By DANNY P. SMITH
The "s" in SEC basketball on Saturday certainly didn't stand for successful shooting.
At least that was the case during the 75-57 Southeastern Conference victory by the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Humphrey Coliseum.
There wasn't anything about the shooting statistics to brag about for either team, but it was especially poor on the MSU end.
The Bulldogs made 21 of 62 shots from the field for 34 percent and only hit 5 of 24 attempts from three-point territory.
"We just never got anything going out there rhythm-wise," MSU basketball coach Rick Stansbury said.
Stansbury went on to say that his squad didn't have that "zip or zap."
One of the strengths of the Bulldogs over the last few years has been their ability to hit from the outside.
Whether it was Dee Bost, Ravern Johnson, Riley Benock or the departed Barry Stewart, MSU could always rely on one of those guys getting hot and keeping it in games.
No one consistently responded on Saturday.
Bost, who was obviously rusty after sitting out the first 14 games due to a suspension, only hit one of his six three-point attempts, while Johnson only made two of his 10 attempts. That just can not continue for the Bulldogs to be successful.
MSU should have found a way to stay in the game better because Alabama's numbers were not earth-shattering.
The Crimson Tide were a little bit better from the field by hitting 32 of 65 shots from the field for 49 percent.
If the Bulldogs aren't hitting from the outside, they're not going to win very many games in the SEC.
The loss to Alabama was only the second in SEC home openers during the Stansbury era and the MSU fans gave up on a comeback with 3:32 remaining in the game as many of them headed for the exits with the Bulldogs trailing 64-46.
If MSU continues to struggle this way, there's only one thing left to say.
Here's hoping you really enjoyed the just-completed football season because it's could be a long year in hoops.
Danny P. Smith is sports editor and columnist for the Starkville Daily News. The opinions in this column are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Daily News or its staff.