July 20, 2024
MSU hits the highway to Texas for Van Chancellor Basic
Sam Purcell (Photograph: Mississippi State Athletics , 247Sports)


Sam Purcell mentioned per week in the past that he would study one thing about his staff after a visit to Belmont and the coach did simply that.

Belmont is amongst about 4 groups which are thought of Mid-Main colleges in school basketball that Purcell believes is bordering high 25 packages. Together with Belmont is Florida Gulf Coast, Creighton and South Dakota State and the Bulldogs have performed in opposition to three of these within the final two years.

Purcell took his staff on the highway to tackle the Bruins this 12 months and received a run for his or her cash earlier than Darrione Rogers was in a position to stick again a missed 3-point shot for the lead within the remaining seconds. A defensive cease on the opposite finish secured a one-point victory that ought to look spectacular on State’s resume by the top of the 12 months.

Rogers is one in every of three whole transfers that got here in to assist take the Bulldogs to the following degree because the DePaul switch joined Seton Corridor’s Lauren Park-Lane and Arkansas Erynn Barnum on a roster that’s constructed to make a run. Nonetheless, it hasn’t been straightforward to convey the entire staff collectively and it’s nonetheless a piece in progress that’s steadily enhancing.

Final Sunday’s win was a giant step in the correct course.

“Individuals ask me what the toughest issues with transfers are and it’s having sufficient time to sweat collectively, grind collectively, to spend time collectively that we are able to belief one another. I checked out my staff (at Belmont) and advised them that the fourth quarter is our quarter,” Purcell mentioned. “They trusted me to go zone and we did what we would have liked to on the finish to drive them to shoot a bounce shot as an alternative of attending to the rim like they’d.”

The No. 25 Bulldogs (5-0) are off to an ideal begin and cracked again into the Related Press high 25 for the second time within the first three weeks of the season. It’s a return to normalcy a bit in Starkville after two and a half years of being caught exterior the highest 25. MSU had grown accustomed to high 10 rankings however had discovered itself within the wilderness for a few seasons earlier than Purcell introduced some life again into this system.

This 12 months’s staff has began off averaging round 76 factors and placing collectively one of many SEC’s greatest defenses as they give up simply 44 factors a recreation with an unimaginable 51-29 edge on rebounding.

Senior guard Jerkaila Jordan is off to an ideal begin averaging 18.4 factors, 7.8 rebounds, 3.2 steals and a pair of.4 assists a contest this 12 months whereas Jessika Carter averages 13.2 factors and eight.2 boards a recreation. Barnum averages 7.0 factors and seven.4 rebounds whereas Park-Lane has 6.8 factors and three.8 assists a recreation.

The Belmont win was a giant check for the staff occurring the highway and successful in a troublesome surroundings in opposition to a well-coached staff, however this weekend’s slate of video games will probably be a distinct type of check.

State performs three video games in three days down in Katy, Texas, on the Van Chancellor Basic. Purcell mentioned he’ll study much more about his squad after this one.

“My staff is both going to like me or hate me. I feel they’ll love me first as a result of Jerkaila’s household lives in Houston and we’re going to have a heck of a Thanksgiving meal,” Purcell joked. “It’s three fast video games the place I’m happy with our id on the defensive finish since you’re going to must play all three video games completely different.

“We’ll learn how mentally robust we might be. That’s why I’m utilizing the phrases punch, study, develop. Clearly, I wish to win all of those video games arising, but when we don’t we are able to’t lose sight of the following alternative.”

The Bulldogs begin the Thanksgiving weekend Spherical Robin by taking over Clemson (4-1) on Friday evening at 6 p.m. They’ll play Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-2) on Saturday at 3:45 p.m. and Tulsa (3-1) on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. All instances are central, and the video games might be seen on ESPN+ through subscription.

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