While the NCAA Tournament run didn’t go as far as Sam Purcell and his Mississippi State basketball team wanted, it was still thrilling.
After a thrilling first season leading the Mississippi State women’s basketball program, Sam Purcell is pretty proud of all the Bulldogs accomplished during the 2022-2023 Mississippi State basketball season.
Of course, it’s pretty clear that Purcell and the Bulldogs want to accomplish more.
During SEC Media Days, Purcell was asked about his thoughts on where the Bulldogs were a season ago, how they made it to the NCAA Tournament, ended up shocking some folks, and then came close to making it to a Sweet Sixteen.
The Bulldogs didn’t get there, but Purcell’s Mississippi State basketball team performed a lot better than many expected.
Now, what will folks think of the Bulldogs in year two with Purcell at the helm?
Mississippi State basketball’s Sam Purcell believes Bulldogs are ‘taking the country on notice’
“You know what, we’re taking the country on notice, all right? That was a big part of talk to us nice,” Purcell explained, according to ASAP Sports’ transcript of SEC Media Days. “We’re humble. We’re thankful. Again, another compliment to the SEC. To think that we tied fifth in the SEC, the conference, never received a vote, but then thank God for the Selection Committee. Let me give a shout-out to you, to the NCAA committee, who put us in.”
That historic run for the Bulldogs last season was a lot of fun and all of that fun is a result of the hard work the Mississippi State women’s basketball team put in and also because of the NCAA Selection Committee, who got that aforementioned shoutout from Purcell.
Mississippi State made it all the way to the second round of the NCAA Tournament as the Bulldogs played with a chip on their shoulder. They were the first ever play-in team to manage to win their opening round game and make it all the way to the second round.
“Like I told my young women, when you are put in, what do you do with it now? For us to make history as the first play-in team, get to the second round, be five points from making the Sweet 16, never receiving a vote, just a credit to my young women again that, you know what, sometimes you don’t need a number in front of your team, it’s all about your heart and mind. When you’re dialed in, you can’t be denied. Man, what a great ride it was,” Purcell explained.
Now that Purcell has put the country on notice, and the Bulldogs have shown they can compete and face off against tough competition, the Purcell and his Mississippi State basketball team need to back that up again this season.
Purcell clearly has bigger goals than just simply making it into the NCAA Tournament. How much can he build this program? How far will the Bulldogs get this season?