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.
STARKVILLE -- It's time to get tougher. It's also time for the Mississippi State women's basketball team to slow down and to take better care of the basketball. MSU's ability to put all of those elements into action will be put to the test at 7 tonight when it plays host to LSU at Humphrey Coliseum in its Southeastern Conference opener.
Jarvis Gunter dreams of playing professional basketball. He just never thought the sport would allow him to see the world. But the former Columbus High School standout isn't complaining about his current job as a member of the CAB Madeira team in Portugal. In fact, he has grown quite fond of Europe and the different cuisine -- and the number of meals per day -- he has had the opportunity to sample.
NEW ORLEANS -- University of Alabama wide receiver Marquis Maze isn't about to concede anything to LSU, not even the kicking game. Sure, the top-ranked Tigers controlled field position with Brad Wing's punts when the teams met two months ago in what, back then, was called the game of the century. And those four field goals missed by the No. 2 Crimson Tide have left a stamp on the season.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State University junior defensive tackle Fletcher Cox announced Tuesday he will forego his final year of eligibility and enter the NFL draft. The 295-pound defensive lineman from Yazoo City had 56 tackles this season, including 14 1/2 tackles for a loss and five sacks. He said immediately after MSU's 23-17 victory against Wake Forest in the Music City Bowl that he had made his decision about turning professional, but that he was waiting to announce it properly.
STARKVILLE -- Johnthan Banks decided Tuesday not to declare for the NFL draft and to return to the Mississippi State University football program for his final year of eligibility. Banks, a former East Webster High School standout from Maben, was a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, which is given to the nation's top defensive back. He also was MSU's Conerly Trophy representative. That award is given to the state's top college football player.
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