News from MSU Media Relations--January 26

The latest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...MSU Athletics, Baseball and Men's Basketball.

MSU Athletics
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State placed 33 student-athletes on the 2007-08 Southeastern Conference Fall Academic Honor Roll, the league office announced Friday.

State had 12 football players, 12 women's soccer athletes, and nine volleyball players make the fall academic list.

MSU's student-athletes on the 2007-08 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll follow:

Royce Blackledge--Football--Senior
J. C. Brignone--Football--Sophomore
Charles Burns--Football--Senior
Aaron Feld--Football--Junior
Keon Humphries--Football--Senior
Jason Husband--Football--Senior
Jarvis Kyles--Football--Senior
Lance Long--Football--Senior
Blake McAdams--Football--Senior
Mark Melichar--Football--Junior
Dezmond Sherrod--Football--Senior
Anthony Strauder--Football--Senior
Mary Kate Ayers--Soccer--Senior
Stephanie Dallas--Soccer--Senior
Jessica Davis--Soccer--Senior
Ashlee Drake--Soccer--Senior
Treena Ferguson--Soccer--Senior
Anna Goblirsch--Soccer--Senior
Katelyn Graben--Soccer--Senior
Andrea Harrison--Soccer--Junior
Ashley Hood--Soccer--Sophomore
Meredith Jacobson--Soccer--Senior
Kevyn Shelledy--Soccer--Senior
Hannah Tyler--Soccer--Sophomore
Ioana Demian--Volleyball--Sophomore
Dorey Gray--Volleyball--Sophomore
Jennifer Hauskey--Volleyball--Sophomore
Jamie Joyner--Volleyball--Senior
Stefanie Joyner--Volleyball--Sophomore
Cristina Jucan--Volleyball--Junior
Lauren Kowal--Volleyball--Senior
Megan Lukasek--Volleyball--Senior
Erin Seago--Volleyball--Senior

The 2007-08 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll is based on grades from the 2007 Spring, Summer and Fall terms.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State has garnered its third and highest preseason national ranking in baseball, picked 23rd in the USA TODAY/ESPN Top 25 coaches' poll.

The Bulldogs, who begin preseason practice Feb. 4 in advance of a Feb. 22 season-opening three-game series Feb. 22-24 at the University of North Florida, were previously ranked 24th by Collegiate Baseball newspaper and 27th in the NCBWA baseball writers poll.

Arizona State heads up the coaches poll. North Carolina, South Carolina, Rice and Arizona complete the top five. ASU picked up 12 first-place votes. ASU instate Pac-10 Conference rival Arizona was next with 10 while two-time defending national champion, Oregon State, 11th in the poll, received four first-place votes.

Mississippi State is one of four Southeastern Conference teams featured in this year's USA TODAY/ESPN preseason rankings, including No. 3 South Carolina, No. 6 Vanderbilt, No. 8 Mississippi and No. 23 Mississippi State. Seven of the eight other league schools received votes.

The Baseball Bulldogs return 20 lettermen, four starting position players and nine pitchers from the 2007 MSU edition that finished with a 38-22 record and No. 8 national ranking while advancing to the program's eighth appearance in the NCAA College World Series.

The coaches' poll is compiled by a panel of 31 NCAA Division I coaches who are members of the American Baseball Coaches Association.

Men's Basketball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - As the lone remaining undefeated SEC team in league play, the Bulldogs of Mississippi State (13-5, 4-0) play host to the University of Mississippi Rebels (15-2, 2-2) Saturday afternoon on the MSU campus. Tip-off for the rematch between last year's SEC Western Division co-champions is set for 4 p.m. CT at Humphrey Coliseum.

The 236th all-time renewal of the league's most-played hardwood series will be televised live by FSN South/SUN Sports, with Rich Waltz and former South Carolina/Vanderbilt head coach Eddie Fogler handling the play-by-play and color analysis duties, respectively. The contest can also be heard on XM Satellite Radio Channel 199.

Currently riding an eight-game overall winning streak and 4-0 in SEC play for the first time since 1993-94, coach Rick Stansbury's Bulldogs are 13-5 overall and owners of their longest overall win string since the 2004-05 campaign. Most recently, MState claimed a 66-56 road victory over Alabama last Saturday in Tuscaloosa. In addition to ranking second nationally in both field-goal percentage defense (.359) and blocked shots (8.67 bpg), the Bulldogs also lead the SEC in scoring defense (60.9 ppg) as well as standing second in the league behind Ole Miss in both rebounding (42.5 to 41.9 rpg) and rebounding margin (+7.1 to +6.9 rpg).

Individually, MSU is fueled by junior all-America candidate Jamont Gordon (17.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg & 4.3 apg), who was named SEC Player of the Week along with picking up National Player of the Week honors from both The Sporting News and FOX Sports after putting together back-to-back, 24-point efforts in last week's wins over Kentucky and Alabama. Now with 1,295 career points, the Nashville native needs 13 more points to move into MSU's all-time top 10 scoring list. Senior all-SEC forward Charles Rhodes and sophomore guard Barry Stewart are also scoring in double figures on the year at 14.1 and 12.0 points per game, respectively.

Guided by second-year head coach Andy Kennedy, the Ole Miss Rebels are ranked 15th in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches Poll and 17th in this week's AP poll. With a 15-2 overall record and 2-2 in league play, UM's four SEC games have been decided by a total of just 10 points. Most recently, the Rebels fell at Auburn, 80-77, last Saturday. Ranked second in the SEC in scoring offense (84.9 ppg) and third in scoring margin (+12.9 ppg) for all games, UM is led in scoring by freshman guard Chris Warren (15.9 ppg), who ranks second in the league in assists (5.29 apg) and made 3-pointers per game (3.0/gm). Senior center Dwayne Curtis averages 15.1 points and a team-high 8.6 rebounds per outing.

Dating all the way back to the 1913-14 basketball campaign, Mississippi State owns an all-time 132-103 series advantage over Mississippi. The Bulldogs have prevailed in 10 of the last 12 State-Ole Miss overall hardwood meetings dating back to 2001-02. With a 14-5 career record versus the Rebels, MSU's Stansbury owns more career wins over UM than against any other team. With a 9-0 home mark versus Ole Miss during the Stansbury era, the Bulldogs have won 13 of the last 14 Starkville encounters with their in-state rivals as well as 22 of the last 24 meetings contested at State's Humphrey Coliseum.

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