Report: Mississippi State to hire Clemson assistant Rick Ray

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According to a report from Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com, Mississippi State will hire Clemson associate head coach Rick Ray to replace the departed Rick Stansbury.

This is Ray’s first head coaching job, and he’ll have his work cut out for him at the start as the Bulldogs stand to undergo a heavy roster turnover in the off-season.

Forward Arnett Moultrie has yet to come to a decision in regards to what he’ll do, be it remain in Starkville, enter the NBA Draft or transfer to another school. Dee Bost and Brian Bryant are out of eligibility and Renardo Sidney will enter the NBA Draft.

Key returnees, should they decide to remain in Starkville, include freshmen Rodney Hood and Deville Smith, and sophomore Jalen Steele.

Stansbury “retired” after 14 seasons in Starkville, winning 293 games but the last two years proved to be his undoing.

The 2011-12 edition lost seven of their final nine games, going from a team that looked to be a lock for the NCAA tournament to one that lost in the first round of the Postseason NIT.

In two seasons as associate head coach at Clemson, Ray worked with the perimeter players and that included Third Team All-ACC selection Demontez Stitt in 2010-11.

Before that Ray spent four seasons on Matt Painter’s staff at Purdue, where he helped recruit one of the best classes in school history and worked with the likes of Robbie Hummel, Chris Kramer and E’Twaun Moore.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Photo Credit: My Orange Update

Report: Four-star center reclassifying to 2015; down to three

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An interesting recruiting development hit on Friday as Josh Gershon of Scout.com reported that four-star center Jayce Johnson is reclassifying to the Class of 2015 and looking to join a program at semester break.

The 7-foot native of California is down to Cal, Colorado and Utah and Johnson is on an official visit to Utah this weekend after transferring to a charter school this week. As Gershon notes, only Cal has a scholarship to offer Johnson this season, but the family is willing to pay a semester at the other programs if it’s the right fit. Johnson would like to redshirt and train with his future college while playing against more mature players.

But if Johnson is persuaded not to redshirt, he could be an intriguing big man off the bench later in the season for a couple of teams looking to make a postseason appearance. As the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson is a talented prospect and he isn’t afraid to score with either hand. With some time to fill out, Johnson can turn into a talented Pac-12 player down the road.

VIDEO: Utah Valley’s Mark Pope dances, lip syncs with daughters

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New Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope made quite an impression on fans at the team’s Midnight Madness celebration last night. That’s because Pope did a dance and lip sync routine with his four daughters that turned out to be pretty impressive.

The former BYU assistant looks to be the leader in the clubhouse for best coach dance so far this preseason. We’ll see if any other coaches pull out elaborate routines at madness celebrations the next few weeks.