First of all, we did not get any favors from the men in stripes Wednesday night. That was a ticky officiating crew, but I’m sure everyone that watched the game already knows that.
However, the refs aren’t the reason we lost the game. Unforced turnovers has killed MSU basketball all year, and last night was no different. That is a facet of the game that has got to be corrected, and corrected quickly.
The Rebels have a pretty decent basketball team. I’m not sure they will make it to the NCAA tournament because of some bad losses. However, they do have some good wins, but bad losses can often trump good wins.
I do not know how they have lost some of the games that they have managed to lose. They have decent inside play and fantastic guard play. They also have really good depth. They also have a “star” player in Stefan Moody.
Moody is a very good player. Last night was my first opportunity to watch him play. I could tell that he wasn’t having his best game shooting, but its obvious he is at least as good as advertised… possibly better than advertised.
We have a player coming in next year, Tookie Brown, who reminds me a little bit of Moody. Watching Stefan has excited me about seeing Brown suit up in the maroon and white next year.
As far as the Bulldog basketball team is concerned, we have looked much better the last several games. It gives me a “ray” of hope that perhaps not all is lost.
Coach Rick Ray is learning as he goes and his improvements, though small steps, are apparent. This team is now competing on a fairly consistent basis – perhaps not always winning, but at least making a game of it. This team is in need of another experienced inside man as well as a “shooter”.
It is possible that we already had them on the roster, but then Johnny Zuppardo’s season ended before it started (of course) & Maurice Dunlap hasn’t been very healthy all season. Dunlap, however, probably needs another year before he contributes as expected. We will just have to wait and see.
N’doye and Oliver Black are still very raw. Both are very workable pieces and pretty doggone talented. They might very possibly be ready to contribute by next year.
I wish Coach Ray would go out and find a college ready JUCO shooter or find a way to get Malik Newman in next season. If he can do that the 2015-2016 Bulldog basketball team will have an opportunity to take that next step and will be a great team.
If he can get Malik Newman, our shooting woes are over. The kid is better than any JUCO player in the Nation. In my opinion, he’s the best high school player in the nation. He could potentially leave Starkville with his own statue. Quite frankly, he’s just that good.
That said, things are starting to look positive for the future of our beloved Bulldogs. I hope that we give Rick Ray at least one more year if he continues competing on a high level for the remainder of this year. You can see that he’s learning from his mistakes, and that will certainly make him better. I have always believed in his potential as a coach and there has never been any question about his standards as a leader and disciplinarian of a team. If the improvement continues, then Coach Ray is the man for the job, because he is one very likable person who lives up to the decent, honest standards that we have for our athletic teams in Starkville.
Malik Newman can be the savior of the bulldog program. Malik’s dad is one of my all time favorite Bulldogs, but he can build his own legacy as a Bulldog. He is the missing link and has the potential to bring our Mississippi State Bulldog basketball program back to prominence.