The Train Wreck That is Mississippi State Basketball
A few weeks ago I did a column about the time being now for Rick Stansbury. The Bulldogs were heading to LSU to take on the Tigers after a disastrous home loss to Georgia. I said the time to define this team is upon us. This is where the rubber meets the road, time to sink or swim or whatever other analogy you wanted to use.
Fast forward to today. Five straight losses now since that week. A team that has totally fallen off the map. A team that was ranked in the top 16 in the country just a short month ago. A team that has gone from a sure fire lock in the NCAA Tournament to possibly falling all the way out; and - a team in total disarray.
If you don't believe me just read what's coming next. Forward Arnett Moultrie sat down with reporters yesterday for some "Q and A" and this wasn't your normal player/coach speak answers to questions. Moultrie laid the lumber on his team, the program and where this team could be heading.
Moultrie told Brandon Marcello of the Jackson, MS Clarion Ledger that after the Bulldogs 67-50 loss at Alabama that he could see the season “slipping away.” When Marcello asked him if he still felt that way after a couple of days away from the court, he backed it up by calling out his teammates.
“I see how they come up here and say how bad they want to win and how bad they want to go to the Final Four,” said Moultrie, “but everybody doesn’t work as hard as they say, with as bad as they want to win.”
Marcello continued with the tough questions.
Is there enough inner-drive on this team, collectively, to try to pull out of this?
Maybe not. Probably not.
Who do you turn to for leadership in times like this? I turn to the people who have been great supporters to me throughout my whole career, so I turn to my old high school coach. We have deep conversations about life and basketball, and what’s going on.
Do you turn to anybody on the team? No, not really.
How come? I don’t know. Everybody has their own agendas.
So lets summarize this. Moultrie doesn't turn to team mates, coaches or anyone affiliated with the Mississippi State program for leadership; he feels everyone has a separate agenda and doesn't feel this team will recover.
In the words of NBC hall of fame announcer Dick Enberg, "OH MY!!!"
If you do not think Moultrie saying all this is paramount then I have a great football coach in Sly Croom for you to hire.
This is just pouring gas on an already dangerous fire. Players have come and gone over the last few years at State. Be it transfer or quit, big Renardo Sidney gets in a fight in Hawaii with then teammate Elgin Bailey, andfor the most part over half the team has been out of control on twitter or facebook at some point - expressing their displeasure with Stansbury or the team.
This has reached the end. Period, end of story. When your leader on your team comes out in the media - blasting the team, you know this will not end well. Stansbury has lost this team. It is gone. I would be shocked if this team makes the tournament and even more shocked if it won a game in the tournament.
You've seen this with other teams in other sports and when it gets to this point its time to cut the chord. And ignorant state fan don't give me the ole "who we gone hire? Rick's a good man, he is a heck of a recruiter." Is he? Really? This team has no bench, no depth and now injuries are piling on. You add in a divided locker room and players blasting each other in the media and this is a total disaster.
No my friends, this is a train wreck and its not over. When it is, it's time for a change at the top. I don't care how good of a man Stansbury is. It's time to clean the slate and start over. Anything else would be considered insanity at this point.