Mississippi State head coach Rick Stansbury talks about the upcoming NCAA Tournament match-up with Monmouth."> Mississippi State head coach Rick Stansbury talks about the upcoming NCAA Tournament match-up with Monmouth.">

Rick Stansbury talks about NCAA Tournament

<img src="http://www.genespage.com/images/coaches/basketball/stansbury-action.jpg" align="left" width="120" height="161"> Mississippi State head coach Rick Stansbury talks about the upcoming NCAA Tournament match-up with Monmouth.

Starting the tournament in Orlando...
"We're happy to be playing. We're just happy to be in the tournament. I like our draw as far as location. We're going to go to Orlando, which is a great place for our fans to go. If we're fortunate enough to get past those first two games, then we'll be back in Atlanta. There's no question that's a great situation for us to be in. First off, we've got to take care of our first game before we can think about two or getting back to Atlanta."

Are you disappointed that you didn't play well enough to be a number one-seed?
"I can't talk about what could have been or should have been. Kentucky won the SEC Tournament, and probably because other people lost their tournaments, particularly Duke, they got the #1 overall seed. Kentucky's playing as well as anybody in the country right now."

On playing in a Friday game ...
"It's a huge advantage to be in a Friday game if you're still playing on Sunday. I still like the Friday game because it gives you a little more time to gather some tapes now. Basically, we've done as much tape work ahead of time as you can get. Probably on Monmouth, we've only got one film. We'll get on the phones tonight, get the tapes sent tomorrow and hopefully get them by Tuesday."

On his knowledge of Monmouth ...
"I can't even speculate on Monmouth. Most teams I could, but that's one I know nothing about. I think that's the one conference final I didn't get the chance to watch. I watched a lot of them. I think they beat Central Connecticut in the championship game."

Will you remind your team about Butler as you prepare for Monmouth?
"We're playing a totally different team in Monmouth, and we're taking a totally different team over there. Last year, we played a different type of team with a different style. I think after that everyone found out how good Butler was. Butler was a heck of a basketball team that played a particular style. That's what so important in the NCAA Tournament, not where your seed is but what your match-ups are along the way. Those different types of styles cause people some problems. I have no idea about Monmouth's style."

On getting the #2 seed ...
"I don't know that they gave us anything. Our team earned it. Our team won the SEC Championship, one of the best leagues in America. Our team was 25-2 in the regular season. Our team was 12-0 on the road. I don't think they've given us anything; this team has earned everything they've gotten. They only did what the numbers showed they could do. No other numbers could drop us any lower than #2."

"Again, we can't look past anything in Orlando. All 65 teams are good. That's why there are upsets every round. That's why you have to be ready for your first game, then if you're fortunate enough to get past that first one, then you have the Louisville-Xavier winner. Xavier's a team that just beat a #1 seed by 20-some-odd points and had them down 36 points. That tells you how good they can be. They won (the Atlantic-10) championship on Dayton's home floor last night. If they are fortunate enough to get by Louisville, then that will be a very good second-round match-up."

"It's such a mental game this time of year. That was a concern going into the SEC Tournament; could we put the SEC Championship behind us a bit? Would we be satisfied? I thought we did that a little bit. At the same time, I didn't think our team had that edge that we needed to have to win that championship. It was obvious looking at one stat, when we got outrebounded Friday night. It tells you the mental edge wasn't quite there. Reasons? Vanderbilt had played one game and was playing for a little more than we were playing for. Was there any satisfaction for winning the league? I don't know. Even with all those things, we still had our opportunities."

"We won't do anything we haven't done all year long. After each loss, this team has been pretty good. These kids understand it. There is no satisfaction in any of these players. They hurt more than anyone else hurts (after a loss)."

On Lawrence Roberts' health ...
"He's not OK, but hopefully he'll get there. He's not close to being full speed. We'll try to get him back when he's able to practice as soon as he can. At some point we'd like to get him back to full speed, but I'm not sure that's possible.

"We naturally need Lawrence and need him at full speed. Obviously he wasn't full speed when he came back in (against Vanderbilt). He had no offensive rebounds in the last 12 minutes of the game, which is uncharacteristic of Lawrence. We've got five days before we play. Hopefully we'll have him back to where he can go, not full speed. The verdict will be out on that. We'll see how he progresses this week."

On what he expected to happen to his team during the selection show ...
"I didn't know what to expect. We all were sitting here not knowing what to expect. You never know what one loss will do for you or what other people winning does. Could we drop to a #3? None of us were sure we were a #2. We thought we had done enough to earn a #2 seed, but you never know. We had no idea where we would be playing at."

On leagues getting six teams in ...
"It's history. History says six teams. There was nobody outside of those six that stood out. Your seventh team was going to be either Georgia or LSU, and neither one of those resumes, when you're talking about doing something for the first time in the history of the league, were strong enough to do it. I'm probably more surprised about the ACC. There was talk that they would have eight teams in the last three weeks. That's history there. When was the last time a league has seven teams? It tells you that sometimes there are teams in those leagues that are better than teams in the field, but history says that (more than six teams from a league) doesn't happen."

How much of is it a break that spring break just started and his players don't have to focus on school this week ...
"Trust me, if we were in Orlando and school was in, we would not be focusing on school anyway. We have a hard enough time getting them focused on school when they're in school and there's no NCAA Tournament going on. Trust me, while we're in the NCAA Tournament; there would be no focusing on school.

"Hopefully we can get a lot of the spring breakers to come to Orlando. I'm sure we've got a lot of them in Florida already. They can go to the beach, get a good tan Monday thru Friday and come off that panhandle on Friday morning and drive over to Orlando."

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