The HailState Beat debut of #ABC

Each week on The B&B Show (a radio show I co-host on Bulldog Sports Radio) we have a segment we call ABC, which you’ve seen me mention if you follow on Twitter.

It stands for Ask Bob Carskadon and is, basically, a radio mailbag of some serious and many non-serious questions sometimes but not always relating to Mississippi State sports.

We’ve been doing ABC for nearly a year, and somehow I’m just now having the thought to take it here to the blog.

While it took me a while to get it going, it’s pretty straightforward. Every Tuesday, we ask for questions on Twitter (tweet them to @bobcarskadon) and now, every Wednesday, I’ll pick some good ones to answer here on the HailState Beat. (PSA on those tweets: if a twitter profile is locked, people who don’t follow it can’t see its tweets, even if they are mentioned in the tweet.)

Keep in mind, as always, opinions and views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of MSU, though sometimes they very well may.

Anyway, let’s get to the questions.

Anthony-Dixon-49ers1Dionne Williams @dwill225: I count at least 5 Dawgs in NFL playoffs. How many are there?

Bob: On active rosters of the eight teams left, MSU has Anthony Dixon with the 49ers, Chris White with the Patriots and KJ Wright with the Seahawks. Vick Ballard is with the Colts and Tommy Kelly is with the Patriots, but both are on injured reserve and not playing. Arceto Clark and Dewayne Cherrington are both on the Seahawks’ practice squad. So, either three or seven, depending how you count them.

Matt Saracen @MattSaracen: With Dre leaving the bball team does that affect your predictions for the SEC season?

Bob: This query referring to Dre Applewhite’s transfer after the fall semester, of course. The answer: sure, a little bit. We talked to Rick Ray about it earlier in the week and he said the biggest problem it causes is not having an emergency backup at the four if someone gets hurt or has foul trouble. MSU’s frontcourt is thin and Applewhite helped add depth there.

Otherwise, I don’t think the loss hurts tremendously. Fred Thomas has shot better recently (and been very good defensively), while Craig Sword, IJ Ready, Trivante Bloodman and Jacoby Davis have improved steadily alongside senior walk-on Tyson Cunningham. State’s depth with guards remains pretty good.

Rob Hataway @vhdawg: Is additional practice time for post-season hoops considered as much a benefit as is practice for bowl games?

Bob: I’d say no, not all. In football, you basically get a full month of practice, film review, playbook studying and strength and conditioning, the sum of which is nearly equal to a full spring practice. It’s extremely important in football. In basketball, the postseason begins so quickly after the regular season that there is no guarantee a team gets any more than a week added to its season. It’s a couple practices, but the benefit of the postseason in basketball is more in perception of the program to fans and recruits.

Obviously, winning games and playing for championships is the biggest part of the postseason in both sports.

That Guy @thatguy1878: What player were you most pleasantly surprised by this football season?

Bob: Two players in particular come to mind: true freshman receiver De’Runnya Wilson and sophomore cornerback Taveze Calhoun. Most didn’t expect Wilson to even play, let alone be a consistent and reliable threat in the passing game. Calhoun was expected to be in a rotation, and who knew if he’d even start, but by the end of the season he had emerged as one of MSU’s biggest stars.

indiana2That Guy @thatguy1878: Which Harrison Ford character do you prefer, Han Solo or Indiana Jones?

I love both, as everyone should, but if you’re asking who I’d rather hang out with, it’s Indy in a landslide. Han, for all his ruggedness and intergalactic successes, seems flaky, distant and honestly like kind of a prick. He’s the guy in your friend group who everyone hates but you love him and keep him around despite his attitude. Indy is a bit more even-tempered and dependable. Both have cool stories to share, though.

Blake Thompson @StateDOG: What will you expect of the wide receivers next year after another year of maturity and with Gonzales/Balis?

Bob: Part of the reason I included this is because I don’t think Billy Gonzales has received enough credit for his job with the receivers this year, after having to replace every single starter and the top four pass-catchers from last year. Jameon Lewis’ development, as well as Wilson’s and others’, was a huge part of MSU’s success in 2013.

As 2014 goes, I’d expect all to be better as much one offseason can improve them (and bigger jumps from guys like Wilson, Fred Ross, Fred Brown, Shelby Christy, etc., should be expected), but as far as the actual numbers, I wouldn’t expect those to change too dramatically. With Dak Prescott as the full-time starter, the run:pass ratio for MSU skews more toward the run side than it did when Tyler Russell was playing and starting.

Michael @CubaDrums4Life: Do you think @HailStateBB can live up to the preseason hype?

Bob: Well, that depends on what you’re expecting. Trying to predict anything in the baseball postseason, especially six months out, is impossible and little crazy. I think this year’s team has the potential to be better than last year’s, but does that mean they’ll make it that extra step and win the National Championship? Not at all. It doesn’t even mean they’ll make it back to Omaha, though they’re certainly one of the favorites to do so.

A more realistic way to measure hype vs. success would be to look at the regular season. Their schedule is tough, as all in the SEC are, but expecting MSU to host a regional again could be fair. What happens after that is up to fate.

Jude Landry @judelandry: List these in order from least to most favorite: Fred’s flat top, saying Craig’s last name, Tyson’s bear, & SANDSTORM.

Bob: I love them all, I should say. But from last to first: Tyson Cunningham’s perfectly-shaped beard, the hard ‘W’ in Craig sWord’s last name, Fred Thomas’ flat top, then of course, SANDSTORM.

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