Remembering the 2004 Season – Road Warriors

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It’s hard to believe, but it’s been 10 years since the incredible 2004 basketball season. So with that in mind, and our current basketball team leaving not much to discuss, let’s take a trip down memory lane…

26-4 (14-2) – SEC Champions

This team did not make it as far as the 1996 team did (Final Four). They didn’t even make it as far as the 1995 team did (Sweet 16). But they did have an incredible regular season, and could be the best team we’ve ever assembled.  Only the 1959 and 1962 teams can really compare as far as excellence sustained throughout a season as they went 24-1 each. (It’s truly is a shame those teams were not allowed to participate in postseason play – the ’59 team was ranked as high as 3rd and the ’62 team as high as 4th….perhaps we could have won a national title?) The 2003-04 team was something special.

Starting 5

  1. Timmy Bowers
  2. Winsome Frazier
  3. Shane Power
  4. Brandon Vincent
  5. Lawrence Roberts

No one knew at the beginning of the year this team was capable of having a 25-2 regular season and winning the SEC. Coming off a second straight NCAA Tournament in 2003 we lost Derrick Zimmerman at PG, Mario Austin at C, and Micheal Ignerski at PF; plus SF Onterio Harper had an injury that would sideline him for the entire year. So only one starter returned – Timmy Bowers – and he had been the shooting guard the previous year.

But it all fell into place. State started off the year unranked but reeled off victories in each of the first 12 games. After reaching 9-0 we finally made it into the AP top 25 at #24.

Two of those 12 wins were in the SEC. At Ole Miss and at home vs. Arkansas. The anticipation of a big season was really starting to build by SEC play. I remember going to the game in Oxford wondering just how good we really were, and once that 61-54 win was secured the MSU community was abuzz. An 80-62 thumping of Arkansas at the Hump later that week sent State fans into a basketball fever.

Up next was #5 Kentucky….at the Hump.