MSU/LSU Postgame Quotes

[Premium Article] More postgame quotes from the MSU/LSU game. Mario Austin, Derrick Zimmerman, Timmy Bowers and LSU head coach John Brady talk about the game.

POSTGAME QUOTES:

MARIO AUSTIN:

"I think coming into the game we knew what we had to do defensively, especially on their big guys, Jamie Lloreda and Ronald Dupree. We knew coming into the game they were great players. We just wanted to try and contain those two guys. I think we did a great job of doing that.

"I think coming out at halftime we really turned it up defensively and we really rebounded the ball well."

What happened to you when you went out in the first half after hitting the floor?
"I took a charge and slide on my back due to the sweat on my jersey and hit my neck on the back goal. It was like a stinger. I tried not to let that affect me."

Hypothetically, how do you feel your team matches up with Kentucky?
"I think our team matches up great with them. We went up to their place and played it close. We know if we can go to their place and play it close, we will have a chance here to play it close."

DERRICK ZIMMERMAN:

"The gameplan tonight was to run in transition. As you saw early in the first half and early in the second half, we got a lot of easy transition baskets. Ronald Dupree and Jamie Lloreda play a lot of minutes so we wanted to get into their legs. We wanted them to get back on defense and work for everything they got on offense."

Hypothetically, how do you feel your team matches up with Kentucky?
"It will be deja vu. In 1996, Mississippi State and Kentucky played in the finals. We match up pretty well with them. Kentucky is playing better than anybody in the country right now. You can't take anything away from them. But I think we will be up to the challenge and it will be a great game."

You've played against LSU for four years now. Talk about that.
"Anytime I play against LSU, I have a little extra motivation. I was recruited pretty hard by LSU and it is my state school. Ronald Dupree and I played on the same AAU summer-league team together."

Do you remember the 1996 game between MSU and Kentucky?
"I remember Dontae Jones with the high socks and the Nike double wristbands on his arms. I remember his lifting one finger up in the air. He was hitting so many shots; I don't think he missed a shot. I know it was an upset because Kentucky was the number one team in the nation at the time, similar to where Kentucky is right now."

Was that game the reason you got interested in Mississippi State?
"You could probably say that. I had read a lot about Mississippi State as far as baseball was concerned. As for as basketball, I had read about Darryl Wilson and Marcus Bullard and Dontae Jones a little bit. I kind of knew about the program a little bit, but I was a young kid back then, an 8th grader."

Everybody talks about Mario Austin. Do you feel Timmy and you are overlooked for what you do?
"I tend to think that Timmy and I are overlooked sometime but you have such a great player in Mario that the attention has to go to him. I think with me, Timmy and Ontario on the perimeter, we have done so much for this team; defending, rebounding and scoring. We read the magazines where they talk about the best backcourts in the nation. But they don't know deep down in the south, Mississippi State has a good backcourt too."

Do you think they were a little winded today after playing two games?
"I kind of thought that they were a little winded today because this was their third game. We wanted to come out and run a little bit and tried to take their legs. Early in the game we were picking them up full court in the man to man press. They really don't have a deep bench."

How much energy did your team expend during the Ole Miss game?
"We expended a little bit, but we have some very discipline guys on our team who knows what is at stake. We went back to the hotel and iced down and got in the whirlpool and got the soreness out and got ready to play."

There have been some guys from the other teams who have been seen on Bourbon Street but no Mississippi State player has been seen there.
"We are disciplined, very disciplined."

Is that Coach Stansbury's rule or do you guys do it on your own?
"First of all, we are staying about 25 minutes from Bourbon Street. It is Coach Stansbury's rule. We know what is at stake, though."

He said you guys could have gone out at New York when you played Xavier but you guys didn't want to go out.
"No, we didn't want to go out."

What was the difference in this game compared to the first two games you played against them?
"The game at their place, we just didn't play well. They shot lights out and Mario had a little injury. At our place, we just let them back in the game."

People talk about how well Kentucky is playing or how well LSU was playing, but you guys are playing pretty good yourselves.
"It is kind of hard for any other team in the conference to get respect when you have a team like Kentucky playing the way they are playing. Kentucky is really the class of the SEC. The way they are playing now, we kind of like the back door respect that we are getting. We are just going to lay low, we are just going to lay low. We are going to come out of the dust when it all clears out."

TIMMY BOWERS:

"Dupree missed one shot yesterday. We knew we had to key on him, try to limit his touches. Every time they shot the ball we wanted to rebound it and run in transition. We got out early and got a couple of easy baskets that way and played our defense."

LSU's success is usually due to their outside shooting. You guys were able to turn the tables on them. How much of that was in part due to design?
"On the defensive end it all starts with myself, Z and Ontario. We tried to deny a lot of passes and get out and get easy transition.

"As to myself, yesterday, I was just trying to get a feel for the goals. Today, I just wanted to be aggressive out there. I came out and shot a couple of shots and felt good about myself and kept knocking them down."

What were you thinking about after you got up early on them and they made that run the latter part of the first half to pull within two?
"I was mainly thinking about defense. I wasn't thinking about offense. We got up early and let up on them and let them come back on us."

Hypothetically, how do you feel your team matches up with Kentucky?
"We match up with them well. They like to defend and we like to defend. They are a great rebounding team and we are a great rebounding team. We played them close up there and it really came down to the last couple of possessions when we couldn't really get a score. I think on a neutral site, things will be much better for us."

You were really shooting the ball well today. Do you feel that when you wake up or maybe in pregame practice?
"It is basically coming out and being aggressive. A lot of games I don't come out being aggressive on the offensive end. I may take 6 or 7 shots in the game. Coach tells me take more shots than that. Sometimes I get down on myself if I miss some shots."

Talk about the importance of Harper's run where he made 5 of your team's 8 points at one time after receiving a hard foul by an LSU player.
"He is a very emotional player out there. Sometimes, he can be in a slump and you get on him, he gets going. I think when they fouled him that hard, that got him to going."

LSU HEAD COACH JOHN BRADY:

Talk about Kentucky's team.
"Any team that has a significant amount of success defends and rebounds. This Kentucky team rebounds and defends as good as anybody that we have played against this year. They run a good enough offense with the players that they have where they score enough points. They play straight up man. They press from time to time. They double the post when necessary, but they aren't a tricky team on either end of the floor. They pretty much come straight at you. They are just good at it.

"I think that Tubby Smith is as underrated a coach as there is in America. He doesn't seem to ever get mentioned with some of those guys. He is not a quote guy with the media. He doesn't try to tell jokes. He is friendly and accessible. He is probably the nicest guy in our league in terms to the success that he has had. He is an outstanding coach who had good players who play hard."

Talk about MSU's guards play today.
"Jamie Lloreda manhandled Florida yesterday. We threw it in there and Jamie Lloreda had 14 shots today, 13 in the paint and I looked up and Zimmerman and Bowers are two feet above the rim swatting it back down. That wasn't even counting Austin standing close by. They are something, man.

"I thought that Rick's team didn't defend as well up until last year. But last year and this year, his teams are guarding extremely well. And he needs to be complimented on that. When you get outstanding athletes like that and you get a discipline about them defensively, they make it tough. We played the perfect game against them at Baton Rouge. We had six turnovers for the game and shot 66% from the floor and outrebounded them. But nobody listened. We weren't as sharp as we were yesterday, but even if we had been at our best, I don't know if that would have been enough."

You mentioned how great Kentucky is. Does Mississippi State have any advantages over them?
"They have Mario Austin."

What about guard play?
"That's the thing about it; Mississippi State can match athlete for athlete with them. I watched Mississippi State play Kentucky in Lexington. I would never tell anybody how to coach their team, but Mississippi State ought to run them down the floor with them. They are as athletic as (Kentucky). They went to Lexington and tried to be conservative and tried to set up some stuff. They can go right at Kentucky. They are good around the goal. Their guards are as good. Rick does some good things for specific guys like Bowers and Austin. They did some screening today that caused us a few problems. I would love to see that game be wide opened, because there would be some tremendous plays out of those two teams with the athletes that they have."


Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page (http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com), the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports and Mississippi high school sports on the internet. You can contact him by email at swindoll@genespage.com.

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