I posted a few weeks ago here, telling you guys about the interview with Withers on SouthernCollegeSports.com. In addition to running that site, I’m also a huge State fan, so I thought I’d share a few things about our team so you guys can know what to expect tonight. I’m sure you’re not real familiar with MSU basketball. Heck, after losing all five starters from last year, we aren’t even familiar with our own team.
So far we’re 2-0 with a convincing win over Chattanooga and a down-to-the-wire win over Arkansas State, both at home. We’ve won 14 straight non-conference road games, but then again, that was with a very experienced team the past couple of seasons. As I mentioned, we lost all five starters, including F Lawrence Roberts (an all-American) and G Winsome Frazier, the best defender and steals leader in the SEC a year ago. Also gone are G/F Shane Power, C Marcus Campbell, G/F Ontario Harper, and G Gary Ervin (transfer to Arkansas). Here is a breakdown on our players, the starting five first:
PG - Jamall Edmondson, SR (JUCO) - just 5’9 so undersized; increased shooting role this year; capable of going off from downtown at any point, but hasn’t yet this year…if he gets hot, though, watch out; driving more to the basket this year, but like I mentioned, he is somewhat undersized.
SG - Jamont Gordon, TFr - very solid player, a top 25 recruit nationally; played at Oak Hill in VA; scored 15 in the first half Monday but got fatigued in the 2nd half and only ended up with 16; a decent 3pt shooter but seems content to do his work around the goal; appears he will develop into our best player this year.
SF - Dietric Slater, JR - not a threat from outside but is one of the quickest players in the SEC; gets all points within 6-8 ft of the goal; tough defender, may get job guarding Withers depending on who is on the floor; total hustler but he won’t beat you; role player.
PF - Piotr Stelmach, JR - Poland native; also a role player but can shoot from outside; loves the 3 from the top of the key; not very fast but he is about 6’9 or so; it’s to your advantage if he gets stuck with Withers.
C - Wesley Morgan, SR - will start but won’t play more than 20-25 mins; 7’0 who has a great game and then a half-dozen where he disappears; no threat from more than 6 feet away from the goal; not a great defender.
Off the bench:
PF - Charles Rhodes, SO - one of the team’s best players; can shoot decently but does his real damage on very tough rebounding and defending; prone to some fouls and may guard Withers.
G - Michael Boler, SR - played sparingly throughout his career and is coming off a separated shoulder; can shoot the 3 occassionally.
G - Richard Delk, TFr - nephew of Tony Delk, has a twin Reginald also on the team who is hurt and out tonight; will not play more than 20 mins or so and not much of a scoring threat; good defender.
SF - Jerrell Houston, RSFr - tons of potential but hasn’t really showed much yet; wouldn’t be scared of him if I was Charlotte; hear he can shoot from outside but has not shown that yet.
PF - Bernard Rimmer, TFr - will play sparingly; no threat on offense; great leaper and rebounder.
C - Vernon Goodridge, TFr - a top 25 national recruit who has played very little so far; appears unable to grasp the Stansbury-type game thus far; supposedly his strength is defense and rebounding but we have seen nothing thus far.
And a few other notes after reading the board here: (1) Yes, Mississippians can read, write, and use a computer…haha!; (2) Yes, Charlotte is probably our biggest non-conference game of the season. We’ve played teams like Xavier, Arizona, Oklahoma, and Syracuse the past few seasons, but with such little experience returning, Stansbury chose to go light on the non-league games this fall in an effort to get some W’s and confidence; (3) We respect Withers a great deal, no doubt one of the best players in America.