The Indoor Egg Bowl takes place again tonight, as our Rebels play against the Mississippi State Bulldogs in The Humpty Hump. To prepare you for this, we've collaborated with For Whom the Cowbell Tolls and a man claiming to not be Kyle Veazey (Nice try, Sleazey Veazey Nice 'n' Squeezy*) to exchange some questions and answers. On there site, you've got me answering there questions, while here you've got them answering my questions. Simple enough? Great, let's dig in.
"Wait wait wait. You mean to tell me you talked to those guys at that blog?!"
Yeah. We did. I know we've had our online monkeys-throwin-doo-doo-TSUN-TSFWCDAO fights before but, in the words of Pappy O'Daniel, "I'm a forgive-and-forget Christian, and I say if their rambunctiousness and misdemeanoring is behind them...Well, then, I say, by the power vested in me, these boys is hereby pardoned!"
So, Grinders, have you answers to my questions?
1) It's really hard for us to get a bead as to how Mississippi State fans feel about Rick Stansbury. On the one hand, there are those who appreciate his recruiting and maintenance of the Hump's home court advantage, while on the other hand there seem to be those who feel that he's not allowing the program to reach its full potential. Care to take a stance on Rick Stansbury's coaching?
I'll take some heat for this possibly, but I'm not the world's biggest Stansbury fan. In his 10+ years he's yet to make one Sweet Sixteen, and with some of the talented teams he's had in that time I think myself along with other State fans have a gripe about that. There's also the "transfering" issue, with the program seeing almost one player per year transfer over the past several seasons. Now some of those aren't on Stansbury, but some just have that feeling of coach mismanagement as the cause. I will say Stansbury in the SEC tourney is either 100% on or 100% off, so if he has the team ready to play then they always have a chance to win the tourney. But when he get's a team to the NCAA, he leaves something to be desired. Now watch, now that I've said this in public he'll take us to the Final Four and get a 25 year extension.
2) Arnett Moultrie is the only player in the SEC averaging a double-double right now. He averages more points and rebounds per game than Anthony Davis. He's truly an elite SEC basketballer, which should make any of State's opponents nervous. Is there any weakness in his game that Ole Miss could exploit?
Honestly, it's hard to find a fault in Moultrie's game. He can create his own shot, face up to the basket, and is a decent FT shooter for a big man. I guess to me he still needs to prove his worth in "the big game." Granted the only game he's played poorly in was Baylor. I think against Ole Miss he matches up well, and really I think he'll get his double double like always. No disrespect to any Ole Miss defender, Moultrie just seems to be in the zone right now in the season. I think we won't find out if he's another good State big man or true POY material until the matchup with Anthony Davis and Kentucky in a couple of weeks.
3) Dee Bost, Rodney Hood, and Arnett Moultrie are numbers 1, 2, and 3 respectively in minutes played per game in the Southeastern Conference. Ole Miss likes to play a really uptempo game, especially in conference. Could fatigue be a factor in tonight's game?
Oh absolutely it plays a factor. With DeVille Smith's health still uncertain, Dee will once again be the main option in the backcourt. Hood I'm not as worried with because he's healthy and young, but Moultrie needs some breathers through the course of the game to be effective. I think one key to tonight's game is getting quality minutes out of Wendell Lewis and Sidney. With Ole Miss' front line, it's important for those two guys to give Moultrie some minutes here or there to stay fresh. And obviously any production out of Sidney in addition to Moultrie's usual is a plus.
4) Is this Renardo Sidney's last season as a Bulldog?
Ah honestly at this point nothing would surprise me with Sidney. We've seen him be the victim, the villain, the hero, really every role in his time at State. He's one of those players that if you told me tomorrow that he quit and moved to Norway, I wouldn't be surprised. It's sad too, because when he wants to be "on" he can be unstoppable. Unfortunately we've only seen flashes of that in his career so far. Really would be surprised though if he's back next year, whether he's talked into testing the NBA waters or if he just takes his traveling circus somewheres else.
5) Looking at the schedule, I see right around ten SEC wins for State before the SEC Tournament. Agree? Disagree? Where are State fans expecting to pick up the wins needed to get another NCAA invite?
I think 10 is fair. I think tonight really matters in reaching that magical 10 number. If State can get a W tonight I think they take Georgia on Saturday and should, SHOULD beat Auburn and LSU on the road next week. Crazy things happen in the SEC though, so who knows. The Kentucky game I say is a toss up. I know Kentucky is dang near perfect this season, but State always plays them tough at home, so I say that game is a push. Finishing out the season I think we can win at Bama and South Carolina, or at least one of the two, and definitely take Arkansas at home to finish. Arkansas, like many of us in the SEC, is horrible on the road in conference play. I think they can win at least 5 out of those 7 games, with a win against Kentucky being an obvious icing on the cake.
I can't remember a game in this series that wasn't hard fought and close, and I don't see this one being any different. I say 62-57 State, with State making some late FT's to seal the deal. Really impressed with what Ole Miss has done this year, and have to think the Rebels are 3 tough losses away from matching State's current record. But State is usually solid at home, and with us typically being up for the rivalry game I don't see tonight being any different. Should be a fun game to watch anyways. And I'm secretly hoping for a Stansbury-Kennedy Double Technical. A guy can dream, can't he?
BONUS: Should we make a trophy for this game? We have the Governor's Cup for baseball and the Mississippi Cup for tennis, so really basketball's been left out, don't you think?
I think a Trophy for this game would be nice. It's always competitive, much like football and baseball, so why shouldn't it have a trophy too? I was thinking maybe make it the Egg Ball Trophy, with some sort of odd, oblong basketball that's half maroon and half red. That, or a trophy with bully and the black bear arm wrestling and call it "TSUN-TSBU SEMI-ANNUAL ROUNDBALL SKIRMISH"
My answers to their questions are right here. Click it.
*Too far? Yeah, pobably so.