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Wake-up call - Bringing you early morning MSU news


Here's your MSU sports news wake-up call for March 29, 2012


Matt Stevens


STARKVILLE - You've asked for something different and trust us - we're listening.  


The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog is excited to bring you, the loyal reader, a blog post that you'll be able to hit before you head to that 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. job or class for you, the student. This post will give you what happened the day before in Mississippi State University sports news to provide you the water cooler talking points that you may have missed and a couple little nuggets that we've held back so you can impress your friends at your class or workplace. As I'll announce on the Full Court Press radio show, two more items will be introduced throughout today as consistent elements to The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog. We hope you'll enjoy.  




Without further ado:  




- Item No. 1 - Mississippi State men's basketball news -  


Arnett Moultrie intends to declare for the 2012 NBA Draft: In news that shouldn't surprise MSU fans at all, Bulldogs forward Arnett Moultrie decided to announce he intends to skip his senior season and enter the 2012 NBA Draft. 


"I have enjoyed my time at Mississippi State University and I will never forget the people I met and got to know," Moultrie said in a statement. "Nor will I ever forget my coaches and teammates. Keep me in your prayers and I will keep Bulldog Nation in mine." 


MSU spokesperson Gregg Ellis confirmed Moultrie has yet to sign the paperwork to declare for the draft and has not signed with an agent but plans to do so in the next few weeks. Moultrie met with MSU Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin to discuss his future early Wednesday morning. 


Moultrie averaged 16.4 points and 10.5 rebounds per game last season and NBADraft.net has the former transfer from the University of Texas at El Paso projected to go seventh overall. 


In case you're wondering, according to NCAA rules - since Moultrie declared and then pulled out of the 2010 NBA Draft process while at UTEP, the Bulldogs forward is prohibited from the option of signing declaration papers but returning to college again. 


Moultrie joins forward Renardo Sidney and guard DeVille Smith, who have also decided to leave the program in the past week. 




- Item No. 2 - Mississippi State men's basketball coaching search news - 


In less than a week Bryce Drew went from beginning discussions with Mississippi State University about their men's basketball opening to taking his name out of consideration. 


After having conversations with MSU officials in Atlanta Monday, Drew has decided to remain the head men's basketball coach of the Valparaiso University. 


"I have pulled my name from consideration for Mississippi State," Drew told the Northwest Indiana Times Wednesday evening. 


Less than an hour after Drew's proclamation he was staying as the head coach of his alma mater, Valparaiso Director of Athletics Mark LaBarbera announced in a statement Drew had agreed to a new contract extension without releasing the financial details of those terms. 


"Valparaiso University is committed to building a high-quality, competitive basketball program," VU President Mark Heckler said in the statement. "Bryce Drew has proven himself to be a leader of character and integrity, dedicated to upholding the university's values while striving for success, both on and off the basketball court." 


"I am very appreciative and thankful for the opportunity to continue coaching at Valparaiso University," Drew said. "We are blessed at Valpo to have outstanding vision and leadership from President Heckler and Mark LaBarbera. I am very excited to get back on the court with our team and starting to prepare for next season." 


ESPN.com college basketball reporter Jason King first broke the news Drew had met with MSU and also reported the Valparaiso coach had backed out of an interview with the University of Tulsa Tuesday. 


Blue Ribbon Illustrated editor in chief Chris Dortch went to his Twitter account Wednesday afternoon announcing Drew going to MSU was a "done deal," but sources inside the Bulldogs search to replace 14-year veteran Rick Stansbury following his retirement quickly responded to The Dispatch minutes later saying the deal was "not nearly" done. 


Bryce Drew's wife, Tara, also has connections to Mississippi, as her parents run a ballet studio in Jackson. 


The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog also learned Kansas University assistant coach Joe Dooley, who was named the top assistant coach in the country according to Hoop Scoop magazine, is no longer on the list of candidates for the Bulldogs opening. 


According to multiple reports, another MSU target in Ohio coach John Groce will be named the next coach at the University of Illinois in a press conference scheduled for today as the Fighting Illini program spent almost a month trying to replace the recently fired Bruce Weber. 


The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog was informed via text message by Sean Woods that the Mississippi Valley State head coach still hasn't been contacted by anyone represented MSU as of Wednesday. 


Sources inside the MSU coaching search have told The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog a new MSU coach is not likely to be named and introduced before the end of this week. 




- Item No. 3 - Mississippi State baseball injury news -  


MSU sophomore centerfielder C.T. Bradford told The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog he will make the trip to Auburn this weekend and the plan is for him to play with his shoulder injury Friday night for the game starting at 6 p.m. Bradford said the separated shoulder he suffered almost a month ago is a "day-to-day" process and it's simply a decision as to how he feels after he receives morning treatment from the MSU training staff. 


Bulldogs sophomore right-hander Ben Bracewell also said he'll make the trip this weekend to Auburn and be on the active MSU roster. Bracewell, who suffered soreness in his pitching elbow, is likely to be used out of the bullpen one day in the weekend as either a backup closer option to not force the Bulldogs to have to use senior preseason All-America selection Caleb Reed for three straight days. Bracewell can also be used as a middle relief bridge to Reed as well.  


The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog was also informed by MSU officials that senior outfielder Brent Brownlee has been taking active batting practice in the hopes of possibly returning before the 2012 season and his college career is over.  




All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage. 




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