Posted on: November 9, 2011 9:52 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2011 9:53 pm
By Matt Norlander
Yep, I've gotta be the guy who asks everyone to settle down. Used to be, in sports blogging, these kind of posts were of the against-the-grain variety. Now they're standard protocol, which is a good thing; the majority's gotten the gist of the importance of patience and the resistance to OMGREAXTION blogging.
That said, I think there's a desire to try and bring Rick Stansbury's team down as quickly as possible. Is any team as likely to be a target for criticism as the Bulldogs this year? A few (Memphis, Duke, Vanderbilt) will be quickly pilloried if they falter, but the history and baggage that comes with the Bulldogs means they're the ripest. They've earned it, and in time, if they stumble, we'll all have our chance to whip them.
But the way I see it: Tonight's 68-58 final was a great win for Akron; not a miserable loss for Mississippi State. Although Stansbury's team lost to a program that hadn't defeated a BCS-league team since 2008, it's just an early-November game with a few caution flags getting tossed up.
The biggest being Renardo Sidney sitting 15 minutes -- and down the stretch of the game -- despite only having two fouls. Sidney finished with 12 points and five rebounds, but most were scratching their head over why he wasn't in the game when Akron big man Zeke Marshall fouled out with 3:17 to go. Dee Bost was way too inconsistent, too. The team was out of sorts. But let's not allow rust lead to unrest.
The Bulldogs could get this turned around as easily as they could let it slip to hell. Doesn't mean Dee Bost can't be consistently erratic all year, or that Sidney has the potential to actually upstage his car-wreck quality into the full-on train variety. Good teams often lose early, even to inferior teams. Is Mississippi State a good team? Don't know yet, and neither do you. Let's huddle up after Thanksgiving and check the evidence then.
Posted on: November 7, 2011 11:55 pm
Edited on: November 8, 2011 9:16 am
By Jeff Goodman
Rick Stansbury knew it wouldn't be pretty. Not against Eastern Kentucky and Jeff Neubauer's methodical offense and 1-3-1 zone defense.
But he's just happy to come out with a season-opening victory.
Dee Bost went for 23 points and six assists, UTEP transfer Arnett Moultrie had a double-double (13 points, 10 boards) in his debut and freshman Rodney Hood had 12 points and nine rebounds.
"It wasn't easy with the way they play and the way they control the game," Bost told CBSSports.com after the 76-66 win. "But A win is a win."
Oh yeah - and Renardo Sidney finished with a lackluster nine points and three rebounds in 23 minutes.
"He's better than he was, but we still want more from him," Stansbury said of the talented big man. "We need more from him."
Stansbury spoke highly of Bost - who he has from the start of the season this year - as well as Moultrie and Hood.
Stansbury is also optimistic that freshman guard Deville Smith will be cleared and be able to play against Akron later this week. Smith was released from the hospital on Monday after experiencing headaches and dizziness.
"Has the the ability to change games - both offensive and defensively," Stansbury said.
With Bost, Moultrie and Hood, Mississippi State has three guys that can match up with just about anyone.
The key, obviously, is the much-maligned Sidney - who needs to give consistent effort.
"He'll get it going," Bost said of his once highly touted teammate. "This team changed defenses a lot - and it was tough to get him the ball in the post."
If Sidney finally gets it - and it's a huge if - this team could be scary.
But so far, with one game in the books, he hasn't shown anything different.
Posted on: September 16, 2011 3:39 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2011 5:14 pm
By Jeff Goodman
The deadline for submitting the list of 50 players for the John Wooden Preseason watch list was this afternoon.
My guess is that my colleague, Gary Parrish, missed it. I did not.
Anyway, here's my list of 50.
Remember, transfers and freshman are not eligible, so that means that guys like frosh Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers - as well as transfer Arnett Moultrie - couldn't be included.
My Wooden Preseason Top 50
Tim Abromaitis, 6-8, PF, Sr., Notre Dame
Harrison Barnes, 6-8, SF, Soph., North Carolina
Will Barton, 6-6, SG, Soph., Memphis
Dee Bost, 6-2, PG, Sr., Mississippi State
William Buford, 6-5, SG, Sr., Ohio State
Kyle Casey, 6-7, SF, Jr., Harvard
Jason Clark, 6-2, G, Sr., Georgetown
Aaron Craft, 6-2, PG, Soph., Ohio State
Matthew Dellavedova, 6-4, G, Jr., Saint Mary's
Festus Ezeli, 6-11, C, Sr., Vanderbilt
Ashton Gibbs, 6-2, G, Sr., Pittsburgh
Mike Glover, 6-7, F, Sr., Iona
Drew Gordon, 6-9, PF, Sr., New Mexico
Draymond Green, 6-6, PF, Sr., Michigan State
JaMychal Green, 6-8, PF, Sr., Alabama
Jorge Gutierrez, 6-3, G, Sr., California
Tim Hardaway 6-5, SG, Jr., Soph., Michigan
Elias Harris, 6-7, F, Jr., Gonzaga
John Henson, 6-11, PF, Jr., North Carolina
Tu Holloway, 6-0, PG, Sr., Xavier
Robbie Hummel, 6-8, F, Sr., Purdue
Joe Jackson, 6-0, PG, Soph., Memphis
Scoop Jardine, 6-2, PG, Sr., Syracuse
John Jenkins, 6-4, SG, Jr., Vanderbilt
Orlando Johnson, 6-5, SG, Sr., UC Santa Barbara
Kevin Jones, 6-8, F, Sr., West Virginia
Perry Jones, 6-11, F, Soph., Baylor
Terrence Jones, 6-9, PF, Soph., Kentucky
Ryan Kelly, 6-10, F, Jr., Duke
Jeremy Lamb, 6-5, SG, Soph., UConn
Kendall Marshall, 6-4, PG, Soph., North Carolina
Trevor Mbakwe, 6-8, PF, Sr., Minnesota
Ray McCallum, 6-3, PG, Soph., Detroit
Rodney McGruder, 6-4, SG, Jr., Kansas State
Doug McDermott, 6-7, F, Soph., Creighton
Shabazz Napier, 6-1, PG, Soph., UConn
Reeves Nelson, 6-7, PF, Jr., UCLA
Andrew Nicholson, 6-10, PF, Sr., St. Bonaventure
Alex Oriakhi, 6-9, C, Jr., UConn
Thomas Robinson, 6-9, PF, Jr., Kansas
Terrence Ross, 6-6, SG, Soph., Washington
John Shurna, 6-9, F, Sr., Northwestern
Peyton Siva, 5-11, PG, Jr., Louisville
Josh Smith, 6-9, C, Soph., UCLA
Jared Sullinger, 6-9, PF/C, Soph., Ohio State
Jeffery Taylor, 6-7, SF, Sr., Vanderbilt
Jordan Taylor, 6-1, PG, Sr., Wisconsin
Maalik Wayns, 6-2, PG, Soph., Villanova
Patric Young, 6-9, C, Soph., Florida
Tyler Zeller, 7-0, C, Sr., North Carolina
Posted on: July 22, 2011 11:32 am
Edited on: July 22, 2011 11:43 am
By Jeff Goodman
Posted on: July 14, 2011 7:57 am
By Jeff Goodman
Posted on: February 3, 2011 4:32 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2011 4:47 pm
Posted by Eric Angevine
I mentioned the Mississippi State Twitter fiasco in my nightcap post last night, but it's become a cause celebre on the introwebs today. Plenty of schadenfreude about the runaway train in Starkville. It's the sort of thing that's tons of fun when it's not your school embarrassing itself on the national stage.
Since I look at coaches who might be sitting on heat-retaining furniture every Monday in the Coach Speak segment, my thoughts have been on Rick Stansbury (above) and his role in all this for a while now. The dapper gent has been at the tiller of the Mississippi State program for thirteen years now, and he's always seemed in control, almost to the point of being boring. It's actually been a rather astonishing run for a guy most college hoops fans couldn't pick out of a police lineup.
Now, suddenly, there's no hardworking, unselfish Jarvis Varnado making Stansbury look good. There's Renardo Sidney, who attracts adjectives like soft and undisciplined. He's been held out of action by the NCAA and had a punch-up with a teammate. He's one of the twitter complainers who had his account suddenly voided, as if the words would disappear from the ether because he willed them to. There's Ravern Johnson, calling out his coach via tweet and alluding to an imbalance of ball distribution that makes him want to transfer. There's Dee Bost, the supposed target of the ballhog ire, who was also held out of the lineup for a semester before coming in to take away everybody else's shots, the big meanie.
Where's Stansbury in all this? Making mild statements, working in all his cliches and starting to remind me of Steve Martin playing an overmatched parent in the vomitous Cheaper by the Dozen. He looks less and less like the boss of this rodeo every day.
Do I think this will cost Stansbury his job? No, not really. Nor should it. He's taken the Bulldogs to six NCAA appearances during his tenure, and this season seems like an aberration. Fellow SEC coach John Pelphrey survived worse times at Arkansas last year, and his record on the court isn't anywhere near as laudable. Bruce Pearl... well, you know what he did, and he's still employed. That doesn't mean the MSU administration will react the way ADs at those other institutions did, but the precedent is there.
What should be addressed, before things get even further out of hand, is the issue of leadership. Stansbury isn't getting any from his players. Nor is he getting any wins, really. So what could possibly be keeping him from cracking down on the perpetrators of this embarrasment? He's banned the team from Twitter, but it's time for Stansbury to breathe fire, or throw some bats in the shower, or something. They're kids, scare 'em. What led him to slap Sidney on the wrist after the Hawaii throwdown? If the head coach is unwilling to discipline his players for blatant acts of defiance, what can Bulldog fans expect from the next unrepentant knucklehead who comes along?
If Stansbury has lost control of this team, the ripples will be felt far beyond the current, humiliating lost season in Starkville.