Friday, January 21, 2011

Georgia vs. Miss State Hoops Preview

The Dawgs look to rebound tomorrow against the Bizarro-Bulldogs of Mississippi State. Since all of MSU's suspensions/fighting have passed, they have been playing some good ball. Actually, it's only two-games worth of good play, but still...they are going to be a worthy opponent. MSU is still coached by Rick Stansbury, who has been a head coach there since 1998. They are currently 10-7 on the year, but as I said earlier, a handful of their players have served various suspensions. They are 2-1 in SEC play, with victories over Ole Miss and Auburn.

As for MSU's players, they are led by PG Dee Bost, who was one of the players suspended during the fall semester (he wisely waited too long to withdrawal his name out of the NBA draft pool last year....and was academically suspended). But in only three games, he is averaging 16.0 ppg and 7 assists per game. The leading scorer is SG Ravern Johnson, who is averaging 18.5 ppg and shoots 37% on three-pointers. Another player who is recently coming off a suspension is 6'10'' PF Renardo Sidney. Sidney has done a few dumb things lately: (a) received improper benefits which forced an NCAA suspension to start the season, (b) got into a fight with teammate Elgin Bailey, who was kicked off the team afterwords, (c) got fat during his suspension, and (d) may or may not have flicked off the Ole Miss student section during their game last week. But he's a stand up guy and can be quite a force in the low post -- he's 270 lbs and is averaging 14.4 ppg and 5.6 rpg in his five games played. His front-court mate is 6'8'' Kodi Augustus who is averaging 12.4 ppg and 8.6 rpg.

Before we played Ole Miss, I said they were a "slightly worse" version of Vanderbilt. I think the same might be true of this upcoming game; that is, MSU is a slightly worse version of Tennessee -- plenty capable of beating us, but SHOULD not in my opinion. Our three-game home stand has not started well, but we have a chance to be 4-2 heading into our rematch with UK in Lexington. But as head coach talk would dictate, "we just gotta take it ONE. GAME. AT. A. TIME".

MSU is like Tennessee in that they have skilled guards and are very athletic. And honestly, their big guys are probably just as good as UT's. But they do not have near the quality guard depth of Tennessee and tend to play undisciplined ball at times. We should win in my opinion may not be as easy as people think. If we catch an early lead I think MSU may start making bad decisions. I look for a rebound game from the Dawgs.

Here are MSU's stats on the year (keep in mind Bailey has been kicked off the team):


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