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The Winner
Mississippi St. Fan
Member since Nov 2016
898 posts

Let's have a chat about Basketball and the Future
I am up late. And a lot of that has to do with this topic. About whether Howland is or is not on the hot seat. Let me first say this will be long but only because I am trying to add as much details as possible. Not leaning one way or the other YET, but I do think we are at the point now where this needs to be a conversation. And a loss on Tuesday will only echo these setiments.

It has been since 2009 that MSU has made the NCAAs and It has been since 2012 that MSU Basketball has reached the postseason. Rick Stansbury "retired" that season after a collapse that saw MSU drop from a NCAA Tournament team lock to the NIT. Scott Stricklin then AD of MSU is tasked with his first coaching search. Sure he wants to hire a great basketball coach. But with one condition. No more AAU. What does that mean? MSU basically self imposed recruiting sanctions on themselves for 0 reason. No coach was attracted to working under such conditions so enter Rick Ray. He tool the risk and inherited the worst MSU roster in basketball in years. He was not able to retain signees or Hood either tho.

Now fast forward 3 years. Ray finishes in the bottom 4 every year. MSU media claims he will be given another year. He is not. Stricklin stuns everyone and dumps Ray for Howland. At the time it is considered a home run hire. Howland signs Q Weatherspoon and Malik Newman. Looks like MSU is off and running, Right? Well MSU still has not finished outside the bottom 4 of the league. And it seems to me that an emphasis on the Alabama rivalry is all but gone. Which makes no sense considering State and Bama should be comparable programs at this time. Now Howland came in with 3 other new SEC Coaches, I will come back to that in a second because I want to focus on Avery Johnson. A lot of Alabama fans I know are frustrated with him. Now here should be the frustrating part for MSU:

Howland splits with Bama in his first season. Both teams are about equal. Last season, Alabama is the conference opener. State keeps it close but Bama makes a late run. Middle of the season, State goes to Tuscaloosa, but Bama pulls away even earlier this time. State was never in the game. Final game of the season for MSU: SEC Tournament. State is never in the game and Bama rolls. Why do I bring Alabama and Avery up? Because while Avery's team improved enough to make the NIT last season, Howlands digressed. and that is not a good sign at all.

Another example of the digression of Howland: last season State starts 3-1 in conference play and hosts Kentucky, they play Kentucky close and it seemed STate would build something. But State would go on to lose 11 of their next 13 games. The only teams State would beat afterwards were Kim Anderson and Johnny Jones, coupled in with a Rick Barnes choke in Starkville. But Barnes made up for that by blowing State out in Knoxville.

Now let's compare Barnes, White, Johnson, and Howland since they came the same year. Johnson did not make postseason his first year, made the NIT his second season, and is on the NCAA Bubble this year. White inheirted a good Florida team and is having no problem with the NCAAs. Intrestingly enough prior to this season, Barnes and Howland were nearly identical. Both finished with a tied record last season and have not made the postseason. But Barnes is in NCAA Contention. Is Howland even in NIT contention?

I say all this to say MSU is now 1-3 in conference play. Even in the Arkansas win, it felt like something was off. They have what I consider Howland's most important game on Tuesday. Because if he drops a home game to Vanderbilt, It is over. Quite frankly many of these home games look unwinnable without a Vanderbilt. Not even discussing road games, because that obviously is not happening. Now Howland can still pull a NIT team out of this. He has to sweep south carolina, sweep Vanderbilt, split Alabama, split Ole Miss, split Missouri, and win 2 out of 3 against Tennessee, Georgia, and LSU. That puts you at 10 conference wins. SOS and RPI will be too low for NCAA but that is good enough for the NIT. Will that happen? I am not certain on that one.

It is always good to have Plan B. And that is what I am doing here. The first two names that come to mind are Rick Stansbury and Kermit Davis. Kermit is doing well at MTSU and Stansbury is doing well at WKU. A return you say? Wouldn't be terrible. But I do not expect Cohen to go either direction if he has to make that decesion this season. Or what I predict, next season. What say ye fellow SEC Rant Bulldogs?


DingLeeBerry
Mississippi St. Fan
Member since Oct 2014
3337 posts

re: Let's have a chat about Basketball and the Future
I think Howland gets another year, but I am very disappointed so far. We have no real offensive threat inside other than put backs and garbage plays. Maybe we will bring somebody in who can score and the guys we have now will improve offensively over the next year. Currently, we just run around the perimeter looking for something. I'm not really sure what we're looking for since we don't shoot it very well from out there, but we're looking. I don't understand why we don't clear out more and let Peters and Weatherspoon (0) try to penetrate and create something.

Bottom line though, we should be better than Ole Miss in basketball. We've lost to them once and they beat FU yesterday. 2nd place in the state is unacceptable and if we don't see a winning record in conference play next year time to move on.


bullpup01
Mississippi St. Fan
Utopia
Member since Jan 2013
559 posts

re: Let's have a chat about Basketball and the Future
My 2 cents is we have 2 defenders in Ado and Holman and that's it. Everyone else wants to play street ball and score. We do not have a true leader on the floor although I think Holman is trying to be one. Peters is a head case. Datcher could be an enforcer but I see no coaching up of him to get him there. I think we need a younger head coach who has the patience and energy to work with these guys as well as all new assistants to get them to play as a team. Howland can recruit and put a team together but he and the staff either aren't getting through to the guys or are not putting in the effort to get through to them.


ChargerDog91
Mississippi St. Fan
Member since May 2012
4180 posts

re: Let's have a chat about Basketball and the Future
quote:

My 2 cents is we have 2 defenders in Ado and Holman and that's it.

quote:

Datcher could be an enforcer but I see no coaching up of him to get him there.


Until we fire George Brooks we will never have post guys perform up to par. He may be one of the worst post coaches I've ever seen.


joshua2571
Mississippi St. Fan
Member since Nov 2015
3721 posts

re: Let's have a chat about Basketball and the Future
I watched games were Howland just claps his hands and says " good job" when State is obviously struggling with turnovers are whatnot. He needs to put a fire under them. A talented roster without results is mind boggling. I hate comparing rosters and teams but Will Wade is doing more with a less talented roster. He got a tech and I would take that if Howland would take a tech. It would at least showed that he cared.


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The Winner
Mississippi St. Fan
Member since Nov 2016
898 posts

re: Let's have a chat about Basketball and the Future
What pisses me off more than anything is that the Alabama Rivalry which was the Rivalry is gone. And we aren't doing anything to revitalize it. I 17ing hate our current culture.

All this off the court stuff and our current players mindset of making individual plays not team plays is costing us in SEC Play.

Honestly when we fired Stansbury, did you think that would be the last postseason you would see for almost a decade? Maybe even a decade?

I guess what I'm saying is I don't think we're on Alabama or Ole Miss's level. Again. If we lose to Vanderbilt on Tuesday, I'm done with Howland.


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The Winner
Mississippi St. Fan
Member since Nov 2016
898 posts

re: Let's have a chat about Basketball and the Future
Another thing I've thought of. Seriously. I think Wade is better than Howland right now. That game is at the PMAC this year and it's the last conference game. Will be interesting to see where MSU and LSU are at that point. I would expect MSU to get blown out in that one when it's all said and done.


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The Winner
Mississippi St. Fan
Member since Nov 2016
898 posts

re: Let's have a chat about Basketball and the Future
I agree. I'm low on Peters. I think he will probably transfer. We have the Weatherspoons, Holman, and Ado. But I don't see them run offensive sets. It's annoying. The talent is there, but if talent just doesn't want to work as a team then it is no different than Rick Ray's teams.


deltaland
Mississippi St. Fan
Member since Mar 2011
38042 posts

re: Let's have a chat about Basketball and the Future
Part of me thinks Howland is a wash up has been and another part feels that Ray left the program in shambles and it may take a little longer to get us back good. Howland is recruiting good. We have improved this year. We beat Vandy handily today. I'm not giving up yet. NIT this year would be fine with me as it shows progress. I still support Howland


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Sancho Panza
Mississippi St. Fan
La Habaña, Cuba
Member since Sep 2014
6494 posts

re: Let's have a chat about Basketball and the Future
Let the man coach.


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