At 2 p.m. today, Rick Ray and players will meet with the media for their weekly press conference. Mississippi State hosts Georgia Wednesday night.
Live updates to come.
Colin Borchert is the first guy up. Says they don’t want to use it as an excuse, but the recent stretch of playing tough teams was difficult to get through.
On second half struggles, Borchert says the lack of depth can be part of the issue, but says they’ve got a good enough team that it shouldn’t be a problem.
He’s got some good answers, after being asked about Marcus Smart and what happened with Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. Borchert says fans yell at him all the time and always have, but he tunes it out and uses it as a motivation.
“I’m a big white guy with tattoos,” he said with a laugh. “So, yeah.”
More Borchert on some struggles: “We play down to our competition. We’ve gotta play to the level we’re capable of.”
IJ Ready at the podium now.
Asked about the Smart situation, he cracks, “you don’t wanna be on ESPN for the wrong thing.”
Ready did say he understands Smart’s reaction, though he knows it was a bad decision. Says fans get intense on the road, just have to be bigger.
Ready says his temperature spiked at 103 degrees before the Kentucky game and he couldn’t eat without throwing up. He’s completely healthy now, though, and will be ready for Wednesday night.
Mature words from Ready, talking about the leadership role he’s taken, both on the court and off. Says teammates look to him in both situations as the leader.
On the 5-game losing streak: “I think we can get that fixed if we just get back to our style. If I can get right.”
Junior point guard Trivante Bloodman is at the podium now. He says team has improved a lot this year. “I think we’re good now. We’ve lost a couple games, but we’ve just gotta get back in practice and get stronger, get better.”
More: “I feel like we’re stronger this year. These little losses, we can come back from them.”
Rick Ray time now.
Ray says he spent all weekend scouting Georgia, that their size and physicality pose problems. Said rebounding will be the key.
On Ready, Ray says being in and out of the lineup has stunted the maturation and growth of the star freshman a bit, though obviously he’s still doing well.
With Ready out some, Bloodman has done well, Ray said, and also praised Jacoby Davis who has switched back and forth in spots and actually led the team in rebounding against Kentucky.
Ray said he’s spent his whole career trying to read players for whether or not they’re up for games. “I’ve given up on it. Trying to read 18, 19 year old guys is about impossible.”
He said you can start to tell with the body language in games, especially if he sees heads drop.
Rays they’ll use the Marcus Smart/OSU situation as a teaching point for the team and show them the video.
He says the big thing is to teach players about decorum. They have to make decisions about what’s right and what’s not right.
The difference now, Ray says about trying to break the losing streak, is that these players have experience now. They’ve matured some.
“We made our first step to being successful on Saturday … The fact we went out and played hard and competed gives you leeway going forward.”