No loss is ever easy, especially when you're an 18 year old kid with the spotlight squarely on you. Saturday night after losing a 3rd-straight game to a lesser opponent, MSU Fr. forward Rodney Hood tweeted out his frustrations:
Let my team down tonight....— Rodney Hood (@Rodneyhood4) February 19, 2012
Although we can all certainly understand Rodney's frustrations, it's important to note that Rodney is not to blame for Saturday night's loss, nor is he to blame for the previous two losses as well. In a season that of late has been anything but great, Rodney Hood has been a constant and has given his team more than could ever be expected from a freshman.We all have our reasons and people to blame for the lack of success in the past several weeks of the MSU basketball season, but I doubt Rodney Hood is one of them. Rodney from game 1 has come in and given everything he has to help out the team in any way he can. That has included playing almost every minute of every game this year.
Hood is averaging 34.8 minutes per game, second in the SEC only to his fellow teammate Dee Bost. In the last 3 games Hood has left the court for a total of two (2!) minutes, enough to tire even an 18 year old. In spite of this wearisome load of minutes, Hood has been a constant producer for State in the points department, averaging 11.1 points per game. If you watch him with the ball in his hands it's so smooth, like watching a seasoned Junior play out there. In a college basketball world where freshman like Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd Gilchrist rule the scene, Rodney's play may go unnoticed. But to State fans, it shouldn't.
In addition to his success on the court, Rodney is an outstanding student, making the Dean's list his first semester at State. Those that are around him most often also note Rodney's superb character, something that is often lacking in today's blue-chip recruits.
The bottom line is this: Mississippi State is lucky to have Rodney Hood. If Rodney stays on campus for 3, maybe even 4 years, then he has a chance to be one of the more special players in our history. In a season that's been anything less than satisfactory and steady, Rodney Hood has been both. And with the sky being the limit, the future looks good with Hood.