Bulldog Maroon & White

a Mississippi State sports blog

Football Is On, But I’m Still Thinking About Mississippi State Basketball

Posted by Kyle Weidie on September 13, 2008

About three weeks back, I had a post covering a couple MSU basketball predictions: collegehoopsnet ranking the Bulldogs #96 and Dick Vitale putting MSU at #36 in his preseason top 40.

Well, I failed to mention that ESPN’s Joe Lunardi still has the Bulldogs predicted to make the Big Dance (his Bracketology was last updated way back on June 18th). MSU is a falling #7 seed and would play #10 seed UNLV in Portland, Oregon (West Regional). Of course, that was before Jamont Gordon went undrafted by the NBA on June 26th, but a couple days after it was pretty much official that Gordon would not be returning to Starkville.

Also, on June 17th, ESPN’s Andy Katz had Mississippi State in his 16 others under consideration outside of his preseason top 25.

We still have a way to go before college basketball talk gets seriously serious…so I’ll reserve any predictions on my part until further down the road, not to mention that the Mississippi State basketball schedule has yet to be released. It seems like MSU is always one of the last in the conference to release.

Other Previews to Check:

Where Does Rick Stansbury Rank?

Seth Stogsdill of UK Wildcat Country has ranked all SEC basketball coaches on two scales: recruiting and actual coaching. Stansbury comes in as the #3 recruiter in the league. Stogsdill gives the same ol’ song and dance, insinuating that Stansbury’s success derives from him being the most habitual rule bender. I certainly have my own thoughts on the subject (see Is Mississippi State Basketball a “No-Win” Situation?).

I can’t bemoan the fact that this point about Stansbury is driven home over and over again, I suppose it will always come with the territory of anyone who produces a winning team out of lil’ ol’ Starkville. But c’mon, most “dirty” connotations about Rick Stansbury seem to act as if the fecal matter of other college coaches fails to emit a stench.

In any case, here’s what Stogsdill had to say:

I’ll be blunt here: Nobody knows how to cheat and not get caught better than Rick Stansbury. I haven’t been to Starkville, MS, but from what I’ve been told, there’s a Kroger, a Pizza Hut, a couple of stoplights and an SEC university. The basketball team has next to no tradition, yet Stansbury has pulled in some unbelevable classes, mainly by using the AAU circuits, which are ruining the game. In the original recruiting ploy to secure a commitment from Scotty Hopson, I’m pretty sure that Stansbury signed several of his AAU teammates. Some call it conquering the recruiting machine, I call it shady, but except for the Hopson situation, it’s worked to perfection for State.

Stogsdill ranks Stansbury #6 in the conference at coaching, which sounds about right.

Rick Stansbury has been at Mississippi State since 2000 and has had a team full of his own recruits since 2002. That was the year of the infamous Mario Austin game. Since that year, I have never felt like Kentucky was going to win convincingly against the Bulldogs. It’s no coincidence that State has made the Big Dance in five of those seven seasons. Last year, they played Memphis tougher than any team besides Tennessee and Kansas. They typically hold onto leads, unless they have to shoot a lot of FTs. They have had guys who create mismatches in every one of Stansbury’s seasons since 2002. Their players develop nicely, and I reference Austin and Jamont Gordon as the best examples. He’s the reason why State has been the most consistent team in the West this decade.

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One Response to “Football Is On, But I’m Still Thinking About Mississippi State Basketball”

  1. leon roundtree said

    The University of Kentucky basketball program has been caught red handed sending money in envelopes to recruits,having students take entrance exams for recruits, and having alumni and other fans give players money via “$100 Handshakes”.

    They have cheated so severely that their cheating was the subject of the cover story of the most widely read sports magazine in the world.

    Their fans shouldn’t make unfounded allegations against others since their reputation is as the most corrupt athletic program in college sports history.Yet their glass house dwelling fans will continue to throw stones at others because Kentucky fans are the most ignorant,arrogant,rude, and low-classed fans in the history of college athletics.I’m sure that there will be a special place in Heaven for those poor University of Louisville fans who have to live next to, and put up with those ignorant hillbilly, “you-uns” and “we-uns” saying,UCLA denying,”Kii-yut” fans, the world’s biggest rubes.

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