Men's practice team works to get Bulldogs better

MSU's Morgan William, left, drives against Nick Deloach during a scrimmage.
Staff Writer

One of the things that Mississippi State women’s coach Vic Schaefer wants his team to do is play harder for longer stretches of time.

Even before the Bulldogs get to the games, Schaefer wants to see that effort in practice.

MSU’s players get to experience what the physical nature of Southeastern Conference action is like by going against the men’s practice team every day.

Schaefer said the men have a way of humbling his team pretty quick.

When they are not there, the Bulldogs miss them. Coming out of the holiday break, only one or two were available to work out on Tuesday, but they were back to full strength later in the week.

“With the speed of the game and quickness they provide, it really causes you to be on your toes,” Schaefer said.

MSU senior guard Victoria Vivians said the best way for her to get ready for an SEC game is to work against the men.

“Just to get repetition against them will help me when I’m going against others teams,” Vivians said. “They are faster too, so with the team going against them, when it comes to the basketball game, it’s going to be easier. We can just play better.”

One of the members of the men’s practice team is Nick Deloach, who played for coach Greg Carter at Starkville High School.

It gives him great satisfaction to see the MSU women do well during the season and that he has a small part in that.

“I’m happy to know we are contributing to something, helping them get better and seeing them win,” Deloach said. “It always feels good to help out.”

Deloach said it’s the role of the men’s practice team to toughen up the Bulldogs, but not to wear them out. It’s just providing a little something extra to get them going.

The opportunity to keep a basketball in his hands is something Deloach likes and thanks Schaefer for helping that happen.

“Basketball is something I like to do for fun,” Deloach said. “Nothing too serious, but something just because I can.”

MSU senior point guard Morgan William has her good days and bad days against Deloach.

“I like Nick,” William said. “Some days I can guard him and some days I can’t. He challenges me with my offense and defense. You’ve got to stay down and can’t reach.”