Bulldog Maroon & White

a Mississippi State sports blog

Bulldog Basketballers, Ravern Johnson and Elgin Bailey, Kick It In The Dominican Republic

Posted by Kyle Weidie on August 12, 2008

Mississippi State Bulldog basketball fans may remember that last summer Jarvis Varnado and Phil Turner took a week long tour playing basketball in Argentina with Score International. Well, this summer, Ravern Johnson and Elgin Bailey made a similar trip with Score to the Dominican Republic.

Hopefully, Johnson and Bailey will follow in the footsteps of Varnado, who led the nation in blocked shots this past season and upped his summer competition to the likes of Chris Paul and LeBron James, but hopefully not in the footsteps of Phil Turner, who was recently arrested for disorderly conduct.

According to the Score International site, the American team faced off against the Dominican national squad, featuring Al Horford (former Florida Gator and current Atlanta Hawk),  Francisco Garcia (former Louisville Cardinal and current Sacramento King), and Larry Turner (former Tennessee State Tiger and current Los Angeles Laker). The game was broadcast on Dominican national television, and even though the Score team lost 77-49, MSU’s Ravern Johnson led his team with 17 points.

In game two, the Score team won in the capital city of San Domingo 67-65. Johnson scored 13 points, while Bailey put in some work in the paint with eight rebounds.

Game three brought another match-up against tough competition as Score faced the Dominican National “B” team. They were once again defeated, but put up a better fight, losing 73-68. You could actually say that the Score team got gypped. Evidently down three points with 12 seconds left, and the ball, a whistle blew from the stands, causing confusion, and thus a turnover. Guess you really can’t play until you hear the whistle.

In the end, great experience on the court and off for these two young Bulldogs which will hopefully carry over into the upcoming season and further down the road in their lives.

Speaking of Varnado…..

Storming the Court recently wondered who would play if the US Men’s Basketball Olympic Committee reverted to sending college players to compete instead of NBA players. Jarvis Varnado was dubbed among those who would be apart of the front court.

In my opinion, this sounds great and all…..but let’s never send college players to the Olympics again. With the days of one-and-done and early entries, how on earth would you be able to truly get the best college age players?  Other countries will continue to send their best, let’s continue to send our best.

Charles Rhodes

Nothing much happening since the interview with Dallas Dedicated. But, I wanted to recap what some outlets (and Mavericks personnel) have said about Rhodes:

Mavs Courtside View

Charles Rhodes isn’t a training camp lock. The rugged forward is mulling over various European offers and hasn’t committed to a tryout with the Mavs yet.

But the Mississippi State product has impressed everyone so far.

“We see Rhodes as an athletic, tenacious 4-5 type that can shoot the mid-range shot and is a very good rebounder,” Rick Carlisle said.

Rhodes (6-8, 245) averaged nearly 10 points and 5 boards during summer league, and shot 62 percent. Rhodes has been compared favorably to Brandon Bass, last year’s summer league find.

Ft. Worth Star-Telegram – “Mavericks have two roster spots available”

Nelson said Charles Rhodes, a bruising 6-8, 245-pound forward from Mississippi State, and JaJuan Smith, a 6-2 guard from Tennessee, will likely be invited to fall training camp.

“Rhodes is real athletic and showed really good promise,” Nelson said. “Smith is a guy we have our eye on. The rest are open for discussion.”


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