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SEC links: Mississippi State loses Dee Bost to draft

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SEC links for Monday:

New basketball coach Tony Barbee tells Kevin Scarbinsky of the Birmingham News that Auburn can be a top 15 job: “‘The response has been overwhelming, (such as) going into a high school and having the principal come out and tell me about their days when they were a student at Auburn and what it means to them. You’re going down hallways in high schools, and the teachers got their doors decorated with Auburn memorabilia. It’s been an overwhelming response.’”

Kyle Veazey of the Clarion-Ledger on Mississippi State’s Dee Bost staying in draft: “Late Saturday night, point guard Dee Bost told The Clarion-Ledger via text that he was ’staying in’ the draft. Small forward Ravern Johnson withdrew from the draft, according to team spokesman Gregg Ellis. Bost’s departure means the loss of a floor leader who started from the first game of his freshman season.

Mark Wiedmer of the Chattanooga Times Free Press on Herschel Walker: “And that’s kind of how the 48-year-old Walker has lived his life. Always straight ahead. Always unwilling to bend. Always determined to accomplish his goal, whether it was winning Georgia the 1980 national championship as a freshman running back, challenging the NFL’s rule against underclassmen playing pro football by signing with the fledgling United States Football League after his junior year, becoming a member of the United States two-man bobsled team for the 1992 Winter Olympics, appearing with the Fort Worth Ballet in 1988 or winning back-to-back Superstars competitions in 1987 and 1988.”

Michaell Carvell of the AJC reports that Marcus Thornton will announce May 21: “Westlake High’s Marcus Thornton has narrowed down to four schools, and has visited Alabama and Texas. He is expected to travel to UGA and Georgia Tech this week and announce his college decision by May 21. When Thornton went to Texas last Monday, he got to meet and greet T.J. Ford, guard for the NBA’s Indiana Pacers.

Mike Griffith of the Knoxville News-Sentinel on Tennessee taking aim at a big man: “The Vols have a pair of athletic guards committed in the Class of 2011 in Kevin Ware and Chris Jones. Theoretically, that leaves UT two more scholarships; the Vols are expected to be able to sign four. It’s a sure bet there will be at least one big man added, if not two.”

David Climer of the Tennessean on ex-Vandy coach George MacIntyre, who suffers from MS: “Now, friends, former players and others are in the process of establishing the George MacIntyre Relief Fund at the Green Bank on Hillsboro Road. They hope to have the nonprofit organization up and running in the next few days. The objective is to raise money for permanent housing for Coach Mac and his wife, Betty.”

Ron Morris of The State on salary insanity: “If you want another reason why college football will never have a playoff, look no further than the raise for USC assistant coach Ellis Johnson recently approved by the South Carolina board of trustees. I do not begrudge Johnson one dime of the $700,000 he will be compensated for the 2010 season. Johnson deserves market value, and market value for assistant head coaches/defensive coordinators has reached astronomical proportions.”

Randy Rosetta of The Advocate on Vanderbilt taking baseball series from LSU: “And in another game of inches, missed opportunities and second chances, the Tigers came up short 4-3 to drop the series to the Commodores. Vandy scored two runs in the eighth inning after a strange series of events and then staved off an LSU rally in the ninth to survive. The loss was the Tigers’ second straight after a 16-15 triumph in the series opener Friday with a stirring comeback.

Evan Woodbery of the Mobile Press-Register on Auburn baseball’s sweep of Mississippi State: “Auburn pitchers surrendered 28 runs in 27 innings this weekend and still emerged with a 3-0 record. A powerful offense has made up for the Tigers’ frequently inconsistent pitching while putting the team on the brink of their first SEC tournament appearance since 2003.”

David Brandt of the Clarion-Ledger on Ole Miss baseball’s loss to Arkansas: “Ole Miss (34-15 overall, 15-9 Southeastern Conference) lost two out of three games during the weekend series, falling one game behind Arkansas (37-11, 16-8) for the Western Division lead. The Rebels are tied for second with Auburn, which swept Mississippi State over the weekend.”

Aaron Suttles of the Tuscaloosa News on Alabama salvaging a game against Florida: “Alabama didn’t wait for Florida to jump out to a lead like the Gators had the first two games of the series. Instead, the Crimson Tide got on top early and held on late to knock off streaking Florida 10-8 Sunday afternoon in a roller-coaster game at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.”

Roger Clarkson of the Athens Banner-Herald on Georgia being swept by Tennessee: “Georgia’s comeback showed a sharp departure from Saturday when the Bulldogs offered little resistance in a 25-5 loss. On Sunday, the Bulldogs trailed by six runs in the fourth inning, but rallied to take a 9-7 lead into the ninth.”

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