Billy Autrey knew he was going to have to make a decision. Unfortunately, that choice was going to spell the end for one sport and the continuation of another. Autrey’s decision Wednesday to sign a National Letter of Intent to play football at the University of Alabama at Birmingham signified the realization of a dream. Following a strong freshman season on the offensive line at East Mississippi Community College, the former Columbus High standout will have an opportunity to realize his goal of competing at the Division I level.
STARKVILLE –– Dudy Gras just keeps getting bigger, and Mississippi State baseball John Cohen is enjoying every minute of it. The annual parade celebrates the start of MSU’s baseball season, but organizers have taken it to a new level for this year’s edition. In addition to the annual parade that’s marched through Starkville and to Left Field Lounge at Dudy Noble Field, there will be a first-ever Dudy Gras Ball at the conclusion of “Eight Days of Dudy Gras” at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 12 at the Hilton Garden Inn.
STARKVILLE — With a core group of All-Americans, the Mississippi State men’s track team is all about exposure these days. After a nationally televised 4x400-meter relay win (3 minutes, 19.44 seconds) at the Millrose Games on Jan. 29, the Bulldogs made a statement for the upcoming Southeastern Conference season. With a potential Top 10 team and six All-Americans, though, MSU coach Al Schmidt is thinking on a grander scale.
STARKVILLE — A National Signing Day surge saw the Mississippi State University football team land the state’s top offensive lineman and snag two more from other programs.
STARKVILLE — Results mean more than the name of the opponents in February. Mississippi State women’s basketball coach Sharon Fanning-Otis has stressed to her players that it takes communication, focus, and determination to achieve those results.
STARKVILLE –– Teams are often built from the inside out, so it makes sense Dan Mullen’s second recruiting class follows that plan.
STARKVILLE — Catina Bett will have to wait a little longer for her second chance. In the meantime, the transfer from the University of Kentucky continues to get herself back into shape, to build relationships with her new teammates, and to get to know Mississippi State women’s basketball coach Sharon Fanning-Otis.
STARKVILLE –– The Mississippi State men’s basketball team’s win against LSU on Saturday appeared to get the train back on track despite going 40 minutes with some of the same characteristics that saw the team lose consecutive games.
In December, the University of South Alabama men’s basketball team achieved one of its most notable wins in school history.
STARKVILLE — Ravern Johnson’s evolution into an all-around player is starting to catch up to his frame and measurables, which is right on time for the Mississippi State men’s basketball team.
Coming off a loss to the University of Arkansas and preparing for the nation’s No. 4-ranked team on one day’s rest and preparation is challenging enough. But University of Mississippi men’s basketball coach Andy Kennedy could have a bigger issue the rest of the season.
When Anthony Grant and Billy Donovan take the court Thursday night, it will complete one of the greater coaching circles in the Southeastern Conference.
STARKVILLE — The final 8 minutes, 2 seconds were Victoria Dunlap’s time to shine. With Mississippi State within one point and in position to steal the momentum back, Dunlap made sure she did her part — and then some — to push the University of Kentucky women’s basketball team to victory. Dunlap had team highs of 19 points and 12 rebounds Sunday afternoon to lead Kentucky to a 69-59 victory before a crowd of 1,385 at Humphrey Coliseum.
STARKVILLE — Losing streaks and poor shooting were the main topics of conversation prior to Saturday’s Southeastern Conference Western Division matchup here between the Mississippi State and LSU men's basketball teams. More than any other phase of the game, a woeful shooting percentage has proven to be the culprit for MSU’s recent mini-slump, which resulted in a pair of setbacks after a promising 3-0 start in SEC play. In losses at Alabama and at Arkansas in the past week, MSU connected on just 41 of 130 (31.5 percent) shots and was 7 of 44 (15.9 percent) from beyond the 3-point arc.
STARKVILLE —The fleeting nature of momentum makes Southeastern Conference women’s basketball exciting. Mississippi State’s game against Kentucky at 2 p.m. today at Humphrey Coliseum is an ideal example. MSU (14-7, 5-3 SEC) and Kentucky (17-3, 5-2) would love a few days or an overmatched opponent as their next scheduled game so they could savor the victories they earned Thursday against ranked opponents (No. 9 Georgia, No. 18 LSU).
STARKVILLE — The push is on to make the NCAA tournament. For the first 37 minutes Thursday night, the Mississippi State women’s basketball team looked like a team that was connected, alert, and focused on realizing that goal. More importantly, MSU played with the aggressiveness and the attacking mind-set it will need to get there. Alexis Rack had a game-high 34 points as MSU played one of its best first halves of the season en route to a 74-66 victory against No. 9 Georgia before a crowd of 1,071 at Humphrey Coliseum.
The optimism is palpable. A nationally ranked recruiting class has second-year Mississippi State baseball coach John Cohen anxious to start practice this afternoon, weather permitting. But Cohen knows that he, his coaches, and MSU fans might have to temper their optimism at times this season because even though the Bulldogs have added a talented group of newcomers, many of those players, particularly the pitchers, are freshmen.
STARKVILLE — Rick Stansbury hasn’t spent a lot of time mulling over the history that could be made tonight. In fact, the Mississippi State men’s basketball coach didn’t know about one mark that could be eclipsed and another that could be reached at 8 tonight (ESPN2) when MSU takes on Arkansas at Bud Walton Arena.
The NCAA’s investigation into the eligibility of Mississippi State freshman forward Renardo Sidney could be nearing an end. On Wednesday, MSU received a revised and final statement of facts about the Sidney case from the NCAA’s Amateurism Fact-Finding Committee. The committee met Monday to review the NCAA’s first statement of facts, MSU’s response to the statement, and the NCAA’s reply to MSU.
STARKVILLE — Rick Stansbury knew depth was going to be an issue this season. The Mississippi State men’s basketball coach entered the season without backup point guard Twany Beckham and with the status of prized freshman Shaun Smith uncertain due to injury. On top of that, the Bulldogs have had to deal with a nine-game suspension to center John Riek, who was recovering from knee surgery in 2008, an NCAA investigation into freshman forward Renardo Sidney that has kept him out of uniform, and nagging injuries to Elgin Bailey that have prevented him from being a contributor.
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