Chemistry is a key for every head coach. As important as it is to have players who buy into a vision or a philosophy, it is just as crucial to have assistant coaches who complement the person in charge and help set the direction for the program.
STARKVILLE -- One thing was clear to Mississippi State men's basketball coach Rick Stansbury following his team's season debut: His newcomers need to do more. The Bulldogs' 75-65 win against Tennessee State on Nov. 12 was due in large to the contributions of seniors Kodi Augustus and Ravern Johnson, who combined for 46 points. Augustus and Johnson were the only players to reach double figures.
WEST POINT -- Football coaches often find the smallest details to motivate their kids. When they reach championship status, those programs tend not to need much help re-focusing or getting pumped for a new matchup.
Cary Shepherd had plenty of players honored in her time as New Hope High School softball coach. The honors earned by her players often required her to accompany them to Jackson, where they would be recognized. On those trips, Shepherd and the players had time to roam the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum and look at all of the pictures of the greats who have helped shape the state's sports scene.
STARKVILLE -- Korakot Simsiriwong has loved the game of golf ever since she could remember. Growing up in Thailand, her father played the game and was a great fan, so it was only natural that Simsiriwong had a set of clubs as soon as she was able to swing.
ABERDEEN -- The mystery has been solved. Years ago, Brandon Smith's eyes earned him a special nickname from an uncle. Somehow, though, that nickname -- "Buck" -- turned into "Bucket," which is how the Aberdeen High School football coaches and players call out to Smith.
MABEN -- The next step in two teams' paths to a possible championship game will renew one of the state's brewing rivalries. Former Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 1A district rivals East Webster and Calhoun City have made a flawless transition to the 2A ranks since reclassification in 2009.
MABEN -- When Jimmy Carden arrived at East Webster High School, he had to transform an underdeveloped football program. His first order was building a new weight room. Next, Carden had to instill confidence in the Wolverines that they could not only be competitive and challenge for state titles.
STARKVILLE -- Having unlimited playmakers is a luxury not too many coaches can claim. But that's what Mississippi State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz sees when he watches the University of Arkansas' high-powered offense.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Confident, aggressive, and dangerous. It's only three games into the 2010-11 season, but the University of Alabama women's basketball team appears ready to deliver on its potential.
STARKVILLE -- Starkville Academy's season-opening soccer match Wednesday was a tale of two frustrating halves. Starkville Academy survived an early onslaught by Pillow Academy and appeared to be resigned to goalkeeper Davis Pigg bailing them out for countless field errors.
Every team is special to a coach, but some teams can be more special. For Ronnie Hubbert, this year's Sulligent High School football team has earned that distinction more than once. The Blue Devils carry a 10-2 record into their Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 2A third-round playoff game tonight against Lineville (9-3).
The orderly state of affairs comes naturally to Tyrone Shorter. If you needed any proof, you need only look at the success of the Noxubee County High School football program this season.
As Mississippi State's offense faces each new hurdle, the common theme in the learning curve is youth.
When Mississippi State center J.C. Brignone recalls the Arkansas game last season, he remembers how his offensive line won the battle up front.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State University's football team has a pretty good understanding of the thin line between wins and losses. Against the top teams in the Southeastern Conference, it takes a handful of mistakes to turn a close, winnable game into a loss. Such was the case Saturday against the University of Alabama, where a 6-3 deficit ballooned to a 27-3 hole in just three Crimson Tide offensive plays.
STARKVILLE -- Ideally, Danielle Rector would have spent every waking moment of the offseason preparing for the 2010-11 season. After all, that's what gym rats do.
Ishamel Riggins knows how to find the holes. Between rushing and protecting the quarterback, the Sulligent High School senior knows all of the tricks of the trade used by offensive and defensive linemen.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Junior forward JaMychal Green had a game-high 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds Monday night to lead the University of Alabama men's basketball team defeated Troy 79-60 in front of a crowd 8,939 at the Coleman Coliseum.
A day after Mississippi State's football team proved to be its own worst enemy in a 30-10 loss to Alabama, head coach Dan Mullen turned his attentions to rebounding the same way it did when it lost at LSU.