November 7, 2012
Ray preparing for first game
For the first time in 15 years, Mississippi State will have a new head coach courtside to start the season.
Rick Ray replaces Rick Stansbury as the Bulldogs leader and is gearing up for his debut Friday night against Troy.
"I'm not nervous and it's not eagerness, I'm just enthusiastic about getting things underway," Ray said.
But Ray will not be the only new component in the opener. Troy will be breaking in their new 5,200 seat Troy Arena and MSU will be the first regular season game played there.
"The one thing I want to get across to our guys is that we have to weather the storm," Ray said. "There's going to be a lot of excitement from Troy from their crowd to their basketball team. If we can sustain the first blow and just start to play basketball and calm down I think we'll be fine. If we get wrapped up in their emotion instead of just playing basketball then we're in trouble. They are going to come out with a great deal of enthusiasm under the circumstances having a BCS school come to their school to open up the season. I think that's a big deal for them."
The Bulldogs won 106-68 against Troy in Starkville last year. State is 9-0 against the Trojans and 31-year veteran head coach Don Maestri.
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