February 24, 2009

Stansbury talking Tennessee

With it's NCAA Tournament hopes likely burst with a double overtime loss at Alabama on Saturday, Mississippi State will be back on the road Wednesday night taking on Tennessee.

Knoxville has been a place Rick Stansbury and the Bulldogs have struggled to find wins. The Volunteers are 42-9 all-time against MSU in Knoxville and Stansbury is just 1-4 at Thompson-Boling Arena including losing the last four trips there.

"It's never easy when you go on the road in particular when you have to go play Tennessee at Tennessee," Stansbury said. "I know they are coming off a couple of difficult losses. I'm sure Bruce (Pearl) will have his team fired up and ready to go it will be a very difficult challenge for us. Tennessee plays awful well there at home so we will have to play awful well to have a chance."

One storyline that will draw plenty of interest during this game will be the recruitment of Tennessee freshman guard Scotty Hopson. The 6-foot-7, 185-pounder committed to State only to sign with the Volunteers at the last minute.

But Stansbury seems to have put the situation behind him and offered praise for his former five-star recruit from his native Kentucky.

"He's had a good year for them," Stansbury said. "I'm sure Bruce knows that better than I do because I haven't been with him all year and don't understand what all has transpired up there. With Just what little bit of film that I have watched, I can't really give an honest evaluation. But he is a terrific player and a terrific talent."

Hopson has played in 26 games this season for the Vols averaging 9.1 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists a game.

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