January 11, 2011

Stansbury searching for answers

Mississippi State has been the most consistent team in the SEC West for well over a decade.

But this season has been anything but normal for the Bulldogs. From multiple NCAA suspensions to multiple midseason transfers and everything in between this team has experienced it all. Now MSU will have to find a way to right the ship heading into their first conference road game.

The Bulldogs woes continues this past Saturday in the league opener losing to Alabama 75-57, dropping a game at home to the Crimson Tide for the first time in five years. Now State will have the challenge of traveling to Oxford to take on instate rival Ole Miss.

"We are coming off a difficult home loss," said MSU head coach Rick Stansbury. "You never want to start off the new season with a home loss but we did so now we've got to go on the road to a very challenging and difficult place to play and play a good Ole Miss basketball team. We'll have our work cut out for us Thursday night."

Mississippi State has now dropped five of its last six games dating back to a two-plus week road trip that spanned through the Bahamas, Hawaii and Las Vegas. That excursion came off the heels of a five games in five nights streak in which the Bulldogs went 4-1 including a rare midseason exhibition win over Belhaven.

That unorthodox scheduling was all due to MSU's unique situation with junior point guard Dee Bost and sophomore forward Renardo Sidney. Sidney was suspended for the first nine games by the NBA dating back to last season's ruling for receiving improper benefits from Reebok while Bost was also suspended nine games for not removing his name from the NBA Draft before the deadline. To make matters worse for Bost, he was ruled academically ineligible for the fall term meaning his nine game suspension could not begin until it ended.

Even with both players finally cleared to be on the floor this past Saturday, the Bulldogs were unable to regain their stability.

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