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On Mississippi State: ‘Our program is not in shambles’

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Times are tough in Starkville, Mississippi right now.

Two weeks after Rick Stansbury retired, leaving a coaching vacancy at Mississippi State, the Bulldogs are still without a coach and the man who was reportedly their top target, Murrary State’s Steve Prohm, signed an extension to stay with the Racers.

Valparaiso’s Bryce Drew was reportedly also interviewed the position, but he will be staying in his current position.

But reassuring words (if you’d like to call them that) are coming from a former Mississippi State player who also happens to be the father of a current Bulldog.

Ricky Hood played for Mississippi State from 1978-80 and is the father of Rodney Hood, a freshman who averaged 10.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in his first season.

“Our program is not in shambles as some people make you believe,” the elder Hood told the Clarion-Ledger. “We’re going to have a difficult year, regardless, like most programs do. It’s going to be a different team.”

Arnett Moultrie is reportedly headed to the NBA draft, as is junior Renardo Sidney. Point guard Dee Bost is graduating. We’ll have to see how many of Stansbury’s five recruits for 2012 stick around. It’s difficult to put a bright spin on things until some variables are cleared up.

The Bulldogs lost seven of their last nine games in 2011-12, going from a team who won the 2K Sports Classic in New York City early in the year to a team that finished sixth in the SEC.

We may have to see who Mississippi State ends up hiring before sounding any alarms, but it’s clear that the Bulldogs have work to do.

Also in the Clarion-Ledger report is a word on Rodney Hood, saying that he will wait to see who is hired before deciding whether to leave or stay with the program.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

POSTERIZED: Pensacola State’s Jamal Thomas dunks through block attempt, makes coach go nuts

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A solid poster dunk went down in the junior college ranks last night as Pensacola State sophomore Jamal Thomas finished a dunk through a block attempt against Northwest Florida State.

The 6-foot-3 Thomas used his power and momentum to go through the opposing shot blocker and the play made his head coach, Pete Pena, go nuts with an over-exaggerated fist pump. The video is short, but be sure to watch for Pena’s reaction near the logo at the top right of the screen.

VIDEO: Boise State robbed of insane, buzzer-beating win on incorrect timing by officials

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It looked like James Webb III of Boise State had hit the season’s craziest buzzer-beater.

With 0.8 seconds left, he caught an in-bounds pass on the run on the right wing, hoisted up a prayer of a three and watched as it banked it as the buzzer sounded.

It’s pretty fantastic:

And it also clearly left his hands before time expired, but there was a reason for that. According to the officials, the clock (for the road team, mind you) did not start when the ball was caught.

They were right.

Where they were wrong was determining that it took more than a second for Webb to catch and release the shot, meaning that they were wrong to waive off the bucket.

This awesome slo-mo clip of the shot from Matt Stephens of the Coloradoan is all the evidence I need, but if you need more, Sportscenter anchor Scott Van Pelt clocked it at 0.7 seconds:

The game would go to overtime, where Colorado State would go on to win, 97-93.

As you can imagine, Boise State players and coaches were livid with the call.

“I hope it’s not a situation where you get an apology later but don’t get the win. I don’t understand it,” head coach Leon Rice said in a radio interview after the game. “I hope they got it right somehow, some way. I don’t know. It didn’t look right to me, but I’m not the official.”

This comes just four days after officials blew a call in a game between New Mexico and San Diego State that allowed the Aztecs to force overtime and eventually beat the Lobos. (That call may have determined the outcome of the Mountain West regular season title, to boot.)

New Mexico was essentially told, “my bad”, but the league as a result.

And Boise State will probably get the same treatment despite the fact that, if the league determines that the referees botched this call as well, the tame technically was over then.

Will they have the guts to award the Broncos a road win that they earned and deserve?

I doubt it.

UPDATE: Here’s a statement from the officiating crew: