Rhodes and Houston to Stay

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State University head basketball coach Rick Stansbury announced Tuesday that Bulldog freshmen Charles Rhodes and Jerrell Houston will be back with the Bulldog basketball program next season.

"After meeting with Charles (Rhodes) and Jerrell (Houston) individually this past week after their final exams were completed, I have decided that both players will be back at Mississippi State next season," Stansbury noted.

A former first-team all-state selection as a prep senior at Jackson's Lanier High School, Charles Rhodes averaged 2.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game in 16 appearances this past season for the 23-11 Bulldogs. The 6-foot-8, 235-pound forward also connected on 59 percent of his field-goal attempts and 75 percent from the charity stripe this past year as a collegiate rookie. His top single-game performance of the 2004-05 campaign was an eight-point, six-rebound, three-block effort in a season-most 13 minutes of action at Kentucky in February.

"Mississippi State is the only place I've ever wanted to be," Rhodes said. "I became frustrated at times last season and said some things that I regretted, but now I'm ready to get back to work. I'm looking forward to helping this team compete for future championships."

Jerrell Houston, a 6-foot-8, 210-pound forward from Memphis, was redshirted this past season at Mississippi State after earning Class AAA all-metro honors as a prep senior at East High School. As the team MVP and an honorable mention all-state performer two years ago, Houston averaged around 16 points, eight rebounds, four blocks and three assists per contest for the 2003-04 Mustangs.

"I'm excited about the opportunity to continue my basketball career here at Mississippi State," Houston said. "I've always wanted to be here. I was just a little confused during the course of my redshirt season this past year, but I believe I've matured a lot during this whole process."

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