Actually, the Mississippi State Bulldogs will head to Olean, NY for another cream-puff game against St. Bonaventure on Tuesday before facing the big boys (Washington State on Friday the 28th and possibly Pittsburgh on Saturday the 29th) in the Legends Classic in Newark, New Jersey aka “Brick City.”
But on Saturday, after witnessing the MSU footballers squeak out a win versus Arkansas, I had the privilege of catching the MSU basketballers live after a short walk from Davis-Wade to The Hump.
I’d heard the stories about the ball movement of Rick Stansbury’s team having vastly improved from the days of the domineering Jamont Gordon Point Guard Experience. Now, I can attest that those theories are true. Sure, the ultimate differentiator between Mississippi State and Fairleigh Dickinson was athleticism, but this version of the Bulldogs can rest assured that the future looks bright with PG Dee Bost at the helm and a company of soldiers willing to go to war.
- Dee Bost is the selfless pass first point guard, who also has the threat of a jumper, that the Bulldogs have craved for years. His 27 assists to 13 turnovers on the year is most impressive.
- Elgin Bailey is a big dude. He’s seemingly turned old baby fat into brute strength.
- Kodi Augustus has significantly improved since his freshman year to the point where he is a key factor in the team’s future success….plus, he’s stepping up nicely in the abscence of Brian Johnson, out with an ankle injury.
- Ravern Johnson is a great scorer, but he should to avoid the habit of prowling around the 3-point line. To truly help the team, Johnson needs to develop a mid-range game. Getting into the paint for buckets will open up the offense for the entire team. On the other hand, his stroke is so pretty, I can’t blame him for wanting to fire long-range bombs.
- Romero Osby has diverse, raw talent. He should become a multi-faceted threat on both ends of the floor.
- The perimeter defense is stiffling, but it’s the presence of Jarvis “Swat” Varnado that allows the Bulldogs backcourt to get up into opposing guards.
- Both Elgin Bailey and Kodi Augustus fouled out. Avoiding cheap fouls may be the hardest aspect to learn in playing aggressive defense.
- Rebounding Fundamentals: The Bulldogs were out-rebounded 50-45 by the FDU Knights. When the level of competition increases, the dependence on athleticism in rebounding must be trumped by proper blocking-out technique.
- Silly Moment: Out of a timeout, with the Bulldogs set to full-court press the Knights, Romero Osby and Jacquiese Holcombe got into a slight shoving match argument about who would be covering the baseline out of bounds passer for Fairleigh Dickinson. They kissed and made up on a dead ball down the court.
Game Story Links:
- Varnado towers, Bulldogs hit 4-0 – NE Miss. Daily Journal
- Bulldogs’ defense stymies Knights – Clarion-Ledger
- State Moves To 4-0 With Win Over FDU – MStateAthletics
- Box Score
Fairleigh Dickinson Trivia:
- Current Virginia Tech Coach Seth Greenberg played at FDU.
Other Web Quotables:
“As much as I miss Charles Rhodes and Jamont Gordon, when they were here, they were our team. It was Charles and Jamont and three other people. However, this team is five guys working together.”
[Nails In The Road]