USA's Pelphrey Talked About His Team's Loss to MSU

South Alabama's head basketball coach John Pelphrey talked to the media about his team's 66-52 loss to 21st ranked Mississippi State Thursday night.


Thoughts about MSU.
"Mississippi State is certainly very deserving of their ranking. Being 21st in the country, they are at least that good and probably better as they go along. You look at their basketball team, they have a great player in Lawrence Roberts and great, great pieces with seniors Power and Frazier. Obviously, (starting point guard) Ervin has come into his own as a sophomore. Obviously, they are really well coached. As they go along and that group continues to do what they do and the young guys sitting on the bench get a little more time, they are obviously going to be a team to deal with in the (SEC) West and probably again overall in the SEC."

His team's play.
"I thought our team really competed hard, played pretty well for the most part. But our achilles heel right now is turning that basketball over. Of the teams that we have played so far, nobody was a pressing, running team in terms of getting up after you. We continue to toss it away. It's every night with us. We have to grow up. We have a lot of new faces and at times we look really, really impressive and other times we look like we don't know each other at all. I think once we quit turning the basketball over we have a chance to be pretty good."


Talk about the big run State had early in the second half.
"I remember Mario missing a layup and maybe we had a bad one or two and maybe turning it over. They are so good on the break. Having played against these guys and playing against them in Florida for a number of years, I think the biggest difference in Mississippi State basketball is they are really, really fast and they are good on the break. Coming into this game, I felt like half of their offense comes out of transition. I think they are really outstanding there. You make some turnovers and miss a couple of shots and you don't do the right things in terms of getting back on defense, they make you pay. They can dunk it, drive it, and shoot it from deep. I know that (Winsome) Frazier got one. We messed up there once and and didn't get matched up and, wham, he got one really early in the second half. When you play a team like this, you can't give them those opportunities."

How did (former MSU player) Stephen Cowherd play for you tonight?
"I think Steve is going to be very good for us. Obviously, when you sit out a period of time it is an adjustment. Even though he was with us, he is playing with guys that he hasn't seen before. I thought tonight he played very, very well. Obviously, coming back here, I knew he was going to be very, very focused. Steve provides us with a bigger guard, a guy who is capable of playing some point and the two. We are real excited about him. I think he will have a big part in what we are going to build."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of Dawgs' Bite, Powered by, the source for Mississippi State sports on the sports network. You can contact him by email at

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