Mississippi State has had success winning its last four games which as earned a No. 24 ranking.
In their first game after defeating two ranked teams in Arizona and Texas A&M, the Bulldogs (5-1) struggled in their first game as a ranked team earlier this week.
MSU was able to pick up the 78-63 win over Louisiana-Monroe, and the main reason it struggled against the Warhawks was a lack of a big man underneath.
Renardo Sidney (wrist) and Arnett Moultrie (tendonitis) were both sidelined with injuries in the game, but Moultrie was available if needed. After the game, MSU head coach Rick Stansbury said that Sidney is day-to-day and Moultrie just needs to rest.
With the two big men out, the Bulldogs went to a four-guard set, which they had success with earlier this season against South Alabama. Not having Sidney or Moultrie on the court confused SEC Freshman of the Week Rodney Hood a little early in the game.
"It took me a while to figure out that I would have to attack the zone," said Hood. "We weren't getting offensive boards so I realized what I needed to do and that was attack the basket."
Hood did an OK job of attacking the basket by picking up eight rebounds that night, but having Sidney and Moultrie back would help the team.
The Bulldogs have had a little break between games which could be good as they've been able to practice more as they prepare to host UT Martin tonight at 7 p.m..
“We’ve had some time off to get our legs back under us, but it will be good to get back on the court,” said Stansbury. “We’ve been able to work on some things we need to improve, and this is a big game for us.”
The Skyhawks (1-4) have everything to gain in tonight's showdown, because it would be an upset and a huge win that could boost their program the rest of the season.
To prevent that, All-SEC senior guard Dee Bost, who is seventh in the SEC in scoring this season, knows what he and his teammates need to do.
“We’ve just got to play our game, get the ball up and down the court and play defense,” said Bost
Bost is leading the Bulldogs with 16.8 points per game, but earlier this week, it was Brian Bryant who seemed to carry the stick.
Bryant made some game changing, momentum swinging plays in a 17-point performance. However, Bryant wasn't the highest scorer in the game as that honor belonged to Bost with 21 and Hood followed with 20.