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Another “Thanks, But No Thanks” For State As Valpo’s Drew Pulls Name From Search

You can now scratch another name from the list at Mississippi State.  Valparaiso’s Bryce Drew withdrew his name from MSU’s consideration last night according to this report from The Jackson Clarion-Ledger.  And that means State will be without Drew next season.

ESPN reported yesterday that Drew had interviewed in Atlanta for the job on Monday.  This follows reports linking MSU to Murray State’s Steve Prohm… who signed an extension with the Racers just days after having his name connected to the job in Starkville.

Both Prohm and Drew have been head coaches for exactly one season.  Ohio’s John Groce was also believed to be on AD Scott Stricklin’s radar, but he’s now been hired by Illinois.

That’s three mid-major coaches who’ve not been interested enough in State to make the move to Starkville.  State’s roster has suffered, too, as a number of players and signees have decided to leave or ask for their release from the school.  Currently there are only six returning starters on the Bulldog roster.

Wonder how State fans feel about running off Rick Stansbury now?  At the time of his “retirement” (two weeks ago today) I received a number of emails asking why a big name coach wouldn’t want to take over at State.  Now it seems even small-name coaches aren’t interested.  And that’s leading players like Arnett Moultrie to walk toward the exit.

A few other names have been mentioned in connection with State’s opening:  Mississippi Valley State head coach Sean Woods (a former Kentucky player), Oral Roberts head coach Scott Sutton, current Kentucky assistant Kenny Payne, current Kansas assistant Joe Dooley, and MSU alum Kermit Davis who is currently the head coach at MTSU.

If one of those men is hired, will he be an upgrade over Stansbury — the winningest coach in MSU basketball history?  Possibly.  But I wouldn’t bet on it.

The best bet for Stricklin at this point might be to chase proven program-builder Gregg Marshall from Wichita State.  Problem is, he reportedly wants $2 million per year to leave Kansas, he could be on K-State’s radar now that Frank Martin has departed for South Carolina, and Marshall has not been hired by an SEC school previously despite several interviews.

Hunker down, Bulldog fans.  This one’s starting to look like a bumpy, bumpy ride.

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SEC Headlines – 12/1/11 AM Edition

1.  Harris Poll voters don’t expect to see Oklahoma State jump Alabama.

2.  Roy Kramer — the Father of the SEC Championship Game — talks about his baby and the BCS — which he also helped create — right here.  (Great read… like everything else from Jon Solomon of The Birmingham News.)

3.  This writer says Gene Chizik is making excuses at Auburn and Tiger fans are “beyond irritated with the program’s apparent loss of even regional relevance.”  (Didn’t Chizik lead Auburn to the national championship less than 12 months ago?  A national title used to be a pass for life… now it only ups a coach’s salary.)

4.  Alabama’s hoops team will get a big test from visiting Georgetown tonight.

5.  Arkansas rolled past Mississippi Valley State last night and now focuses on UConn.

6.  LSU’s secondary features playmakers galore.

7.  Ole Miss will be at DePaul tonight as part of the SEC/Big East Challenge.

8.  Dan Mullen says he’d be okay with playing Southern Miss in the Liberty Bowl if things broke in that direction.

9.  Florida forward Erik Murphy won’t need surgery on his injured knee and could return to action next week.

10.  Mark Richt is tired of talking about his tailback situation — Isaiah Crowell’s rumored attitude issues might be one reason.  (Also, Georgia won’t be wearing their ghastly Power Rangers uniforms on Saturday.)

11.  Kentucky’s next two games with St. John’s and North Carolina will reveal a lot about the young Cats.

12.  Bruce Ellington is back with the South Carolina basketball team.

13.  The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that Tennessee receivers coach Charlie Baggett will not return in 2012.  (It’s rumored that star wideout Da’Rick Rogers showed him little respect this season.)

14.  Don’t go writing off Vanderbilt just because of two early season losses.

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SEC Headlines – 11/30/11 AM Edition

Unfortunately today will be a quick day around as duty calls in other areas.  For that reason, we’ll have more headlines, less analysis today and for that we do apologize. 

Here’s the first wave of what’s going on around the SEC today:

1.  Urban Meyer didn’t exactly leave a stocked cupboard at Florida in the first place, but now the number of Gators transferring out is all the way up to 11 since April.

2.  LSU’s defense will be the best Georgia has seen all year.

3.  A Lexington study shows that it would cost less than half as much to renovate Rupp Arena than to demolish it and build another one.  (Sorry, Mitch Barnhart.)

4.  Here’s a by-the-numbers look at South Carolina’s football season.

5.  Oakland coach Greg Kampe says Tennessee compares favorably to Alabama and Arkansas.  (His squad beat UT at home and lost to the two UAs on the road.)

6.  Vanderbilt officials were impressed enough by Wake Forest’s stadium last week — and James Franklin’s stellar work in Year One of his tenure — to consider making some upgrades at Vanderbilt Stadium.

7.  This interesting statistical breakdown suggests that Ted Roof’s Auburn defenses haven’t been as bad most everyone suggests.

8.  Alabama tailback Trent Richardson is waiting for his official invitation to the Heisman Trophy ceremony.  (Wonder if he’ll have anything nice to wear?  Calm down, it’s a joke…)

9.  Arkansas’ Mike Anderson is wary of Mississippi Valley State.

10.  Receiver Rueben Randle has become a leader at LSU.

11.  Two MSU players took to Twitter to laugh at stories that Dan Mullen might leave them.  (File under: Asking for it.)

12.  This writer says Ole Miss fans want a coach who will toss barbs back at Mullen.  Someone like, um, Larry Fedora?

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SEC B’Ball Teams Go 3-1 Last Night

Here’s a quick recap of SEC hoops action from Tuesday night…

Georgia 61, Notre Dame 57

The Bulldogs captured third place in the Kansas City-basd CBE Classic tournament with a rebound victory over Notre Dame last night.  The Dawgs had been crushed the night before by California, and Mark Fox’s young squad showed some spunk in bouncing back.  Freshman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope — whose long name I’m going to get tired of typing this season — led UGA with 16 points.

Memphis 99, Tennessee 97 in 2 OT

The Volunteers aren’t getting wins, but they are proving to be a lot more competitive than a team picked for 11th place in the 12 team SEC.  A night after hanging with #6 Duke, UT fought back from a 16-point deficit and extended #8 Memphis into double-overtime before falling.  Forward Jeronne Maymon finished the night with 32 points and 20 rebounds (including a 16 of 17 night at the charity stripe).

South Carolina 61, Mississippi Valley State 57

After losses to Elon and Tennessee State, Carolina coach Darrin Horn didn’t need to do further damage to his resume with a loss to Mississippi Valley State.  Luckily for the coach, Malik Cooke scored 18 points and spurred (pun intended) the Gamecocks to a late really.  USC finished the game on a 22-7 run after trailing the now 0-4 Delta Devils by 11 with six minutes to play.

Arkansas 67, Utah Valley 59

Admission: In 40 years of following college sports, I’d never heard of the Utah Valley Wolverines until this week.  The fact that Arkansas trailed them 58-54 at home with less than four minutes to play tells you just how much the Hogs are struggling without leading scorer Marshawn Powell — out for the season with a knee injury.  The Razorbacks finished the game on a 13-1 run and were led by freshman guard BJ Young who recorded 18 points and 11 rebounds on the night.

Today’s action:

Tennessee vs Chaminade at Maui, 2:30pm ET (ESPNU)

Radford at Kentucky, 7:00pm ET (FSN)

Alabama A&M at Alabama, 8:00pm ET

South Alabama at LSU, 8:00pm ET (Cox Sports, regionally)

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Friday’s SEC basketball schedule

Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.

With Friday marking the start of basketball season, that also means the start of the SEC basketball season.

Here are Friday’s slate of games, with all times Eastern:

UNC-Wilmington at Florida – 7:00 p.m.
East Tennessee State at Kentucky – 7:00 p.m.
Mississippi Valley State at Georgia – 7:30 p.m.
Northwestern State at LSU – 8:00 p.m.
Arkansas State at Ole Miss – 8:00 p.m.
Tennessee State at Mississippi State – 8:00 p.m.
Presbyterian at Vanderbilt – 8:00 p.m.
Florida A&M at Alabama – 8:30 p.m.
UNC-Asheville at Auburn – 9:00 p.m.
Chattanooga at Tennessee – 9:00 p.m.
Elon at South Carolina – 9:00 p.m. ET


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