STARKVILLE -- Before his team plays Dec. 31 in the Orange Bowl, Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen fortified his roster for 2015 Wednesday. On the first day of the early signing period for junior college prospects, Mullen welcomed five Bulldogs into the program, including three junior college standouts, including Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College offensive lineman Martinas Rankin, the nation's highest-rated offensive tackle, according to recruiting service 247sports.com.
STARKVILLE -- Nearly a half-hour after Mississippi State's home basketball game against Arkansas State on Wednesday night, the Humphrey Coliseum was nearly empty. There were the usual noises from brooms sweeping up the aisles between the rows of seats, sports writers banging out stories on their laptops, and folding chairs being stowed away. There also was the sound of basketballs bouncing on the court and the clanging off the rim and the audible sighs of disappointed players, as MSU senior Trivante Bloodman, junior Craig Sword, sophomore I.J. Ready, and freshman Fallou Ndoye shot jump shots and worked to get better. That's what a 69-55 loss to Arkansas State will do to a team.
Sammy Smith knows the expectations are there this season for the Columbus High School boys basketball team. Part of the anticipation for the Falcons revolves around the fact Smith has a long, athletic team with plenty of size. Those physical qualities make Smith excited for his team, too.
STARKVILLE - Chase Nicholson has seen the Starkville Academy football program at its worst and at its best.
Justin Lucas likes to smile. The 6-foot, 230-pound linebacker has a demanding disposition on the football field. Off the field, the former Aberdeen High School standout carries a warm-hearted persona that affects everyone around him. For the two-year East Mississippi Community College standout, Wednesday was another reason to smile and smile big.
STARKVILLE -- If there's one image that stands out about the Georgia Tech football team's 10-3 season to this point, it came in Athens, Georgia. That's where junior cornerback D.J. White intercepted a pass by quarterback Hutson Mason to preserve a 30-24 win, Georgia Tech's marquee victory of the season.
STARKVILLE -- For the fifth time in six seasons under coach Dan Mullen, the Mississippi State football team is looking for a defensive coordinator. The position, filled for the past two years by Geoff Collins, is vacant after Collins accepted the same post at Florida. Collins' move to Gainesville, Florida, was first reported Tuesday morning and confirmed by the school at noon.
STARKVILLE -- The rewards continue to roll in for Mississippi State's Orange Bowl-bound football team. A week after five Bulldogs were named All-Southeastern Conference performers, three of those players added All-America status to their list of accolades Tuesday.
WICHITA, Kan. -- Trailing Alabama by 11 points with 5 minutes, 50 seconds remaining, Wichita State men's basketball coach Gregg Marshall called his team together to prepare it for a final push. No. 11 Wichita State scored 13 of the final 14 points to hold off Alabama for a 53-52 victory. The Shockers (8-1) took the final lead on Darius Carter's slam with 11.9 seconds remaining, part of his game-high 16 points.
STARKVILLE -- Chase Nicholson has seen the Starkville Academy football program at its worst and at its best. Fortunately for Nicholson, the best times have happened recently. Now it's his job to make sure that trend continues.
STARKVILLE -- Savannah Carter looks ready for business. Decked out in her home white jersey, Carter's arms are crossed across her chest and her gaze is fixed forward in the picture that adorns the cover of the Mississippi State women's basketball team's 2014-15 media guide.
Cameron Whittle and Michael Ledbetter don't have to consult each other or rack their brains to find the answer. When Whittle and Ledbetter are asked to remember the last time the Heritage Academy boys soccer team started a season 4-0, both players don't recall a time when it has happened. In fact, Whittle said he doesn't think it has happened -- until this season. Victories against Washington School, Magnolia Heights, Starkville Academy, and Hillcrest Christian have Heritage Academy in unchartered waters as it prepares for the holiday break. Heritage Academy capped the opening month of the season Friday by scoring four goals in the second half to beat Hillcrest Christian 4-1.
STARKVILLE -- J.T. Gray wasted little time. A freshman defensive back from Clarksdale who moved to linebacker early in fall camp, the original plan from Mississippi State's coaching staff was to redshirt Gray so he could have four years of eligibility starting next season. But plans change.
OXFORD -- Ole Miss took another step Monday in its Forward Together campaign, as it showcased plans for expansion to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
STARKVILLE -- Benardrick McKinney and P.J. Davis have a lot in common. Both were unheralded two-star recruits out of high school who escaped the attention of most major college football programs. Both have blossomed into all-conference players, McKinney as an All-Southeastern Conference middle linebacker at Mississippi State and Davis as an All-Atlantic Coast Conference linebacker at Georgia Tech. Both will be the centers of attention in the Orange Bowl, when each player leads his defense into the Dec. 31 showdown between the Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets.
HATTIESBURG -- The No. 22 Mississippi State women's basketball team delivered a defensive effort of historical proportions Sunday afternoon. MSU allowed a school-record eight points in the first half and set a new standard by allowing one field goal en route to a 73-46 victory against Southern Mississippi before a national television audience in the Reed Green Coliseum.
OXFORD -- The Ole Miss women's basketball team rebounded from back-to-back losses with a 88-48 victory against South Alabama on Sunday afternoon at Tad Smith Coliseum. Playing in her first game since Nov. 16, sophomore forward Bretta Hart scored a career-high 14 points to lead four teammates in double figures.
STARKVILLE - Though their decisions on whether to enter the NFL Draft or return to school for their senior seasons have not been made yet, Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott and linebacker Benardrick McKinney are among a handful of Bulldogs curious about their futures.
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Mississippi State battled back from an early 14-point deficit Saturday afternoon. However, the Bulldogs could not make enough shots to overcome the Beavers of Oregon State.
STARKVILLE - Want to see microcosms of why Mississippi State and Georgia Tech combined to win 20 games to set up a showdown in the Capital One Orange Bowl?
1. MSU won't let Collins' departure affect preparations COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Columbus boys show potential in win against Marion (Ark.) HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Johnson takes over to lead New Hope boys HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Mayberry's free throws help New Hope edge Columbus HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. Holman trying to impress 'habits' on new group HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS