No NCAA appearance this time for young Bulldogs

Thursday, March 9, 2006 at 12:00am


Mississippi State at a glance
Coach: Rick Stansbury (eighth season; 164-89)
Regular-season record: 15-14
Last SEC Tournament title: 2002
Leading scorer: F Charles Rhodes, G Jamont Gordon (13.9)
Leading rebounder: Rhodes (7.3)
MVP: Rhodes has blossomed as a sophomore into a future star. Leads MSU in scoring, rebounding, shooting percentage and blocked shots.
Sleeper: Freshman guard Reginald Delk gets overshadowed by Rhodes and Gordon but can produce big games, including 27 points at Arkansas on March 1.
Best win this season: Closed regular-season play on a good note last week by pasting Alabama, 71-58, in Starkville.
Most disappointing loss: A loss at Auburn on Feb. 22 wasn't the brightest moment in Bulldogs basketball history.

Fogler's Focus
"They're playing much better now that they're healthy and the chemistry has finally started to click. Charles Rhodes is a star. Look at his numbers. He's an all-SEC caliber player. Jamont Gordon is a star, too."

Mississippi State has participated in the past four NCAA Tournaments, but that streak will come to a grinding halt this season.

The Bulldogs (15-14) have posted their worst season since 2000 and have struggled to adjust to losing all five starters from last season. The talent still on hand is young and will need time to develop.

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