Archive for January 17th, 2009

Mullen at The Hump: On Recruits, Coaches

January 17, 2009

New MSU football coach Dan Mullen and his assistants came to midcourt during halftime of the basketball game tonight, to a rousing welcome, of course. Of Carl Torbush, a veteran defensive coordinator, Mullen told the crowd, “Top defensive coordinator, I think, out there.”

Mullen then chatted briefly with the media. The highlights:

• On this recruiting visit this weekend:
“Our guys are really working hard, and our players are doing a good job of hosting. We’ll find out on Feb. 4 (signing day) how it all goes.”

• On RB coach/recruiting coordinator Frank Wilson’s departure:
“It’s always tough, but that’s kind of part of the business. He thought it was a good opportunity for he and his family.”

• On how Wilson’s departure affected recruiting:
“He was our assistant coach involved in it, but Rockey Felker is working right now, he’s been here forever, so he knows all that stuff that’s going on, and obviously Ryan Holleran is our director of recruiting operations. I think our staff’s not really missed a beat this whole weekend.”

• On finalizing coaching staff/roles:
“In my mind we’re pretty close, but for me our whole focus right now is all recruiting. We just need to wrap that up. After signing day, we’ll take care of all the recruits, and then we’ll get exactly what positions, because right now coaches anyway are 24 hours a day recruiting.”

• On this week’s tour of the region:
“It was much better than we even expected. I think the turnout was almost double what we were expecting going in at every single stop along the way. I couldn’t be happier with all the support we’ve seen from everybody around the state.”

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Vandy at MSU: Official Game Thread

January 17, 2009

Tonight’s matchup features MSU (12-5, 2-0 SEC), the Western Division leader, against Vanderbilt (12-4, 1-1). Remember, the game is on Fox Sports South, with Rich Waltz and Daymeon Fishback on the call.

Let’s go.

On the Links, Late Edition

January 17, 2009

Yeah, I’m a bit late with this. Been kind of crazy around my house today. Trying to housebreak a giant yellow lab.

Anyway, here is my Vanderbilt-MSU basketball advance, examining how Phil Turner and the Bulldogs handle bigger teams on defense. And from the Tennessean, here’s a story on what Vandy must deal with in MSU center Jarvis Varnado. Here is the factbox that’s in today’s paper:

When: 7 p.m. today, Humphrey Coliseum, Starkville
TV: Fox Sports South. Live Internet streaming at ESPN360.com.
XM: Channel 199.
Series: Vanderbilt leads 71-42.
Last year: Vanderbilt, 86-85 (OT) in Nashville.
Coaches: Vanderbilt – Kevin Stallings (305-183, 16th year; 191-120, 10th year at Vanderbilt). MSU – Rick Stansbury (220-120, 11th year).
Notes: MSU coach Rick Stansbury has 89 career SEC wins, tying Richard Williams’ school record. … Vanderbilt has lost seven straight in Starkville. … State C Jarvis Varnado is second in the SEC in rebounds per game (9.8). … Vandy C A.J. Ogilvy missed the SEC opener against Kentucky but played in Wednesday’s 50-40 win over Georgia. He scored 18 points.

Probable starters
Vanderbilt (12-4, 1-1 SEC)

F – Darshawn McClellan    6-7    So.    3.1 ppg
F – Jeffery Taylor    6-7    Fr.    12.3 ppg
C – A.J. Ogilvy    6-11    So.    16.6 ppg
G – Jermaine Beal    6-3    Jr.    12.0 ppg
G – Brad Tinsley    6-3    Fr.    10.1 ppg
Top reserves: F Steve Tchiengang, G George Drake, C Festus Ezeli.

MSU (12-5, 2-0 SEC)
C – Jarvis Varnado    6-9    Jr.    12.9 ppg
G – Phil Turner    6-3    So.    7.2 ppg
G – Dee  Bost    6-2    Fr.    10.0 ppg
G – Barry Stewart    6-3    Jr.    11.1 ppg
G – Ravern Johnson    6-7    So.    11.8 ppg
Top reserves: F Romero Osby, G Twany Beckham, G Riley Benock.