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Tuesday Talk with Rick Stansbury - Jan. 10 - MSU head coach "not going to panic on the Arkansas game"


Matt Stevens


STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State's men's basketball has decided to not think too much and worry too much about one of the worst statistical defensive performances in his 14 years roaming the sidelines with Bulldogs. In his mind, that's why they're referred to as anomalies. 


"I'm not going to panic on the Arkansas game," Stansbury said Tuesday. "We've only given up 70 points one other time this year. So defensively, we've been pretty good. We've been pretty consistent. So, I'm not going to panic on some things because I think that is how the whole game kind of went. Offensively we weren't as good and that caused us to do some things and that led to some points defensively too that allowed them to have 98 points." 


He's not even worried about the gameplan for future opponents to be pressure defense and unique pressing actions.  


"I don't think so at all," Stansbury said. "We've seen a lot of different presses in a lot of different ways. That's different up there [at Arkansas] and it sped us up. It is just different and there is no way you can simulate it in practice. You've got to give them credit because they made shots, they made shots. They made shots in a lot of different ways with a lot of different people. You've got to give credit for us playing the way we played, it wasn't all us." 


Mississippi State (13-3, 0-1 in Southeastern Conference) didn't have practice yesterday due to various sickness throughout the coaching staff and so the Bulldogs will go to work on Tennessee (8-7, 1-0 in SEC play) that will try to win a halfcourt game with physical defensive play led by first-year head coach Cuonzo Martin.  


"Anytime you do to Florida what they did to Florida you know you are very good," Stansbury said. "They've got a good balance of inside and outside. They've got some veterans, some guys that has been around. They are going to get after you defensively, they'll play extremely hard. They've got some balance on that team, a lot of different guys can do a lot of different things." 


However, until MSU proves they can handle a high-quality pressure defense, the Bulldogs are expecting to see it every game especially coming from a Volunteers team that has almost all of its roster be exclusively former recruits of Bruce Pearl, UT's former head coach, and his run-and-gun style of play. Martin, a disciple of the Gene Keady coaching tree, has tried to mold a more halfcourt style into this group while not taking away completely the talents they were recruited to Knoxville, Tenn. for in the first place.  


"I do expect us to do the same Arkansas did and take us out of our gameplan," MSU junior forward Arnett Moultrie said. "I pretty much think every team is going to come in and press us." 


The concern this week in practice is about getting Moultrie more offensive chances but the 6-foot-11 junior said Tuesday he's not getting frustrated with his lack of production at Arkansas because unlike MSU center Renardo Sidney, the offensive sets don't need to be run through him because Moultrie can and does manufacture his points on the offensive glass or running the floor on a fast break.  


"I've never been a high volume shooter," Moultrie said. "I always been like the garbage man getting my stuff off steals and loose balls and rebounds, stuff like that. Teams' focal points right now is making sure I don't get those 11 rebounds per game so they're sending two guys to box me out." 




All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.



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