Mississippi State senior walk-on co-captain Taylor Luczak rejects that team has bad team chemistry Photo by: Courtesy of MSU athletics
February 28, 2012 10:52:00 AM
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State University senior forward Taylor Luczak was surprised and confused at the comments by his teammate Arnett Moultrie.
Luczak, a walk-on on the Bulldogs men's basketball program, will be my centerpiece for the school's Senior Day celebration before they take on Arkansas Saturday in the regular season finale (4 p.m., Fox Sports Net). So Monday evening I called the Glens Falls, N.Y., native and of course Moultrie's critical comments about his teammates but Luczak had not heard what the 6-foot-11 star had said. He said he doesn't read the media reports about the MSU program.
So The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog was more than willing to read the quotes to him and explain the context as best I could over the phone in an exclusive conversation with Luczak. Here was his response:
Luczak: "That doesn't make any sense. To say we don't get along as people on this team isn't correct. We get along as a group. We need to feel good about ourselves. "
Dispatch MSU Sports Blog: "So it's being overblown that you guys don't like being around each other and have little respect for your coaches?"
Luczak: "I'll say this - we went bowling last night. Everybody went, it wasn't mandatory and we all were laughing and make fun of each other. We were supposed to go to a movie as a team tonight but that got pushed back."
Dispatch MSU Sports Blog: "So the tone, attitude of Moultrie's comments confuse me even more now?"
Luczak: "Hmm......when did he say those things?"
Dispatch MSU Sports Blog: "About 2 p.m. this afternoon."
Luczak: "Ahh....okay that makes more sense. That was before today's practice.
Dispatch MSU Sports Blog: "Okay...where you going with this Taylor?"
Luczak: "We had a three-hour practice (which included weight room session) and the coaches sat us all down and we were allowed to say anything we were feeling at that moment. We all let it out and for lack of a better term it was a come to Jesus meeting for all of us. Guys got to stand up and say anything they wanted and then we left it on the floor. Then we had a really solid practice today that made us feel we're really good together again. I'm not going to reveal what some people said today but I think it was so good for our team to do that."
Dispatch MSU Sports Blog: "So are you confused by Moultrie's comments?"
Luczak: "What I'm saying is I bet he wouldn't say that or feel that way after today's practice. Team chemistry is not a problem on this basketball team. The problem with this basketball team as a complete group is we got comfortable with ourselves and you just can't do that in any league especially a league like the Southeastern Conference. I have so much faith that this team will win these two games this week and then make a run in the SEC Tournament so we can make it to the NCAA Tournament again. This team is fully capable of doing all those teams."
Please read my feature advance for the Senior Day contest in the Saturday edition of the Dispatch on Luczak as he'll be one of three senior players honored at center court of Humphrey Coliseum.
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.