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Q & A
with Jonathan

Q: “When is Mississippi State coach Jackie Sherrill going to figure out that QB Wayne Madkin has lost his touch? Do we have to lose the rest of the season?”
A:Jackie Sherrill has stuck by his 5th-year QB ever since he has been at MSU. But, the season Madkin is struggling, along with his 2-6 Bulldogs. Although all of the blame does not fall on Madkin, he is responsible for a big part of his team’s lack of success. The offense has not scored a touchdown on any of the last 12 drives in which he has been QB. After backup Kevin Fant (So.) came in and scored 17 points and the win for Miss. State against Kentucky, many thought that finally Kevin would get his first start. Not so, coach Jackie Sherrill proved. Wayne started the next week against Alabama, completing 2 of 8 for 8 yards with an interception. He was lifted at the end of the 2nd quarter, just before halftime. Fant promptly drove the Dog offense down the field for a TD. Now, heading into the final three games of the season, fans are again wondering what Jackie will do. What more can Kevin Fant do to prove that he is the man for the job? Jackie is too loyal, and Madkin will no doubt see playing time throughout the rest of the season. With games remaining at Arkansas, vs Mississippi, and vs BYU, the Dogs will have to play very well to win. If they want to win, Fant will play. If Jackie continues his past and continues to be loyal to Madkin, the Dogs will not win more than 1 more game as Madkin continues to see playing time. State cannot afford to spot any of the remaining three teams 10 points, as they did against KY and Bama.

Q: “How do you think the SEC West is shaping up for this basketball season, and which teams will make it to the Big Dance?”
A:As usual, the SEC West is wide open for anyone to win. If you look at each and every team, there’s really a chance that any of the six could win the wild, wild West.

    Alabama lost forward Gerald Wallace to the NBA draft, but they do return Rod Grizzard and Erwin Dudley, two players who, in my opinion, may be overrated. Auburn was shocked earlier this year when guard Jamison Brewer decided to declare for the NBA draft. The suspension of a couple other basketball Tigers does not help either. Coach Cliff Ellis usually finds a way to win, though. Arkansas is always a contender in SEC basketball. Although they lost Joe Johnson, an All-American, to the NBA, Jannero Pargo should step up for the Hogs. He played really well as the season went on in 2000-2001. LSU is probably the least likely team to win the West. They will win some games, but don’t look for them in the top 3 in the West. Mississippi is coming off probably its best year ever. The loss of senior Rahim Lockhart will hurt the Rebels until they find a replacement. If head coach Rod Barnes finds a few other players to compliment PG Jason Harrison and F Justin Reed, the Rebels could be in the NCAAs again. Mississippi State is probably the team in the West with the most potential to be a success. And for coach Rick Stansbury, they better play well this season. Mario Austin (So.), Michael Ignerski (Jr.), and Derrick Zimmerman (Jr.) are just a few of the young, talented players the Bulldogs have. If they come together, the Dogs could return to the NCAA Tournament again for the first time since 1996.
    The West is up for grabs, and you could make a case for any team winning the division. But, looking at it right now, this is how I would project the SEC West finishing up (with the probability of each team making it to the NCAA’s, 1-10, 10 being a sure bet for March Madness:
      1) Arkansas (8)
      2) Mississippi (7)
      3) Alabama (5)
      4) Mississippi State (5)
      5) Auburn (4)
      6) LSU (2)

Q: “I have a recruiting question about Derek Morris. Any news about who he'll commit to? I'd like to think he'd go with Auburn after our wins...but last I checked, we're not even in his top 6! Oh well.”
A:Morris is an OL from Huntersville, NC (North Mecklenberg HS). He truly is a monster, weighing 315 lbs. and standing 6’6”. According to FansOnly, he is one of Bill Hodge’s top 150 prospects in the nation and is rated a Super Prospect. He has not committed to anyone yet, but as you said, Auburn is not at the top of his list. However, it appears that the Tigers should win the SEC West, and with the success they have had the past few seasons, the quality and quantity of Tommy Tuberville’s recruits will only improve.

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