"The trend that we had the last couple of games continued tonight. We just don't stop anybody with any consistency. When people are scoring on us like they have recently, it makes it difficult to sustain any kind of quality play. Teams just score on us too easily now. We are the same team that went on a six game stretch where people couldn't shoot over 38% and shooting about 28% from the three-point line. Now, all of a sudden, it has changed. We just have to get back to defending and rebounding better if we are going to beat teams the quality of Mississippi State.
"Even though the score was like it was, it was stuck on 14 for about 4 or 5 possessions. I thought we had a chance there. We missed 2 or 3 open shots that we just couldn't make. The last 10 points mean nothing to me because the game was already done. The last 40 seconds, that didn't mean anything.
"The rebound stat (42-26) was like it was because there weren't a lot of defensive rebounds for us to get. There was a lot for them to get because we missed (shots)."
Talk about Jaime Lloreda. He was pretty much a non-factor in the game.
"He hadn't practiced since the Friday before the Florida game except for (this) Monday and Tuesday. So, he showed some inability. It was good for him to get back in the game and play and get tired."
A lot of people have been critical of Mississippi State's depth. What is your feelings about that?
"I don't get into (anybody else's) problems...I've got my own problems. I'm not worried about Rick's bench. Let him address his bench. He doesn't play but seven guys by the numbers. Hell, they are 22 and 2, he doesn't need any bench. Sheesh...."
Did all your guys keep up their effort in the second half?
"I don't know. I think (they did) for the most part. Jaime got tired and got discouraged. I think Brandon Bass tries but he gets distracted. But, that's not our problem."
Do you have any idea why you aren't playing as well as you were?
"I hate to stand up here and talk about why because it really doesn't matter. What it is, is what it is. Where we are is where we are. You either do it or you don't. You either win or your lose. All the other stuff means nothing to me. What I see is we aren't defending as we need to and we don't rebound the ball as we did when we won five straight. We've won at Arkansas, Alabama and Florida. Those are pretty good places to win. Now, all of a sudden it looks like we are going to struggle to win another game. We're just not playing as well. We had won five straight and we had won at Florida. Then, we had two starters not practicing for two days and we tried to play Jaime against Auburn and probably shouldn't. But he is a competitor and wanted to play. The first time we had our team back for a practice was this past Monday for an hour and ten minutes. Does that affect the play of your team? I think it might. Is that an excuse? No, it's just the way it is. We just have to do something quickly because we only have three games left. We've had too good a season to this point to finish like we are playing right now. We've just got to find 2 more wins, somehow. We've got to get Brandon Bass back involved, scoring some baskets and doing some things. I need to do a better job of getting him more involved somehow."
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.