I have always supported Rick Stansbury. I've always thought he was doing a very good job as the coach of Mississippi State. After all, he does have 102 more wins than any other coach in MSU history. He has developed a winning program, and I commend him for that.
But it's not all about being competitive. It's about the transfers, the attitudes, dissension on the team. It's about discipline, effort, the goals of the program. It's about the excuses, the mentality, the acceptance of mediocrity. That's why people are apathetic. Folks don't like the product we're paying Stans $1.3 million to produce.
There's a segment of fans who only care about the Sweet 16, and that's fine. But I think at least half of the #FireStansbury crowd wouldn't be there if not for the above paragraph. We can live with a team that competes night in and night out, that gives their all. And we can live with bad attitudes and selfishness if it produces a Top 10 team. The problem is: we aren't getting either.
So many people have been tipped over the edge this season because we are watching a very talented team unravel, and completely throw away a season. Then you think about last season; the suspensions, the fight, the unrest. 2010: complete underachievement with a veteran team. 2009: barely made it in with a SEC Tourney win to get a 13 seed....flop. When you look at the board, State has only made the big dance 2 of the last 6 years, and it could be 2 of 7 later tonight.
If we had made the tourney more, or there were some Sweet 16's in there, fans could put up with this team and live with Stansbury for another day. But when you say we aren't making the tourney and we have to put up with bad attitudes, poor effort, excuses, etc. then it's time to make a change. Stansbury hitched his wagon to Sidney and it hasn't paid off. He had his chances to part ways, but he held on. He's the CEO of MSU basketball, the buck stops with him; it's his fault for not stopping the bleeding. (I say Sid because I think everyone will agree he's the root of the underachievement tree).
So if you're sick of this pathetic display of basketball then I don't blame you for hoping not to see our name in the brackets tonight. It's okay to want a change. And it doesn't have to be a hire that drops the jaws of the SEC, it just has to be a coach who will demand effort, respect, teamwork. A coach that will strive to be the best they can be, because that is what Mississippi State deserves: the best you can be.
P.S. If State doesn't make the NCAA Tournament, they probably shouldn't accept an invite to the NIT. No one wants to see this team anymore. I'm not sure they want to see each other anymore. They'll probably be watching the selection show from their private bedrooms tonight.
The NIT IS NOT like going to a lower-tier bowl game. In a bowl game, you get three weeks of practice time. Two of those weeks are spent developing young players and one week is spent preparing for your bowl opponent. The NIT will be played in a couple of days, so there's no player development. The coaching staff isn't going to sit Bost and Moultrie in favor of the Smiths.
The NIT would be nothing but embarrassing. Embarrassing because we couldn't make the dance with two 1st team All-SEC players and a member of the All-Freshman team. Embarrassing because there's no way we could get the Hump 70% full. Embarrassing because the players would get beat by any team they play not in the SWAC.
That's enough from me today. Go State. To hell with Ole Miss.