March 15, 2010

Stansbury turning the page

Rick Stanbury went through a gauntlet of emotions on Sunday afternoon.

He and Mississippi State took it to one of the top teams in the nation before losing in overtime to Kentucky 75-74 in the SEC Tournament Championship game. A few hours later the Bulldogs found out their NCAA Tournament bubble had burst.

Now Stansbury's dilemma is to get his team mentally and physically prepared to host Jackson State Tuesday night as a top seed in the National Invitational Tournament.

"Our challenge is what we came out of and the way we came out of it," Stansbury said. "It wasn't just losing the game, it's how you lost the game, "Stansbury said. "That may have been your heart and then the selection show was your guts. They just finished gutting you. You have two things that you have to overcome that are maybe a little bit different than normal."

The Wildcats sent the game into overtime on a tip in by center Demarcus Cousins with 0.1 seconds remaining. The play however was surrounded by controversy. Officials viewed the courtside monitor to see if the ball left Cousins hand in time and replay showed that is clearly did.

Another circumstance that Stansbury questioned Monday was a possible lane violation by both John Wall and [db]Darius Miller that was not called following Eric Bledsoe intentionally missed second free throw with the Bulldogs up by two points.

"I hadn't even watched the play until earlier and it's a very obvious lane violation," Stanbury said. "Both guys lined up outside that 3-point line and you can't come inside that 3-point line until the ball hits the rim. The ball is six or eight feet from the rim and you've got two guys from out top already in the paint in Wall and Miller. It's a very obvious violation and it was not called."

Stansbury was also asked Monday at his weekly press conference if he thought the officials would have made that call at such a critical moment in the game.

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