Kevin McGuff and Sharon Fanning-Otis sound like there teams are at similar points in the season. On Wednesday, Fanning-Otis said the Lady Bulldogs are “nowhere near where we need to be to win a conference championship or to compete for a conference championship.” She made that comment after a 35-point victory against Mississippi Valley State. McGuff can empathize with Fanning-Otis’ feelings. The No. 12 Xavier women’s basketball team lost to Michigan 72-71 on Monday. The loss was the second in a row for the Musketeers (7-2).
It’s never too early to start looking at numbers. When you start the season with dreams of 64 and 16, those numbers can be pretty important, even though the season is only 11 games old. But the Mississippi State women’s basketball team’s body of work deserves examination as it prepares for its next-to-last non-conference game against No. 12 Xavier at 1 p.m. today.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State’s men’s basketball team knows there will be times it doesn’t shoot well from beyond the 3-point line. Even though the Bulldogs enjoy shooting a Southeastern Conference-best 42 percent (104 of 248) from 3-point range, they understand it will be difficult to keep up that pace.
Members of the East Mississippi Community College football team are reaping the rewards from a record-breaking season. Sophomores Pat Shed (University of Alabama at Birmingham), John Rice (Western Michigan), Alvin Ellis and Gabe Poe (West Alabama) signed scholarships earlier this week to continue their football careers.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen took the first step to rebuilding a depleted backfield Wednesday by signing Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College running back Vick Ballard. The Bulldogs also added Ballard’s Mississippi Gulf Coast teammate James Carmon, a 6-foot-7, 370-pound defensive tackle, Wednesday, the first day that junior college players could sign with four-year schools.
STARKVILLE — Barry Stewart has a continuous motor. It was in high gear Wednesday night for the Mississippi State men’s basketball team. Not only did Stewart have to chase Wright State guard Troy Tabler around the court, but he also saved enough energy to lead the Bulldogs with a season-high 21 points in an 80-69 victory in front of a crowd of 4,721 at Humphrey Coliseum.
STARKVILLE — On one hand, the Mississippi State women’s basketball team will offer its first five games. Included in those victories was a 29-point drubbing of perennial power Maryland. On the other hand, the Lady Bulldogs would like to forget a three-game winless streak last month in the Virgin Islands. The three-day trip saw MSU lose to Texas, Rutgers, and Southern California, teams that will mirror the level of competition it will face in the Southeastern Conference starting Jan. 3. On Wednesday, coach Sharon Fanning-Otis’ team was somewhere in the middle.
Cam Newton is keeping his options open. The quarterback from Blinn (Junior) College in Texas has decided to delay his decision until early next week about where he’ll play his last two years of college football. Newton had scheduled a press conference for Tuesday to announce which four-year school he planned to attend, but those plans changed.
STARKVILLE — John Riek’s heavy accent can make him a little difficult to understand. But Mississippi State’s 7-foot-1 freshman center from Khartoum, Sudan, hopes his play on the basketball court tonight speaks clearly.
STARKVILLE — Armelie Lumanu can pack a stat sheet. Whether it is points, rebounds, assists, steals, or blocked shots, Lumanu has a variety of ways she can affect a game.
The University of Kansas introduced Turner Gill as its new football coach Monday. Gill then introduced his two coordinators. One of them — Carl Torbush — couldn’t be there because he hadn’t arrived.
STARKVILLE — Ravern Johnson is picking up his game. The Mississippi State junior guard’s improved play is helping him earn awards. Johnson learned by text message Monday he had been named Southeastern Conference Player of the Week after his performances against DePaul and UCLA.
STARKVILLE — The game was well in hand, but Diamber Johnson knew there was still work to be done. The Mississippi State sophomore point guard handled the basketball as she moved to her left and motioned with her off hand for a teammate to set a screen at the left elbow, foul-line extended.
It appears Carl Torbush’s stint as the defensive coordinator for the Mississippi State football team is over after only one season.
Consider it a lesson learned. Mississippi State women’s basketball coach Sharon Fanning-Otis believes that’s an ideal way to describe her team’s 72-68 victory Saturday at Louisiana Tech.
OXFORD — Jim Foster didn’t have an elaborate explanation. Late in the second half Sunday, the veteran Ohio State women’s basketball coach almost looked resigned to that fact that the University of Mississippi was going to upset his No. 9 Buckeyes. Then something unexpected happened.
STARKVILLE — Dan Mullen believes the foundation has been laid for Mississippi State football program. The former assistant coach at the University of Florida saw many positive signs in his first year as head coach of the Bulldogs, and he plans to build on them in the coming months. Record crowds at Davis Wade Stadium, the accomplishments of senior running back Anthony Dixon, the emergence of young players, and MSU’s season-ending 41-27 victory against the University of Mississippi encouraged Mullen.
STARKVILLE -- Tyson Lee remembers seeing the movie “Rudy” and he loved it. Now the Mississippi State quarterback has a chance to win an award named after the film. Lee, of Columbus, has been nominated for the third-annual Rudy Award as announced by The Rudy Foundation. The award honors student-athletes who demonstrate character, courage, contribution and commitment for their teams. Those traits were exhibited by Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger in the movie. Ruettiger was a character who beat all odds to play in a college football game.
William Jones said thanks but no thanks Tuesday to Itawamba Community College. The East Mississippi C.C. associate head coach interviewed for the vacant head football coach job at ICC and was offered the position Monday night. But Jones said Thursday that he and the school couldn’t come to terms that satisfied him, so he declined the offer to become ICC’s new coach.
STARVILLE — Chanel Mokango doesn’t know how many times she has heard the word tough in her short time in Mississippi. How effectively the senior center plays with that kind of spirit, though, likely will have a huge impact on the Mississippi State women’s basketball’s 2009-10 season. So far, the 6-foot-5 center is still working to find the right balance to her game. Mokango and MSU (5-3) will try to take another step closer to their comfort zone at 7 p.m. Saturday when it plays against Louisiana Tech in Ruston, La.
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