It's crunch time for the Mississippi State men's basketball team. MSU will play host to No. 19 Vanderbilt tonight on ESPN2.
STARKVILLE -- Coming off a 2010 campaign in which the Mississippi State football team earned nine victories, another Egg Bowl win, and drubbed the University of Michigan in the Gator Bowl on New Year's Day, the Bulldogs will continue their momentum on National Signing Day on Feb. 2. Coach Dan Mullen and several assistants will travel to five locations to speak and to interact with supporters around the state of Mississippi.
When shooters are "on" their "stroke" makes them feel like they can hit any shot from any spot on the floor. To get to that point where a shot becomes second nature, players often have to shoot hundreds -- if not thousands -- of shots before and/or after practice to become a sniper. Natalie Tate is working toward that goal, but she admits she has to develop the consistency she and her coach desire.
C.J. Johnson is comfortably a Rebel. The Philadelphia High School linebacker, blue-chip recruit, and All-American is the state's top-rated defensive player. He was Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen's second commitment in the fall of 2009. But Tuesday he confirmed he'll sign with the University of Mississippi on National Signing Day Feb. 2.
The state's top-ranked defensive player is headed to Ole Miss. Philadelphia linebacker C.J. Johnson, a five-star recruit according to Rivals.com, announced today he was spurning Mississippi State in favor of the Rebels. Rod Walker of the Clarion-Ledger broke the story earlier this afternoon. Once a Mississippi State commit since his junior year, Johnson de-committed the day after former defensive coordinator Manny Diaz left to take the same position at Texas.
STARKVILLE -- Everything that could have went wrong did Saturday for the Mississippi State men's basketball team in its loss at the University of Georgia.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Valencia McFarland scored 21 points and hit two late free throws Sunday afternoon to lift the University of Mississippi women's basketball team to a 69-65 upset of No. 23 Arkansas. Ole Miss (9-9, 2-4 Southeastern Conference) rallied from an early 14-2 deficit to snap a four-game losing streak.
ATHENS, Ga. -- The No. 24 University of Georgia women's basketball team used a 13-0 run midway through the first half to get early separation en route to a 78-58 victory against Mississippi State on Sunday in a Southeastern Conference game at Stegeman Coliseum. Georgia (16-3, 6-0 SEC), which won its seventh game in a row, remains one of two unbeaten teams in league play. MSU fell to 8-10 and 0-6 with a seventh-straight defeat.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen calls January the "crazy season" of college football. He isn't coaching or working on game plans for the next opponent; he's trying to lock up the next Mississippi State football stars.
ATHENS, Ga. -- Mark Fox believes it is becoming more difficult to devise a defensive plan against his balanced University of Georgia men's basketball team. Georgia, a strong inside team in December, showed off its 3-point shooting against Mississippi State while also remaining tough on the boards.
STARKVILLE -- Nell Fortner knows what it's like to reload. Two seasons ago, the Auburn University women's basketball team was at the top of the Southeastern Conference. Buoyed by the efforts of four seniors, including eventual SEC Player of the Year DeWanna Bonner, the Tigers went 12-2 in the league, advanced to the title game of the SEC tournament, and won 30 games before falling in the second round of NCAA tournament.
AUBURN, Ala. -- University of Alabama men's basketball coach Anthony Grant sensed a "perfect storm" brewing for his team, but they navigated it just fine. Tony Mitchell and JaMychal Green each scored 15 points and the Crimson Tide pulled away for a 68-58 victory against Auburn on Saturday before a sellout crowd of 9,121 fans stirred up by a preceding celebration of the football national championship.
DALLAS -- The Southern Methodist University men's basketball team shot 69.8 percent from the floor Saturday to defeat Southern Miss 79-65 at Moody Coliseum.
Auburn fans will have a final opportunity to thank their Tigers at the Auburn BCS Celebration at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday.
STARKVILLE -- Teams typically can shake off one mistake. A second will test a squad's resolve, but it, too, can be erased with execution, focus, and togetherness. The Mississippi State women's basketball team is still trying to find a consistent way to deliver those three ingredients for 40 minutes.
STARKVILLE -- Dee Bost's return to the lineup for the Mississippi State men's basketball team solidified the point guard position but also re-introduced a familiar problem: Depth.
BATON ROUGE, La. -- La Sondra Barrett had a game-high 19 points Thursday night to lead three players in double figures in the LSU women's basketball team's 78-43 victory against the University of Mississippi at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
STARKVILLE -- Porsha Porter has heard the talk. "She can't make a layup," or "she can't shoot the ball." The Mississippi State guard acknowledges she has encountered a few bumps in the road in her first season in Starkville. But the transfer from Jefferson College (Mo.) is trying to find her shooting touch and to grow more comfortable as a Division I basketball player.
STARKVILLE -- Talking about the University of Georgia's lineup, Mississippi State men's basketball coach Rick Stansbury couldn't get past UGA's inside-out offensive threats. Georgia has the Southeastern Conference's premier post player in Preseason Player of the Year Trey Thompkins. The addition of transfer Gerald Robinson has provided a go-to scorer alongside Thompkins and guard Travis Leslie.
STARKVILLE -- For all the confidence derived from Mississippi State men's basketball team's two-game winning streak, coach Rick Stansbury insists players and coaches are realistic about the state of the team.