April Sykesí transformation into a Division I basketball player will continue Saturday in the NCAA tournament. Sykes and the No. 7 seed Rutgers Lady Scarlet Knights (19-12) will take on No. 10 seed Virginia Commonwealth (26-6) at approximately 1:30 p.m. at the Louis Brown Athletic Center in Piscataway, N.J. Itís not surprising Rutgers, which went 9-7 in the Big East Conference, is in the NCAA tournament.
Itís Butch Thompsonís turn. The Mississippi State pitching coach was an observer Wednesday when Alabama-Birmingham coach Brian Shoop and volunteer coach Ron Polk returned to Dudy Noble Field. Shoop was an assistant coach at Mississippi State and Polk was MSUís coach for 29 seasons. This weekend will be a homecoming for Thompson when MSU plays at Georgia.
Seth Wood didnít want to make the wrong choice. As much as he was interested in accepting a scholarship to play soccer at Williams Baptist College in Walnut Ridge, Ark., Wood realized the school really didnít have a field of study that suited him. Wood didnít eliminate Williams Baptist, but he decided to finish his high school soccer season and what other offers came his way. When Wood received a call from East Mississippi Community College menís soccer coach Junior Noel, he had a feeling he had found his destination.
Ever since Dr. James Giesen saw the documentary ďGame of ChangeĒ last year in Detroit, he knew he had to find a way to bring the film to Mississippi State. Giesen, an assistant professor of History, was interviewed to provide perspective for the film about the 1963 NCAA menís basketball tournament game that pit Mississippi State against Loyola of Chicago in East Lansing, Mich., so he already knew how to contact the filmís director and producer, Jerald Harkness.
STARKVILLE ó Dudy Noble Field, Mississippi Stateís baseball surface, has had the reputation of being one of the nationís best draining fields. But the system is showing its age.
STARKVILLE ó It really didnít surprise Mississippi State baseball coaches John Cohen and Butch Thompson to see Ryan Powersí hot hitting against the Alabama-Birmingham on Wednesday night. Thompson had already told Cohen how Powers was swinging the bat in pregame batting practice.
Mississippi State freshman point guard Dee Bost would take another 20-point win against his old prep school rival this afternoon. Bost was at Hargrave Military School when he played against Isaiah Thomas at South Kent School in Connecticut. Thomas is now a freshman point guard at the University of Washington, MSUís opponent at 3:45 p.m. today (WCBI) in the first round of the NCAA tournament West Regional in Portland, Ore.
STARKVILLE ó†The Mississippi State menís basketball lost good players last season when Jamont Gordon, Charles Rhodes, and Ben Hansbrough left the program. Rhodes graduated, Gordon skipped his senior season to test the NBA market, and Hansbrough transferred to Notre Dame. The Bulldogs knew they would have a new look this season, and not much was known about returning players Phil Turner, Kodi Augustus, and Ravern Johnson.
STARKVILLE ó Tysheka Grimes doesnít care which word you use. Energy, focus, and intensity are all the same to her, and as far as she is concerned, the No. 11 seed Mississippi State womenís basketball team will need a healthy dose of all three at 11 a.m. Saturday when it takes on No. 6 seed Texas in the West Regional at Columbus, Ohio. Mississippi State (22-9) started practice Tuesday for Texas (21-11) and its first trip to the NCAA tournament since 2002-03.
There will be several connections at 6:30 tonight when the Mississippi State baseball team plays host to Alabama-Birmingham at Dudy-Noble Field. The most notable will be Ron Polkís homecoming. Polk, who coached at Mississippi State for 29 seasons, will return to Dudy Noble Field as a UAB volunteer coach.
Going into the U.S. Indoor Track and Field Championships, Randall Flimmons had high expectations for himself. Flimmons accomplished his goal by winning the gold medal in the long jump at the championships Feb. 28 in Boston. Flimmons, a 2003 graduate of New Hope High School and a 2007 graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, won the gold with a jump of 25 feet, 7 3/4 inches.
STARKVILLE ó†Jamie Pinkerton won 19 games (four in the Southeastern Conference) in 2005 in his first season as University of Arkansas softball coach. Whitney Cloer hit .145 as a freshman in 2006. In 2007, the Lady Razorbacks began construction on a multi-million, state-of-the-art softball stadium. Those stops along the way detail how Arkansas has gone from a perennial SEC cellar dweller to an NCAA tournament team.
For years, Jeff Smith worked for the parks and recreation department and helped children discover and realize opportunities in sports. Now a county supervisor, Smith hopes to do similar things, starting this weekend. Smith has helped organize the Mississippi Madness basketball tournament, a 16-team event for men and women 18 years and older, which will tip off a 6 p.m. Friday at West Lowndes Middle School.
The destination is ... The Mississippi State womenís basketball team hasnít faced much drama the past five years in March, This year is different. The only drama the Lady Bulldogs will face tonight is discovering where they will play their first-round opponent in the NCAA tournament. The Lady Bulldogs will gather at 6 tonight at the Templeton Athletic Academic Center to watch the NCAA womenís basketball tournament selection show on ESPN. At 22-9, MSU has its most victories since the 2002-03 season, the last time it advanced to the NCAA tournament.
1. Bulldogs ready to forget past, focus on Texas A&M COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Ole Miss overlooks hype, readies for No. 1 Alabama COLLEGE SPORTS
3. MSU gets good grades for first four games COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Unbeaten MSU receives high marks on defense COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Defense delivers dominating effort for Rebels COLLEGE SPORTS