Hey, it's Thursday, which means I have an opinion offering for you this morning. It's about the basketball team and the grand possibilities that lie before it - and the worrisome distractions that don't exist at the moment.
This team has all the right pieces to make a strong run in the SEC and the postseason. Only injuries or a self-implosion could hold this team back, and of course we've seen a good bit of the latter the last couple of seasons. There seems to be a healthier dynamic among this group that in the recent past, although as I wrote about Renardo Sidney, "He's the stick of dynamite that could blow up the whole thing."
I guess he's also the guy who could help the Bulldogs take this to the next level. If he can stop yapping at referees and keep playing the way he has the last few games, MSU's frontcourt will be a handful for any team.
• Also in today's Journal is an MSU notebook, in which I cover MSU's online changes, Vick Ballard's Senior Bowl selection, Dee Bost being named a Bob Cousy Award finalist, and the death of former Bulldog linebacker Ray Costict.
• I swear that today is the day we meet with head basketball coach Rick Stansbury and players. This gathering has been postponed twice - and for very good reasons - but I'll be in Starkville later this morning, so follow along on Twitter for updates.
• Big decision time: Aberdeen defensive end Channing Ward will announce his college choice tonight during the Under Armour All-Star Game (6:30 p.m., ESPN). He told Rivals.com yesterday that he's narrowed his list to three schools: Alabama, Ole Miss and MSU.
Rumors are strong that Ward, a four-star prospect, will choose Ole Miss. But this is recruiting we're talking about, so I won't believe anything until he puts a hat on. And maybe not even then.
My boy Brandon Speck had a column about Ward that ran Wednesday. Good stuff.
• The Lady Bulldogs open SEC play tonight at 7 versus LSU. Both teams are 10-3, with LSU already having an SEC game under its belt - an 83-44 win over Ole Miss on Sunday.