Back on the Beat: Catching Up, Looking Ahead

I immensely enjoyed my week’s vacation, and I noticed that the MSU beat went on without me. So I must thank the my co-workers who kept everyone posted on the news while I was gone.

And while most of you are well aware what transpired last week, I still feel the need to recap it all, or at least hit the high points. So if there is anything you missed, here’s what went down.

• On Tuesday, men’s basketball coach Rick Stansbury announced the departure of big man John Riek, who was a highly touted prospect from Sudan. Riek never showed signs of fulfilling that promise, however, averaging 1.2 points and 1.3 rebounds per game as a sophomore.

• Speaking of hoops, Stansbury beefed up the Bulldogs’ non-conference slate by adding Utah State. MSU will host the Aggies on Dec. 31, and the series also includes a game at USU in 2013 and another in Starkville in 2014. The Aggies sure seem excited about it.

• A domestic assault charge against linebacker Deontae Skinner was retired, meaning he won’t face prosecution for what led to his arrest on June 5.

• Saturday’s MAC All-Star basketball game had a heavy MSU flavor. The South’s Fred Thomas, a 2012 MSU commit from Jim Hill High School, scored a game-high 23 points as his team won, 103-92, in a game featuring some of the state’s top rising seniors.

Another MSU commit, Starkville big man Gavin Ware, earned defensive MVP honors. He had nine points, eight rebounds and two blocks for the North.

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There are a few things to look forward to this week, like the Premature Preview on UT-Martin that I owe you. I’ll try to post that today.

I’ll have the opportunity later this week to speak with some basketball players, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some developments in the lawsuit against John Cohen and MSU. And we’re just nine days away from SEC football media days in Birmingham, so I’ll be gearing up for that.

Also, there’s a new radio show starting today featuring new MSU football color analyst Matt Wyatt and broadcast veteran Richard Cross. It’ll be called “Head to Head,” and here are the details.

Now, back to the grind.