MSU Players Talked About Their Victory

Mississippi State players, Jamall Edmondson, Winsome Frazier, Lawrence Roberts and Shane Power talked about their 71-68 victory over Ole Miss before 10,242 fans in Humphrey Coliseum Saturday night.

Jamall Edmondson (16 minutes, 8 points, 2 assists, 1 turnover)

With you in there during the last few minutes of the of the game, you guys only had one turnover.
"Yeah, I just wanted to come in and slow the tempo down because we had gotten out of control and they had gotten back in the game, so I came in and kept the pace."

Ole Miss is the kind of opponent who wants to slow you down with their pressure defense.
"We knew Ole Miss was going to come out and play hard and pressure the ball. They got a couple of five counts on us, so we had to set screens."

Talk about the last seven minutes of the game.
"We got back into by going to the free throw line and getting the ball inside to Lawrence (Roberts). When they would double him, he would look for the guards and we were knocking down shots. We also tighten up on defense. The pick and roll was their main offense at the end of the game and we made adjustments on it."

Since you are not a tall guard, how do you make up the difference defensively?
"Playing hard and using my quickness on defense and being scrappy on the ball."

You seem to have really settled in the role of point guard.
"It's coming along pretty good. I played two-guard in junior college, so it was a little adjustment, but I'm settling into it."

Some people might call this an ugly win, but in this style game that's have you have to win it.
"We knew it was going to be an ugly game because Ole Miss is a rival game and we knew they were going to come in and play pretty tough."

How are you guys doing health-wise. Is the flu pretty much over with with the team?
"Yeah, it's over with. We don't have the flu. Frazier is getting back into the groove and Lawrence had a thigh injury, but he's ok."

Do you guys talk among yourselves about getting into the NCAA Tournament and do you think this win did it for you?
"Yeah, it should but we want to get the last two games to go into the tournament on a role."

Winsome Frazier (31 minutes, 6 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 turnovers)

Talk about that breakaway block. Did you think you were going to be able to catch up to him and make the block?
"Oh, I knew. I don't think he thought I could jump, but the injury hasn't stopped me from being able to jump."

How do you feel now?
"I'm about 80% now. It's coming on. The bone marrow is healing well. It doesn't hurt me once I get going."

You say you are 80%. What do you lack?
"There's just a little pressure on it when I make some moves. It doesn't slow me down too much, but it slows me down a little bit."

You played 31 minutes. How do you feel about your progress?
"It's coming along really good. I'm taking one game at a time. I try to take it easy when I go home and ice it down. It hasn't swollen up on me. That's more of a precaution."

Although this was the eight straight time for you guys to defeat Ole Miss, but, like almost all of the others, this was a war. Is that what you expect from them, now?
"No, this was the Super Bowl for them. They are going to come out and play hard. It doesn't matter what their record is, when they play Mississippi State this is their rival. They are going to try to do everything to beat us. We knew the battle we were in."

It looks like you guys are now in the NCAA Tournament. Do you think about that?
"No, we aren't too much focused on that right now. We are trying to get the two games that are left in the regular season."

You have been here four years. All four years Mississippi State has won 20 or more game each year. Talk about that.
"You always try to get at least 20 wins. We set the tone for it. Twenty wins get you into the NCAA Tournament. Nobody here wants to to to the NIT."

Lawrence Roberts (38 minutes, 20 points, 15 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 assists, 1 block, 6 turnovers)

Talk about Jamall's play.
"His play caused everybody else to pick it up and start pressuring their guys. Toward the end of the first half is when we got our confidence and starting playing the way we wanted to play."

Talk about Winsome Frazier's block on the breakaway.
"That's just Frazier. He went out on a play like that at Ole Miss' place. It was an incredible amount of effort. He just hustles for every point."

If he hadn't blocked it, they were then up by seven in the final minutes. Obviously, that was a big play.
"That was big. That might have been the play of the game. The momentum from that play got the crowd involved.."

Health-wise, where are you?
"I'm about 70%."

Do you think this win sealed your NCAA fate?
"I'm not going to say anything until we finish these last two games. I want to win the last two games. I'll then be confident."

What can you do to slow down the turnovers?
"We just have to be patient. A lot of times we force things."

They shut you down in the first 10 minutes of the first half, then you scored 10 points in the second part of the first half.
"They were just aggressive and came out and played hard."

Is the team chemistry about where you want it to be at this point in the season?
"I would say it is better."

You shot free throws really well tonight. Did you do something different?
"I just concentrated more. That was the biggest thing."

Shane Power (40 minutes, 18 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 turnovers)

Ole Miss really played well against you guys tonight.
"I think we took their best hit. I have never seen them make that many shots, especially from the three-point line. You have to give them a lot of credit. They came out and knocked down shots. They played their A+ game. But, it was on our home floor and we made some plays that we needed to make. Mr. Wooden (Lawrence Roberts) over there hit a couple of free throws for us and closed the game out for us."

You guys have been shaky on the free line the last few games, but you stepped up and made 21 of 23 tonight.
"That was huge tonight. Without that, we don't win the game. We have been shooting a lot more in practice. Coach (Stansbury) realizes that we need a little more work on that."

You haven't felt well the last few games. You played all 40 minutes tonight. How do you feel?
"I feel great. Coach kept saying you need a rest, but this is my last shot. I'm giving this everything that I have. I'm not in the gym four hours a day to rest during the game. That's what I tell them and he always looks at me like I'm nuts. This is special. I'm taking every minute of these games as a special opportunity."

They had an extra week to prepare. Did they do anything different?
"They ran that 1-2-2 a lot, but we did a good job of making plays against that. Other than that, I don't think they did anything differently."

In the second half, when Lawrence went one-on-one with Tommie Eddie, did that allow you guys to cover their threes better?
"Definitely. We need to be able to play one-on-one in the post. And down the stretch, Lawrence really dug in and played some good defense against Eddie."

Do you think the two victories against Ole Miss and Georgia put you in the NCAA Tournament?
"I think that definitely helps, but we aren't satisfied yet. We have two huge games coming up. One is Arkansas at Arkansas. I think we are 1 and 18 there. And Alabama is playing as good as anybody in the country."

You play Arkansas during the week, then play Alabama next Saturday. Talk about Alabama.
"I've said this before, they are as talented a team as anybody in the country. They are as talented as a Duke or a North Carolina or an Illinois. Every guy in their starting five is an NBA player, especially 4 out of the 5. They are extremely talented. We just have to go to work these next couple of days and try to get a road win at Arkansas first."


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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