Turnipseed speaks at Rotary

Collin Brister
Sports Writer

Brock Turnipseed, the head of media relations for Mississippi State women’s basketball and West Point resident spoke to the Rotary Club of West Point on Thursday about the Bulldogs’ magical run through the NCAA tournament and their historic victory over The University of Connecticut.
On when they knew they had a special team
Turnipseed: “We kind of knew with everything that we had coming back and with the heavy junior and senior presence that we had on the team, they knew they could do it. After you start 20-0 with the non-conference schedule that had and beating Texas, Oregon and USC. Then we won at Tennessee, and that’s when we realized that this team could be special. “
On playing UCONN this year after last year’s loss to the Huskies
Turnipseed: “It was different this year. With last year, it was that it was our first time there in the sweet 16. That UCONN team was really good. They had three of the top picks in the WNBA draft. We kind of used that as fuel, and we had another year of experience, and we didn’t want to let that happen again. I could tell in the pre-game that they weren’t intimidated. We had good looks early last year, and the shots didn’t fall. We came out this year and tried to throw the first punch, and we were able to do that this year.”
On the fans embracing Women’s basketball
Turnipseed: “I think that you look at how our girls and our players interact with the community. They stay out after games and really interact with the fans. It’s hard to get to the locker room sometimes because there’s so many fans. They’ll take the same pictures and sign the same autographs almost every game, and the community has embraced them for their accessibility. They make themselves available to the fans, and they serve the community, but I think a lot of it is how hard they play and the style of basketball that they play. They really play the game the right way. They play tough man-to-man defense. They get after you. They’re a blue-collar team. They just play really hard, and that’s how they’ve bee so successful, despite not having a McDonald’s All-American on our roster is because we play hard. I think that our fans enjoy that. They know they’re going to see tough hard-nosed basketball when they come to a game.”