STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State has the same issue as their opponent in the Southeastern Conference home opener for the Bulldogs men's basketball program. The basic question of both MSU and Tennessee as both enter the Humphrey Coliseum tonight (8 p.m., ESPN2) is essentially, will the opener last weekend be a trend or something their fans forget quickly?
STARKVILLE -- Embarrassing. Catina Bett knows no other word than that one to describe the feeling she and her teammates felt Sunday during and after an 88-40 loss to the No. 11 University of Kentucky at Memorial Gymnasium. The senior center acknowledges MSU (10-5, 0-2 Southeastern Conference) was in a tough spot without senior Porsha Porter, the team's second-leading scorer, who didn't make the trip due to an illness. But Bett admitted the Lady Bulldogs should have delivered a better showing, especially in a regionally-televised game.
Conference play is a difficult time to try to battle through injuries. In a league that is as unforgiving as the Southeastern Conference, University of Alabama women's basketball coach Wendell Hudson knows his team isn't going to get any breaks.
With two words on Twitter, Bo Wallace announced where he will play his final three years of college football. "Hotty totty," Wallace tweeted Tuesday afternoon. The junior college first-team All-American from East Mississippi Community College has accepted a scholarship offer from the University of Mississippi. Wallace, who will sign with the 2012 recruiting class and will enroll early to compete in spring practices, chose Ole Miss over scholarship offers from Mississippi State, Baylor University, and Indiana.
NEW ORLEANS -- Nick Saban rolled out of bed without time even for his daily dose of The Weather Channel with wife Terry. The business of celebrating Alabama's second national championship in three years disrupted the morning routine for a coach who makes a habit of, well, habits. He didn't seem to mind.
NEW ORLEANS -- The Rematch of the Century, it wasn't. For Alabama, it was good enough for No. 1, if not a lot of style points. The Crimson Tide romped to another BCS championship against top-ranked LSU with a smothering defensive performance Monday night, a numbing barrage of field goals and even a long-overdue trip to the end zone. Final score: 21-0.
STARKVILLE --- The Mississippi State men's basketball program will have until Thursday night to try and answer the obvious question: what is wrong with the defense? After matching the most points given up in the 14-year head coaching career of Rick Stansbury Saturday night in a 98-88 loss at Arkansas, the 20th-ranked Bulldogs (13-3, 0-1 in Southeastern Conference play), the MSU coach is still shaking his head at the effort.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Mississippi State University men's basketball coach Rick Stansbury said all week his team had enough guards to handle the University of Arkansas' full-court pressure defense and still guard them defensively. Arkansas coach Mike Anderson called Stansbury's bluff on that declaration and took home a 98-88 victory Saturday night.
STARKVILLE -- Prior to the Mississippi State women's basketball team's Southeastern Conference opener against LSU, Diamber Johnson stressed the Lady Bulldogs needed to befriend pressure. The senior point guard said the Lady Bulldogs had to welcome pressure defense from opponents so much that it was second nature for them to attack it and score against it. Three days after kicking off SEC play with a disappointing loss to LSU, MSU will get a chance to see just how well it reacts to pressure when it takes on the No. 11 University of Kentucky at 2:30 p.m. today in Lexington, Ky.
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 -- 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.
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.
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.
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