Busy stretch of basketball greets Bulldogs

Staff Writer

Mississippi State’s men’s basketball team can probably eat as much turkey and dressing as they want come Thanksgiving. The Bulldogs are about work up quite an appetite.

When MSU (1-0) hosts Florida A&M (0-3) Saturday at 3 p.m. at Humphrey Coliseum, it begins a five-day stretch for the Bulldogs in which they’ll play three games. State also hosts Green Bay at 7 p.m. on Monday and Stephen F. Austin at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

“Unfortunately, this is the way it worked out with the other teams,” MSU head coach Ben Howland said. “It’s not ideal. 
“That being said, it is what it is.”

With so many games in such a short amount of time, Howland said the Bulldogs have altered their usual means of preparation. Last week, State began developing plans for the Green Bay and Stephen F. Austin games.
Make no mistake though, Howland is taking nothing for granted against Florida A&M, even as he is forced to look ahead with such a cramped schedule.

“We hope to win (today),” Howland insisted. “That’s No. 1.”

Reinforcements are possibly on the way to help MSU through this challenging stretch. Forward Abdul Ado, who missed the season opener recovering from a quad injury as the Bulldogs tried to be cautious, could likely make his Bulldog debut Saturday. That could also be the case for forward KeyShawn Feazell, who sat out the year’s first game with an ankle injury.
One MSU player who seems unlikely to get action Saturday is guard Xavian Stapleton. Stapleton sprained his anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in State’s opener last week. An MRI revealed there was no tear, but Stapleton was slated to see a doctor on Thursday afternoon for an additional look at the knee.

Regardless of who can play and who can’t though, this busy five-day swing is about to start. As cliche as it may be, Howland says his team is going to just take each contest a game at the time.

“I’m not going to think about any game other than the one we’re playing,” Howland said.