Oh Rebels. Why do you do this? Why do you sustain our hopes? Why must you always leave your fans with a glimmer of hope in their hearts?
In case you missed it, Mississippi State lost to Auburn on Wednesday night, greatly reducing their chances of making the tournament and leaving the window open for the Rebels to perform well enough to hang a banner. Sure, the best we can do is lose a tie breaker to State, but trust me. Our administration will hang a banner for that. But hey, I don't blame them. Twenty years from now, will people look back on that banner and say, "well, Mississippi State really won it that year."
The Rebels held the Tigers of LSU in check for most of the night, only allowing the cajuns the lead once. We weren't able to pull away as early as most of us had hoped, but we won by thirteen, which is helpful. We need to do everything we can to appeal to the NCAA tournament selection committee now.
Last night, we did what we needed to do. Chris Warren scored a lot of points, Terrico White was physical, and Murphy Holloway was the aggressive, freakish, effort player that we all love.
Starting with Murphy, he was one rebound away from a double-double. I really like what goes on when he and Terrance Henry are both on the court. They appear to play together well, with Terrance's offensive game forcing big men to leave the lane a little bit, opening the door for Murphy Holloway to sneak in. Murphy does an excellent job of creating his own opportunities, and he did it last night several times. His and-one opportunity came at a very important time and sustained the Rebels' momentum for the rest of the game. He missed the free throw, but it was still a momentum grabber. If you didn't watch the game, watch the highlights in the SEC widget to the right.
Chris Warren nailed his first five threes. He scored seventeen points in the first half and looked to be running away with it. However, in the second half, he only scored five points. I'd love to see him have one entire game with the offensive power of his best halves. However, most notably, Warren didn't have a single turnover and dished out five assists. A very good game from the little guy.
Who made Terrico White think he was a three point shooter? I know that he can make some every now and then, but that's not his game. He was 0-5 last night from the arc. Luckily, he didn't resign his game to that style of play. Terrico attacked the basket a good bit and was more active than normal without the ball as evidenced by his five offensive rebounds.
Zach Graham played a great game in nearly every aspect. He turned the ball over too many times (4), but he also registered six assists and came through with several clutch threes. It's nice to see Graham have a good game in SEC play. He's been struggling a bit as of late. We'll need him to make up some for Eniel Polynice's current slump, and I think he can do it.
Terrance Henry had one sick block from behind that I remember. I don't recall him making too much of an impact, but I have to admit that I wasn't watching him much when he didn't have the ball.
Deaundre Cranston finished his final game in the Tad Pad with 11 minutes, 3 fouls, 0 points, 0 rebounds, and 2 blocks. It was a poor finish to a career that has been criticized too much. He helped our team some while he was here, even though he was in way over his head. I for one am thankful that he was on our team but, as I've said before, I wish that we had only given him 5-10 minutes a game.
Our entire bench scored two points. That has to be an all-time low for a Kennedy coached Rebel team. I'm not going to do the research, but if you want to, you can.
We kept our hopes alive. Now we've got to beat Arkansas in Fayetteville on Saturday. That's a tough task, but I think the Rebels have a good shot.