The Mississippi State basketball team loses its second SEC game of the 2022-2023 season.
The Mississippi State basketball team was defeated by the No. 8 Tennessee Volunteers, 87-53. The Mississippi State Bulldogs could not do much right since the beginning of the game with the tip-off.
Here are my early post-game thoughts:
Tonight was not a good night for Mississippi State basketball.
All in all, nothing went right for the Mississippi State Bulldogs tonight. From the opening tip-off, the Bulldogs looked sluggish on defense, and the Tennessee Volunteers were fired up. The Volunteers opened up the game on a 16-0 run. Mississippi State could not find a basket in the opening minutes of tonight’s SEC matchup.
Mississippi State does not have a single consistent offensive playmaker.
I mentioned this in last week’s loss vs. the Alabama Crimson Tide. Tolu Smith could be that guy for the Mississippi State Bulldogs, but teams are going to come into every game trying to shut him down. After Smith, there is not a single player on Mississippi State’s team that is a consistent shooter.
Good teams know how to shut Tolu Smith down.
Tolu Smith finished tonight’s game with 9 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 assist. Alabama shut Smith down and so did the Tennessee Volunteers. I do not think it will be hard, for good teams, to watch film on Mississippi State and see all they need to do to win is shut Tolu Smith down. Mississippi State must figure out how to produce more offense besides Tolu Smith. Once the Bulldogs have more players contributing to the offensive side of the ball, Tolu will start to have better games.
Chris Jans needs time. Do not freak out.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs were dominated tonight by the Tennessee Volunteers. Tennessee is a great basketball team, and I believe they could really make a run in the NCAA Tournament this year. Chris Jans is just getting started, and Bulldog fans must give him time before he starts competing with the big-time basketball programs.