"I am so proud of our basketball team, not just because they are SEC Champs, but the way they became SEC Champs. As much as any team that I have been around and seen, this is a team. I think it has been a long time since a team has won a championship that has five guys play any better or harder together than these guys do. It is a credit to them and that is why they are SEC Champs."
The MSU crowd at the game.
"What an unbelievable crowd that we had here to witness this SEC Championship here in Tuscaloosa."
The game is played 40 minutes.
"For 20 minutes, Alabama was very good and we weren't very good. But, the good thing about this basketball game is it is a 40 minutes basketball game. We knew at halftime that we hadn't played very well. We just didn't play very well for whatever reason. But we didn't panic. We stuck with our gameplan but we had to start doing the things that we weren't doing. That is rebounding the basketball and attacking off those sets and getting inside. We didn't do that much in the first half. You can look at one stat in the second half that can tell you how our team dominated the game from the toughness and effort category. When you look at the rebound stat, you see that we outrebounded them 56 to 36. It is unbelievable to do that on the road in this atmosphere. Our players didn't want any part of being co-champions."
True champions never give up.
"Real champions find a way to keep getting back up. The great boxers, the Muhammad Ali's, the Joe Frazier's, get knocked down but keep finding ways to get back up when no one thought that they had anything left in them. That's like our basketball team. Right when you think we have nothing left in us and the game is over, our team finds a way to make a knockout punch."
Timmy Bowers and Lawrence Roberts took over the game.
"I told Timmy Bowers, when we got down, he had to become more aggressive for us. I thought he kind of took the basketball game over from a dribble-penetration standpoint. He is a young man who we want the ball in his hands because he can make so many different things happen. And Lawrence Roberts, on those backboards, did what you had to do if you want to win on the road."
Two revenge games: One down, one to go.
"If (MSU fans) don't have SEC Tournament tickets, then they need to go out and try to find one. We told our team there are only two revenge games that we have the opportunity to play this year. (Alabama) was one of them. There is one more revenge game that we are looking for. I think everybody can figure out who that is."
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 email@example.com.