MSU Head Coach Rick Stansbury

Mississippi State head basketball coach Rick Stansbury talked to the media about his team's 80-72 loss to LSU.

OPENING COMMENTS

"Give LSU a lot of credit. They showed more toughness than we did when the game was on the line. I didn't think our team responded with toughness today. We didn't defend the way we have been defending at home. We just didn't play with that extra zip that we have been playing with at home. They got the lead and kept the lead and kept the crowd out of it. That was a big factor."


Q&A

Talk about LSU's play inside on both sides of the court.
"I said from day one that they have the best front court in the league in Brandon Bass and Baby Shaq (Glen Davis). And their stats back it up. 21 points and 17 rebounds for Bass. Bass is a man, is a man."

What were you thinking when Winsome Frazier went in?
"I probably didn't expect him to play very well, to tell you the truth. He played a lot better than I anticipated. He came in and did the one thing that he still has the ability to do and that's make some baskets. For a guy who hasn't done anything for 6 or 7 weeks, he had a great night."

Were you expecting him to play so many minutes?
"Absolutely not. He played 24 minutes in the game. We would have liked to have gotten him in for a couple of minutes at a time, but he made some shots and didn't seem to be bothered so we played him."

What was the reason for keeping Gary (Ervin) on the bench?
"We needed scoring. We needed scoring."

The first game Glen Davis only got 3 points. Tonight, he had 19. What was the reason for that?
"He was the aggressor and he played big for them. Everything he got was around the hole and he had a lot of putbacks. He moves his feet and rebounds out of his area. That is what makes him such a great player. Good rebounders rebounds those that come to them. The great ones go and get those out of their area. His hands are like magnets. Once he puts those hands on the ball, he has a great knack to finish it."

How does Winsome Frazier help the team long term?
"There is no question that he helps the basketball team. We all know how important Frazier is for us."

How can you keep teams from double teaming Lawrence Roberts?
"It is hard to keep those double teams from going to Lawrence (Roberts). That is what is happening to him. It is not easy when you have (Marcus) Campbell playing with him. If you take Campbell away from the basket, he doesn't get guarded much. If you go small with (Ontario) Harper, you can keep that happening a little bit, but he has to make some perimeter jump shots when he comes out of there."

Do you just have a matchup problem with Bass and Davis?
"No, there is no matchup problem. Those guys are good, they are good. We guarded them as well as you can guard them, but they are a load."

You team missed 12 of 24 free throws.
"The free throw line hurt us. The free throw line is so indicative of how you are playing. That is something that correlates. If you are playing loose, playing with some confidence, those free throws go in better. When you are playing from behind and not with a lot of confidence, then your free throws are not very good. And that was kind of the way we were tonight."

Does the seemingly lack on toughness of you team concern you?
"That has concerned me from day one. It has been exposed on the road and hadn't been exposed at home until tonight, especially in the post. You have to go rebound that basketball, not tip it, tip it, tip it."

When Lawrence Roberts fouled out, did you learn how vulnerable your team is when he's not in the game?
"I didn't have to have him sitting beside me to know that. I was hoping that Campbell could give us a little bit more size and rebounding the basket. But a couple of them came off his hands. We got a stop (on defense) and had a five point game and that ball comes off the rim and Campbell fumbled it around and they score a layup to go back up to seven."

Did the two quick fouls that Campbell got early in the game hurt his play for the rest of the game?
"I'm sure that affected him some, but that's part of the game. You have to find ways to play through that."

Do you expect Winsome to play 24 minutes against Kentucky?
"We'll see how he is tomorrow. Tonight was no problem for him. The more he plays, the better he will get and the better condition he will get."

How do you get your team up for Kentucky after this home loss?
"Everybody loses games. We are going to a tough environment. It's not just the environment that's so bad, it's that good team that you have to play. When you put that environment with it, then it is really difficult. And we have them coming off a loss, that won't help matters. But our kids will be ready to go up there and find a way to battle them. We have to go up there and see if we can defend a little better than we did tonight."

Do you think your team has lost a little of its swagger?
"If you had asked me that question after Saturday night, you would have said no. If you get beat, you lose that swagger. That's part of it. Our team has had some tough losses on the road. We hadn't lost at home. We have always found a way to come back at home and play with a lot of toughness. We just didn't do it tonight, we just didn't do it."

Would you consider this your most disappointing loss of the season?
"Anytime you lose at home it is a tough loss. They count as one win, one loss, but you don't want to lose at home. We hate losing any of them. They all hurt."


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

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