STARKVILLE -- Anna Lea Little began her basketball career as a home-schooled teen-aged youngster. Starkville Academy coach Glenn Schmidt is very pleased that Little's family later changed their minds and enrolled her at the school.
STARKVILLE --- The Mississippi State men's basketball program will have until Thursday night to try and answer the obvious question: what is wrong with the defense? After matching the most points given up in the 14-year head coaching career of Rick Stansbury Saturday night in a 98-88 loss at Arkansas, the 20th-ranked Bulldogs (13-3, 0-1 in Southeastern Conference play), the MSU coach is still shaking his head at the effort.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Mississippi State University men's basketball coach Rick Stansbury said all week his team had enough guards to handle the University of Arkansas' full-court pressure defense and still guard them defensively. Arkansas coach Mike Anderson called Stansbury's bluff on that declaration and took home a 98-88 victory Saturday night.
STARKVILLE -- Prior to the Mississippi State women's basketball team's Southeastern Conference opener against LSU, Diamber Johnson stressed the Lady Bulldogs needed to befriend pressure. The senior point guard said the Lady Bulldogs had to welcome pressure defense from opponents so much that it was second nature for them to attack it and score against it. Three days after kicking off SEC play with a disappointing loss to LSU, MSU will get a chance to see just how well it reacts to pressure when it takes on the No. 11 University of Kentucky at 2:30 p.m. today in Lexington, Ky.
MACON -- In the first five possessions of the second half Saturday night, the New Hope High School girls basketball team made a statement. The Lady Trojans scored four points on one possession, garnered five offensive rebounds, blocked two shots, and forced three turnovers. That spree of activity quickly erased a six-point halftime deficit. New Hope still need one more comeback as it later erased a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit to post 60-49 win against Noxubee County. In the nightcap, the Noxubee County boys built an early 15-point lead and held on for a 69-61 victory.
BATON ROUGE, La. -- It had been a long time since the LSU men's basketball team enjoyed such a performance in its Southeastern Conference opener as it did Saturday against the University of Mississippi. The Tigers led from start to finish in a dominating 81-55 victory against the Rebels on Saturday. The 26-point margin of victory was the largest for LSU in a league opener since its 92-66 victory against Florida in the 1980-81 campaign.
ATHENS, Ga. -- The University of Alabama men's basketball team got a career night from freshman Trevor Lacey with 19 points, all but two of those in the first half, in defeating Georgia 74-59 Saturday night in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
NEW ORLEANS -- AJ McCarron tried it Nick Saban's way. He really did. The quarterback for No. 2 Alabama curbed his emotions for the Crimson Tide's first game with No. 1 LSU this season, did his best to be the calm, steady leader his coach wanted. McCarron didn't make a lot of noise, didn't go after any opposing defensive linemen. He didn't produce any touchdowns, either, and the Tide lost 9-6 in overtime. So much for cool and collected.
NEW ORLEANS -- Trent Richardson was awake until the wee hours in New Orleans, chatting up girls. It's not how it sounds. Alabama's star tailback was on the phone with his daughters until about 1:30 a.m. Friday. When it comes to 5-year-old Taliyah and 3-year-old Elevara, college football's battering ram turns into an unabashed softy, even when it means pushing back bedtime. "I spoil them," Richardson said. "Those are my little hearts."
STARKVILLE -- What's old is new again with Mississippi State's opening opponent in Southeastern Conference play. The style that the Razorbacks will implement tonight (8 p.m., Comcast Sports Southeast) will remind Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury of what he saw during his first trip to Fayetteville as a head coach 14 years ago.
Division I college basketball coaches across the country know one thing about their sport: It has changed, and largely without their input, creating sprawling conference boundaries more accommodating to football than basketball.
STARKVILLE -- Whether it was from beyond the three-point line, at the free throw line or of pull-up mid-range variety, Starkville Academy forward Anna Lea Little put on an impressive shooting display.
CALEDONIA -- A new year has brought a new start and a new attitude to the New Hope High School girls soccer team. Morgan Franks, Farris Bradley, and Effie Morrison scored goals Friday night to lead a reinvigorated New Hope to a 3-0 victory against Caledonia in a non-district matchup.
CALEDONIA -- You never know when someone is looking. You also can't tell when one off those people standing on the sidelines or sitting in the stands is a college soccer coach in need of a versatile, experienced player who can contribute to his program.
STARKVILLE -- The little things will wear you out. Those details are even more important in conference play, when opponents know your tendencies better than some of your teammates. They're magnified even finer when teams have a chance to make a statement and can't hold a seven-point lead with more than six minutes to play.
STARKVILLE -- Several nights a week, members of the Mississippi State men's basketball team will get together to watch a college basketball game. It doesn't take long for them to shake their heads and wonder what they have to do to attract national attention. Junior forward Arnett Moultrie could be the spokesperson for that group. Although the transfer from the University of Texas at El Paso is sixth in the country in rebounding, he and the No. 15 Bulldogs haven't garnered a lot of publicity.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Channing Ward waited to make his college decision until he was on stage with some of the nation's top players. The wait didn't provide a shocker of an ending, though, as the Aberdeen High School standout announced he will play football at the University of Mississippi in the fall.
NEW ORLEANS -- The points have been piling up so fast this postseason it's as if they're giving away touchdowns along with all those video games and watches the bowls hand out to players. 41-38. 45-38. 67-56. 70-33. Seemingly endless offense has left LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers wondering: "Where is the defense at? Does it exist?" It will in the BCS title game. When No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama meet at the Superdome on Monday, expect every yard to be earned and touchdowns to be at a premium -- again.
Brad Butler has been around football long enough to understand the importance of wins and losses. He just didn't think the hunger for wins that drives coaching carousels in college and in the NFL had become so pervasive that it had woven its way into high school athletics. But Butler learned Dec. 20 that his inability to lead the Heritage Academy football team to more victories cost him and offensive coordinator/junior high football coach Steve Morgan their jobs.
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State University men's basketball players understand they can improve on defense. The scouting report on No. 15 MSU (13-2) is simple: It can't guard the pick-and-roll offense at the top of the key. "Everybody in the country runs ball screens, and we have to get better guarding those," MSU assistant coach Phil Cunningham said Wednesday in the SEC coaches teleconference.
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