20 Players On All-Century Team As MSU Celebrates 100 Years Of Hoops
STARKVILLE, Miss. - When Mississippi State officially ushers in the 2011-12 campaign on Nov. 7, it will mark a monumental milestone in the program's history as the 100th season of basketball makes its debut.
The year-long celebration will feature highlights from great Bulldog moments, such as the historical 1963 squad that won the SEC title and garnered a bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history, the 1996 team that advanced to the Final Four and the achievements under current MSU coach Rick Stansbury. And that's just a small sampling.
In addition, every home game at Humphrey Coliseum will feature an honorary captain, while selected games will offer promotional items for fans as they enter the turnstiles.
"100 is a special number and it presents the perfect opportunity for us to celebrate our basketball history here at Mississippi State," MSU athletics director Scott Stricklin said. "We've had a lot of great moments involving many, many players and coaches, and I know our fans are looking forward in helping us celebrate this special time."
Yet, if there's one facet of this celebration that personifies this highly-anticipated event, it's the All-Century team that is comprised of 20 players selected from a panel of former coaches and players, media members, current basketball staff members and athletic personnel.
The panel was presented with 43 nominees from which the 20 finalists were chosen. It's an outstanding group of former players that represent all decades dating back from the 1950s and includes such great names as Jim Ashmore, Bailey Howell, Leland Mitchell, Rickey Brown , Jeff Malone, Erick Dampier, Darryl Wilson, Timmy Bowers, Lawrence Roberts and Jarvis Varnado, just to name a few. And from this talented group of 20, fans will vote on the Starting 5.
But voting isn't just limited to the All-Century Team, as fans are also encouraged to select the five greatest games in school history from a list of 10 games chosen by the committee.
From the 1959 game against Ole Miss to clinch Mississippi State's first SEC title to the 2009 SEC Tournament championship matchup with Tennessee, not to mention the 1963 NCAA Tournament game against Loyola or the 1996 win again Cincinnati to punch the Bulldogs' ticket to the Final Four, selected were memorable games fans have talked about for decades.
While voting for both the All-Century Team and the "Greatest Games" fans can scroll over the names and individual game selections for detailed information. To actually cast the votes, simply drag the players' pictures or the games into the designated boxes, with the final results to be announced in February.
To participate in the voting process, fans can cast their ballots at www.mstateathletics.com (see interactive voting interface below) or at www.facebook.com/mstateMBK (click on 100 Year MBB Polls tab link on left).