[Premium Article] Football and Basketball."> [Premium Article] Football and Basketball.">

Monday Morning Coffee Break

<img src="http://www.genespage.com/images/01columnists/gswindoll.jpg" align="left" width="120" height="161"> [Premium Article] Football and Basketball.

FOOTBALL

Coach Sherrill is currently putting together his new football staff after deciding to not renew the contracts of five staff members.

According to various sources, coach Sherrill will release the names of two new staff members - both on the defensive side of the ball - early this week, possibly as early as Monday.

It appears that coach Sherrill is looking to add youth, relatively speaking, with the additions. According to what I have been told, he is looking for coaches with dynamic personalities who not only know their X's and O's but are excellent recruiters.

What recruits think about the staff changes....

So far, of the recruits that I have interviewed, only one has said that the staff changes has hurt MSU in his eyes. All the others have told me that it will have no effect at all in regards to their recruitment by MSU. In fact one recruit, Noxubee County High School quarterback Omarr Conner, told me he thinks it will help since the new quarterback coach will not have an opinion on the MSU quarterbacks other than what he sees in the spring and the fall.

BASKETBALL

The basketball team continues to play well. After suffering a loss to Louisiana-Lafayette the first game of the season, the team has continued to improve defeating McNeese State, Jacksonville, Alabama A&M, Jackson State and Louisiana Tech to go 5-1 on the season.

La. Tech head coach Keith Richard was so impressed with MSU that he said he felt they would be a legitimate top 10 team when they get Mario Austin back.

MSU has upcoming games with Xavier (Dec. 14 in Madison Square Garden in New York City), Georgia State (Dec. 18 in Jackson, Miss.), Oklahoma (Dec. 28 in New Orleans), South Alabama (Dec. 30 at South Alabama), UAB (Jan. 2 in Birmingham).

Of those five, 16th ranked Xavier and 7th ranked Oklahoma will give MSU the biggest tests.

Xavier (4-1) has impressive wins over Purdue (4-1) and Cincinnati (3-2) to their credit. Oklahoma (4-1), after losing to the then 8th ranked Alabama Crimson Tide 68-62, has reeled off wins over UC Irvine (87-65), Princeton (82-63), Prairie View (75-63) and Hartford (92-52).

Xavier is led by 6-9, 232-pound, senior All-American candidate David West. West, in 35 minutes of play per game, is averaging 20 points per game and 9 rebounds per game. Junior Romain Sato (6-5, 195) is averaging 15.2 ppg and 9.2 rpg.

As a team, Xavier is scoring 75.5 ppg, 14 assists per game and 12 turnovers per game. They are also averaging 40 rebounds per game. They are shooting at a .463 clip from the field while shooting .761 from the free-throw line and .288 from three-point range.

They have gone with a nine-man rotation this season.

Oklahoma is led by 6-5, 215-pound, senior Ebi Ere. West, in 31 minutes of play per game, is averaging 22.8 points per game and 6.8 rebounds per game. Senior Hollis Price (6-1, 170) is averaging 15.6 ppg and 3.0 apg.

As a team, Oklahoma is scoring 79.6 ppg, 16.2 assists per game and 11.2 turnovers per game. They are also averaging 38.4 rebounds per game. They are shooting at a .460 clip from the field while shooting .773 from the free-throw line and .330 from three-point range.

Like Xavier, they primarily use a nine-man rotation.

MSU will counter those teams with a team that is shooting .491 from the field, .667 from the free-throw line and .342 from three-point range. MSU is averaging 84.3 ppg, 43.8 rpg, 17.0 apg and 15.5 tpg.

MSU has 6 players averaging 9.0 or more points per game with Timmy Bowers' 18.2 per game leading the way. Two players are shooting exceptionally well from three-point range, Winsome Frazier (11-22, .500) and Timmy Bowers (14-31, .452). State plays a nine-man rotation.

Mario Austin

After dragging their feet for a couple of weeks, it appears the NCAA will make an eligibility ruling early this week on Mario Austin. Everything seems to point to a positive ruling for Mario.

Stay tuned.....

Well, that wraps up this week's edition of the Monday Morning Bulldog Coffee Break.

Have a great Bulldog week!

Gene Swindoll



Archived Monday Morning Coffee Break Articles link: Click Here...


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 swindoll@genespage.com.

Gene's Page Top Stories