Mississippi State junior forward Arnett Moultrie let loose with critical comments of his teammates and everyone surrounding the MSU basketball program Monday Photo by: Courtesy of MSU athletics
February 27, 2012 5:11:00 PM
STARKVILLE -- Arnett Moultrie had a lot to say.
During Monday's media availability at Humphrey Coliseum, the junior power forward on the Mississippi State University men's basketball program called out his teammates for lack of effort and questioned whether the team can rebound for its current five-game losing streak.
"These last five games we haven't been playing like a team," Moultrie said. "Everybody got their own agendas. I see how they come up here (to the podium) and say how bad they want to win and how bad they want to go to the Final Four but everybody doesn't work as hard as they say they want (in order) to win."
Moultrie, who has been averaging 16 points and 10.7 rebounds per game this season, called out the lack of leadership on this 2011-12 basketball team and said that may have factored into the current five-game losing streak for the Bulldogs program.
"That's the most disappointing thing - knowing we're capable of much more than what we're showing right now," Moultrie said. "A five game losing streak is unprecedented at any level of basketball especially with all this talent."
Asked if he thought MSU (19-10, 6-8 in Southeastern Conference) could rally and get in the win column again this season, here was the 6-foot-11 post player's response:
"Maybe not, probably not," Moultrie said.
Moultrie is coming off arguably his worst game of the season with just seven points and eight rebounds, only one of those boards on the offensive end, in 40 minutes of playing time during a critical loss at Alabama Saturday.
"I turn to the people who have been great supporters of me throughout my whole career," Moultrie said. "So I turn to my old high school coach (and) we have deep conversations about life and basketball."
Asked if he turns to anybody on the current MSU team, here was Moultrie's response:
MSU coach Rick Stansbury was asked to respond to Moultrie's comments during his local media session Monday and he simply chalked up the comments to frustration from one of his premier players.
"I wish we all could make another stop here or there," Stansbury said. "Probably until this last game, in the game before I don't think you could've asked more out anybody could you?"
Stansbury again refused to admit Monday it is an effort issue on his basketball team but simply a lack of execution down the stretch and in the second half of games which contributed to the current losing streak.
"I know it's easy for (Arnett) to get frustrated because things haven't gone our way but there's some things I wish we did better but at this point, it kinda is what it is now," Stansbury said. "We aren't going to let one game make comments like that. After Kentucky game, what would you have said?"
MSU will be more than likely be without freshman guard/forward Rodney Hood Wednesday at South Carolina (7 p.m., SEC Network) as he continues the slow rehabilitation from a deep bone bruise in his left knee.
Stansbury mentioned the potential of not having sophomore guard Shaun Smith this week due a finger injury on his right hand, his shooting hand, that didn't allow for him to return to the second half of the 67-50 loss at Alabama Saturday.
The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog caught up with Smith leaving Humphrey Coliseum and the 6-foot-6 guard/forward was on his way to Columbus Monday afternoon to have the hand x-rayed and see if it was indeed fractured. Stansbury said if it is a fracture of the finger, Smith would be ruled out for the Wednesday night game against the Gamecocks (10-18, 2-12).
Stansbury knows his Bulldogs squad sits on the NCAA Tournament bubble as a projected 12-seed according to ESPN analyst Joe Lunardi with still some games left to play.
"Now is the time you have to stay together," Stansbury said. "You got to fight together. It's easy when things don't go well to separate but hard thing is to stay together and keep fighting."
All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.
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