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.
Kayla Melson is making the best of a difficult situation. In the preseason, the University of Mississippi women’s basketball team lost junior guard Alliesha Easley to a season-ending knee injury. The loss of an experienced and versatile player like Easley would have crippled many other teams, but Melson is helping the Rebels make the best out of a trying predicament. Melson, a 5-foot-8 junior guard, is second on the tam in scoring at 11.8 points per game. She also is averaging 4.8 rebounds per game and is second on the team with 40 assists and tied for second with 12 steals.
STARKVILLE — Ravern Johnson understands the importance of playing defense. The Mississippi State junior guard never has been afraid to shoot the basketball, but defense hasn’t always come as easily for him. Even though the benefits don’t always show up in the boxscore, Johnson has learned concentrating on defense can make a difference.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen appeared surprised his name surfaced last week in connection with the vacancy at the University of Kansas. Not long after Kansas announced the resignation of Mark Mangino, Mullen’s name surfaced as a possible replacement in an Associated Press story by Doug Tucker. Mullen quickly put those rumors to rest and said he hadn’t been in contact with anyone at Kansas. He said his family loves living in Mississippi.
5. MSU men roll over Vanderbilt to reach .500 in league play COLLEGE SPORTS