STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State head football coach Sylvester Croom likes to work his team outdoors during the August heat. After all, the team will most likely have to play in it when it opens the 2007 season near the month's end.
But he also knows when to back off his charges, and allow them to get some work done in a more moderate climate. That's why the Bulldog head coach had his team outside during the first nine periods of Monday's practice, but the last hour or so inside the climate-controlled Palmeiro Center.
"I just got bored," Croom joked when asked why his team spent half the practice inside. But truth be told and with an eye on the future, the head coach felt his team had already worked enough in the scorching temperatures, and is scheduled to scrimmage Saturday in the middle of the afternoon, the absolute heat of the day.
"We're not going to beat them up," Croom said in discussing the combination of reduced time outside and limited full contact. "We want them to be healthy this fall."
The only injuries the Bulldogs have sustained thus far are the normal early camp pulls and strains. Senior defensive end Titus Brown (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) and freshman defensive Lamarcus Williams (Bastrop, La.), two players who were running with the first unit Saturday, joined the red-cross brigade with groin injuries Monday.
Despite their absence, the State defense drew Croom's praise following the first workout of the second week of pre-season drills.
"The defense picked up the intensity today, and ran to the ball very well," Croom said. "We're still switching some guys around inside to find the right combinations. Essentially, we're working with six guys inside, looking for some guys to step forward. The real positive is this defense can run."
STARKVILLE, Miss. - A total of 16 home matches, including a visit by reigning national champion Tennessee, highlight the 2007-08 Mississippi State women's basketball schedule announced today by school officials.
State will open the year at home, hosting Southeastern Louisiana on Friday, Nov. 9. Former MSU assistant and current Centenary head coach Steve Curtis returns to Starkville on Nov. 11 to face his former squad. The Lady Bulldogs' first road contest of the season comes Nov. 15 at Belmont, followed by a home match with Mercer on Nov. 18.
MState will spend the Thanksgiving holiday in Mexico, playing both Iowa and national powerhouse Oklahoma in the Cancun Caribbean Challenge, Nov. 22-23. The Lady Bulldogs close out the opening month hosting Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Nov. 27 and Southern Mississippi on Nov. 29.
December begins on the road for MSU with stops at Memphis on Dec. 2 and Louisiana Tech on Dec. 13. State closes out the 2007 portion of the schedule with three home matches Georgia Tech on Dec. 16, McNeese State on Dec. 20 at Louisiana-Lafayette on Dec. 30. Lafayette is led by former MSU assistant Errol Rogers.
In a final tune-up before conference play, State travels to UAB on Jan. 3 and host Mississippi Valley in their last non-conference contest on Jan. 7.
In the ever-tough Southeastern Conference, MSU travels to Vanderbilt to face the Commodores on Jan. 10. State hosts Kentucky on Jan. 13, travels to LSU for the first of two meetings between the schools on Jan. 20 and welcomes archrival Mississippi to The Hump on Jan. 24. After pulling off an upset win over Arkansas to start conference play last season, the Lady Bulldogs travel back to Fayetteville on Jan. 27 looking for their second win in as many tries at Bud Walton Arena. State closes out January with Alabama on the 31st.
In the final full month of play, MSU travels to Auburn to take on the Tigers on Feb. 3. State then plays host to reigning national champion Tennessee on Feb. 7 and Florida on Feb. 10. The Lady Bulldogs face archrival Mississippi for the second time on Feb. 14 in Oxford. Road games at South Carolina on Feb. 21 and Tennessee on Feb. 24 follow. State will welcome LSU in its final home and regular season contest of the year on March 2.
The 2008 Southeastern Conference Tournament is slated for March 6-9 at The Sommet Center in Nashville, Tenn.
Games selected for television broadcast will be announced at a later time.
2007-2008 MISSISSIPPI STATE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
NOV. 4--SUNDAY--DT3 (Exhibition)--TBA
NOV. 9--FRIDAY--SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA--TBA
Nov. 15--Thursday--@ Belmont University--TBA
Nov. 22-23--Thur.-Friday--vs. Iowa and Oklahoma--TBA
(Cancun, Mexico Caribbean Challenge)
NOV. 27--TUESDAY--ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF--TBA
NOV. 29--THURSDAY--SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI--TBA
Dec. 2--Sunday--@ Memphis--TBA
Dec. 13--Thursday--@ Louisiana Tech--TBA
DEC. 16--SUNDAY--GEORGIA TECH--TBA
DEC. 20--THURSDAY--McNEESE STATE--TBA
Jan. 3--Thursday--@ UAB--TBA
JAN. 7--MONDAY--MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE--TBA
Jan. 10--Thursday--@ Vanderbilt--TBA
Jan. 20--Sunday--@ LSU--TBA
JAN. 24--THURSDAY--OLE MISS--TBA
Jan. 27--Sunday--@ Arkansas--TBA
Feb. 3--Sunday--@ Auburn--TBA
Feb. 14--Thursday--@ Ole Miss--TBA
Feb. 21--Thursday--@ South Carolina--TBA
Feb. 24--Sunday--@ Tennessee--TBA
Mar. 6-9--Thurs.-Sun.--SEC Tournament (Nashville, Tenn.)--TBA