Peters has developed into more of a floor general for Bulldogs

MSU's Lamar Peters
Staff Writer

There is one number that Mississippi State men's basketball head coach Ben Howland likes associated with sophomore guard Lamar Peters.

In the last three games, Peters has 22 assists. That means he is getting fellow Bulldogs involved in the offense.

"I'm just concentrating on setting up the offense and getting other guys open like Tyson (Carter) and Xa (Xavian Stapleton)," Peters said. "Those guys have been finding their groove lately and have been knocking down shots, so I want to keep creating for them and get some offense going."

Before arriving at MSU, Peters was a scorer at Landry-Walker High School in New Orleans. As a senior, he averaged 19.7 points per game.

Peters even averaged in double figures as a freshman with the Bulldogs at 10.7 points per outing.

His scoring average may be down to 8.4 per game this year, but he's already at 97 assists and averages four per game,

"Coming in, I was a scoring point guard and it was scoring first and pass later, but lately I've been just trying to set other guys up," Peters said. "We're better when I'm in attack mode, pass and setting up the offense."

Peters had seven assists at Missouri and eight at Vanderbilt. Even though those came in losing efforts, it was evident how the play of Peters was helping MSU.

Last Saturday against Ole Miss, Peters had seven more assists and the Bulldogs defeated the Rebels 79-62.

"He's really sharing the ball," Howland said. "He has 22 assists in the last three games. That's a big number.

"He defends and has great hustle. He's tried to be a good leader and understands time and score. He's been much better."

That doesn't mean Peters can't score when the opportunity presents itself.

He had a season-high 22 points at Missouri and had a 20-point effort against Georgia at home.

Peters said he will only look to score when he believes there is a play to be made.

"It's a flow of the game thing," Peters said. "The main thing is just getting in the paint and look for other guys to create."

Now Peters and MSU look to build on the momentum of the Ole Miss victory Tuesday night at Texas A&M.

Peters had a good night in the last meeting between the two teams. He had 14 points with 11 of those coming off the free-throw line as the Bulldogs defeated the Aggies 67-59 in Starkville last season.

With postseason possibilities hanging in the balance, Peters isn't going to take any game for granted the rest of the way.

"Every game from here on out is our biggest game of the season," Peters said. "You've got to keep the same level of focus going and take it one game at a time."