Mississippi State men's basketball, now 8-0 on the season after defeating Arkansas State this past Saturday, continues to play well.
I realize that some folks have suggested that MSU is 8-0 only because they have played a soft schedule. I'm not going to attempt to convince those of you who believe the schedule is soft. I will say that MSU has not only played well during the first eight games of this season but also played well during the latter part of last season. It almost appeared that players such as Derrick Zimmerman and Mario Austin grew up during those last few games last season. And the record for the last nine games of last season seem to point to that fact. Mississippi State won six of those nine game and have now won 14 of their last 17 games. And also consider that the last nine games in 2000-2001 were either played against SEC teams, some in the SEC Tournament, or against solid National Invitational Tournament teams such as Tulsa, Southern Miss and Pittsburgh.
With the recent additions of Timmy Bowers, who was injured earlier in the season, and juco transfer Michal Ignerski, who had to sit out three games due to an NCAA ruling involving foreign players, Mississippi State has not skipped a beat and continues to develop excellent depth. Now, with two-guard Roy Goffer able to play after having to sit out eight games due to the same ruling that kept Ignerski out, Mississippi State should be even better due to the depth and shooting that he gives the Bulldogs.
Roy, according to Coach Stansbury, gives MSU a very good outside shooter, something they need with MSU's other two-guards either recovering from an injury, Timmy Bowers, or, in Winsome Frazier's case, being a true freshman.
The MSU depth will come in very handy as the schedule becomes tougher over the next few games with Louisiana-Monroe, Georgia State, Richmond, Cincinnati, Texas A&M or Purdue and Tulane looming just ahead.
You can say what you want about the early MSU schedule but the rest of the season will easily help or hurt MSU as far as the all-important RPI ranking is concerned. Stay tuned.
MSU football: Injury and rehab update
Several of you have asked what football players have had surgery since the season has ended and how other players are coming along with their rehab. I talked to MSU Athletic Trainer Paul Mock prior to Saturday's basketball game. Here is what he said about each player. I'll list each player's name then Paul's comments.
Quarterback Kevin Fant - "Kevin Fant had a couple of bone spurs removed from his elbow. We think he will be throwing by January."
Cornerback Demetric Wright - "We are going to do to him what we did to Fant. He may (take longer to recover) because his is a little more severe. He should still be ready for the spring. He hurt his elbow really bad in junior college."
Dog Safety Pig Prather - "He had his shoulder operated on. He had the same thing that Josh Morgan had last season. Pig played through the injury since he got it during the Troy State game."
Defensive Lineman Will Rogers - "He had the same shoulder surgery (as Pig Prather). His was operated on a week and a half to two weeks ago. Usually the recovery period is four to five months. He will be able to do some things during the spring. The problem is even in about three months they are doing everything they need to do but it is not healed yet. That means you can't afford to let them hit."
Offensive Center Blake Jones - "We operated on Blake Jones' ankle Wednesday (Dec. 5th). He will be ready for the spring."
Offensive Tackle Derrick Thompson - "We are going to operate on him the end of this coming week. He has really bad tendinitis in his knee. He may or may not miss spring (practice); it depends on how he does. He has so much tendinitis that he has built up scar tissue in the tendon, so Dr. Linton has to go in and cut the scar tissue out. He did that with Ashley Cooper and Terrell Grindle."
Fullback Coco Hodge (Coco is not a full-time student and is not on scholarship at State, therefore he is having to go through rehab with someone other than the MSU athletic trainer due to NCAA rules.) - "He has a long road of rehab ahead of him. I think it will be very, very tough for him to be ready for next year."
Dog Safety Clarence McDougal (Clarence is on scholarship and is a full-time student at MSU, therefore he can rehab with the MSU athletic trainer.) - "Clarence is going to struggle to be full-blast by the spring. He is about 50% right now. We are working more on his range of motion and not that much on strengthening." Paul went on to say that Clarence should be doing some non-hitting drills, conditioning and learning the system type things during the spring but should be ready for fall two-a-days.
So far, MSU has had seven football prospects in for official visits, quarterbacks Nathan Chandler (slight lean to Iowa according to Dec. 9th interview with TheInsiders Iowa site maintainer Josh Clark) and Orlando Evans, kicker David Jordan (committed to Georgia Tech), offensive center Travis McGee, linebackers Marvin Byrdsong and Chris Herring (committed to Ole Miss) and noseguard Roy Williams. Mississippi State, according to the kids, has offered Chandler, Byrdsong, Herring and Jordan. I haven't been able to confirm whether the others were offered.
Other players that have set official visits include Georgia Military offensive lineman Manuel Dickson and another player that I don't know the name of yet, both of whom are coming in Dec. 15, Columbia HS running back Jamal Pittman (Jan. 4) and New Albany HS offensive lineman Jay Kirkland (Jan. 4, committed to Ole Miss) as well as Clarksdale HS athlete Darren Williams (Jan. 11, committed to MSU), Shannon HS quarterback Ken Topps (Jan. 11), Jones County (GA) HS quarterback Justin Tyler (Jan. 11), Athens (AL) HS TE/DE James Newby (Jan. 11), Ouachita Christian H.S. (Monroe, LA) kicker Keith Andrews (Jan. 11), and Cleveland East Side quarterback Aries Nelson (Jan. 11, committed to MSU).
That adds up to 17 players who I have confirmed have or will visit MSU in the near future. As more players set up their visits, I will add them to my list.
Some of you may have noticed that there are two recruiting links (football and basketball) on the left-hand column of my front page directly beneath a section called Recruiting (beta). While a little of the information is free, the complete information is accessible only if you have purchased TheInsiders Recruiting package. That package is NOT PART of my Gene's Page package and has to be purchased for an additional $69.96 per year. I only recommend the recruiting package to those of you who are recruiting fanatics and just can't get enough of recruiting. For the rest of you, I will continue to cover MSU recruiting as always. In fact, since I, and my two recruiting reporters, Charles Johnson and soon-to-be added Fredie Carmichael, are talking to prospects, my recruiting coverage is much more than it ever has been.
Calendar added to Gene's Page
Just in case you didn't read it on my front page, here is an update on the latest addition to Gene's Page.
Gene's Page is very pleased to announce its newest addition, the Gene's Page MSU Events Calendar.
The calendar, which is located in the free-site skuttle-butt section on the front page, will be used to keep all of you up-to-date on all the sports and alumni events happening in Bulldogland. We truly feel it will be a huge asset to our page and that all of you will enjoy it.
Mary Ann has been working on it the past couple of weeks, setting it up and adding events, including MSU schedules (she has a few more schedules to add) and alumni events. We have even added the sports signing dates and the SEC basketball tournaments to it (the baseball tournament will be added when it becomes available) and will also add events such as Super Bulldog Weekend and other similar MSU-related events.
If you have an upcoming alumni event, please email it to Mary Ann. Just click on her name, which is located at the bottom of the calendar on the left-hand side. That takes you to her email address, which is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The calendar is easy to use. Although the current month will always show up with the current day highlighted in yellow, there are links on the top left-hand and top right-hand sides that will take you to other months and years. There are a couple of other buttons as well. Just use your mouse to put your pointer over each button to see what each one does. Don't be afraid to click on each button to see what they do. You can also use your mouse to put your pointer over each event to see a short description of the event. After a second or two, a little pop-up window will appear with the event listed. To go to the actual event with the complete information, all you have to do is simply click on the event. Once you have read about the event, click your back button to get back to the month you were in.
We hope you find the calendar very informative and welcome your comments and suggestions.
Well, that wraps up this week's edition of the Monday Morning Bulldog Coffee Break.
Have a great Bulldog week.
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com. You can contact him by emailing email@example.com.