team once again took a team's best shot tonight. Did it finally catch up to you?
"We are going to get everybody's (best) shot. We have been getting it for a long time. Tonight, they made shots. They made some big shots, some very difficult shots."
What do you say to those folks who say this team needed a loss at this point?
"If you ask any coach if he would prefer to win or lose, he will take the win. But, we'll turn the (loss) into a position thing the best we can. It has been a long time since this has happened to us. We've only had 2 all year long, so you can't forget how it feels. We've got to turn around and look at the things we didn't do and take some positive things from it."
Will you reconsider your matchups against Kennedy Winston the next time you play Alabama?
"We had our two best three defensive players on him all game long, guys who can guard the best in the country. We had no one else to put on him. He made shots; their whole team made shots. They went 5 for 8 from three-point range in the second half. And they shot 53% from the three-point line for the entire game."
Do you think all you needed was to make a couple of your open shots and that would have gotten you over the hump?
"We needed to make a bunch of them. We needed for (Winsome) Frazier to make one of those shots that he normally makes. He made his first four at Arkansas last game, then goes 1 for 8 today. And he had all good shots. Those are things you don't have the answers for. Naturally, if we could have ever gotten over that hump, but we never could get over it. They came out in the second half and took shots and got that little lead on us. Again, we didn't have that spurtability that we normally have."
Is this a game you just forget about or think about to help you get better?
"Early in the year, you may think about it a little longer, but at this time of the year it'll be done and over with. We just weren't as good as we have been. It wasn't anything we did differently offensively or defensively. We just weren't as good and they made shots. The key now is to learn from it, get it out of your system and get ready for the next one. It's a four-game season now."
When you went to the zone were you just trying something different?
"Just trying something. We had a couple of chances to get our hands on the ball for a couple of steals but they ended up getting the deflections."
What do you tell your players after going from number 4 in the country to losing a game?
"All we tell our players is we only worry about the things we can control, which is what happens between the lines. There is nothing broke on this team. We are 21 and 2. Today, we weren't at our best and we played a team that made their shots."
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.