STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State women's basketball program's journey into uncharted territory continues.
STARKVILLE -- Vic Schaefer trusts experience.
When you have been coaching for more than 30 years, you tend to develop an ability to develop talent. It helps, too, when you have someone on your staff like associate head coach Johnnie Harris who has been through the battles in the Southeastern Conference and the Big 12 Conference, two of the nation's top leagues, and can help you nurture players and bring out the best they can deliver.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- For 30 minutes Thursday night, the No. 4 Mississippi State women's basketball team was immersed in one of those "knock-down, drag-out" games coach Vic Schaefer knows all too well from his years in the Southeastern Conference.
STARKVILLE -- Humble and hungry.
Mississippi State women's basketball coach Vic Schaefer is going to try to follow that way of thinking the rest of the season. It might sound like a difficult proposition, especially since the Bulldogs are off to a program-record 19-0 start and have climbed to all-time high rankings in The Associated Press and the USA Today polls (No. 4).
Character is important to Tyrone Shorter.
He tries to mold it into all of his football players at Noxubee County. He also tries to instill it in the Tigers by playing some of the toughest competition every season.
CARROLLTON, Ala. -- The pictures chart Jeff White's maturation.
One picture -- appropriately secured in a frame with a baseball motif -- has White mustering all of his strength to wield a bat in T-ball. Another picture shows White standing a little taller than his age-group teammates. Another is a color one of him in his Pickens Academy uniform -- No. 44 -- and a black and white picture of his grandfather, Jack, poised in a catcher's stance.
Codie Futral cradled the ball in his hands as the final seconds expired.
The Starkville Academy senior then turned his right shoulder and pointed to some of the remaining Volunteer faithful to acknowledge their support.
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State women's basketball team has had an uncanny knack for making history the past three seasons.
Whether it's imposing its defensive will on opponents or frustrating them by taking multiple charges, coach Vic Schaefer has used toughness to transform the Bulldogs into a national contender.
STARKVILLE -- Matt Insell and the Ole Miss women's basketball team don't want anything to do with moral victories.
Coming off a victory against Tennessee that snapped a 28-game losing streak in that series, Insell is fired up about his team, and has been all season. The fourth-year coach believes in his Rebels and feels -- to coin a phrase the program has used all season -- it's time for them to take the next step and return to the NCAA tournament.
STARKVILLE -- Staying humble is important to Vic Schaefer.
STARKVILLE -- The memory remains fresh in Tom Anagnost's mind nearly 31 years later.
STARKVILLE -- The angled pass zipped from Victoria Vivians on the right wing to the right block.
STARKVILLE -- Teaira McCowan is a player after Vic Schaefer's heart, even if she puts baseline cameramen in peril.
To say the Mississippi State sophomore center doesn't know how strong she is would be an understatement. It is also safe to say that the safety of cameramen for the SEC Network or other ESPN entities or photographers might be in question when McCowan is on the court.
Kristie Williams had a feeling good news as going to come, but sometimes you never know.
Still, Williams was able to keep the faith the longer the wait stretched into Thursday because she believes Kelsey Jones is one of the top post players in the state of Mississippi.
STARKVILLE -- The milestones keeping piling up for the No. 4 Mississippi State women's basketball team.
On Thursday night, an 82-49 victory against Florida helped MSU match the 2014-15 team for the best start in program history at 18-0. MSU will get a chance to eclipse that mark at 6 p.m. Monday (SEC Network) when it play host to Ole Miss at Humphrey Coliseum.
Todd Stanley has built a lot of memories and seen a lot of talented student-athletes in 20 years at West Lowndes High School.
On Wednesday, Stanley was proud to be a part of helping two more -- Fred Clark Jr. and Marcus Farmer -- realize opportunities to continue their athletic careers in college. Clark Jr. and Farmer made it official by signing National Letters of Intent to play baseball at Holmes Community College in Goodman. Farmer also will play football.
Terryonte Thomas didn't know what to make of the text message from Drew McBrayer: Call me ASAP.
Thomas thought the New Hope High School boys basketball coach wanted to talk to him about the team's practice Wednesday, when he felt worked hard and tried to get into the passing lanes, communicate with his teammates, and rotated to the back side.
While McBrayer appreciated Thomas' effort in practice to make the Trojans better, he wanted to tell Thomas he had been selected to play in the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Basketball Game.
STARKVILLE -- Great teams need floor generals.
With depth and experience at every position, Mississippi State women's basketball coach has the luxury of having leaders all over the court, but there is no question junior point guard Morgan William is the engine that drives the Bulldogs.
Even though William isn't MSU's most vocal player, she has kept a steady hand in her first two seasons in Starkville and gained the confidence of her teammates and coaches.
Science is Anna Kate O'Bryant's favorite subject.
History is a close second for the New Hope High School multi-sport standout. Whether it has been softball or soccer, O'Bryant has been a steady contributor and a solid leader for the Lady Trojans.
STARKVILLE -- Vic Schaefer knew the challenge he faced prior to the 2016-17 season.
With experience and depth at every position for really the first time in his five seasons at Mississippi State, Schaefer said several times finding playing time for all of his players might be one of his biggest issues coming off a program-best 28-win campaign and a trip to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.
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