"Give Winthrop a lot of credit. We knew they were a very good basketball team. They came in and proved they were. They came in and did what they had to do.
"We came out in the second half and took a lead. We were down by 7 and found a way to go up two. We had some momentum. Then, they called a timeout. After that timeout, they came out and from that point on they out-toughed us. I think they went on an 8-0 run from that point on and we never really recovered from it. Then, I thought we had some guys who didn't play with poise and patience.
"They out-rebounded up. That's something that hasn't happened all year long. Winthrop is a great rebounding basketball team. We know that. But when you are at home you have to find a way to get that done and we didn't."
How important is the fact that they are so experienced?
"They executed when they had to. And they are good. I said before this game and I'll say it after the game. In my opinion they are a top-10 team. I think they are that good. I'm sure their coach doesn't want to hear there, but I really think they are that good. Look at their track record. It shows that. They have some great pieces. They have a great flow and great chemistry on that team."
What do you tell your young guys after a loss like this?
"You have to learn from it. Things you have to learn is that you have to be able to finish basketball games. And you have to play with poise. You aren't going to be able to cut a 6 to 8 point lead down in one possession. We had some lineups out there that made it tough to do that."
Talk about Jamont's play tonight.
"Jamont plays hard. We got behind and he made some things happen, but sometimes he has to understand he can't make it happen too much. Sometimes he needs to get the ball moving a little more. That's the first time we have been in that situation and I don't think he handled it as well as he could even though he makes basketball plays."
Talk about Ben Hansbrough play tonight.
"We made a little transition with him at the other wing position just to get him in the game some. We think there are some times we can get him in the game where he plays the wing position. That allows him to do what he does best, shoot it a little bit and free his mind up a little."
Why didn't Charles Rhodes start tonight?
"It was a coach's decision. We are going to work hard every day. And some day Charles didn't work as hard as he needed to work, so I made the decision not to start him."
What are some things you learned from tonight's game?
"I talk about toughness. They out-toughed us."
Is Clemson similar to this team?
"Clemson is a totally different type team. This team tonight is screwed down offensively as any team you will play all year long. They do all that screening in half court. Clemson will play you full court and spread you out. They are going to press you for 40 minutes, trying to make it a helter skelter team."
You only had 16 turnovers tonight.
"We had 6 at halftime, though. We turned it over too many times in the second half."
Is this team the caliber of teams you will face in the SEC?
"They would be in the top 2 or 3 in our league. They are that good. They are absolutely that good."
As Ben Hansbrough continues to develop, is there a possibility that you will move Jamont Gordon to the three?
"They are going to be interchangeable all year long. But it's easier for Ben to be moved from that point so that he doesn't have to think so much. And Jamont does so many good things with that ball in his hands. He did have five turnovers, but he gets 22 (points) and 8 (rebounds) again. He just has to get better when we get down."
Freshman Barry Stewart
Did seeing what Winthrop did against North Carolina help you realize how good Winthrop is?
"We watched it. I know a lot of colleges around the nation woke up after seeing that game."
What do you learn from a team like Winthrop, a veteran team?
"We learned how well they kept their composure. When we got up two on them in the second half they kept their composure. I think them going through experiences that we might not have been through helped them."
Does it help this young team to play a veteran team this early in the season?
"It's always great to play this competition night in, night out. It always makes you better."
Freshman Ben Hansbrough
Did you talk to your brother, Tyler, after they played them? If so, what did he say about them?
"I did. He said they are a really good team. He said you have to go out there and bring it at them."
What makes them so good?
"They ran everything perfect. Perfect screens. That team is experienced. I'm not trying to make excuses, but we have a young team. Facing an experienced team like that is good for us."
Source for Gregg Marshall's quotes: MSU Media Relations
Winthrop Head Coach Gregg Marshall
"We are very pleased and excited to win here at Mississippi State. I know that Coach Stansbury has good program here the last few years, and I am rooting for them to make the tournament this year. And I know he will. If he can get his young guys, especially off the bench, to come together some exciting things (are) going to happen for them. I expect to see them continue to improve this whole year. For us, the near (misses) against all the SEC schools last year, Alabama, Auburn, and Tennessee, was starting to wear on us. It's great to finally see us finish a big game off."
ON WINTHROP'S START OF THE SEASON
"3-1 is a really good start for us, especially with how our schedule has been thus far. 4-1 would be but I am not going to worry about Maryland, who we play on Monday. We are going to enjoy this (win) tonight and start worrying about Maryland tomorrow morning. The game started to slip away from us the first half, but our guys regrouped, and I was proud to see us do that. That is a sign of a veteran team which is what we have. Phillip Williams was tremendous tonight and had not played to this level yet."
ON THEIR ABILITY TO GET TO THE FREE THROW LINE
"I believe that our guys got tired of seeing how weak they were against North Carolina. You are not getting fouls when you drive in and avoid contact and shoot away from the basket. We were not afraid to drive to the lane and drive hard to the basket with our shot attempts. We did not shoot the ball particularly well shooting only 36 percent and only 22 percent from three-point. We were fortunate enough to get to the line. Once there we shot the ball very well tonight."
ON CONTAINING CHARLES RHODES
"I know Charles [Rhodes] is being watched strongly by NBA scouts. I believe in another year and a half he will be at that level of play. Rhodes is multi-dimensional. He can play facing or play with his back to the basket. He will get bigger and stronger, and continue to develop his body and will be well coached here at Mississippi State."
COMMENTS ON HALFTIME TALK
"I told my guys that many of us had made the trip to try and win this game. Unfortunately, the guys in the game were not part of that group that I was referring to. I also said, if they did not change their approach to start the second half, I would replace them with five that did want to win this game."
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.