February 19, 2009

Stansbury talking Crimson Tide

It has been five and a half weeks since Mississippi State and Alabama met on the hardwood.

There have been plenty of changes since then including a major one at the capstone. The Crimson Tide relieved head coach Mark Gottfried of his duties and replaced him in an interim capacity with Philip Pearson.

"I think the biggest change is that Coach Pearson is playing everybody," said MSU head coach Rick Stansbury. "Before there were a couple of guys on that bench that weren't playing much. Since Pearson has taken over I think he is letting them all get a little playing time. Anthony Brock has really added to the team along with Demetrius Jemison. Those are basically two guys that didn't play much at all against us the first time."

The Bulldogs prevailed 83-74 during their previous meeting in Starkville on Jan. 14. But now State will have to take things on the road to Coleman Coliseum, a place 4-7 as a head coach.

"They are very good at home," Stansbury said. "They lost a tough one to South Carolina last Saturday on a tip-in where they led the whole game. They are still the only team in this league to beat LSU and they beat them there in Tuscaloosa. Sometimes all a losing streak does is make them hungrier and more relaxed and that's what they will be against us. They probably know there is not more at stake than pride for them."

The Crimson Tide are on a four-game losing skid and are only 3-8 inside the Southeastern Conference this season.

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