"We played about how I thought we would play. Typically, we didn't execute, rebound or defend very well. It was about what I expected. And their team was small. We don't practice against guys like that. We had Piotr (Stelmach) and Charles (Rhodes) chasing some of those cats around. It's hard to guard when they are small. But I thought we did a better job in the second half. I thought we were uptight and that that affected us fatigue-wise early."
"Jamont (Gordon) picked up early fouls in the first half. I didn't think he was himself until the last 4 or 5 minutes when he settled down and starting driving and making some plays."
"We didn't do a good job the entire first half of getting the ball inside. I thought we got it inside the second half a lot better, especially to Charles Rhodes. And he made some things happen."
"We had 15 turnovers the first half and 8 the second half. That was better."
After it was 51 to 51, you then outscored them 21 to 1. Did you do something special during the stretch?
"I think that Charles Rhodes went to war during that stretch. He went to work in the post and had some three-point plays and hit the offensive boards. Jamall (Edmondson) hit a couple of shots during that stretch. I also think we turned it up offensively during that stretch. I think we showed a lot of offensive toughness. We talk about toughness on defense. And we have miles to go there, but I think we showed good offensive toughness during that stretch."
You had five freshmen in during the latter stages of the game. Is that something you are going to try to do this season or was that something you just wanted to do in the exhibition?
"There are three freshmen, the (Delk) twins and Jamont Gordon, that we are going to depend on for bunches of minutes all year long. Vernon (Goodridge) was absolutely like he was (when he got here), playing rec ball. He forgot everything that we have tried to teach him the last three weeks. There was nothing that he remembered. But we knew he would be like that. And he'll learn that. He was zero factor tonight."
Was it planned to have them out there together at one time?
"That was planned. I don't know how much that will happen (during the season). But it could happen. If we get Vernon to defending and rebounding, that could happen for sure. With Bernard Rimmer to guard a smaller guy and the other three spots, I will live with those cats."
Talk about the play of the Delk twins.
"I love what the Delk twins will be. They played with as much confidence as anybody out there. They are not scared and they make basketball plays. I think that Reg jumped up and made some shots early. And I think that Rich made one, too. Richard made a three and Reg made two threes. And it was all in the first half. Between those two guys, they spurted us out nine points early. I love what the twins are going to be. But defensively, they are having to learn. They have no idea what to do when they are on the help side and they are away from the ball. They had a lot of game slippage when guarding their man. But it wasn't just them, but everybody. I thought they all got winded. Richard missed a couple of finishes going to the hole, but he's going to get comfortable and finish those."
Now that you have game film that they can look at, do you think they'll understand more what they have to do?
"I think they'll understand it better. It's just been tough for them to understand how tough it will be in a game. And being able to take drills into a game. I can't set drills up in a game. You do drills to prepare to play a game. And that's where we aren't very good, yet. But that will come with repetition. Eventually, we will get to the point where we react and not think."
What was your impression of the overall effort?
"Oh, it's just ok. They have no idea how hard you have to play, yet. None of them. I even think that Dietric (Slater) let his offensive game bother his defensive game. I don't think that Jamont Gordon really defended the way I know he can defend. We'll get better there, but it will be a work in progress. I can promise you that."
Do you expect that Piotr Stelmach can be a scorer for you?
"Piotr can score several different ways. He's pretty clever with the ball. He's not going to beat you with his athleticism, but by being clever."
Is there any one guy who you want to continue to see improve?
"A guy that has to keep getting better is Charles Rhodes. He is a guy who has a lot of ways to go get baskets. He is a guy who has to do it consistently, but he doesn't understand how, yet. He shows spurts, but he's not where he needs to be."
When do you expect Michael Boler back?
"We hope to have him back this coming week."
Do you expect to have Jerrell Houston back after the first two exhibition games?
"Yes, but it's day to day and game by game."
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 email@example.com.