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MSU Bulldog Basketball Recruiting Good News: A Shot of Shaunessy

Posted by Kyle Weidie on November 20, 2008

Following the bad recruiting news…..

In state product, Shaunessy Smith, has made good on his verbal commitment to Mississippi State and signed binding scholarship papers to play for the Bulldogs on Wednesday. Rick Stansbury’s recruiting prowess beat out the likes of Clemson, Baylor, and Southern Cal for the services of Smith.

Well….not so fast my friend. Former Bulldog basketballer, T.J. “Brown” Billups, is Shaunessy’s coach at Noxubee County. Former Bulldog great (coach and player), Greg Carter, already let Travis Outlaw get away to the NBA (Carter coached Outlaw at Starkville High). I would have had to let T.J. know if he let Shaunessy get away from playing at The Hump. Just kidding, T.J. and I go back from our college days. He was one of the nicest guys to ever pick up a basketball for the Bulldogs.

You can read more on Shaunessy in a previous Bulldog Maroon & White post, MSU Bulldog Basketball Gets A Commit From Shaunessy Smith.

Other Suggested Reading:

Posted in basketball recruiting, Bulldog Basketball, mississippi state bulldogs, ncaa basketball, sec basketball, shaunessy smith, starkville | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Hey Woody McCorvey, What’s Going On (with the Mississippi State offense)?

Posted by Kyle Weidie on September 14, 2008

Marvin Gaye may have been signing about the issues of his day in “What’s going on?,” but if he saw the Mississippi State-Auburn game on Saturday night, he would’ve shown soulful concern about the Bulldogs offense. People are calling the 3-2 loss historical. I’d agree, but would further categorize it as a tragedy.

I can’t put all the blame on offensive coordinator Woody McCorvery. The Bullldog offensive line was horrific, Wesley Carroll looked inexperienced, and ultimately, a performance such as the one put on by Mississippi State falls on the shoulders of Sylvester Croom.

Before I go any further……Mississippi State Defense = A+^10 – Yep, they were that good. Credit the strength and conditioning coaches too, led by Ben Pollard; the defensive dawgs never gave up. The punt coverage portion of special teams also gets a gold star, punter Blake McAdams did more than his part….can’t exactly say the same for the MSU return team.

I must give credit to the Auburn Tiger defense as well. The Tiger D-Line simply over-powered the Bulldogs’ pass protection. I can’t blame the coaches for trying to be creative play to their o-line weaknesses by having Carroll roll out so much, unfortunate that it was part of the initial game plan.

But even on the run, attempting West Coast dinks and dunks, (many times well short of the first down line on 3rd and whatever) Carroll was limited to bad decisions and the occasional crisp pass when given the chance. Spreading the blame around, however, I saw some less than stellar routes run by Bulldog receivers.

Questionable Calls

4-1, Auburn 37, 10:10 left in the 3rd (start of drive)
I don’t mind going for it here. I don’t even mind the pass attempt (of course the struggling o-line was factored in), but it was simply not a cleanly run play. Brandon Henderson ran a poor route, and Carroll’s timing was off.

4-1, Auburn 41, 7:06 left in the 4th (start of drive)
Well, it was gut check time, and one would expect the Bulldogs to allow for Christian Ducre to pound it through. The players just didn’t make plays, so I still don’t blame the coaching decision.

4-15, MSU 48, 4:48 left in the 4th (start of drive)
This is where i have a problem. I understand that the defense had been on the field a ton at that point of the game. But give them some credit, at least they were playing with the pride it takes to get yet another big stop (they did end up getting the ball back as a gift turnover). I might understand if Mississippi State needed a touchdown for the win, but a field goal sufficing makes punting the right call.

Quotes from the Press

Defense tries, but can’t win all by itself, NE Mississippi Daily Journal – Brad Locke

“We were one play away all night,” said Carroll, who was 10 for 25 for 78 yards and the pick. “We had them where we wanted them. We just didn’t make the play.”

“I don’t blame anybody,” the coach said. “The coaches are coaching hard, the kids are working hard. The thing about offense is, if one guy makes a mistake, you’ve got problems.”

“I thought the ball was slightly under-thrown, and I thought B-Mac should’ve gone up and gotten the ball,” Croom said. “Last week down in end zone he did great job on the fade route. If he goes up to catch the ball, at worst it’s going to be an incomplete pass.”

  1. It’s never good to be “one play away all night,” because all those ‘one plays’ add up to an insurmountable sum.
  2. Don’t blame anybody….blame EVERYbody, except the defense and Blake McAdams.
  3. If Brandon McRae has any next level aspirations, he makes that play.

It’s not the end of the world for the Mississippi State Bulldogs. To sum it up, the offense has hit rock bottom and can only go up from here. Somebody needs to have an intervention with someone in the coming week, if not everyone with themselves. The Dawgs will get a chance to flex their SEC muscle against a weak Georgia Tech team from the questionable ACC….’regroup’ is the word of the day.

Meanwhile, the guys at Track ‘Em Tigers are taking the ‘win is a win’ attitude that I would be having a healthy dose of had the roles been reversed.

Game Recap: mstateathletics.com

Posted in auburn tigers, mississippi state bulldogs, ncaa football, sec football, SEC Sports, starkville | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

MSU Bulldog Victory Roundup: Southeastern Louisiana

Posted by Kyle Weidie on September 8, 2008

The Mississippi State Bulldogs performed slight reconciliation for their season opening loss to Louisiana Tech in beating Southeastern Louisiana 34-10 this past Saturday. The Harmon Forecast on CBS Sportsline came very close to an accurate prediction calling for a 34-6 Bulldog victory over SELA. The keys to the game were simple: the defense should dominate and the offense needed to build rhythm – mission accomplished. No, Southeastern Louisiana certainly was not a test, but heading into next week’s game against Auburn, the Bulldogs needed to show early season growth, and they did. Here’s the internet roundup:

After a sluggish start that saw State fall behind 3-0, the Bulldogs did exactly what you would expect a Southeastern Conference team to do to one from the Football Championship Subdivision (formally Division I-AA), striking for 34 unanswered points to turn the game into a rout by early in the third quarter.
“Mississippi State routs SELA, 34-10,” clarionledger.com – Rusty Hampton.

Quarterback Wesley Carroll, who did not split snaps with backup Tyson Lee in practice last week, looked much sharper than he did in the season opener, when Louisiana Tech intercepted him three times.
“BULLDOGS:QB Carroll looks sharp as ‘Dogs rediscover bite,” djournal.com – Brad Locke.

In a spare moment inside Mississippi State’s locker room late Saturday night, coach Sylvester Croom had words for his receiver Brandon McRae, who caught eight passes for 72 yards and a touchdown in MSU’s 34-10 win over Southeastern Louisiana. They weren’t attaboys, though. “You’ve got to expect yourself to make every catch,” Croom said he told McRae. “He has the potential to be an outstanding receiver.”
“McRae reaps benefit of adding maturity to talent,” clarionledger.com – Kyle Veazey.

“We did some good things tonight. I thought offensively we did some things we wanted to do. We had certain guys it was obvious they played well; Brandon McRae still making some plays, I thought Anthony Dixon ran hard, Christian Ducre definitely picked up his game tonight. I’ll look at the film to see how the offensive line blocked……….The thing that really concerns me now about the offense is we had fumbles in the first two games. And a couple of penalties. That still bothers me because that has not been characteristic. All I know is we’ll keep working hard because going into conference play you can’t give the other team opportunities.”
Sylvester Croom Post-Game Quotes via David Murray of Dawgs Bite.

Game Recap: ESPN.com

Game Photographs – Clarion-Ledger

Posted in mississippi state bulldogs, ncaa football, sec football, SEC Sports, southeastern louisiana, starkville, sylvester croom | Leave a Comment »

Travis Outlaw, the almost Mississippi State Bulldog

Posted by Kyle Weidie on September 2, 2008

Bulldog fans can salivate forever about what would have been had Travis Outlaw suited up in Maroon and White…..or Jonathan Bender, or Monta Ellis.

However, he opted for the NBA, before the current one-year rule, and was taken 23rd overall by the Portland Trailblazers in the 2003 NBA Draft. Heading into the 2008-2009 NBA season, this makes Outlaw the longest tenured Blazer.

Travis had his best season in ’07-08, averaging career highs in multiple categories including points (13.3), rebounds (4.6), and minutes (26.7), while getting some recognition for the NBA’s 6th Man Award (Manu Ginobili ended up with the honors).

This year, Outlaw desires to come into his own even more. Jason Quick, of The Oregonian, recently traveled back to Starkville, Mississippi to do an extensive piece on Outlaw. The article discusses Outlaw’s roots, the house he recently built in Starkvegas, and his basketball aspirations. The reading is highly suggested.

Posted in bulldogs in nba, mississippi state bulldogs, nba, nba draft, starkville, travis outlaw | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Jamont Gordon Says Arrivederci America, Ciao to Italy – Charles Rhodes Too?

Posted by Kyle Weidie on August 27, 2008

Jamont Gordon is headed to Basket City, otherwise known as Bologna, Italy, to pursue his hoop dreams. As first reported on the Clarion-Ledger’s MSU blog, via an August 23rd team press release (you might need the Google Translator), Gordon will be suiting up for Fortitudo Pallacanestro Bologna, also known as UPIM Bologna after its chain department store sponsor.

While Bologna will be vastly different than Starkville, Gordon will still be apart of an intense rivalry à la Mississippi State and Ole Miss. Fortitudo, known for attracting top American talent, has a traditional rivalry with Virtus, also based in Bologna. Both teams consistently compete for the Italian Cup, and the Euroleague title. Hence, the enthusiasm denizens of Bologna are known for gives the city its moniker of Basket City.

Currently Qyntel Woods, of Northeast Mississippi Community College and pit-bull fighting/NBA trouble fame, is on the roster of Fortitudo. Joe Forte, of infamous NBA bust fame, and the poster child for not leaving college early (hey, at least Forte was drafted when he mistakenly left North Carolina after two years), is also on the team.

Notable Fortitudo alumni include Auburn’s Moochie Norris, UCLA’s Tyus Edney, current Chicago Bulls coach, Vinny Del Negro, and Dominique Wilkins, among dozens of other players who are either currently in the NBA or have spent time playing college or professional ball in the United States.

But What About Charles Rhodes?

The latest report from the Clarion-Ledger’s Kyle Veazey is that neither reaching out to Rhodes’ agent, nor text messaging Charles himself, has provided any newsworthy results.

However, another site, tuttobasket.net, which offers a hodgepodge of coverage for European/Italian basketball, cites an August 18th article from La Repubblica, Italy’s largest circulation newspaper, which insinuates that Rhodes is in negotiations to team up with Jamont Gordon on Fortitudo. (Once again, you’ll need the Google Translator.)

The most interesting quote about Jamont Gordon from the translation: “In any case, an element can create from scratch game well, although to date the first for himself and later for others.”

So while it looks like Jamont Gordon has gotten himself an Italian job, Charles Rhodes is in a wait-and-see situation. Stay tuned……

Posted in bulldogs overseas, charles rhodes, jamont gordon, mississippi state bulldogs, ncaa basketball, sec basketball, SEC Sports, starkville | 2 Comments »

MSU Bulldog Football On CBS?

Posted by Kyle Weidie on August 18, 2008

Somehow CBS has accidentally leaked their SEC football broadcast schedule for this upcoming season….not sure why it must be a “leak” or an “accident” – CBS typically doesn’t announce the games they will televise until around 10 days before the match-up.

Nonetheless, Saturdays in the South seems to have stumbled onto something, and Deadspin is trying to confirm.

The Mississippi State Bulldogs only appear once on this supposedly tentative schedule….it’s the November 22nd date with Arkansas in Starkville. The caveat is that Ole Miss @ LSU and Tennessee @ Vanderbilt also appear as televised possibilities on the same date.

Right now, the Bulldogs only have three televised games on the schedule: the August 30 opener at Louisiana Tech (ESPN2) , the September 13 matchup versus Auburn in Starkville (ESPN2), and the November 28 finale against Ole Miss in Oxford (Raycom).

Let’s hope that Miss. State remains relevant up until that second to last game versus Arkansas. It’d be nice for Coach Croom and his Bulldogs to be broadcast into the living rooms of fans and potential recruits alike.

Posted in arkansas razorbacks, auburn tigers, louisiana tech, lsu tigers, mississippi state bulldogs, ncaa football, ole miss rebels, sec football, starkville, sylvester croom, tennessee volunteers, vanderbilt commodores | Leave a Comment »

Mississippi State Bulldog Football Overtime

Posted by Kyle Weidie on August 6, 2008

No, this post will not cover the history of Bulldog football over time, rather, the overtime history of Bulldog football.

SECFootballBlogger.com recently posted a YouTube video of the top 5 SEC overtime games of all time. Here’s the list [which looks to be compiled by SECTV, not SECFootballBlogger]:

5. Tennessee vs. LSU 2005
4. Arkansas vs. Ole Miss 2001
3. Georgia vs. Auburn 1996
2. Arkansas vs. Kentucky 2003
1. LSU vs. Kentucky 2007

Which naturally got me wondering about the Bulldogs and overtime. In case you don’t know, the OT rule for the NCAA was implemented in 1996. A list of all NCAA OT games since has been compiled by Dr. Peter A. Rosen and is posted here.

Here are the games in which Mississippi State has been involved:

  • Nov. 23, 1996 – Starkville – MSU 13 – Arkansas 16
  • Oct. 21, 2000 – Baton Rouge – MSU 38 – LSU 45
    (I was at this game, quite the trip.)
  • Nov. 18, 2000 – Starkville – MSU 10 – Arkansas 17
  • Dec. 31, 2000 – Independence Bowl – MSU 43 – Texas A&M 41
    (The Snow Bowl!)
  • Sept. 23, 2006 – Birmingham – MSU 16 – UAB 10

2-3 in all OT games.
0-3 in SEC OT games.
1-3 in regular season OT games.
1- 0 in bowl OT games.

And that’s the history, over time.

On another note, Chris Low (SEC Football Blogger on ESPN.com) puts the Bulldogs at #9 in his SEC Power Rankings, he says:

The first four games are critical for the Bulldogs. They have to find a way to come out of those four at least 3-1. It remains to be seen if Mississippi State has enough offensive playmakers to match last season’s success.

I’d love to be more optimistic, but I think the Dawgs will go 2-2 during the opening four game stretch. Hopefully, Coach Croom’s team will take care of, but not underestimate, Louisiana Tech and Southeastern Louisiana in the first two games. Auburn will be a big test in game three, but at least it’s at home. The wildcard is the game at Georgia Tech on September 20th.

In the USA Today Preseason Coaches Poll, the Bulldogs get six votes among the “others” (essentially ranking MSU 41st in the nation) while Georgia Tech receives two (ranked #50). Even though the matchup is in Atlanta, I suspect the Bulldog faithful will have a strong presence in the ATL. Combine that with general lack of support for the Yellow Jackets makes me revert from my prediction, feeling that 3-1 in the first four games in highly attainable.


Posted in arkansas razorbacks, auburn tigers, georgia tech, louisiana tech, lsu tigers, mississippi state bulldogs, ncaa football, sec football, southeastern louisiana, starkville, sylvester croom | 1 Comment »

Remembering Jeff Malone’s Basketball Career, a Mississippi State Bulldog Great

Posted by Kyle Weidie on August 2, 2008

Jeff Malone 76ers

After a very distinguished career at Mississippi State, Jeff Malone went on to have a 13-year NBA career with four different teams: the Washington Bullets, Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat. Known to be deadly from mid-range, Malone was running around the court and off screens before Reggie Miller spawned it into an art form, and much before Richard Hamilton made a living at it. He also had a knack for off-balanced shots, making him even tougher to defend.

Back in March, Gregg Ellis of the NE Mississippi Daily Journal (and his Inside Mississippi State Sports blog) briefly caught up with Malone who is now living in Chandler, Arizona (a suburb of Phoenix) and owning his own fuel distribution company. Here’s to remembering the accolades and basketball career of Jeff Malone.

Mississippi State Bulldogs

In his four years as a Bulldog in Starkville, Malone amassed over 2,100 points to go along with his 19.5 career scoring average over 110 games. I never had the privilege of seeing him play at “The Hump” in person, but the accounts of others, his career 51.2% from the field, and career 80.9% from the free-throw line, indicate that Malone was quite the pure shooter.

Unfortunately, his Bulldog teams did not fare so well. During Malone’s four year span from ’79-’83, which included the last two seasons of the Jim Hatfield era and the first two seasons of the Bob Boyd era, the Bulldogs had a cumulative record of 46-64 (23-49 in the SEC). The best year by far for both the Bulldogs and Malone was the ’82-’83 season, Malone’s senior campaign, where he led the team to a 17-12 record (9-9 SEC) with a 26.8 ppg average (2nd in the nation). However, this did not result in post-season play for Mississippi State.

Just imagine the numbers Jeff Malone might have put up had he not been in Bob Boyd’s slowed down offense. In ’81-’82, the Bulldogs averaged 49.5 points per game. With Malone’s 18.6 ppg that season, he was responsible for 37.6% of the Bulldogs scoring load. Team scoring improved in ’82-’83 to the tune of 69 points per game. With his 26.8 ppg that season, Jeff Malone was still responsible for 38.8% of Mississippi State’s scoring.

One of the few winning highlights Jeff Malone experienced prior to his senior year, was a game against the Kentucky Wildcats in Starkville on January 27th, 1982. Combined with a stifling Bulldog zone defense, Malone scored 16 points, along with his teammate, Butch Pierre, who chipped in 15, to upset Kentucky 56-51. This win broke the Bulldogs’ 17-game SEC losing streak, which spanned over two seasons.

The awards Jeff Malone accumulated while at Mississippi State included ’82-’93 All-American (Sporting News 1st team, NABC 3rd team, Basketball Times 5th team); 1st team SEC (AP) once and 2nd team twice (SEC POY in ’82-’83); ’83 SEC all-tournament team; and NABC All-District (two times 1st team, one time 2nd). Malone still holds Bulldog records for most points in a season (777), points in a career (2142), FG made in a season (323), FG in a career (906), most minutes played in a career (3851), and average minutes per game over a career (35.0).

The NBA: Washington Bullets

Jeff Malone’s collegiate credentials led him to being selected 10th overall by the Washington Bullets in the 1983 NBA Draft. According to the wonderful database at Basketball-Reference, Malone was second in his draft class in career scoring average and career minutes per game, right after Clyde Drexler, who went 14th to the Portland Trailblazers, in both categories.

Malone spent his first seven seasons with the Washington Bullets. As a rookie in ’83-’84, he averaged 12.1 points per game on his way to landing on the all-rookie team, joining Thurl Bailey, Ralph Sampson, Byron Scott, Steve Stipanovich, and Darrell Walker (curious that Clyde the Glide wasn’t on the team…playing behind Jim Paxson, who led the Blazers in scoring with 21.3 ppg that season, didn’t allow Drexler much time on the court).

Some say that Malone couldn’t do much aside from score, but one thing he did do well is take care of the ball. He led the NBA with the lowest turnover percentage (an estimate of turnovers per 100 plays) in his second year, and finished in the top 10 of that category in nine of his 13 seasons in the league. Today, Malone still has the 7th best NBA career turnover percentage.

By year three with the Bullets, Jeff Malone was 6th in the NBA in minutes played, 8th in points scored, and 10th in free-throw percentage on his way to being an All-Star in 1986 and in 1987. Malone will always be remembered most as a Washington Bullet. In fact, Wizards/Bullets blog, Bullets Forever, voted him the 7th best Wizard/Bullet of all time. For more on his career in DC, I’d highly suggest reading Bullets Forever #7: Jeff Malone.

The NBA: Utah Jazz

After the ’89-’90 season, Malone was traded to the Utah Jazz, becoming the “other” Malone, in a three-team deal that had Utah sending Bobby Hansen and Eric Leckner along two draft picks to Sacramento. Pervis Ellison was sent from the Kings to the Bullets, who also sent their 2nd round pick in the ’91 draft to the Kings. The Jazz, seeking more offensive firepower to take focus away from John Stockton, Karl Malone, and Thurl Bailey, found a remedy in Jeff Malone. Over the next three seasons, Malone would serve as the Jazz second leading scorer, to Karl Malone, averaging a hair under 19.0 points per game.

Malone also dropped over 20.0 ppg in the playoffs during his first two years in Utah, playing especially well in the ’92 Western Conference Semi-Finals against the Seattle Sonics with scoring and defense against Ricky Pierce. Jeff Malone averaged 22.4 ppg in the series as Utah went on to win four games to one, the first time in franchise history that the Jazz moved past the second round of the NBA playoffs. Utah would ultimately lose to Portland 4-2 in the conference finals, the Blazers in turn lost to Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls in the ’92 NBA Finals.

In the ’94-’95 season, numbers started to fall off for a 32-year old Malone in Utah. He averaged 16.2 ppg, a career low aside from his rookie year, before being traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in the middle of the season, along with a conditional 1st round pick, for a 30-year old Jeff Hornacek, Sean Green and a 2nd round pick.

The story goes that Jeff Malone felt under-appreciated, slipped into the doghouse of Utah coach, Jerry Sloan, and that the Jazz simply wanted a shooter with more range. Malone wasn’t exactly known for his distance shooting prowess as he made only 86 three-pointers in his career, an average of 0.1 made per game, with a career 26.8% from deep. In stepped Jeff Hornacek, who also had the ability to fill in for John Stockton at the point when necessary.

Long time Utah Jazz sports announcer, Rod Hundley, wrote about Jeff Malone in his 1998 book, “Hot Rot Hundley: You Gotta Love It Baby,” co-authored with Tom McEachin.

Jeff Malone wasn’t the answer, though. He was a great shooter from 15 feet in but if he wasn’t scoring, he wasn’t helping you. He was smart enough to put the ball in Stockton’s hands, however, because if he got open he knew the ball was coming back…….That’s why everybody likes Stockton. If you make that move, the ball is there and at the right time. So Jeff always worked hard on offense when Stockton was on the court with him.

Jeff was always fading when he shot the ball but he had great control of the shot. Great shooters can do that, shoot off-balance, going toward the hoop, falling backwards, falling left, falling right. He practiced that stuff. A 15-footer was just like a layup for him. Anything from the foul line in was a great shot, and he was great along the baseline too. He could even drift behind the plane of the backboard and make that shot. A lot of guys have to be in front of the hoop looking right down the barrel, but Jeff could shoot just as well from the baseline. He didn’t have the shooting depth, however. He couldn’t shoot the 3-pointer.

The one thing about Jeff Malone was that you could expect him to miss some games every year. It was probably in his contract. He just wasn’t going to play 82 games. He just sat out games, saying his back was hurting or something. He was that kind of a guy. He didn’t have that Stockton-Malone attitude about playing, he just floated though games. I don’t think it bothered him whether he played or not.

The NBA: Philadelphia 76ers & Miami Heat

After the mid-season trade to Philly, Malone suited up on February 26, 1994 for his first game on a 76er team with a 20-34 record. The Sixers would only win five more games that season, while Jeff averaged 16.8 points in 33.4 minutes per game. The combination of a rookie Shawn Bradley, Clarence Weatherspoon, Dana Barros, and a 38-year old Moses Malone wasn’t cutting it for Philly.

The following season (’94-’95), the Philadelphia 76ers were even worse, finishing with a 24-58 record. Malone was limited to just 19 games with a foot injury, placed on the IR by late December, and only appeared in once more game that season, scoring 28 points in a March 22nd affair against the Golden State Warriors.

Malone’s final season in the NBA would come in 95-96 as injuries had taken their toll. His minutes with the Sixers dwindled to 16.3, field goals made below 40%, and points per game to 6.2. Malone played five minutes in his last game in Philly in December of 2006. He was acquired by the Miami Heat in February of ’96, and scored 10 points in 26 minutes off the bench in a six point Miami win over the Denver Nuggets. However, Malone would only play six more games for the Heat, and played his final NBA game on February 25, 1996.

Jeff Malone retired from the NBA tallying over 17,000 points (his total currently puts him at 68th most in NBA history), playing in 905 games, while shooting a career 48.4% from the field, and 87.1% from the free-throw line, which is good enough to rank him 18th best over an NBA career.

Post NBA Play

In January of 1997, Malone signed with VAO Thessaloniki of the Greek League for 180 million lire for the rest of the season. This Geocities site had a nice write-up on Jeff Malone’s Greek experience:

When he arrived, VAO was the worse team in the Greek Championship and needed a few wins in order not to fall in the 2nd division. Malone helped more with his presence than with his game. His teammates seemed inspired and the team made more victories on the 2nd half of the season, including a great victory over Olympiakos (who won the European, the Greek Championship and the Greek Cup that year). Malone was not in shape though. At age 36 he was slow and except 1-2 good games, he was shooting a lot but not scoring much. He averaged 14.6 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1 assist shooting 39% from the field, 29% from the 3-point line and 76% in the free throws, in 12 games played. VAO, who desperately needed a super-scorer, left the division in the end of the year.

Coaching Career

Jeff Malone’s coaching career began in 1998 as an assistant with the Yakima Sun Kings of the Continental Basketball Association (CBA). The next season, he went on to be an assistant for the San Diego Stingrays of the International Basketball League (IBL), and was promoted to head coach during the season. In the following year, Malone went on to become head coach of the Trenton Stars, also of the IBL.

In 2001, Malone was afforded an opportunity with the newly created National Basketball Development League (NBDL) as head coach of the Columbus Riverdragons. During four seasons at the helm, Malone amassed a record of 102-98, winning the D-League regular season crown in ’04-’05, but losing to the Asheville Altitude in the finals.

After that season, the Riverdragons moved to Austin, Texas and became the Toros. Malone headed to Fort Myers to become head coach of the NBDL’s Florida Flame. Unfortunately, during the ’06-’07 season, the team had to suspend operations due to issues with their home arena and has not been an active member of the NBDL since. I assume this is about the time that Malone and his family packed up and moved to Arizona.

Jeff Malone Tid-Bits

  • At the 2002 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament, Jeff Malone represented Mississippi State as an SEC Legend.
  • Jeff Malone was named to the 1981-1990 all-decade SEC basketball first team, along with Chris Jackson, Charles Barkley, Sam Bowie, and Dominique Wilkins.
  • A 1984 buzzer-beater that Malone hit against the Pistons when he was a rookie with the Bullets made it onto a NBA.com/History Channel list of the 10 greatest shots in NBA history. You can see the shot here on YouTube, it’s part of a longer clip and comes in about the 3:04 mark.
  • A 1999 Sports Illustrated series on the top 50 greatest sports figures from each state lists Jeff Malone as #43 from the state of Georgia.
  • A 1998 Sports Illustrated article, Paternity Ward, about athletes and out-of-wedlock kids cited Jeff Malone as being falsely accused of having a child with a former college lover. An excerpt from the article:
    • Certainly there have been false charges made against athletes. Former NBA All-Star Jeff Malone was the victim of a baseless paternity suit filed by a former college lover. Although genetic tests had proved he was not the father of the child, Malone says that on four or five occasions he saw the woman at his games, telling the child to wave at him. Eventually he submitted to a second round of tests to further disprove paternity and says he enlisted NBA security to prevent the woman from harassing him. “When she came up with the story, there was a big article, but when word got back that it wasn’t my child, there was a tiny article,” says Malone. “Mostly I felt bad for the kid.”
  • World B. Free once praised Malone by saying, “He reminds me of a young me.”
  • Jeff Malone has listed Darrell Walker, Delaney Rudd, and Felton Spencer as his favorite players he played with.
  • Michael Jordan & Jeff Malone – From Sports Illustrated in 1989: “If there’s a pattern in some of the teams that stop me,” says Jordan, “it’s that they make me play defense against a big, physical guard who runs off picks. Washington has Jeff Malone. Dallas has Rolando Blackman. Seattle has Dale Ellis. I can’t post these guys up that easily because they’re as big and strong as I am. I know Malone ‘s not supposed to be a good defensive player, but he comes after me.”
  • Jeff Malone is listed on page 103 in One Last Shot: The Story of Michael Jordan’s Comeback by Mitchell Krugel as a ‘Jordan Stopper’ along with Rolando Blackman, Kevin Johnson, and John Starks.
  • Former Bullet Darrell Walker once said, “Everybody has somebody they can not guard. Michael Jordan just couldn’t guard Jeff Malone. I was a point guard playing alongside Malone, and Jeff just killed Jordan. Jordan even wrote about it in his book.”
  • More evidence of the Michael Jordan-Jeff Malone battles, a quote from Hang Time: Days and dreams with Michael Jordan by Bob Greene in reference to a February 1992 triple-overtime game between the Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz. Malone only had 13 points that night, but the ball was in his hands at the end of the game and he led the Jazz to a 126-123 win:
    • But on the basketball court he’d [Michael Jordan] had a rare angry confrontation with a referee that had resulted in his being ejected from a game. It had taken place in Salt Lake City, near the end of a terrific triple-overtime contest against the Utah Jazz. As the clock was running down, Utah’s Jeff Malone drove for the basket and a foul was called on Jordan. Jordan exploded at referee Tommie Wood – he knew that Malone’s ensuing foul shot would win the game – and when Wood walked away from him, Jordan followed, arguing heatedly with Wood and, according to Wood, bumping into him. A technical foul was called on Jordan, he was thrown out and sent to the locker room, the Jazz did indeed win……..

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MSU Bulldog Basketball Run-Down

Posted by Kyle Weidie on July 17, 2008

Barry Stewart Injury

The MSU junior recently experienced a stress fracture in his ankle from playing pickup ball and is expected to be out 6-8 weeks (he’s evidently in his second week of rehab now). Ankle injuries are never a joke, as I’ve experienced many myself. I’ve always been told that a bad sprain (with ligament issues) is worse than breaking an ankle, but I’m not sure how a stress fracture compares. Of course, Stewart’s injury required surgery, most ankle injuries don’t. Kentucky’s Patrick Patterson had the same injury at the end of last February and missed the rest of the season, including the Wildcat’s first round NCAA tournament loss to six seed Marquette.

This is a pretty significant setback for Barry Stewart, who experienced a down sophomore campaign, especially shooting wise (Stewart’s true shooting % went down eight points from his freshman year). If anything, Stewart will just miss out on pick-up games, but will still be able to hit the weights to increase upper body strength. He’s expected to make a full recovery before practice starts in mid-October, but hopefully he’ll be ready much earlier to go through sanctioned individual workouts preceding official team practices.

To Wear or Not To Wear

Rick Stansbury wants to make sure potential recruits know who the heck he is….or at least who he coaches for, Mississippi State…you damn right. From a recent SI.com college basketball recruiting update:

This year’s winner for best use of a garment as a billboard is Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury, who outfitted himself and his assistants in white shirts with the school’s name written in huge maroon letters. The shirts eschewed school initials — MSU also could be Michigan State, Murray State or Morgan State — and logos — a Bulldog could represent Georgia or Gonzaga — to eliminate any confusion. That may seem like a little thing, but not every prospect knows the difference between a Georgia Bulldog and a Mississippi State Bulldog.

Gotta make Mississippi State known and distinguished….we all know about Richard Williams getting upset over ‘Mississippi’ hats when the Bulldogs made it to the Final Four in 1996.

You can also check out what a couple MSM blogs have on Stansbury and summer talk.

Clarion-Ledger MSU Blog – Kyle Veazey
Inside Miss. State Sports – Gregg Ellis

Basketball Schedule?

It’s still being developed…..but word is that the Bulldogs will be taking part in the Legends Classic, which will be played in Newark, New Jersey. Evidently, the top four participants, Pittsburgh, Texas Tech, Washington State, and the MSU Bulldogs, will host the first two rounds of games on each of their respective campuses from November 20-23. The finals will be played at the Prudential Center in Newark on November 28-29.

The Bulldogs will also play South Alabama in Starkville on December 13th and Centenary will be coming to the Hump to open their season on November 15th.

What Exactly is a “Fearless” Prediction?

Luke Winn of SI.com is making some “fearless” predictions for the upcoming college basketball season. Mississippi State factors into prediction #19:

If Jamont Gordon can get Raycom on his TV in Europe (or some NBDL outpost), he’ll tune in and realize he could have made Mississippi State the champs of the SEC West … but now, no one in the entire league will really challenge Tennessee.

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