Mississippi State's Latest Loss an Aberration?

Brad LockeContributor IJanuary 7, 2010

PORTLAND, OR - MARCH 19:  Jarvis Varnado #32 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs looks to pass the ball as he is covered by Jon Brockman #40 during the first round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Rose Garden on March 19, 2009 in Portland, Oregon.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

I wrote recently that Mississippi State has some real concerns following Monday’s 55-52 loss to Western Kentucky, concerns that must be addressed by Saturday when the Bulldogs open SEC play at No. 14 Ole Miss (12-2).

But let’s look at the flip side of this situation. Suppose this game was no more than an anomaly. An aberration. Just a bad night.

MSU (12-3) struggled in several categories in which it has normally excelled this season, both as a team and individually. Let’s examine some of them, looking at the season averages going into Monday’s game compared to what the Bulldogs did against WKU.

Season – Monday

Team

–FTs: 69.8 percent – 51.9 percent (season low)

–3FGs: 41.9 percent – 21.1 percent (season low)

–Turnovers: 13.3 – 18 (tied season high)

–Steals: 5.6 – 4

–Points: 76.4 – 52 (season low)

–Bench points: 17.4 – 2 (season low)

Individual

Ravern Johnson 3FGs: 49.5 percent – 33.0 percent (2 of 6)

Phil Turner FTs: 94.7 percent – 33.0 percent (2 of 6, season low)

Kodi Augustus FGs: 45.5 percent – 20.0 percent (1 of 5, tied season low)

Barry Stewart TOs: 1.1 (16 total) – 5 (tied season high)

Jarvis Varnado blocks: 5.1 – 3

You could argue it was the perfect storm of statistical deviations. In other words, a lot of guys had an off night at the same time. MSU is normally good enough to overcome a bad night by a couple of guys, but this was a team-wide thing, except for Varnado (pictured above). He was solid.

Now, if this happens again, then we can start calling it a developing trend, and then you can start being really concerned.

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