STARKVILLE -- Each year, hundreds of walk-ons join college football teams hoping to make their dreams come true. Some do it for the love of the game and relish the opportunity to be on a college team. Others shun the chance to be on scholarship or to have playing time at a lower level in an attempt to earn their way onto the field. Three Mississippi State walk-ons just want to wear the colors of their favorite college team and to play close to home.
ATLANTA -- The bizarre fortune that saw Mississippi State's front court depleted by foul trouble actually produced a bright spot in its 87-81 loss to Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs' bench, which had been under fire at times this season for not producing enough, came through with quality minutes in the first half when forwards Renardo Sidney and Kodi Augustus each drew fouls and sat the majority of the period. MSU's post depth was so depleted, Stansbury had no choice but to piece together a lineup to make it to halftime.
ATLANTA -- In the end, John Jenkins was too much for Mississippi State to defend. The Vanderbilt two-guard scored 29 points, including seven of the Commodores' last nine to lift his team to an 87-81 win over Mississippi State in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament Friday.
Mississippi State opens SEC tournament play against Vanderbilt, which beat LSU on Thursday to advance to the quarterfinal round. Tipoff is set for 9 p.m. (CT) and will be televised by the SEC Network. WCBI will carry the game in the Golden Triangle.
STARKVILLE -- As glaring as the Mississippi State football team's challenge is to replace three starting linebackers, there's just as much pressure to establish depth and to replace a cornerstone end on its defensive line. The Bulldogs return junior tackles Fletcher Cox and Josh Boyd, but there's uncertainty outside now that Pernell McPhee has exhausted his eligibility. The passing of Nick Bell, Johnathan McKenzie's decision to quit the team, and James Carmon's move to the offensive line means veteran ends Shane McCardell and Sean Ferguson will be expected to play greater roles.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State's football coaches will feel the rewards of a breakout season in their bank accounts. Coach Dan Mullen's raise from $1.5 million a year to $2.65 was announced several days before MSU's 52-14 win against the University of Michigan in the Gator Bowl. The victory gave the Bulldogs their best record since 2000 and landed them in The Associated Press' final Top 25 rankings for the first time in 11 years. Now, all of the Bulldogs' assistants, with the exception of first-year linebackers coach Geoff Collins, will receive pay increases based on information obtained from an open records request from the Mississippi Institution of Higher Learning.
STARKVILLE -- The Southeastern Conference tournament matchup the Mississippi State men's basketball team expected is here, and with plenty of story lines. Vanderbilt defeated LSU 62-50 Thursday night in the opening round of the tournament at the georgia Dome in Atlanta. The win sets up a matchup between the Bulldogs (17-13, 9-7 SEC) and the Commodores (22-9, 9-7), who won in Starkville for the first time in 18 years on Jan. 27. MSU eliminated Vanderbilt in the semifinals of last year's SEC tournament.
GREENWOOD -- Austin Braddock delivered a strong pitching performance and the Heritage Academy baseball team had two solid hitting games Thursday in a doubleheader sweep of Pillow Academy.
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State baseball team will look to rebound from two losses last week, and back-to-back rain-affected games, when it plays host to Sacred Heart this weekend. MSU (10-3) lost two games to Iowa in a four-game homestand last weekend before having its game Tuesday against Mississippi Valley State canceled and its road game Wednesday at the University of Alabama-Birmingham suspended in the sixth inning.
ATLANTA -- The University of Mississippi men's basketball team finally figured out how to win at the Southeastern Conference tournament. Just keep scoring in bunches. Chris Warren led with way with 20 points and the Rebels prevailed in a game of spurts, pulling away from South Carolina 66-55 Thursday in the opening round of the SEC tournament.
EL PASO, Texas -- Joe Jackson scored 15 points and hit two free throws that helped seal Memphis' 66-63 victory against Southern Mississippi in the quarterfinals of the Conference USA tournament Thursday. Memphis was threatened by Southern Miss' late-game push. The Golden Eagles trailed 60-59 with 36 seconds left, but the Tigers pushed the lead back to five points thanks to a pair of Will Barton free throws and a slam dunk from Jackson.
STARKVILLE -- Dee Bost knows his shot has been off the past two weeks. He knows his hamstring and Achilles' injuries are limiting his lateral movement and the lift on his jump shot. But as Mississippi State's second-leading scorer, Bost's point production will be critical in the Bulldogs' quarterfinal matchup against LSU or Vanderbilt on Friday at the Southeastern Conference tournament.
After being postponed due to bad weather last week, the "Racin' For Life 200" United Speed Contest Sanction (USCS) Enduro Race for strictly stock cars will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Magnolia Motor Speedway in Columbus.
STARKVILLE -- Normally, teams with records of .500 or better don't feel as far behind as the Starkville High baseball team. Such is life for a team that has had five games rained out in a week and is about to play three unfamiliar teams in a week-long road trip in another state.
EL PASO, Texas -- Gary Flowers scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds Wednesday to lead the fifth-seeded Southern Mississippi men's basketball team to a 63-47 victory against 12th-seeded Tulane in the first round of the Conference USA tournament.
Renardo Sidney's media blackout ended Tuesday, as the Mississippi State sophomore forward addressed a lengthy list of topics about his checkered college career.
Mississippi State junior linebacker Michael Hunt left the team this week, coach Dan Mullen said Tuesday. Hunt had 21 tackles as a backup last season, and entered this spring as a favorite to challenge for one of three vacant linebacker spots.
STARKVILLE -- With a bye in the first round of the Southeastern Conference tournament, the Mississippi State men's basketball team has a more favorable path to Sunday's title game. But the Bulldogs won't know who they'll face in the quarterfinals until Thursday. MSU will open play Friday in Atlanta against the winner of the LSU and Vanderbilt game. Both teams defeated MSU in Starkville this season.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The University of Alabama's JaMychal Green and the University of Mississippi's Chris Warren were named Tuesday first-team All-Southeastern Conference, while Mississippi State's Riley Benock was named the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year. MSU's Dee Bost and Alabama's Tony Mitchell also were named second-team All-SEC, Ole Miss' Reginald Buckner was chosen to the All-Defensive team, and Alabama's Trevor Releford was selected to the All-Freshman squad.
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