STARKVILLE -- As glaring as the Mississippi State football team's challenge is to replace three starting linebackers, there's just as much pressure to establish depth and to replace a cornerstone end on its defensive line. The Bulldogs return junior tackles Fletcher Cox and Josh Boyd, but there's uncertainty outside now that Pernell McPhee has exhausted his eligibility. The passing of Nick Bell, Johnathan McKenzie's decision to quit the team, and James Carmon's move to the offensive line means veteran ends Shane McCardell and Sean Ferguson will be expected to play greater roles.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State's football coaches will feel the rewards of a breakout season in their bank accounts. Coach Dan Mullen's raise from $1.5 million a year to $2.65 was announced several days before MSU's 52-14 win against the University of Michigan in the Gator Bowl. The victory gave the Bulldogs their best record since 2000 and landed them in The Associated Press' final Top 25 rankings for the first time in 11 years. Now, all of the Bulldogs' assistants, with the exception of first-year linebackers coach Geoff Collins, will receive pay increases based on information obtained from an open records request from the Mississippi Institution of Higher Learning.
STARKVILLE -- The Southeastern Conference tournament matchup the Mississippi State men's basketball team expected is here, and with plenty of story lines. Vanderbilt defeated LSU 62-50 Thursday night in the opening round of the tournament at the georgia Dome in Atlanta. The win sets up a matchup between the Bulldogs (17-13, 9-7 SEC) and the Commodores (22-9, 9-7), who won in Starkville for the first time in 18 years on Jan. 27. MSU eliminated Vanderbilt in the semifinals of last year's SEC tournament.
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State baseball team will look to rebound from two losses last week, and back-to-back rain-affected games, when it plays host to Sacred Heart this weekend. MSU (10-3) lost two games to Iowa in a four-game homestand last weekend before having its game Tuesday against Mississippi Valley State canceled and its road game Wednesday at the University of Alabama-Birmingham suspended in the sixth inning.
ATLANTA -- The University of Mississippi men's basketball team finally figured out how to win at the Southeastern Conference tournament. Just keep scoring in bunches. Chris Warren led with way with 20 points and the Rebels prevailed in a game of spurts, pulling away from South Carolina 66-55 Thursday in the opening round of the SEC tournament.
EL PASO, Texas -- Joe Jackson scored 15 points and hit two free throws that helped seal Memphis' 66-63 victory against Southern Mississippi in the quarterfinals of the Conference USA tournament Thursday. Memphis was threatened by Southern Miss' late-game push. The Golden Eagles trailed 60-59 with 36 seconds left, but the Tigers pushed the lead back to five points thanks to a pair of Will Barton free throws and a slam dunk from Jackson.
STARKVILLE -- Dee Bost knows his shot has been off the past two weeks. He knows his hamstring and Achilles' injuries are limiting his lateral movement and the lift on his jump shot. But as Mississippi State's second-leading scorer, Bost's point production will be critical in the Bulldogs' quarterfinal matchup against LSU or Vanderbilt on Friday at the Southeastern Conference tournament.
EL PASO, Texas -- Gary Flowers scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds Wednesday to lead the fifth-seeded Southern Mississippi men's basketball team to a 63-47 victory against 12th-seeded Tulane in the first round of the Conference USA tournament.
Renardo Sidney's media blackout ended Tuesday, as the Mississippi State sophomore forward addressed a lengthy list of topics about his checkered college career.
Mississippi State junior linebacker Michael Hunt left the team this week, coach Dan Mullen said Tuesday. Hunt had 21 tackles as a backup last season, and entered this spring as a favorite to challenge for one of three vacant linebacker spots.
STARKVILLE -- With a bye in the first round of the Southeastern Conference tournament, the Mississippi State men's basketball team has a more favorable path to Sunday's title game. But the Bulldogs won't know who they'll face in the quarterfinals until Thursday. MSU will open play Friday in Atlanta against the winner of the LSU and Vanderbilt game. Both teams defeated MSU in Starkville this season.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The University of Alabama's JaMychal Green and the University of Mississippi's Chris Warren were named Tuesday first-team All-Southeastern Conference, while Mississippi State's Riley Benock was named the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year. MSU's Dee Bost and Alabama's Tony Mitchell also were named second-team All-SEC, Ole Miss' Reginald Buckner was chosen to the All-Defensive team, and Alabama's Trevor Releford was selected to the All-Freshman squad.
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State men's basketball team's players and coaches have expressed their comfort with playing the jam-packed slate at the Southeastern Conference. But how do their chances this season stack up against the past two seasons, when the Bulldogs made it to the title game? MSU coach Rick Stansbury thinks this year's team has as good a chance as the past two when it plays its first game Friday against the winner of the first-round game Thursday between Vanderbilt University and LSU.
JACKSON -- To make its first NCAA tournament since 2002, Mississippi must win four games in four days in the Southeastern Conference Tournament that begins Thursday in Atlanta. A daunting task -- one Rebels coach Andy Kennedy hasn't really even considered.
JACKSON -- Former Southern Miss star Clarence Weatherspoon knows a good big man when he sees one. So in his mind, Gary Flowers deserves all the accolades that come his way. Flowers, a 6-foot-8 senior forward, won the Cellular South Howell Trophy on Monday afternoon, given to the state of Mississippi's top men's college basketball player. Delta State's Veronica Walker won the Cellular South Gillom Trophy, given to state's top women's player.
JACKSON -- The recipients of the Howell and Gillom trophies for the best men's and women's college basketball players in the state of Mississippi will be announced today at a luncheon beginning at 11:15 a.m. at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.
STARKVILLE -- Ravern Johnson has been in the zone since returning from a two-game suspension. On Senior Day Saturday, the Mississippi State guard scored 21 points, dished out two assists, and had two steals in a 60-58 win against South Carolina. The performance was the third straight game in which he has scored 20 points or more points, and the sixth in which he has scored 15 or more. Johnson's effort helped the Bulldogs (17-13, 9-7 Southeastern Conference) win their third straight game, and fourth in their past five.
STARKVILLE -- On the heels of Mississippi State's punting game posting its best statistical season of the decade, sophomore punter Baker Swedenburg knows he needs to perform well. The Heritage Academy graduate sat behind Heath Hutchins in each of the past two seasons and watched him drop 24 punts inside the 20-yard line and finish 29th nationally in net punting last season. The Bulldogs allowed just 5.5 yards per punt return last season, which ranked third in the league. MSU's punting game and a ball-control offense often put its defense in favorable positions with long fields to defend.
The work has only started. That's the approach Sharon Fanning-Otis took a day after her Mississippi State women's basketball saw its season end Friday in a 69-55 loss to Vanderbilt in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
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