STARKVILLE -- Billy Gonzales took one look at his new Mississippi State University playbook and realized he was exactly where he needed to be.
STARKVILLE -- Statistics don't lie.
STARKVILLE -- After a 78-36 loss to the University of Missouri on Wednesday night, freshman center Gavin Ware summed up the attitude of the Mississippi State University men's basketball team. "Our coaches told us we have seven more games this season whether we like it or not," Ware said with his head down at the podium. The 52-point loss was the largest margin of defeat for MSU (7-16, 2-9 Southeastern Conference) in the 38-season history of Humphrey Coliseum. The previous worst loss was a 41-point loss to Vanderbilt University on Feb. 27, 1993.
Everything starts with Katia May. As much as the junior said in the preseason she understood what it meant to be point guard in coach Vic Schaefer's system, May really had no idea what was required to "get up the line" and to pressure an opponent the length of the court. Playing defense for 94 feet is one thing, but doing it every possession?
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M University's Elston Turner knew something had to change after making just 7 of 27 shots in his past two games. So he stayed after each practice this week, remaining at the gym until he made at least 100, and sometimes as many as 150, extra shots a day.
Few people outside Tucson believe the University of Arizona's baseball team has a chance to repeat as national champion. Pacific-12 Conference coaches have pegged the Wildcats as middle of the pack in the conference, and their highest ranking in the national polls is No. 14. Coach Andy Lopez pays no attention to the prognosticators.
MINNEAPOLIS -- After leading the Minnesota Vikings to a surprising playoff berth last season, coach Leslie Frazier had a contract option picked up for 2014. The Vikings announced they exercised the fourth-year option on his Wednesday, helping Frazier avoid what would have been a lame-duck season in 2013 while also giving the team some flexibility going forward.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Three University of Alabama football players have been charged with knocking students unconscious and stealing their wallets, while a fourth player has been charged with using a stolen debit card, officials said Tuesday.
ATHENS, Ga. -- Even when the shots weren't falling, the University Alabama men's basketball team knew it could count on the defense. Then, finally, the Crimson Tide knocked down a couple of key baskets -- from beyond the 3-point arc, no less. Game over.
Curtaves Latham is the epitome of a tweener. At a solid 6-foot-1, the New Hope High School junior can go inside and bang with bigger bodies. But, like many post players, Latham likes to stray out to the 3-point line and launch a shot or two.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State University football coach Dan Mullen has added another familiar face to his coaching staff. Multiple sources in the MSU football program confirmed Tuesday afternoon to The Dispatch that Billy Gonzales, a former offensive coordinator at the University of Illinois, had been hired at MSU as wide receivers coach. Gonzales, who will enter his 18th year as a Division I assistant coach, was in Starkville on Tuesday, and is expected to be introduced by the MSU administration this week, and possibly as early as today.
JACKSON -- Starkville Academy Athletic Director Glenn Schmidt said it best when she met her school's boys basketball coach in the hallway at Hillcrest Christian School. After a 56-41 victory in the first round of the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA, Division II tournament Tuesday night, Schmidt wanted Mark Alexander to appreciate the moment.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State University men's basketball coach Rick Ray knows the beginning and the end of the game plan for the University of Missouri. Point guard Phil Pressey, a preseason All-American and likely first-round pick in the NBA draft, is the focal point for the Tigers on offense. The junior from Dallas will showcase his ability to control everything without having to score at 7 tonight (WCBI) when Missouri takes on MSU at Humphrey Coliseum.
STARKVILLE -- Sophomore left-hander Jacob Lindgren will start for the Mississippi State University baseball team at 4 p.m. Friday against the University of Portland in its season opener at Dudy Noble Field.
JACKSON -- Starkville Academy girls basketball coach Glenn Schmidt said it's a "pleasure" to coach a veteran team focused on defending three championships. Starkville Academy took the first step in that journey Tuesday night with a 74-18 victory against Lee Academy in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA, Division II, Class tournament at Hillcrest Christian School.
BATESVILLE -- The Columbus High School boys basketball team got exactly the type of game it wanted. In an opening-round matchup at the Class 6A, Region 2 tournament, the Falcons were engrossed in a physical, defensive struggle. So many times this season, Sammy Smith's squad excelled when defense was key and every stop proved critical. On Tuesday, though, Columbus saw its season end with a 46-40 loss to Grenada at the South Panola High.
BATESVILLE -- Columbus High School girls basketball coach Yvonne Hairston knew the pressure of the moment was getting to her squad. Hairston never panicked, though, because she believed her troops would persevere and come through in the end. After first-half struggles, Columbus pulled away to a 60-41 victory against Grenada in an opening-round game of the Class 6A, Region 2 tournament at South Panola High.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State University men's basketball Rick Ray made it clear Monday he wasn't happy with his newest suspended player. Two days after announcing the indefinite suspension of guard Jalen Steele, Ray called the act of the junior starter "selfish" and a "distraction" to a program that has lost eight straight Southeastern Conference games for the first time since 2006.
"Painful." That's the easiest and fastest way for D.J. Sanders and Moesha Calmes to describe their collision Jan. 18 in a game at West Point High School. But as much as the New Hope High juniors can look back on the incident and smile because they are feeling like themselves, they admit it was an experience they never saw coming or want to experience again.
Brandon Brown has seen a lot of progress in seven seasons at Columbus High School. Now that he is moving on, Brown can look to the Columbus High powerlifting team's most recent meet and know he has played a part in the program's move into the upper echelon of Class 6A. That success also has played a key role in the ability of the school's football team to compete in one of the state's toughest regions and return to the playoffs for the first time since 2005.
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