MSU COACH RICK STANSBURY
"I couldn't be more proud of my players, not just because of the win, but because of the effort and the way we won the basketball game. We kind of had our backs to the wall after coming off the game Wednesday night when we didn't play particularly well or shoot very well. To come back against a much better team, a team that is no question one of the better teams in America. To play the way we played shows a lot of heart and character."
"I thought that Michael Gholar was a huge, huge, huge factor in the basketball game. Not just shooting, but he took on the challenge of guarding Grizzard. Grizzard was never a factor in this basketball game. Gholar did a tremendous job on him."
Talking about MSU's shooting:
"Shooting, I have no answers for it. For whatever reason, Wednesday night we couldn't make shots. The thing is we didn't panic. I didn't talk about shooting. I think that is something that if you start talking about, then it gets into your head. We talked about doing the things you have to win and that is defend, rebound and play with toughness and effort. That is the things we concentrated on Thursday and Friday. For whatever reason, we had tremendous focus on both ends of the floor."
Talking about Erwin Dudley.
"First off, he is one of the best players in the country. He catches the ball in the block. He is very difficult to guard. He is going to turn over his left shoulder everytime. He is going to lower that shoulder and get separation. I think the thing he does best of all is he rebounds the basketball. He is a tremendous offensive board rebounder. Tonight, he had 6 offensive rebounds. He is a tremendous player. He has great instincts."
Talking about needing at least a split this week.
"Going into the week, we wanted to win both games. After Wednesday night, I wasn't going to step up and say that Alabama was a must-win, but everybody understood how important it was to us. If you had to get a split, this was a good way to do it, against a team that was ranked 5th in the country."
Chances for an NCAA Tournament bid.
"You are asking the wrong guy about that. We have been on both sides of it. The first year we had 20 wins and our RPI is too high. Last year, we had a great RPI and not enough wins. This team has put itself in a position. Coming into the game, our RPI was 22 coming into this game. All I know is we just have to continue to win basketball games. That is where our focus will be. You keep winning, everything else will take care of itself."
What happened to Mario Austin?
"He took an elbow in the head and he had 5 stitches. Basically, we finished the entire first half without Mario and Derrick playing much. To be up by 7 at the half without those two guys was incredible. That shows the effort of those men who came off the bench. Mario was able to come back in the second half and played with great energy, although I don't know if he was really himself."
About Timmy Bowers' play.
"That goes back to tremendous focus and effort. He did what we knew he was capable of doing. He stepped up and made shots."
ALABAMA COACH MARK GOTTFRIED
"I will start off by saying that today was not our day. I thought that Mississippi State played exceptionally well. You have to tip your hat to them."
Talk about Dudley's play.
"I thought that Erwin played his heart out. I thought our team played hard, but Erwin played exceptionally well. In the second half, they did a better job of not letting him catch the ball."
About MSU shooting the three-point shots badly against Georgia, then shooting them so well against his team.
"Well, they have not, statistically, been a great three-point shooting team. They had a game the other night where they had good looks at the basket, but didn't make a lot of shots. Tonight, they did. You have to give them credit, they stepped up and made shots. You have to make plays and they made them."
MSU'S TIMMY BOWERS
Is this the kind of game you have been looking to play?
"Yeah, it is. I have been struggling lately. I just had to pick myself up and I think I did that tonight."
What was the difference in your shot tonight compared to other games?
"The past two days in practice I have been really catching it and ready to shoot it. That is what I did tonight, I caught it and shot it."
Was the ally-oop a called play during the timeout?
"Yeah, it was a called play."
You smiled when asked about the ally-oop. Was their something special about it?
"Yeah, Alabama beat us over there. I think it was on Mo (Williams). After the game (at Alabama), he told me I had to get you back for the state championship game. I guess that was kind of getting him back for the Alabama game over there."
Did Coach Stansbury talked about the importance of this game after the game Wednesday night?
"He told us not to think about winning or losing the game, just to go out and give it all we had."
The team has had two back-to-back bad games. Does this game get you back on track?
"Yeah, it gets us back on track. All we needed was a momentum builder. I think we got that today. I think we will be ready to go down to LSU and play well down there."
Do you think teams will continue to zone you until you start shooting consistently?
"I don't think so. I think teams know we have capable shooters. I think they will play zones when we have different lineups."
Do you think teams are zoning you because Mario Austin is so good inside or is it because the team is so inconsistent from the three-point line?
"I think it is because Mario is so good inside. They like to zone and pack it in. It is up to us perimeter guys to step up and knock shots down."
ALABAMA'S ROD GRIZZARD
"They shot the ball well. I think they made 7 of 10 (3-pointers) in the first half. The last game, when they played Georgia, they were 4-for-27 from the free-throw line. We weren't banking on them shooting like that tonight. They were playing at an all-time high. They beat Kentucky here. They came after us and did it. We countered it at times, but they still made big shots."
"It was frustrating, especially on the road. You don't make shots on the road in the SEC, you will lose every night. We played it all the way out, but the shots wouldn't fall. Things like that happen, but you just don't want it to happen to you."
Mississippi State travels to Baton Rouge this Wednesday to take on the LSU Tigers. Gametime is set for 7 p.m.
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.