STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State officially begins defense of its 2010 Western Division crown on Saturday when it welcomes Alabama to Humphrey Coliseum in the SEC opener for both squads.
Tip is slated to begin at 3:01 p.m. and the game will be televised by the SEC Network (check local listings).
The Bulldogs (8-6) enter the game looking to snap a two-game losing streak, while the Crimson Tide has won three straight following its 83-41 victory against Toledo on Monday.
"It's a whole new season," said 13th-year MSU coach Rick Stansbury, who is 48-12 all-time at home against Western Division teams. "And we're basically a new team. As a team, the guys have to pull together. It's obvious nobody gives us a chance now, and we understand why. But it's a new team and a new season. The only thing we can worry about and control is what happens in this new season."
A new team in that the Bulldogs welcome the return of junior point guard Dee Bost, who missed the first 14 games of the year due to an NCAA-mandated suspension.
Last year, Bost averaged 13 points and was second in the SEC with 188 assists.
"Just having him on the floor makes your team better," Stansbury said. "He gives everybody around him a little more confidence and helps get easier baskets."
In four games against Alabama in his career, Bost is averaging 15.5 points, 4.8 assists and has dished out 20 assists to go along with his six steals.
"I'm ready to play and get the first game over with," the Concord, N.C., native said.
The Bulldogs, who have won seven of the last 10 overall against Alabama and five-straight at the Hump against the Tide, also have the SEC's leading scorer in Ravern Johnson.
The senior from Lyon, Miss., is averaging 20.1 points, 27th best in the country.
He leads MSU with 41 made 3-pointers, while his 3.2 made treys is tops in the SEC.
Alabama, under the direction of second-year coach Anthony Grant, is led in scoring by forward JaMychal Green's 14.8 clip, followed by Tony Mitchell at 14.6.
Under Stansbury, MSU is 10-2 in SEC openers and has won three in a row. In the last 20 years, Mississippi State is 18-2 on opening day in league play.
After Saturday, the Bulldogs return to action on Jan. 13 at arch-rival Ole Miss before returning home on Jan. 16 to face Auburn.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's 2011 Winter Baseball Camps get underway this weekend on the MSU campus with a pair of day-long sessions designed for youth in grades 1-8. It's the first of three weekends for the instruction-filled MSU Winter Baseball Camp, which continues Jan. 15-16 with sessions designed for high school age athletes and concludes Feb. 5-6 with the popular father-son overnight youth camp.
Camp check-in and registration begins at 8:30 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday for this weekend's youth camp, which features an all-skills session Saturday and a hitting session Sunday.
Head baseball coach John Cohen, the Mississippi State baseball coaching staff and members of the 2011 MSU baseball team will serve as instructors for the camps. The sessions will be conducted on campus at Dudy Noble Field, the home of the Baseball Bulldogs, and the Palmeiro Center, the spacious indoor training center for MSU baseball adjacent to Dudy Noble Field.
Training, instruction and evaluation for high school athletes (grades 9-12) is on tap next weekend with a Saturday session (Jan. 15) for pitchers, catchers and infielders and a hitting camp Sunday session (Jan. 16).The final weekend session is designed to provide baseball training for dads and baseball players in grades 1-6 and includes a unique "camp-in" at the Palmeiro Center.
Registration for the camps is currently under way through the MSU Baseball Office (662-325-3597) and online (www.MStateAthletics.com/camps). One and two-day camp rates are offered for both the youth and high school camps along with a special Father/Son Camp rate is also available for dads accompanied by more than one son. Immediate family members of MSU faculty and staff are eligible for a 10% discount.
An official camp T-shirt, a lunch meal and a copy of an instructional DVD are included in the camp fees.
For additional camp details, contact the MSU Baseball Office (662-325-3597) or visit the camp department link online at www.MStateAthletics.com/camps.
2011 MSU WINTER BASEBALL CAMP
Session 1 - Youth-All Skills Camp (Jan. 8)
Session 2 - Youth-Hitting Camp (Jan. 9)
Session 3 - HS-Pitcher/Catcher/Infield Camp (Jan. 15)
Session 4 - HS-Hitting Camp (Jan. 16)
Session 5 - Youth-Father/Son Overnight Camp (Feb. 5-6)