April 3, 2012 5:32:50 PM
STARKVILLE - Without further ado:
Item No. 1 - Mississippi State men's basketball news -
Spoke with Illinois State University assistant coach Rob Judson about new Mississippi State University men's basketball coach Rick Ray. The two were on the same staff at Northern Illinois University from 2004-06 and after the first season as the Huskies head coach, Judson said he openly sought out Ray as a candidate for his staff.
"Rick is so very bright and brings great passion about basketball wherever he goes. He has a terrific offensive mind."
I'll have more on their relationship and the reaction nationally toward Rick Ray's hire at MSU in Wednesday's edition of The Dispatch.
Item No. 2 - Mississippi State baseball news -
I also learned inside the MSU baseball offices today that the weekend rotation plans for the Bulldogs are as follows: Junior right-hander Chris Stratton will continue in his Friday night role as MSU hosts Vanderbilt this weekend. Kendall Graveman will be moved up to Saturday against the Commodores and the Bulldogs staff is going to have the Sunday spot officially left as TBD. If senior All-America selection Caleb Reed isn't used in either of the first two games, then he'll get his first start since April 23, 2010. If Reed is used out of the bullpen (something the MSU coaching would prefer because it obviously means they're in position to be Vanderbilt) then opening night starter Ben Bracewell would likely get the nod on Sunday.
Item No. 3 - Mississippi State soccer news -
Mississippi State added another Tennessee prep standout to its squad for 2012 as defender Addie Tomlin inked a letter of intent to join Neil Macdonald's program.
The Oakland, Tenn., native comes to Starkville after scoring 78 goals and assisting on 43 more while playing the back line for Jon Knickerbocker at Fayette Academy.
"We are thrilled to have a player of Addie's caliber coming to Mississippi State," Macdonald said. "Addie is a fast, athletic player who has the ability to play either left or right back. She is an excellent 1-v.-1 defender, and her ability to pass the ball and start the attack from the back line will be a tremendous asset to our team."
Last season, Tomlin claimed The Commercial Appeal Best of Preps team honors and a third-straight Lady Vikings MVP award after leading the squad with a personal-best 26 goals.
Tomlin accumulated a team-best 56 points (21 goals, 14 assists) her junior season, earning TSSAA Division II-A All-District accolades. As a sophomore she was an all-state nominee and an all-district honorable mention after netting 16 goals and 13 assists.
She began her collegiate career by tallying 15 goals and four assists as a freshman, claiming the FA's Offensive Player of the Year award.
Tomlin also excelled on the basketball and tennis courts for Fayette. In her final season on the hardwood, she claimed all-district honorable mention honors after leading the Lady Vikings to back-to-back division titles and third-place state finishes. She was tabbed her team's Best Defensive Player in 2009 and 2010.
Tomlin has played club soccer for the Collierville Lobos alongside fellow Bulldog signees Honeye Heydari, Gracie Irby and Shelby Jordan.
In 2011, Tomlin helped lead the Lobos to the semifinals of the Tennessee state tournament and the D1 State League title. The squad also advanced to the finals of the John Talley Showcase and Blues City Blowout.
She played on the 2010 Lobos squad that won the Blues City Blowout and advanced to the finals of the Mid-South Challenge, and the 2009 team that claimed the Germantown Girls Showcase championship.
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.
4. A Microhistory of Religious Conflict BOOK REVIEWS