FILE - Mississippi State forward Arnett Moultrie (23) drives to the basket around Baylor forward Quincy Miller (30) forward Perry Jones III (1) and forward Quincy Acy (4)in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Dallas on Dec. 28, 2011. Photo by: Associated Press
May 17, 2012 5:16:31 PM
STARKVILLE -- An e-mail response to The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog from Mississippi State Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin confirmed Thursday morning Mississippi State University and Baylor University have agreed to cancel the two remaining basketball games in its contract.
"Baylor and MSU mutally agreed to drop the remaining two games in the contract," Stricklin wrote to The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog.
The Bears, who is expected to be ranked in next year's Top 25 Associated Press preseason poll, was scheduled visit the Humphrey Coliseum in November before the Bulldogs played a road game in Waco, Texas in 2013. The cancellation is a mutual decision and no buyout money will be required from either side.
"To be honest with you I didn't think it was a very favorable schedule for us because even if all of those guys would be coming back, which of course they're not, it would've been an extremely difficult challenge," Ray said Monday.
First-year MSU coach Rick Ray confirmed intentions with The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog in a one-on-one interview Monday morning. More from that exchange will be introduced in a Sunday feature on Ray's plan to rebuild the Bulldogs program.
MSU fans can expect the 2012-13 schedule to not have many road challenges before Southeastern Conference play begins after New Year's Day minus one nationally-televised and highly challenging tournament in a island environment.
MSU, who will have only one returning starter from last year's lineup and two players who played significant minutes, is scheduled to play in the prestigious Maui Invitational, joining Butler University, University of Illinois, Marquette University, University of North Carolina, University of Texas, University of Southern California and Division II host Chaminade in the field.
"After coming back from the toughest tournament in all of mankind in Maui, you got to prepare for Baylor - that's not favorable for our team in any way," Ray said.
The Bulldogs and Bears played a dramatic non-conference game last year at the American Airlines Center in Dallas last season with Baylor winning 54-52 on a last-second layup from Pierre Jackson.
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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