STARKVILLE -- Starkville High School baseball coach Danny Carlisle isn't sure how good his team will be this season, but he won't have to worry about players giving maximum effort. The Yellow Jackets have six starting positions open, and they must find a replacement for The Dispatch All-Area Large Schools Player of the Year R.J. Johnson, who led the team in ERA, batting average, and home runs.
STARKVILLE -- Of all the injuries Mississippi State's baseball team endured last season, Jarrod Parks' season-ending back surgery seemed to strike a deep nerve with coach John Cohen.
STARKVILLE -- Nearly all of the avenues were closed for Diamber Johnson. Wherever the Mississippi State junior point guard turned, a defender was waiting for her. In the first half, Vanderbilt's Jence Rhoads, Angela Puleo, Christina Foggie, Jasmine Lister, and Elan Brown all took turns shadowing Johnson and doing their best to limit her good looks at the basket. But the Commodores turned to Rhoads at crunch time.
SCOOBA - In their final tune-ups prior to next week's MACJC State Tournament, the East Mississippi Community College basketball teams closed their regular seasons Thursday by sweeping visiting Coahoma C.C. at EMCC's Keyes T. Currie Coliseum. The No. 13 EMCC men earned a 73-63 victory, while the women's team won 55-38.
BATON ROUGE, La. -- A terrible start on the road against a Southeastern Conference rival is no longer enough to rattle JaMychal Green and his University of Alabama men's basketball teammates. Green had 18 points and Alabama beat LSU 67-56 on Thursday night, giving the Crimson Tide 12 wins in 14 games while extending the Tigers' losing streak to nine.
Don't underestimate the bounce. After missing the first of two free throws with four seconds remaining, KeKe Patterson wasn't about to buy into the hype.
STARKVILLE -- Ask anyone on Mississippi State's baseball team which component of the squad has the most athleticism and players will tell you the outfield. That position has been a hot topic of discussion in the preseason, and that's a good thing offensively and defensively.
Sharon Fanning-Otis is sticking with the plan. Hearing her talk about toughness, focus, rebounding, turnovers, and togetherness might be getting old, but the Mississippi State women's basketball coach knows good things will happen for her team the more it embraces each of those concepts.
STARKVILLE -- The Starkville High School fast-pitch softball team won six games last season to take a major step forward. Third-year Starkville coach Mimi Milling's job now is to make sure the wheels keep turning. In the past, Milling hasn't had experienced seniors who are used to her style of coaching. She has witnessed players leave the program and has struggled to find a dedicated core to lay a solid foundation. With eight seniors this season, she thinks double-digit wins and a trip to the playoffs are within reach.
OXFORD -- Zach Graham has spent the majority of his career as a complementary player, content to knock down a few shots, play tough defense and do the things that usually go unnoticed in a box score or by the casual observer.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- University of Alabama men's basketball coach Anthony Grant doesn't want to talk about the Crimson Tide threatening to run away with a division basketball title. He also isn't particularly interested in addressing the turnaround the Alabama has made in his second season, because it's not over yet.
Rachel Hollivay is getting better every day. Even though the Heritage Academy junior admits she isn't 100 percent, her ability to affect a game still remains high.
MABEN -- A 35-point effort by forward Kendrin Yates and a well executed full-court press pushed the West Oktibbeha County High School boys basketball team to a 68-63 victory against Shaw in the first round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 1A North State tournament.
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- John Calipari had seen enough. The University of Kentucky men's basketball coach watched the Wildcats jog through 25 mostly uninspired minutes against Mississippi State on Tuesday night when he ordered his team to go to a full-court press.
CRAWFORD -- A team with twice as many losses as wins is bound to have shaky moments. For much of the season, the East Oktibbeha County High School boys basketball team had too many to win consistently.
ABERDEEN -- Absent its usually potent outside game, the Aberdeen High School boys basketball team looked inside for its scoring punch Tuesday night.
STARKVILLE -- The only solace Mississippi State men's basketball coach Rick Stansbury can take in trying to rebound from a loss at the University of Kentucky is the Wildcats' current run of form. Losers of three of their last four games, Kentucky (17-7, 5-5 Southeastern Conference) will play host to MSU (13-11, 5-5) at 6 tonight (ESPN) in a rematch of last year's SEC tournament title game.
WEST POINT -- The West Point High School girls basketball team's season ended Monday with a 67-48 loss to Indianola Gentry in the first round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A North State tournament.
Andy Kennedy and the University of Mississippi men's basketball team are in a familiar position. At this point in each of Kennedy's five years in Oxford, the Rebels have been in the middle of the Southeastern Conference's Western Division.
GREENWOOD -- Christibeth Nelson had 13 points Monday night, but the Heritage Academy girls basketball team lost to Pillow Academy 50-35 in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA, Division II tournament.
2. Harris, Heritage Academy will count on seniors to lead way HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Howland likes MSU's non-conference schedule COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Central Academy hopes to contend for state title HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. Walters column: Prep football season coming closer LOCAL COLUMNS