Mississippi State fans converged at the Biloxi Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum, like shrimp in a net. They turned out to hear from Athletic Director John Cohen, Head Coach Dan Mullen and basketball coaches Ben Howland and Vic Schaefer.
One of the first moves Cohen did when he was named MSU AD was to hire a new baseball coach after he stepped down to run the Bulldogs athletic department. He selected LSU hitting coach Andy Cannizaro and the New Orleans native has the Mississippi State baseball program flying high. MSU has the best SEC record with 13 wins and 5 losses.
Cohen said, "Andy Cannizaro is one of the great coaches in the entire country and I think he's done a phenomenal job, with a group that has sustained a lot of injuries. They had to battle through some adversity." Cohen also says Mississippi Coast players have contributed to the Bulldogs success in Cody Brown of Biloxi and pitcher Konnor Pilkington.
What can you say about the Mississippi State women's basketball team and the job that Head Coach Vic Schaefer has accomplished.? His team ended UConn's win streak with a thrilling overtime victory to crack the NCAA Title game. Despite losing to South Carolina in the championship finals, the women's team has made a statement.
While the Lady Bulldogs lose key senior players from the record-setting team, Schaefer says two young ladies from the Mississippi Coast will contribute heavily in the 2017-2018 season.
"Let me tell you something, I am so excited about Ameysha Williams and Jazzmun Holmes, "said Schaefer. "They are going to be special. Jazz has already impacted our program, tremendous player. She had 14 points against DePaul, 7 assists and I think had only one turnover in 25 minutes.
Ameysha, I'm just going to tell ya'll that kid is really going to impact our team next year."
Men's basketball coach Ben Howland had the youngest team in the nation and he said it showed. His Bulldogs posted a 16-16 record and were 6 and 12 in SEC play. Howland said the good thing about freshmen is that they'll be sophomores the following year and that experience will pay off.
"Quindarious Weatherspoon is obviously our best player, "stated Howland. "He was a second-team All-SEC selection and he played with a wrist injury."
Howland said Weatherpoon underwent surgery on his wrist a few weeks ago and over the next four months he'll rehab the wrist and he should be back in August.
Head coach Dan Mullen wasn't happy with his Bulldogs overall football record having posted 6 wins and 7 losses. He was happy with the way MSU closed out the season with a big 55-20 win over arch-rival Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl and a 17-16 decision over Miami, Ohio in the St. Petersburg Bowl.
The 2017 NFL Draft takes the spotlight on Thursday and Mullen believes linebacker Richie Brown will get a shot at cracking a roster in the NFL.
"Big couple of days for him, "stated Mullen. "Hopefully, he'll get drafted, might be in the late rounds. He's a mature guy. He's graduating with a MBA from Mississippi State this spring. It's all about what he's going to do once he gets there. He's going to be given an opportunity in a training camp. He'll have to take advantage of that opportunity and make the most of it."
Mississippi State kicks off the 2017 football season on September 2 hosting Charleston Southern in Starkville.
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