Scott Stricklin's introduction as Mississippi State University's 16th athletics director had the feeling of a family reunion or an Easter Sunday gathering.
Tony Montgomery loves East Mississippi Community College.
The former New Hope High School baseball standout played the sport at EMCC, spent eight years as an assistant baseball coach to head coach Bill Baldner, and the past four seasons as the Lions' head baseball coach.
Montgomery doesn't know why, but he said there is something about Scooba he enjoys.
STARKVILLE -- A familiar season-ending situation faces the Mississippi State softball team this weekend against national championship favorite Alabama.
Mississippi State (26-26, 7-15 Southeastern Conference) hopes to force its way into the SEC and NCAA tournaments, but can't afford repeat of last weekend's doubleheader loss to Florida.
Tournament scenarios for the SEC include MSU having to finish better than Ole Miss and Auburn, both of which are vying for the eighth and final spot. MSU holds the tiebreaker against Auburn, while Ole Miss holds the tiebreaker against MSU. However, Auburn is a half-game ahead of MSU entering the weekend.
Mississippi State will introduce Scott Stricklin as its 16th director of athletics at 2 p.m. today, capping the university's month-and-a-half long search to replace Greg Byrne.
WEST POINT -- A program six years in the making finalized its first recruiting class Wednesday as East Mississippi Community College signed nine area student-athletes to rodeo scholarships.
When EMCC President Dr. Rick Young started in 2004, he envisioned a scholarship-based rodeo program that would lead to an equestrian program.
As a reserve outfielder on the Mississippi College baseball team, J’Marcus Brooks hasn’t gotten many opportunities to display his skills this season. But when the sophomore from Columbus has gotten to play, he’s made the most of his chances. The 5-foot-10, 173-pound fleet-footed Brooks has played in only 11 games this season for the Choctaws, but he’s produced when his name has been called.
STARKVILLE — Middle inning madness and potent Ole Miss offense clinched its weekend Southeastern Conference series with Mississippi State following a 12-10 win Saturday at Dudy Noble Field. Ole Miss (32-13, 13-7 SEC) was powered by a nine-run spree that spanned the fifth and sixth innings, while Mississippi State (20-22, 5-15) took advantage of a shaky outing from Ole Miss No. 2 pitcher Aaron Barrett. The Bulldogs, however, were dealt with a two-run gap in the bottom of the ninth and for the second-straight game had its own miscues in the field contribute to its demise.
STARKVILLE –– Friday brought mixed news for the Mississippi State men’s basketball program. MSU confirmed junior forward Romero Osby will transfer from the school his father attended, which will put the team at 13 scholarship players for next season. Following Osby’s announcement, Mississippi State got its first 2011 verbal commitment from Jackson Callaway guard Marquavius “Deville” Smith.
The pieces are finally assembled. Now Sharon Fanning-Otis and the Mississippi State women’s basketball coaching staff have some time to formulate a plan for the new pieces to the 2010-11 puzzle. The Lady Bulldogs finalized their recruiting class Friday by announcing the signing of 6-foot forward Elyseia Dunn of Jefferson College (Mo.). Dunn is the fifth junior college player to join the program, and the ninth member of the 2010 signing class. She joins Jefferson College (Mo.) teammates Porsha Porter and Ashley Brown, whose signings were announced earlier this week.
EL PASO, Texas — University of Texas at El Paso men’s basketball coach Tim Floyd continued Thursday to add to his first recruiting class at the school by announcing the signing of center Rashanti Harris. The 6-foot-8, 240-pound Harris is regarded as a four-star recruit by Rivals.com. He was rated the No. 15 player in the country by HoopScoop, No. 17 by Scout.com, No. 26 by Rivals.com, and No. 37 by ESPN following a dominant prep career at New Hope High School. Scout.com also regarded Harris as the No. 2 center in the Class of 2008. Harris averaged 19.7 points, 15 rebounds, and 4.5 blocked shots as a senior, shooting 65 percent from the field. He was named Mr. Basketball in the state of Mississippi after leading New Hope High School to the 2008 Class 4A state title.
STARKVILLE — With three chances lost at Alabama, the Mississippi State baseball team hopes to avoid another disappointing weekend against a division opponent and claw back into the race for a Southeastern Conference tournament spot. Last weekend’s rain-affected series against the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa, Ala., saw the Bulldogs squander leads with single-inning meltdowns. The Bulldogs had a seven-run lead evaporate in Game 2 before losing a 4-1 lead in Game 3. Mississippi State coach John Cohen admits the team is frustrated with the nature of the losses, but as he explained Thursday, the Bulldogs (20-20, 5-13 SEC) have gone through the growing pains of playing the most freshmen in the conference.
Dave Telep has fond memories of Rashanti Harris. In December 2007, Telep, the national recruiting director for Scout.com, watched as Harris, then a senior at New Hope High School, held his own with some of the nation’s top post players at the City of Palms Classic in Fort Myers, Fla.
When Brent Hallmark struggled with his control as a freshman pitcher at Delta State, he contemplated hanging up his cleats. But Hallmark didn’t give up that easily and has persevered to become a solid late-inning reliever his sophomore season at Delta State. Hallmark, a 2007 graduate of New Hope High School, has found a remedy for his control issues by going to a sidearm delivery as recommended by former Delta State and major league pitcher Matt Miller, and he’s thriving out of the bullpen.
STARKVILLE — Mondays have been newsworthy days for Mississippi State athletics this year. Greg Byrne’s announcement of his decision to leave for the University of Arizona came on a Monday, as did men’s basketball coach Rick Stansbury’s selection to turn down Clemson’s offer to become its new coach remain at MSU. This week, that theme was continued when MSU guards Dee Bost and Ravern Johnson opted enter the NBA draft.
STARKVILLE –– Anthony Dixon waited longer than he wanted to on the final day of the NFL draft, but the crossed fingers, prayers and nervous energy turned to joy in the sixth round. A life-long San Francisco 49ers fan, Dixon grew up hoping to grace the same field as his favorite player, Jerry Rice, once did. Saturday, San Francisco drafted the Mississippi State record-setter with the 173rd overall pick, bolstering a backfield that already has Pro Bowler Frank Gore and former Alabama running back Glen Coffee.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State announced Friday senior associate athletic director Duncan McKenzie will serve as interim athletic director while the school continues its search for a long term replacement for Greg Byrne. McKenzie also serves as the athletic department’s chief financial officer. He is a former football letterman, starring for MSU as a tight end from 1974-78. He played in the Sun Bowl his freshman season.
HAMILTON — Good athletes come by their talent naturally and, rightfully so, are remembered for their extraordinary athletic skills. Unfortunately, because some have been blessed with an abundance of athletic ability and little else, they never learn that becoming an exceptional athlete takes more than having fantastic skills. So what distinguishes a good athlete from a great one?
Mississippi State University announced Friday its senior associate athletic director Duncan McKenzie will serve as interim athletic director while the school continues its search for a long term replacement for Greg Byrne.
STARKVILLE — Two weeks ago, Mississippi State baseball coach John Cohen could see the effects of a sluggish conference start beginning to take a toll on his team. Cohen made it a point for the coaching staff to analyze every aspect of the Bulldogs’ week –– from batting practice to bullpen routines to overall energy and enthusiasm. During a critical home stretch and in danger of falling behind the eight ball in the race to make the Southeastern Conference Tournament, Cohen sat down with his players and doled out individual assignments and critiques on “effort level and things that we hadn’t been doing a good job of,” Mississippi State senior first baseman Connor Powers said.
STARKVILLE — While most NFL draft prospects head to specialized pre-combine training destinations, Anthony Dixon didn’t see a reason to leave home. After re-writing Mississippi State’s rushing records, the Bulldogs’ heralded running back chose to do his pre-draft testing with MSU strength coach Matt Balis.
1. Epiphany helps Holman return to New Hope HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. Thomas' development gives MSU positive for future COLLEGE SPORTS
3. MSU softball loses finale to No. 8 Kentucky COLLEGE SPORTS
4. MSU baseball rebounds to beat Arizona COLLEGE SPORTS