#ABC Mailbag, 1-22: De’Runnya Wilson, cheese sticks, Chris Jones and lots of baseball

Each week on The B&B Show (a radio show I co-host on Bulldog Sports Radio; you can listen to today’s episode here) 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.

UBAEEAKUNUCNLIT.20140101011201Every 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.

@msubulldawgman: Projection on how much playing time you think Reid Humphreys will receive in his true freshman year?

Bob: Good question. The high-profile baseball signee worked at third base in the fall, where senior Alex Detz is the entrenched starter. He’s also got the talent to play shortstop, though it looks like Matthew Britton and Seth Heck will be battling for that job.

Humphreys was named Defensive MVP of the Bulldog World Series at the end of fall, so he should easily be a comfortable option in the infield, likely as a primary backup for Detz, though coaches won’t concede that job to Detz without competition

Offensively, John Cohen likely wants to get Humphreys at the plate, where he is one of MSU’s best hitters. He is a prime candidate for designated hitter, along with Daniel Garner if he doesn’t get the starting job as catcher.

All of that to say, I think we’ll see a fair bit of Humphreys in 2014, though his role may be varied.

Jake Ewing @JakeTheSnake511: Will Bear get any meaningful playing time in basketball?

Bob: Rick Ray and assistant coach Wes Flanigan have both said it’s been a bit of a shock for De’Runnya Wilson as he starts basketball practice, but Flanigan said on Monday that the dual-sport freshman is getting better and more comfortable each day.

That’s the main thing that Bear is working toward in the immediate future, just getting into basketball shape and getting used to dribbling, shooting, passing and moving around without pads. As he learns Ray’s system and gets more comfortable, he’ll play more, but it’s hard to envision him as more than a role player in the near future, an emergency four and a backup at three.

Later in his career, as he gets used to everything (remember, he’s a true a freshman), you could see Wilson take on a more meaningful role.

That Guy @thatguy1878: Who is your least favorite Potter character?

1110284-umbridge1Bob: After reading the fifth book (Order of the Phoenix), Stephen King referred to Dolores Umbridge as “the greatest make-believe villain to come along since Hannibal Lecter.” Hard to argue with him, and Umbridge may be the only character with no redeeming qualities or reasons for pity in the whole series.

The Mart @The_Mart_In_MS: Now that we have an in, think we get Booger to be True Maroon before a game next season?

Bob: If you missed this, a senior at Mississippi State – Mary Kate Smith – is competing on ‘King of the Nerds’, the televised nerd-off hosted on TBS by two of the stars from the old movie Revenge of the Nerds. One of those hosts is the character aptly named Booger.

Whether or not Booger would do a True Maroon video (or if MSU would want a non-MSU person doing it), I have no clue. I mostly just think it’s cool that State has someone on the show.

Patrick Wiggins @iPat09: Do men’s and women’s basketball coaches ever get together and discuss strategy or game plans?

photo (3)Bob: I’m glad you asked, because I asked the same question last summer. The answer, more or less, is no, though a strong relationship is necessary and natural. Rick Ray and Vic Schaefer play their seasons at the same time, so they don’t really have the time to be checking with each other for Xs and Os advice, but they share the same practice facility, same floor for offices, same coliseum for games and same boss.

The two certainly work with and around each other a lot during the season, but it’s in the offseason they often end up working together more, doing speaking engagements, MSU events, media obligations and even recruiting at certain times of the year.

They work together regularly and comfortably, but the strategy and game plans, from my understanding, are not a big part of the relationship and conversations.

Sagar Desai @sagar3159: Who has the best cheese sticks in Starkville?

Bob: You inspired a lot of conversation with this question yesterday, and I thank you for it. However, twitter could not seem to come to a final answer. Do you want pepperjack or mozzarella? Stick or log? Heavy or light breading?

The good news is that there is no shortage of good cheese sticks in Starkville. The Grill and The Veranda seemed to get the most responses, though there were some impassioned votes for Stagger Inn, Mugshots and, in memoriam, Flo and Eddie’s.

I may need to take a cheese stick day one of these weekends and just go around town eating cheese sticks at every place that has ‘em.

Owen McGuire @pom5: What’s your favorite MSU athlete nickname? Boo. Swat. Pork Chop. So many good options.

Bob: You’re right, Owen. There are a lot of good options. Boobie, J-Rock, J-Money, Charles ‘The Beast’ Rhodes, Pig Prather, Chicken, Bear and plenty of others. For my money, though, it’s hard to beat Floyd ‘Pork Chop’ Womack.

Michael Burden @burdawg: How do media folk balance tweeting the in-game info and still pay attention to games? Seems like you are always on the phone?

Bob: If it seems like I’m always on my phone/twitter, I am. Not to act like anything we media people do is anywhere near difficult, but it’s certainly a balance. My method is to use twitter on my computer to send tweets and track interactions, while using twitter on my phone to read everyone else’s tweets.

The seconds between a shot being made and the point guard getting across halfcourt are good moments for sending a tweet. Timeouts, halftime and fouls are when I get the chance to check the tweets of others.

Then, of course, it depends what’s happening in the game. In the final moments of a close game, for instance, I’m watching intently and just tweeting updates when I can during short breaks in action.

That’s a far more in-depth breakdown of tweeting than anyone ever wanted, but I do spent a lot of time doing it.

Randy Holloway @randyholloway Better ‘90s R&B group – Bell Biv Devoe or Jodeci?

Bob: Bell Biv Devoe…Now you know.

Brandon Vanderford @bvanderford129: Could you see Geoff Collins using the depth on D-line to play Chris Jones at all four spots throughout the course of a game?

HFJHBRWLBRZNVNU.20130907221838Bob: Absolutely. He and defensive line coach David Turner did it some in 2013 while Jones was a freshman, and I can only imagine they’ll do it more in 2014.

Jones said often during the season that he was an end playing tackle temporarily, and that will be the most interesting thing to me to track going into his second year. He was already drawing double-teams in the middle, constantly getting pressure and making a presence in the backfield. On the edge 1-on-1 vs. a tackle, after he’s had a full offseason of study and conditioning? I pity anyone trying to block him like that if he makes the switch to defensive end.

Brandon Vanderford @bvanderford129: Who takes over the lead-off slot for MSU this year?

Bob: It sounds like senior centerfielder C.T. Bradford has the inside track for that job. He’s fast, experienced and did a good job of consistently getting on base in the fall. On that conversation, I’ve also been told not to rule out Jake Vickerson – younger brother of Nick Vickerson – who is competing for a corner outfielder spot and, like Bradford, is one of the faster guys on the team.

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