STARKVILLE, Miss. - Coming off a successful 2010 campaign which saw nine wins, another Egg Bowl victory and a drubbing of Michigan in the Gator Bowl on New Year's Day, the Mississippi State football program will continue its momentum through 2011 Signing Day on February 2. Head coach Dan Mullen and several assistants will travel to five locations to speak and interact with supporters around the state of Mississippi.
Following an early-afternoon press conference to discuss the new class of Bulldogs, Coach Mullen and the staff will host a meet-and-greet in the Bryan Building at 4 p.m. The event will be open to the public and admission is free.
Coach Mullen and director of athletics Scott Stricklin will travel to Tupelo for a signing-day party beginning at 5:30 p.m. and then attend a gathering at Whispering Woods Conference Center in Olive Branch. Doors open at the Conference Center at 6:30 p.m. and the event will begin shortly thereafter.
Defensive coordinator Chris Wilson and new linebackers coach and co-coordinator Geoff Collins will address Bulldog fans in Jackson at The South (627 East Silas Brown Road), while offensive coordinator Les Koenning and recruiting coordinator and safeties coach Tony Hughes will visit with fans on the Mississippi Gulf Coast at the Great Southern Club, located on the top floor of the Hancock Bank Building (2510 14th Street, Gulfport).
The Jackson event will begin at 6 p.m. with doors opening at 5:30 p.m., and the Gulfport gathering will start at 6:30 p.m.
Admission to all events (other than the one held at the Bryan Building) will be $10 payable at the door, and children under 18 will get in free.
Fans can follow along with Signing Day updates, including video highlights and coaches' commentary about each signee, throughout the morning and afternoon at MStateAthletics.com.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - For the first time this season, Mississippi State faces a ranked team when No. 19 Vanderbilt visits Humphrey Coliseum on Thursday for a 6 p.m. showdown that will be televised on ESPN2.
For MSU, it's the first of two-straight games against ranked foes, as No. 24 Florida visits at noon on Saturday. Last season, the Bulldogs were 2-4 against ranked foes, with one of the wins coming against Vanderbilt in the SEC Tournament.
"There's no question this is a key stretch for us," said 13th-year MSU coach Rick Stansbury, whose team is 10-8 overall and 2-2 in SEC play following the loss to Georgia last Saturday. "We've got our work cut out for us. But as I've said all along, there are no easy games in this league."
The Commodores (14-4, 2-2) have won two-straight games, including their 89-70 win against then No. 22 St. Mary's on Saturday. They also picked up a home win against Ole Miss, and in the process, junior forward Lance Goulbourne averaged 14.5 points and 13.0 rebounds in that stretch to garner SEC Player of the Week accolades.
"You're at home, you've got to find ways to protect your home court. I don't care who is coming in here," Stansbury said. "Unfortunately, we've got Vanderbilt coming in. They don't have many weaknesses."
The Commodores' roster features the league's leading scorer in sophomore guard John Jenkins, who is averaging 18.7 points. Also in double-digits are forwards Jeffery Taylor (14.8) and Festus Ezeli (12.6), along with guard Brad Tinsley (10.4).
Offensively, Vanderbilt leads the SEC with its 78.7 scoring clip, while the Bulldogs enter the contest last in the league in points allowed at 70.0.
"I think they've got the most improved player in the league in Ezeli, absolutely the best shooter in the league in Jenkins, and then everybody talks about Taylor as their best player," Stansbury said.
Fortunately for Mississippi State, Vanderbilt hasn't enjoyed much success at the Hump. The Commodores' last win here came in 1993, while all-time at the Hump they are 8-18. In their last outing here in 2009, MSU claimed a 73-66 victory.
It's a streak MSU players hope to extend, especially considering the Bulldogs are looking to get back on a winning track.
"Vanderbilt has a nice RPI, and if we beat them and take care of Florida, it should help us a little bit," said MSU junior point guard Dee Bost, who is averaging 17.0 points and 6.5 assists since his return four games ago.
Bost isn't the only player scoring in double-digits for MSU.
Senior guard Ravern Johnson is fourth in the SEC with his 18.2 scoring clip, while Renardo Sidney is averaging 14.5 points and 6.3 rebounds. Against Georgia, Sidney just missed out on recording his first-career double-double as he totaled 15 points and 9 rebounds.
Then there's Kodi Augustus, who leads the SEC with seven double-doubles. On the year, the senior forward is averaging 12.1 points and 8.3 rebounds.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - All fans attending Saturday's game at Humphrey Coliseum between Mississippi State and Florida will receive a T-shirt, compliments of TEXACO.
All T-shirts will be placed on the chair backs in each section of the coliseum, and fans are encouraged to put them on when arriving. All shirts XL in size and will be either maroon or white, depending on your seat location.
"We have the unique opportunity to showcase Mississippi State on CBS to a national audience and through our partnership with Texaco, we will be able to give everyone a T-shirt," said MSU marketing director Chad Thomas. "We look forward to showing the nation how rabid our fan base is for basketball at Mississippi State. Come early, be loud and make a STATEment."
Lower Level Sections
Every ticket holder that sits in the grey seats are asked to wear WHITE.
All those with tickets in 104, 105, 107, 108 and 113 are asked to wear the following by their ROW location:
All those with tickets in 101, 103, 109, 110, 111, 112, 119, and 120 are asked to wear the following by their ROW location:
Those patrons that sit in sections 114, 115, 116, 117 and 118 are asked to wear Maroon. There will be a limited number of seats in which we will ask several ticket holders to wear white in each of those sections. The intent is to spell out "STATE" in those five sections with "S" to be in 114, "T" in 115 and so on to "E" in 118 for the television audience.
NOTE: Sections 101, 102, 103, 109, 110, 111, and 112 are student sections. We understand that students may not know where they will be sitting for this game, but we ask that you be flexible and wear a white shirt under a maroon coat if you are unable to wear a XL T-shirt.
Upper Level Sections
All those with tickets in the upper level, whether you are in an even or odd numbered section, are asked to wear the following by ROW location:
NOTE: Sections 201, 202, 203, 216, 217, 218, 219 and 236 are student sections. We understand that students may not know where they will be sitting for this game, but we ask that you be flexible and wear a white shirt under a maroon coat if you are unable to wear a XL T-shirt.