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SEC: No punishment for MSU's Ray

 

Matthew Stevens

 

STARKVILLE --The Southeastern Conference is satisfied with how Mississippi State men's basketball coach Rick Ray handled the aftermath of an incident Saturday involving Ole Miss' Marshall Henderson. 

 

Southeastern Conference officials reviewed Ray's actions and opted not to discipline him after he swore at the Rebels' senior guard as he left the court late in Ole Miss' 82-63 victory at Tad Smith Coliseum in Oxford. The incident happened with 6.2 seconds remaining in the game, MSU's fourth-straight road loss by 19 or more points. 

 

Speaking Monday for the first time since the incident, Ray said he broke an important rule in the program. 

 

"One of our rules in our program is don't do anything to embarrass yourself, the basketball program, the university or your family," Ray said. "I did that, so that's something I've got to make sure I hold myself accountable to." 

 

As Henderson left the court, Ray was seen shouting what appeared to be an expletive at the Rebels' leading scorer. Ray issued an apology on Twitter via a message on his Instagram account. The video of the incident made it to the website Deadspin.com late Saturday night, but it's unclear when Henderson said to Ray when he turned to look at the MSU bench.  

 

Henderson, who missed MSU's 76-72 victory on Jan. 11 in Starkville due to a university mandated suspension, tied for team-high scoring honors (19 points) despite being just 2 of 12 from 3-point range. 

 

"Like (SEC) Commissioner (Mike) Slive always says, our conversations will always be private," Ray said about a phone call he received from Slive on Monday.  

 

Ray has yet to receive a technical foul as a head coach and never has been publicly admonished or punished by the SEC since he took over at MSU in April 2012.  

 

"I didn't even know about it," Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said. "He came up to me and apologized and said he had said something to Marshall. I didn't even know what he was talking about. I see it on the tape and obviously the camera caught him mouthing something." 

 

 

 

Wilson enjoying transition from football to basketball 

 

MSU freshman De'Runnya Wilson said Monday he's enjoying his role player experience on the men's basketball team since joining the program this month.  

 

"I say all the time, it's just a great experience transforming to basketball from football," Wilson said. "It's hard work, but I still have the talent in me. I just felt like when I was in high school, I would give it a shot in college after football (season)." 

 

Wilson told the media Monday his schedule is lifting with the football team and new strength and conditioning coach Rick Court and practicing with the MSU men's basketball program.  

 

"I wanted that to be one of the reasons why I came here to Mississippi State because I could play both sports," Wilson said. "(MSU football coach Dan Mullen) was really OK with me to play basketball. He was saying if I was gonna play, then be the hardest-working person out there and to pay attention." 

 

In two road games against Alabama and Ole Miss, Wilson has averaged six minutes and pulled down two rebounds. 

 

"He has told me he's not interested in being a star or anything like that," Ray said. "He just wants to come in and help us any way he can, and I think his attitude has been great in how he's approached this whole situation. I think a lot of what we're asking him to do in a short amount of time is unfair." 

 

 

 

Georgia guard Brown commits to MSU 

 

Point guard prospect Tookie Brown gave his verbal commitment to MSU on Sunday. The 5-foot-11 athlete chose MSU over Clemson, Miami, Virginia, Alabama, Butler, and Georgia. 

 

Brown is averaging 25.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.6 steals per game for Morgan County High School in Madison, Ga., as junior. Brown is the Bulldogs' third commitment for 2015, joining three-star prospects Joseph Strugg and Dante Scott. 

 

Follow Matt Stevens on Twitter @matthewcstevens.

 

 

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