Mississippi State guard Timmy Bowers has never celebrated by jumping on the media table. You will not see Bowers get in a teammates face after a mistake, but that does not mean he is not a leader."> Mississippi State guard Timmy Bowers has never celebrated by jumping on the media table. You will not see Bowers get in a teammates face after a mistake, but that does not mean he is not a leader.">

Timmy Bowers: In the Background No More

<img src="http://www.genespage.com/images/01players/basketball/tbowers.jpg" align="left" width="122" height="168"> Mississippi State guard Timmy Bowers has never celebrated by jumping on the media table. You will not see Bowers get in a teammates face after a mistake, but that does not mean he is not a leader.

"I have always considered myself a silent leader," said Bowers. "I want to go out and lead by example. I am very intense and competitive, but I let other players do the yelling."

Being the silent type has also kept Bowers out of the spotlight during his career as a Bulldog, but this season he looks to change that.

"I think that Z (Derrick Zimmerman) and myself are the best guard duo in the country, and that is something we have worked very hard for," said Bowers. "Z and I are so close that we know what each other is going to do.

"I know that if he takes the ball to the hole I can sit back and wait on a pass. I can throw him an ally-oop, or he can throw me an oop. That is something that we have worked on during the summer, just playing together."

Some unexpected, and unwanted, news last spring brought Zimmerman and Bowers closer than before. It also pushed them to take their game to another level.

"We know we were losing (Michael) Gholar and Kell (Markell Patterson) but when Mario (Austin) said he was leaving, that kind of shocked us," said Bowers of his freshman roommate. "Z and I knew that we had to get better. We knew that we each were going to have to score more points, and take up the slack.

"We also knew that people were going to look over us now and say that we weren't going to be any good because Mario left. That challenged us, and we worked hard to prove people wrong."

With Mario returning, the sky could be the limit.

"I think we can go as far as we want to go. I don't listen to Dick Vitale, because he is always picking Duke," said Bowers. "We are going to go out and show everyone that we can play with and beat anyone around. I think the only team that can beat us is ourselves."

Most of that confidence comes from the end of the season last year. This season Bowers does not see a stumble like that again.

"In the Texas game we started out slow and got behind big. That was something that happened to us a lot last season," said Bowers. "This season we have more confidence because of the games that we played and won last season. I don't think we will have a problem falling behind early."

The confidence from being SEC Champs does not stop with just the team. Bowers credits last season's run in taking his game up a notch.

"As a shooter, my philosophy has always been to go out and shoot every shot like it was my first," said Bowers. "Last season gave me confidence that I could make the shots I needed to make. It also helped me know that I could defend some of the bigger guys in the SEC."

The physical play of the SEC has been hard on Bowers since he walked on campus three seasons ago. Now he has worked hard to be ready to play.

"It was tough at first because I was too small and not used to that kind of game. But, I have worked hard to get stronger," said Bowers. "Now, I am just ready to get on the floor and show what we can do.

"This whole team knows that we can win a national championship, and that is our No. 1 goal for the season."


Grant Alford is a free-lance correspondent for Gene's Page. He is a student at Mississippi State University. You can contact him by email at sportswriterdawg@yahoo.com.

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