December 15, 2009

Stansbury's Bulldogs on a roll

Mississippi State's season got off to a shaky start losing two of their first five games.

But the Bulldogs have certainly turned things around winning four straight with an average margin of victory by 28.8 points. MSU's most recent wins came on opposite ends of the country with a 31-point win over DePaul in Tampa and a 18-point win over UCLA in Anaheim two days later.

"I thought our guys, considering the quick turnaround flying coast-to-coast, did a great job getting themselves prepared," said MSU head coach Rick Stansbury. "I thought defense was the difference in that (UCLA) game again - our ability to defend what they wanted to do in those sets. That was a key. We wanted to make them score some other ways than their sets. And that allows us to get out and play quick in offense, when you get stops. You take the ball out of that net, it's not as quick. So it starts with our defense."

The Bulldogs claimed a trophy with their win over the Bruins in the John Wooden Classic and were equally impressive during the SEC-Big East Challenge against DePaul at the St. Pete Times Forum.

State knocked down nine first half 3-pointers against the Blue Demons and finished the game with 12 on the night.

"It's what DePaul was giving us," said Stansbury. "We (took) 18 of our first 25 shots from the three-point line at halftime cause they made a decision to jam the paint. We're gonna take Jarvis (Varnado) away and that's what they did. They took him away. You can't tell an open 3-point shooter 'don't shoot and try to jam it inside' when it's not there. If our opposing team wants to take away Jarvis, then we are gonna shoot more threes. If they want to stay up in the three-point shooters, then you have to be conscience of that and throw that ball inside some. I do think we have some versatility there."

Next up for the Bulldogs will be Wright State on Wednesday. The Raiders travel to Starkville with a 6-3 record on the year and are coming off a 56-55 loss at Miami on Sunday.

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