MSU basketball has been a roller coaster ride. So far this year we have seen rock bottom with a blowout loss at home to McNeese State and Wednesday night we saw something that has not happened in almost 2 years and 22 games for MSU, an SEC road victory. And a decisive one at that.
This team is also now on a two game SEC winning streak. Rick Ray and Company actually accomplished this same feat exactly one year ago today when MSU had consecutive victories over Texas A&M and, coincidentally enough, Auburn, except both of those match ups took place in the Hump. MSU went on to lose their next 13 games after that very brief bright spot and this year will need to play out much different if Ray hopes to keep his job.
Bulldog basketball is at a crucial impasse. At 9-9 with 13 games remaining in the regular season, Rick Ray has set up MSU to turn their season around and save himself.
Can he do it? I'm not sure, but there's a first time everything and maybe this is the springboard his team needs to finally break through and consistently play the way they are capable of playing.
Or maybe it's just another fluke. Time will tell.
State's next three games are huge and they kick off with Georgia traveling to Starkville this Saturday. The other Bulldogs are 12-5 and just beat Florida and Ole Miss back-to-back. A victory over UGA would be enormous for the confidence of this team and would be a huge boost going into a game in Oxford next Wednesday. A win in Oxford will be tough and if the Bulldogs fall to the Rebels, it will be extremely important for them to get back up and beat LSU in the following game.
If Ray's team can notch at least a 2-1 record in these next 3 games, the season could very well be salvaged. The remainder of the schedule provides enough winnable games to finish above .500 and if MSU can manage that much improvement and maybe gain a bid to the NIT, Ray would almost definitely be brought back for a fourth season.
So, now you, the fans, have to make a decision. Will you support Rick Ray, be enthusiastic about the brief upswing of the team, and fill up the Hump for the game on Saturday, or will you stay apathetic and hope for Ray to fail so State can get a new coach in March?
I'm not here to tell you what to do but, personally, I think it would be nice to see some life breathed back into this program and have the Hump packed like it used to be, and instead of waiting until MSU has a new coach to do that, we could just do it now.
No matter what you decide, it will be interesting to see where this team goes from here. Will they fall like they have in the past or will the coach who we all thought was a lost cause redeem himself and save the season?