As Sam Purcell prepares for his second season in Starkville, he is looking back on lessons from his first year as the head coach of the Mississippi State women’s basketball team.
All things considered, things went pretty well for Sam Purcell and his Mississippi State basketball team in year one. During Purcell’s first season leading the Mississippi State women’s basketball team, MSU was able to go 22-11 and make a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Things weren’t always perfect for Purcell and the Miss. State Bulldogs, but the overall results were pretty pleasing for Mississippi State basketball fans.
Now, heading into year two, Purcell is looking back on the lessons he learned from his first season in Maroon and White and the importance of those around him.
During SEC Media Days, Purcell was asked what he learned from his first season in Starkville. And the Bulldogs’ head coach had more to talk about than just what happened on the basketball court last year.
“I learned, first and foremost, you know what, you’re successful in life with people, right?” Purcell explained, according to ASAP Sports’ transcript of SEC Media Days. “This game also is about X’s and O’s, motivating and speeches and rah-rah-rah. When you have great people, you know what, you can overcome anything that may be thrown at your way. You can take dreams and actually make ’em realities.”
Mississippi State basketball’s Sam Purcell leaning on experience and adapting in his second season
Following his first year with the Miss. State Bulldogs, Purcell is giving a solid amount of credit to those around him on his coaching staff and the team’s returning players for helping him reestablish a winning culture in Starkville.
“The energy that we were able to have to take over a program that had a lot of success at the highest point, 2017, 2018, a little drop-off, but then give the keys to a program that had energy, that our fans were just waiting to come out and get it back, and a group of people from them too to give support whether we won or lost, made for a magical season and magical opportunity for our young women,” Purcell said.
Mississippi State basketball fans would love to see the Bulldogs thrive again. The 2017 and 2018 Mississippi State women’s basketball seasons were phenomenal and thrilling all throughout. It would be wonderful to see Purcell help MSU reestablish itself at that level once more.
Now, that’s a high standard to set, and even if the Bulldogs aren’t able to reach Finals Fours and national title games, good things can still be celebrated.
But Purcell is learning and growing.
And he sure seems to have a desire to win at that sort of level. And as he continues to put an emphasis on those around him and learning from his first season as a head coach, it’s possible we see the Mississippi State basketball program continue to build and take a step in the right direction once more.