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  • Scruff_McGruff_ 11:04 PM on January 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , SEC, University of Mississippi   

    MSU – Ole Miss: In-Game Look 

    We are at the half right now with Ole Miss hanging on to a two-point lead over Mississippi State. Dee Bost and Renardo Sidney are leading the way right now with 25 of the team’s 32 points. Ravern Johnson, who leads the SEC in scoring, is scoreless right now. For those not at a TV or a radio, you can follow the game online…

    http://scores.espn.go.com/ncb/boxscore?gameId=310130145

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  • Scruff_McGruff_ 2:32 PM on September 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Cam Newton, , , Manny Diaz, , SEC,   

    Not Quite Yet Over the Hump 

    Chris Relf wasn't able to lead the comeback Thursday. His time will come.

    Last Thursday Mississippi State showcased the progress it made under second-year head coach Dan Mullen. ESPN showed the world how far we had come. At the end of the game, it was us coming up short again. MSU football has not been able to get over the proverbial hump quite yet. Mullen has made impressive strides in a short amount of time. We are no longer an automatic conference win but are from being the perennial doormat. Despite two early turnovers, we still had a chance to win the game on a last second drive. Besides the dropped passes, there is a lot to be optimistic about.

    HALFTIME ADJUSTMENTS
    In the first half, Cam Newton had his way with the MSU defense, outgaining the Bulldog offense by himself 146-125. Manny Diaz and staff made critical adjustments on the fly and held Newton to only 82 yards (22 of those receiving) in the second half. The MSU defense dictated when Newton would scramble. Even more importantly, after giving up 17 first-half points the defense shut out the potent Tiger offense. When it was time to make a stand late in the game, the defense came through on 3rd down and the ensuing blocked field goal.

    FLAGS, FLAGS, FLAGS
    MSU only committed two penalties for 25 yards: a personal foul that was a bit of acting on Auburn’s part and an illegal block. The two penalties are a far cry from the 5.6 penalties per game MSU averaged a season ago. To date, MSU is only averaging 2.5 penalties and 27.5 penalty yards per game. Dan Mullen wants his team to give “relentless effort,” and his team is giving that effort while playing disciplined football.

    NOT FOLDING JUST YET
    In years past, when MSU would go down by a double-digit deficit, we would fold when given the opportunity to make a comeback. We lacked the offensive firepower to score points in a short period of time, and the defense would eventually break from being on the field too long. With Mullen learning the spread offense from Urban Meyer, the Bulldog offense has the ability to march up the field gaining huge chunks of yards at a time. Coupled with Diaz’s high-risk, high-reward defense, MSU can put points on the board in a hurry.

    There are still some minor details we need to work on to become more consistent. We have been here before: where the MSU fan base thinks we are ready to make the leap into the next tier of SEC schools. When we get there, we usually take two steps in the wrong direction. If not this season, next season will definitely be the year MSU causes major hell for the other teams in the conference. That is the beauty of playing in the best conference in the country: every week is a chance to score a major upset and get the momentum that can carry you through the rest of the season.

     
  • Scruff_McGruff_ 4:02 PM on August 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Kentucky Florida, , , , SEC, , ,   

    SEC Predictions 

    Today, I try to look in my crystal ball and predict this season’s Eastern and Western division champions. NOTE!!!! The views of this post reflect only the views of (mr_jbrown) and no other contributing writer to this blog.

    How the media voted at SEC Media Days:

    Eastern Division (First Place Votes)
    1. Florida(153) – 1030
    2. Georgia(15) – 791
    3. South Carolina(8) – 790
    4. Kentucky – 462
    5. Tennessee – 450
    6. Vanderbilt(1) – 194

    Western Division (First Place Votes)
    1. Alabama(157) – 1034
    2. Arkansas(6) – 726
    3. Auburn(10) – 691
    4. LSU(1) – 653
    5. Mississippi State – 320
    6. Ole Miss(3) – 293

    SEC Champion: Alabama (143), Florida (17), Auburn (7), Arkansas (3), Ole Miss (2), Georgia (2), LSU (1), South Carolina (1), Kentucky (1).

    How I see things shaping up.

    East
    1. Florida – 11-1 (7-1)
    2. South Carolina – 9-3 (5-3)
    3. Georgia – 7-5 (4-4)
    4. Kentucky – 6-6 (2-6)
    5. Tennessee – 5-7 (2-6)
    6. Vanderbilt – 1-11 (0-8)

    West
    1. Alabama – 11-1 (7-1)
    2. Arkansas – 10-2 (6-2)
    3. Auburn – 9-3 (5-3)
    4. LSU – 6-6 (4-4)
    5. Mississippi State – 7-5 (4-4)
    6. Ole Miss – 6-6 (2-6)

    SEC Champion: Alabama – The loss of so many defensive starters concern me. If the Tide can stay healthy throughout the season, the defense will have had enough games under their belt to not crumple under the pressure of the Georgia Dome lights.

     
  • Scruff_McGruff_ 2:14 AM on March 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , SEC, , ,   

    2010 SEC Tournament Preview 

    The 2010 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament kicks off in less than 12 hours. Will Kentucky add a tournament championship to its regular-season championship? Will Mississippi State repeat? Will another team make it four games in four days for the third year in a row?

    First Round

    (E5) South Carolina vs. (W4) Alabama – The eastern division utterly dominated the west this season. I expect that trend to continue in the tournament. This game could be the rare exception. South Carolina goes how Devan Downey goes. When he is on, the Gamecocks can hang with any team in the conference, as evident by their win over Kentucky. Alabama will bring that defensive toughness that can get you far in the tourney. Will the Tide be able to slow down Downey? Winner: Alabama

    (W6) LSU vs. (E3) Tennessee – LSU was the worst team in the SEC this season. Bruce Pearl will turn up the defense in an attempt to put the game out of reach early. Trent Johnson will work a slow, methodical pace to hide his lack of depth. In the end, Tennessee wins easily. Winner: Tennessee

    (W5) Auburn vs. (E4) Florida – Auburn’s play is a bit unpredictable at times. It is a mystery which team will show up. Florida is not quite on the bubble, but they can’t afford to give the selection committee a reason to not put the Gators in the field of 65. Winner: Florida

    (E6) Georgia vs. (W3) Arkansas – Arkansas got off to a slow start but came around when Courtney Fortson joined the team. Georgia is the best 6-seed in the history of the tournament, even better than the 2008 team that won it all. They’ve beaten Tennessee, Illinois, and Georgia Tech. Arkansas cannot afford to bring anything less than 100%. Winner: Arkansas

    Quarterfinals

    (W4) Alabama vs. (E1) Kentucky – Kentucky is head-and-shoulders better than everyone on its side of the bracket except for Tennessee. John Calipari is in unfamiliar territory. The SEC tournament is a different kind of beast. He was able to dominate the Conference USA tournaments. He will get Alabama’s best shot but should be able to win convincingly if he keeps his freshman-laden team focused. Winner: Kentucky

    (E3) Tennessee vs. (W2) Ole Miss – Andy Kennedy has proven he can put talented teams on the court. He has not proven he can win when it counts, in conference play and in the conference tournament. Ole Miss has the talent to knock off Tennessee, but the Rebels lack the clutch in the coaching department to make a run for the tournament crown. Winner: Tennessee

    (E4) Florida vs. (W1) Mississippi State – Mississippi State showed it can play with every team in the SEC until the debacle on Senior Day against Tennessee. The Bulldogs lost to Florida by 9 in Gainesville. On a neutral site, MSU should be able to close that scoring gap and come away with a win. Winner: Mississippi State

    (W3) Arkansas vs. (E2) Vanderbilt – Kevin Stallings, 2010 SEC Coach of the Year, has done a masterful job with a Vanderbilt team that did not make the NCAA Tournament last season. He took the same squad, and in one year’s time, turned them into a true threat to make a deep run in the Big Dance. Arkansas can score, but will they be able to be as efficient as Vandy? Winner: Vanderbilt

    Semifinals

    (E3) Tennessee vs. (E1) Kentucky – Kentucky will be looking to get some revenge from their last meeting, which Tennessee won. Each team won on its home floor. In a neutral-site game, I go with the team with more talent. That team is Kentucky. In addition to having more talent, UK will only have one game of fatigue on them as compared to UT’s two games. Winner: Kentucky

    (E2) Vanderbilt vs. (W1) Mississippi State – In their previous meeting, Mississippi State shot the ball horrendously from three, but still found a way to be in the game and lose by only three points. Barring foul troule and another poor shooting night, MSU should be able to come out on the winning end. Winner: Mississippi State

    Finals

    (W1) Mississippi State vs. (E1) Kentucky – It took overtime and some very questionable officiating for Kentucky to leave the Humphrey Coliseum with a win February 16. Neither team played their absolute best on that evening, but Kentucky was able to utilize its height and length advantage to out-block MSU. Kentucky is the better team overall, but the winner will be the better team for those 40 minutes. Winner: Kentucky

     
  • Scruff_McGruff_ 3:23 PM on February 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , SEC,   

    This Week in MSU Basketball 

    at Vanderbilt (16-4, 5-1) 2/3/10 @ 7pm (SEC Network)

    Last Season – W, 73-66 (in Starkville)

    Last MSU win in Nashville – February 28, 2004, 72-69

    Outside of Rupp Arena, Vandy’s Memorial Gymnasium is the toughest place to play in the SEC. The design and the benches being on the baselines seem to rattle teams. The fact that Vanderbilt is usually unbeatable complicates things for opposing teams. Vandy has lost only four games at home dating back to the 2007-08 season. MSU had a chance to win in Nashville in that ’08 season, but Shan Foster decided to go into sniper mode and shoot the cover off the ball. I said earlier MSU would win at Vandy, and I still think they will. The shooters are coming out of a slump somewhat. The three is not falling as frequent as it has in earlier games this season, but with as many as they take they will make enough to stay in the game.

    The key for success, as always for the Bulldogs, is to keep turnovers to a minimum. In four of State’s five losses, they have lost the turnover battle. Jarvis Varnado has to put in more work than usual against Vandy, banging against 6-foot-11, 250 pound A.J. Ogilvy and his 6-11, 255 pound backup Festus Ezeli. Varnado has been able to contain Ogilvy in past match-ups, and neither Ogilvy nor Ezeli will be dominant factors if Varnado can stay out of foul trouble. Stansbury has been playing Kodi Augustus at center for a little bit trying to give Varnado some rest. Varnado is averaging 30 minutes-per-game and has logged over 32 minutes in every conference game. Barry Stewart will defend John Jenkins or Jeffrey Taylor, both averaging over 10 PPG. Stewart has done a great job defending the other team’s go-to guards this season.

    at Florida (15-6, 4-3) 2/6/10 @ 12:30 pm (SEC Network)

    Last Season – W, 80-71 (in Starkville)

    Last MSU win in Gainesville – March 1, 2008, 68-59

    Just like Mississippi State, Florida has been hard to figure out this season. The Gators have the marquee win over Michigan State at a neutral site, but needed a hail mary to beat a North Carolina State team that is near the bottom of the ACC and lost to South Alabama at home and Richmond. I said MSU would lose to Florida, but it depends on which MSU team decides to show up to the O’Connell Center. Florida’s three SEC losses are from teams ahead of them in the standings: Vanderbilt, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Their wins are against Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina and LSU, teams MSU has beaten at least once with the exception of South Carolina. So if MSU plays like the team it is fully capable of, winning this game should not be an issue. But if the Dogs cannot put together the complete effort: shooting, defense, rebounding, and more importantly not letting one player take over a game, expect a loss to the Gators.

    The Gators are led by two outstanding young guards, Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton. Boynton leads the team in scoring and is second in assists. Walker is second in scoring and first in assists. They have length inside with Alex Tyus and Chandler Parsons.  Augustus is the best player on the team when he is on his game, but Ravern Johnson is built to pose a match-up problem for Florida. He can shoot over the short guards and can put the ball on the floor past the taller but slower forwards. He’s been in a three-point shooting slump as of late, but he has found other ways to score. His added versatility makes him that much harder to defend, especially when he is hot from behind the arc. Varnado is always going to find a way to get his points, whether it is from the free throw line, grabbing loose rebounds or having an efficient post offense. MSU needs more quality wins if they are to make Selection Sunday a little less nerve racking. This week is the perfect week to do that.

     
  • Scruff_McGruff_ 2:08 PM on January 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , SEC   

    This Week in MSU Basketball 

    at Arkansas (8-11, 1-3) 1/27/10 @ 8pm (ESPN2)

    This season: W 82-80 in Starkville (1/14/10)

    The Dogs are in the second of their four road games in a five-game span. After a tough loss in Tuscaloosa, they head to Fayetteville for the second game against the Razorbacks. Since the last time these two teams met, the Hogs defeated Alabama, lost small to Florida and lost big to Kentucky. Courtney Fortson is getting into a groove now, averaging more than 17 PPG and over 7 assists a game. Arkansas is still led in scoring by Rotnei Clarke at 18 PPG. In the last contest, Barry Stewart held Clarke to 2-9 shooting, 2-7 from three and did not send him to the free throw line. The bigger issue for the Dogs is letting the big lead slip away. MSU was up by 19 on Arkansas halfway through the first half but still only managed to win by two even with Jarvis Varnado’s triple-double and 20 points from Dee Bost. MSU had a poor shooting afternoon against Alabama, and it would be hard to believe they will shoot 11 percent from three in two consecutive games. I see another hard-fought win for MSU on the road as they get back on the right track.

    LSU (9-11, 0-6) 1/29/10 @ 12:30 (SEC Network)

    Last season: L, 81-57 in Baton Rogue, L, 97-94 (2OT) in Starkville, W, 67-57 SEC Tournament semifinals

    Last win in Baton Rogue: January 9, 2008 (61-39)

    To say LSU has struggled this season is an understatement. They have been in position to win some conference games but have not been able to pull it off. They are coming off a loss by 19 to Alabama where the game was tied with 15 minutes to go in the game. Alabama is seventh in the league in three-point percentage but managed to shoot 52 percent against the Tigers. MSU, even after the poor shooting performance against Alabama, still shoots the three at almost 40 percent on the year, leading the SEC. The Tigers are led by Bo Spencer, Storm Warren and Tasmin Mitchell, accounting for 71 percent of the team’s offense. At this point of the season, Trent Johnson and crew are looking for something positive to build on. The only advantage LSU has against MSU will be having one more day to prepare than MSU since the Dogs are playing on Thursday night. That’s about as far as it goes.

     
  • Scruff_McGruff_ 2:50 PM on January 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , SEC   

    This Week in MSU Basketball 

    The Bulldogs (15-3, 3-0 SEC) leave the friendly confines of the Humphrey Coliseum for a 90-mile drive to Tuscaloosa to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide.

    at Alabama (11-7, 1-3) 1/23/10 @ 11am (CBS)

    Last Season – in Starkville, W 83-74; in Tuscaloosa, L 87-85 (2OT)

    Last MSU win in Tuscaloosa – January 19, 2008, 66-56

    The Tide is sputtering right now in the opening stages of conference play but should not be taken lightly, especially when playing Mississippi State. The Tide have had their hearts broken plenty of times this season, allowing come-from-behind wins from Vanderbilt and then-unbeaten Purdue. They got up early on Tennessee but lacked the offensive potency to keep the shorthanded Vols down, eventually falling 63-56. Anthony Grant will have Alabama back in the NCAA Tournament before long, but for right now their role is spoiler. Coming from Virginia Commonwealth, Grant definitely knows about playing spoiler, upsetting Duke in the first round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament. He has also been an assistant under Billy Donovan at Marshall and at Florida. The Tide does, however, have a pretty formidable inside-outside duo in JaMychal Green and Mikhail Torrance and get key numbers from Senario Hillman and Tony Mitchell.

    Rick Stansbury’s teams always find away to lose a game they should win pretty easily, and I have one of those gut feelings that it might happen Saturday. They have earned every SEC victory they have so far this season, but they could have made things a bit easier on themselves. They led by 19 before winning narrowly by 2 against Arkansas and needed a late rally and defensive stand to hold off Georgia. Alabama is not what they were in the early 2000s, but they always play MSU tough. Anything less than a complete 40-minute effort and MSU will be leaving Coleman Coliseum with a loss.

     
  • Scruff_McGruff_ 3:11 PM on January 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , SEC   

    This Week in MSU Basketball 

    By: Jarvis Brown

    The Bulldogs (13-3, 1-0 SEC) comes back to Starkville for back-to-back home games against the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Georgia Bulldogs.

    vs. Arkansas (7-8, 0-0) 1/14/10 @ 6pm (ESPNU)

    Last Season vs. Arkansas – in Fayetteville, W 70-56; in Starkville, W 86-77

    Last Arkansas win in Starkville – February 12, 2000, 87-81

    Arkansas is slowly coming back together since handing out suspensions to most of its players, most notably Courtney Fortson, for violation of team rules. The Hogs were riding high last season after wins over highly ranked Texas and Oklahoma squads, but have fallen off as of late, losing 22 of 31 total games over two seasons. Their leading scorer is Rotnei Clarke, averaging 19 PPG, a number bolstered by a 51-point game against Alcorn State and 32 points in a loss to East Tennessee State. MSU has won the last three in the series. They can make it four straight wins if they avoid a letdown. Last season in Fayetteville, the score was close with MSU pulling away late. In Starkville, the Bulldogs were down double-digits early before the Dee Bost show put MSU back on top for good.

    vs. Georgia (8-6, 0-1) 1/16/10 @ 2pm (ESPN2)

    Last Season vs. Georgia – in Athens, W 67-61

    Last Georgia win in Starkville – February 6, 2002, 86-68

    Georgia is in rebuilding mode after dropping Dennis Felton midseason and hiring Mark Fox away from Nevada. I’m sure they are missing Sundiata Gaines right now. However, they do have signature wins over Illinois and Georgia Tech at home. They are led by Terrance Woodbury, who was on the 2008 squad that upset MSU en route to an SEC Tournament championship. Ricky McPhee put a scare in MSU last season, going 5-for-7 from three-point range to keep the game close in the closing minutes. Aside from his unexpected scoring barrage, MSU stayed in control of the game. These two teams also met again in the SEC Tournament, with MSU winning in dominating fashion. MSU has them on the home floor where they’ve only lost once this season. MSU should be able to win this game fairly easy, but no game is ever easy in the SEC.

     
  • maroonnation 10:41 PM on November 6, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , SEC,   

    Friday Night Score Gazing 

    By: Joe Cumberland

    It feels a little odd to not be at a Merdian High football game tonight. We played our game last night and won big over Terry, 54-12. Mississippi State quarterback Tyler Russell was in attendance with his family to see his younger brother Kyle play. So, with the rare Friday night off I am score gazing. We start the playoffs next Friday, but do not yet know who we play. That will be decided tonight. To fill the void in-between updates I have decided to give my picks for the SEC games tomorrow.

     

    LSU Alabama Grounded Football

    Heisman hopeful Mark Ingram and the Tide welcome LSU into Tuscaloosa for this weekend's only meaningful SEC game.

    South Carolina @ Arkansas- Give me USC, but this is a close one.

    Tennessee Tech @ Georgia- Seriosuly… Dawgs win big.

    Eastern Kentucky @ Kentucky- Wildcats win this week and are glad noone named Anthony Dixon plays for EKU.

    Furman @ Auburn- Max, from ESPN’s Two-A-Days plays for Furman. He doesn’t help them in this one. Auburn wins it.

    Memphis @ Tennessee- They’ll be singing Rocky Top in Knoxville tomorrow. Vols.

    Northern Arizona @ Mississippi- For some reason this game is not on the schedule at SEC.com, we know however that it is being played. I’m gonna go with UNA in the upset! Not really, as much as I dislike Mississippi they win this one.

    GAME OF THE WEEK- okay, it’s the only good game in the SEC this week.

    LSU @ Alabama- LSU has won 3 straight in T-Town, but streaks are made to be ended. I really think LSU leads this ballgame most of the way, but Bama kicks a field goal late to win it.

    Feel free to comment or email me at punterjoe@hotmail.com

     
  • maroonnation 10:36 AM on November 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , renardo sydney, , SEC   

    High Hopes For Hoops in Starkville 

    By: Joe Cumberland

    521-1004-goofy-14x11

    Like Goofy, Mississippi State has high hopes for the season.

    I can remember watching ‘A Goofy Movie’ as a child. Goofy sang a song in the movie with the line: “we’ve got high hopes, we’ve got high hopes”. That song may be the theme song this season for the Mississippi State basketball team and it’s fans. Rick Stansbury, head coach of the Bulldogs, returns all 5 starters from last year’s SEC Tournament championship team. The Dawgs finished the season at 23-13 (9-7 in the SEC), and with the SEC tournament title, went dancing. The Bulldog’s and their maroon and white clad faithful are expecting much more out of this season.

    In addition to the returning five starters, State also returns many players that contributed last season. Among them are Kodi Augustus, Elgin Bailey, and Romero Osby. Stansbury and his staff also signed some of the best players in America to national letters of intent. The staff went just down the road to Macon, Mississippi to snatch up Noxubee Tiger Shaunessy Smith.  Smith is a 6’6 190 guard, ranked the 26th best shooting guard in the ’09 class by Scout.com. Stansbury

    bkc_msu_coach_stansbury_2008_164w

    Stansbury signed four new Bulldogs in 2009.

    ventured into Alabama for  a late bloomer in Wendell Lewis, a 6’8 240 post player. John Riek, a 7’2 242 forward, joins the Bulldogs as a 4-star player coming out of prep school. The biggest name in this year’s crop of freshmen may be the biggest name to ever sign with Mississippi State. Renardo Sidney, 6’10 260, is a native Mississippian who transferred to a high school in California. After originally committing to Southern California, Sydney had a change of heart and decided to return home for college. The blue chip 5-star prospect may be the key to the season for the Bulldogs. The NCAA, however, is yet to clear Sydney citing questions into his status as an amateur.

    Running the point for MSU this season will be sophomore Dee Bost. The youngster is no stranger to the competition in the SEC. As a freshman he

    Bost

    Dee Bost looks to improve on a stellar freshman campaign.

    handled the starting job for the Bulldogs. In his first year he managed close to 11 points and 4.3 assists per game. The native of Concord, North Carolina stands at 6’2 and 170, and was tabbed an All-SEC Freshman and honorable mention Freshman All-American last season.  If the Bulldogs reach their goals this season you can bet that Dee Bost’s play at the point will be a big part of the reason.

    Barry Stewart returns as the shooting guard for Rick Stansbury. The 6’3 170 senior averaged 12.4 points per game in action last season, but perhaps contributed most with his leadership.  Stewart in his final campaign as a Bulldog has the most experience on the team and will once again be looked to as a leader. The Shelbyville, Tennessee native enters the season 56 3-

    WPXHBGAIFOMTXUF_20071214025847

    Barry Stewart wants a big senior season.

    pointers shy of tying Darryl Wilson for the most all-time in an MSU uniform. With 72 such baskets last season, the 1,000 point club member is expected to take over the top spot.

    SEC Mississippi St Tennessee Basketball

    Ravern Johnson is expected to contribute greatly this season.

    Joining Bost and Stewart in the starting lineup will be Ravern Johnson, a junior standing 6 feet 7 inches and weighing 175 pounds. As a first year starter he led the Bulldogs in 3-pointers made with 83 and went for more than 20 points a team best five times. The product of Coahoma County (MS) High School averaged a shade over 12 points per contests last season.

    Phil Turner completes the four guard lineup, last season saw Phil average 8.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. The 6’3 170 junior hales from Grenada, Mississippi where he was a two-time all division performer for the Grenada Chargers. His seven points in the last two minutes of the SEC Championship game

    RHRWFGNJUWPDFRM_20071216034717

    Phil Turner looks to up his game in 2010.

    helped the Bulldogs defeat Tennessee.

    All eyes in the SEC will be on returning center Jarvis ‘Swat’ Varnado. His presence in the paint strikes fear in every opponent on the schedule. Varnado may be known for his shot blocking prowess, but averaged a team best 12.9 points and 8.8 rebounds per game last season. His 4.7 blocks per game was tops in the country and made Jarvis the single season leader in blocks in SEC history. The 6’9 230 native of Shelbyville, Tennessee was selected to the All-SEC team and was named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season. Heading into the year Varnado is expected to make a push for National Defensive Player of the

    Mississippi St Preview Basketball

    'Swat' very well could become the NCAA leader in all time blocks this season.

    Year, as well as the SEC and NCAA’s all time shot blocking records. Swat is a mere 19 blocks away from breaking Shaquille O’Neals all time SEC mark of 412. Should the Bulldogs make a deep run in March, it will come off the back of the talented shot blocker.

    With so much talent returning for Mississippi State, the fans are excited for the season to begin. Members of the media picked MSU to win the SEC West crown, should that happen it would be the team’s third such title in the last four years. The much hyped Dawgs start the season ranked #18 in the AP poll, with a few quick wins and the clearing of Renardo Sydney that number could climb quickly.

    The season will start for Mississippi State on November 13th as the squad will host Rider. The first nationally televised game will be on ESPN2 against DePaul in the SEC/Big East Challenge on December 10th in Tampa, Florida. Mississippi State will travel and play UCLA in a much anticipated game just two days later in Anahiem. Conference play will get underway as the Dawgs travel to rival Mississippi on January 9th.

    Only time will tell if this season turns out to be all that Rick Stansbury and his team, as well as the fans expect it to be. Should the NCAA clear Renardo Sydney and Mississippi State avoids injuries one would think the Dawgs would win the SEC West, and possibly the overall SEC title. The team’s second ever trip to the Final Four is also not a far fetched idea this season. Two things are certain for the Dawgs of Mississippi State this season: 1) Swat will be in full force doing what he does best and 2) The Hump will be packed with fans decked out in maroon and white. As the first official game draws near, I’ll sit back in anticipation and continue singing: “we’ve got high hopes, we’ve got high hopes”.

    Feel free to comment or email me at punterjoe@hotmail.com

    Remember to become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

     
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