It's a youth movement for Paul Lusk's MSU Bears, and it's showing as the Bears have lost 4 in a row. With Six freshman on the roster the importance of senior leadership is especially important. Even if there's only one senior.
The one senior Anthony Downing knew it was going to be his time to lead when Bears all time leading scorer Kyle Weems finished his career. then the only other senior on the roster Jamar Gulley tore his A.C.L. in the summer, putting even more pressure on Downing.
"He's (Downing) got to guard the best opposing guard a lot of times, he's got to score the basketball, he's got to take care of it," said Paul Lusk, MSU Head Coach. "We need him to be at a high level if we're going to have a chance."
Even though Downing, the Bears leading scorer is in his last year at MSU he's still in some ways a new comer. After starting his career at Kansas State Downing transferred to Independence Community College in Kansas, before ending up with the Bears last season. Where ever he's been, Downing has been a play maker
"I've been the leading scorer on my team before in high school and in junior college," said Downing.
With the makeup of the Bears, Downing knows how important it is for him to be a coach on the floor.
"I feel like I can get more out of players and expect more out of players if I talk them up or encourage them, or if I challenge them," said Downing. "Say if I make a challenge them to make them step up more, I feel like they will and that's what I need to do as a leader."
Other teams are beginning to zero in on Downing and against Tulsa it showed. He was held scoreless and drawing so much attention is motivating Downing to leave a strong legacy.
"When I want people to think of me I want them to think of me as a hard worker, gave it my all and I did all I could do to make the team be the best we could be," said Downing.
Downing is averaging 14 points per game. The Bears look to snap a 4 game losing streak Saturday at Oklahoma State.