Schaefer replied, “Oh, no problem. I’ve been up for more than two hours,” when Schaefer offered an apology. Schaefer had just returned from a hectic weekend. First, Friday night saw his Bulldogs win their 10th consecutive victory. They defeated Southern Miss 86-42 at Reed Green Coliseum. This was a game that State fans turned into a south Mississippi version Of The Hump. Green Coliseum? It was more maroon. It was 4,448 people. The crowd was 4,448. Four thousand must have been State supporters. Schaefer, naturally one of the top four to five players in the country, was in Michigan recruiting on Saturday. It was Sunday morning, and Schaefer returned to Starkville in the early hours of Sunday to practice before boarding a plane to Eugene, Oregon where the Bulldogs will be playing Tuesday night. In 48 hours, it was Hattiesburg to Starkville to Michigan, back again to Starkville and to the Pacific Northwest. It takes many hours – or even days – to get Mississippi State’s women’s basketball program from where they were to where it is now. Schaefer doesn’t. Schaefer doesn’t. How many coaches rebuild with a 10-0 record and a 42 point average margin of victory? Schaefer did. State averages 93 points per game. Opponents average 51. Schaefer lost his top scorer, All-American Victoria Viians. Morgan William, his starting point guard, was killed. Blair Schaefer, his top 3-point shooter and coach-on the-floor daughter, was killed. Roshunda Johnson, a player who averaged 11 point per game, also went. Schaefer did not rebuild, but he reloaded. It’s no surprise that Teaira McCowan, the tallest player in the country, is Schaefer’s only starter. Yes, that’s what I wrote. She is the dominant force in women’s basketball college basketball. She is the only one with this record. She averages more than 19 points per game and 12 rebounds per game. And, don’t forget, she doesn’t play many fourth quarters. She is actually playing 25 minutes per game and hitting a staggering 71 percent of her field goals. Hattiesburg’s game was typical. McCowan played for 25 minutes, scoring 13 points and grabbing 16 rebounds. She only played half of the third quarter and none of the fourth. Schaefer now has more depth. Jessica Carter, a freshman at six-foot-five, is still a work in process. But, she has so much to learn from her. She would be a welcome addition to any country. Anriel Howard, a Texas A&M transfer, was the Bulldogs’ best player, scoring 16 points and grabbing seven rebounds against USM. This season, the biggest question was: Who would replace the 3 point shooting Vivians and Johnson, Johnson, and Blair Schaefer provided last season? They were responsible for 242 of the 278 state-recorded 3-point shots. McCowan was unable to make a layup on McCowan because they hit only 40 percent of their 3-point attempts. Chloe Bibby has been the reserve player last season and has made 23 of 43 treys, which is a remarkable 53.5 percent. This is remarkable considering she only made 32 percent last season. Vic Schaefer, the Bulldogs’ coach, says there is still much to be done on the defensive side of the ball, despite their 10-0 start. He said that “we have four starters who are learning how to play together.” It seems like we are plugging one leak and then we have to plug another.” However, the Bulldogs’ shooting percentage is 31.3 percent. Due to Howard and McCowan, each team usually gets one shot per possession. Jazzmun Holmes’ and Jordan Danberry’s guards are extremely fast and great on-ball defenders. They could win medals on track. State is amazing! Redshirt freshman Myah, a guard, and five-star recruit, was three-time Mississippi Gatorade Player-of-the-year. She plays 15 minutes per game off the bench. Schaefer believes the Bulldogs will see how great they are this week. They take on No. 7 Oregon Tuesday night at Eugene (9 p.m. CST, ESPN2). Then they play Washington, a traditional Pac 12 power. Vic Schaefer stated, “I know this,” and said that they are still far from where they want to go. We have to continue working hard and keep improving. It’s possible to do a lot more.” This is scary.