October 27, 2013
Rick Ray Pleased with First Bulldog Scrimmage
Mississippi State basketball was decimated last season. Attrition from players leaving for the NBA, transferring out from the previous regime, being dismissed by the current one or just plain injured kept the Bulldogs from being able to even practice like a normal team much less play like one. Still, Rick Ray and his squad complained about exactly nothing. The coach knew who his team was and that was just as good as having a full squad and not having a clue what he was working with.
Now coming into year two, Ray has been blessed with at least bodies to practice with. Veterans Jalen Steele and Wendell Lewis both left the team less than a month ago and now Ray is left with all of his players with the exception of one in Rocquez Johnson. One of the most Rick Ray players that you might find on this team is freshman point guard I.J. Ready. A kid who's name has come up in circles around the state of Arkansas for the past two years, Ready is making noise already in year one after a solid scrimmage last week.
"I just wanted our guys to get out there and compete. I really wasn't concerned with the fans and putting on a show, I just wanted our guys to compete against each other," Ray said of his team's scrimmaging. "I think what you saw is we switched one guy, a little 5-10 freshman point guard, and it changed everything for both things. He's a significant difference as far as our toughness and guys competing. It really shouldn't be that way as an incoming freshman as a guy that little, but he's got that much desire. That much natural instinct as a point guard really makes a difference."
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