Jan 11, 2014; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs forward Roquez Johnson (25) shoots the ball against Mississippi Rebels forward Aaron Jones (34) during the game at Humphrey Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Going for the Sweep in Oxford

Them Dawgs are headed to Oxford, MS this afternoon for a big time matchup against the Rebs. Game time is set for 3:00 – it will be televised by SEC Network/ESPN3…it’s also on XM 200/Sirius 108 or you local MSU broadcast.

State won the first matchup of the year in Starkville two weeks ago, 76-72. That was Ole Miss’ only loss of the SEC season so far. Marshall Henderson (18.7 PPG) has been back from his suspension the last three games, and OM has done well with him back.

We are still unsure whether I.J. Ready will be ready to play after suffering a concussion vs. Alabama. Certainly his presence would greatly improve MSU’s chances to win – we are currently a 12 point underdog in the game.

In the game two weeks ago MSU constantly drove to the basket where the refs were calling fouls while Ole Miss settled for jump shots. Will Andy Kennedy make the adjustments / will State get as many calls around the rim on the road? The Bulldogs have remained a team that struggles with the jumper but excels when they are driving the lane and/or feeding Gavin Ware and Roquez Johnson. Craig Sword was able to hit 15 of 18 free throws in that game, well above his season average from the free throw stripe. We’ll need another stellar game from him in that regard to win.

As Grass of DWS pointed out yesterday – this could be a huge win to dampen the excitement of Ole Miss’ big recruiting weekend. Ole Miss has a good basketball team, and winning on the road is really really tough no matter how improved State is. So getting this win isn’t expected, but it would be so sweet if it happened.

The pressure is on the Rebels. Mississippi State won the Egg Bowl and the first basketball game of the year. With the #2 Diamond Dawgs lurking and that series at Dudy Noble for Super Bulldog Weekend we’ve got them backed into a corner. Let’s do something special today, Dawgs, and beat the hell outta Ole Miss!

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