Mississippi State's Rick Stansbury: Head Coach Q&A

October 15th, 2008

College Basketball's Best Coaches

CollegeHoops.net is lucky to have access to some of the best coaches in college basketball. As part of our preseason interview series, we thought it would be appropriate to ask these basketball minds about the best things that their team and college basketball has to offer.




Rick Stansbury: Mississippi State

We continue this month long Q&A Series with 11th year coach Rick Stansbury, who has led the Bulldogs to 5 NCAA Tournaments and 3 NITs. Coach Stansbury was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for CollegeHoops.net:



CHN) Who is the biggest leader on this year's squad?


Rick Stansbury) Barry Stewart. No. 1, he's a great person with great character, something you want in a leader. He's also one of our more experienced players who understands what it takes night in, night out in the SEC. He's also very consistent. Not up one day and down the next. You get the same thing from him every day, and that's what you're looking for in a leader.



CHN) Tie score, with just a few seconds left … who will be your go-to guy in those situations?


RS)  I think you start with our leaders, Barry Stewart and Jarvis Varnado, and then go from there. They've been in big-play situations before. But that's not to say others won't step up. They just haven't had the opportunity yet.



CollegeHoops.net) What will be the strengths and weaknesses of this year's team?


RS) I don't know yet. Only thing I do know is that we're very young. And until I see how these guys perform in practice, I can't honestly say what our strengths and weaknesses are. But I do know we are very young and unproven.



CHN) What's the best change you've made in your coaching style in recent seasons?


RS) I don't think I've changed anything as we've built this program up. I think it's important your players see you as someone that's consistent in his approach with everything.



CHN) If everything goes according to plan, what's the best case scenario this season?


RS) Our goal every year is the same - to compete for championships. That's no different this season.



CHN) Are there any off-the-court programs you urge your fans to get involved with?


RS) For the last 10 years, I've been associated with Camp of the Rising Sun, which is a camp for kids with cancer. It's a special and touching place, and I make it a point to visit there every year. We're also very active with FCA here on campus. Those two programs are where I probably spend most of my time.




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