You knew this was possible. You knew if you had watched the train wreck that is Rick Stansbury basketball this year, you knew that his team with two first team all SEC players and many good role players could drop a first round game to Georgia (15-16). They did it just over a month ago and then with their backs against the wall, needing a win to secure an NCAA birth - State choked bigger than a two year old on a pop sickle stick loosing to Georgia again - 71-61.
Georgia advances to play Vanderbilt tonight in the second round of the SEC Tournament and for State? Well here is where it gets interesting along with already being frustrated.
As of this morning, many writers and bracketologists still had State in the Big Dance, but there are still three days of tournament ball left to play and many things can happen.
Happy go lucky State fan will stress and hope and pray come this Sunday evening that the Dawgs still get in the tournament. Then there is another group of fans and people like myself who could care less. This team has no heart, no direction, no leadership and does not deserve to play on the biggest stage in college basketball.
When your three top Dawgs in Dee Bost, Renardo Sidney and Arnett Moultrie combine for twenty-one (21) total points and your team needing this win plays with the effort of a Salvador Sea snail - you do not deserve it.
Guard Jalen Steele said in the post game presser, "We came out kind of sluggish though. I think we could have came out with more energy, we could have won the game."
Question for Jalen and the rest of the funky bunch there at Miss.State. How do you not come out with all the energy in the world with this being a must win? Two answers for you my friend. One, these guys have no heart. Sorry Joe State fan who has the pie in the sky mentality. They do not have heart. They play sluggish and like they don't care.
Secondly this falls at the feet of Rick Stansbury. Rick has done a tremendous amount for MSU over his nearly twenty-five years as an assistant and head man. He is the ninth winningest coach in SEC history and has dominated his in-state rival. He has brought a lot of hardware and banners to Humphrey Coliseum. But - you have to step back and look bigger than that. Since 2008 this team has been on a constant decline.
Players leaving the program on an annual basis, the fight between Renardo Sidney and Elgin Baley in Hawaii,Sidney's constant lack of effort and discipline, players blasting team mates and coaches on social media. Simply put - it has become a circus and it is time for a change.
This did not just come about over one loss to a bad Georgia team in the SEC Tournament. This was just thelast straw in a bag of straws and now its time to throw that bag away.
So now we wait. Many will hope State gets in Sunday but in reality, State will get an NIT bid again, not care to be there either, loose to a team like Towson on their home floor and we play the waiting game and the attention turns to Scott Stricklin - MState Athletic Director. Does he lay down ground rules for Rick and ultimately give him another shot next year or does he say good bye and start over? Only time will tell but I can tell you if it was me, Rick would be throwing boxes in a U-Haul today.