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Cross Prohm Off Mississippi State’s List

Murray State basketball coach Steve Prohm won’t be Mississippi State’s next coach.

Murray State announced it has agreed on a one-year extension with Prohm, whose new deal will run through May 31, 2016.

Prohm’s base salary will increase to $270,000 and his total compensation will be $300,000 annually, which would fall well short of what Mississippi State was capable of offering.

“I love it here,” Prohm told CBSSports.com of his deal to stay at Murray State. “They gave me a great opportunity.”

Prohm was considered last week to be Mississippi State’s “primary target” to replace Rick Stansbury. Now, MSU athletic director Scott Stricklin will have to look elsewhere.

And with South Carolina expected to hire Kansas State coach Frank Martin, you can expect Mississippi State fans will push even harder for the Bulldogs to land a big name in Starkville.

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If Carolina Lands Martin, MSU Fans Will Want A Big Name Too

Mississippi State is a better basketball program — traditionally speaking — than South Carolina.  By a wide margin.

Yet it’s Carolina that appears to be on the verge of landing a “name” coach in Kansas State’s well-established Frank Martin.  Granted it seems that if Martin moves he will do so partly out of spite for his current boss, but that won’t matter to MSU fans who will most assuredly ask, “Why not us?”

Scott Stricklin hired Parker Executive Search out of Atlanta to help drum up candidates to replace Rick Stansbury.  They kicked the tires on first-year Murray State coach Steve Prohm, but talk’s gone quiet on that front since Prohm’s boss said he thought there was a good chance his coach would stay put with a new contract. 

Other than Prohm, some assistants (Kentucky’s Kenny Payne is a Mississippi native) and a few other connect-the-dots type candidates (MTSU’s Kermit Davis played at MSU for his father), State’s search has been — to quote “LA Confidential” — off the record, on the QT and very hush-hush.

For comparison’s sake, Martin served as a Bob Huggins assistant at Cincinnati and Kansas State for three years before being promoted to replace his old boss in 2006.  Since then he’s had five 20-win seasons in five years, has made the NCAA Tournament four times, and has reached one Elite Eight.

Even if MSU lands Prohm or one of the nation’s fastest-rising assistants, that new coach won’t be able to equal Martin’s short, but proven track record.

That’s not to say an assistant hired by State wouldn’t have as much or even more success than Martin if he winds up at South Carolina.  There’s no way of knowing how any college football or basketball coach will do (save a very few — Nick Saban, John Calipari, Roy Williams, etc).

But what we do know is that State fans who just ran off the school’s all-time winningest coach will want to land a bigger name coach than whoever is hired by Carolina.  If they don’t, Stricklin will have some ‘splainin’ to do.

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SEC Headlines – 3/21/12 Part Two

1.  The Alabama fan accused of placing his genitals on the face of a drunken LSU fan after the BCS title game is still waiting to learn if he’ll face prosecution.

2.  This writer says Nick Saban runs college football. 

3.  Tide quarterback AJ McCarron is already hitting it off with new offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.

4.  Here are five questions facing Auburn at the start of spring practice.

5.  An AAU coach says he didn’t convince a pair of freshmen to transfer away from Auburn.

6.  Auburn’s Kenny Gabriel will take part in the NCAA’s pre-Final Four dunk contest.

7.  Could Gus Malzahn and Arkansas State muscle in on Arkansas’ stranglehold on the state?

8.  Les Miles likes what he’s seeing at LSU’s spring practice…

9.  And what he’s seeing is improvement.

10.  Is ex-Maryland quarterback Danny O’Brien is in Oxford for a visit.

11.  Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen only has two quarterbacks to split reps between this spring.

12.  Steve Prohm — reportedly a top target of MSU’s hoops search — makes just $195,000 per year at Murray State.

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