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Big House looks like place to be; Jackson comes up MIA

By Staff
March 2, 2001
Thoughts whizzing about while wondering when the rain will end.
Well, week one of the festivities at the Mississippi Coliseum is drawing to a close and there are still seven teams alive in The Meridian Star's coverage area.
Even if the South Leake Wildcats avenge their earlier playoff loss to Hinds AHS this evening, that number is guaranteed to go down to an even half-dozen on Saturday night.
For those of you that have been living under a rock lately, the Choctaw Central Lady Warriors will hook up with the Southeast Lauderdale Lady Tigers yet again in what can only be described as a high school spectacle.
We usually don't "plug" games per say, but this one like the others promises to be worth the price of admission. Get there early, because the nearly 9,000-seat structure will be filled. Not only will there be plenty of fans from the area, but my guess is that the interest level from the rest of the state will be a little significant also.
I know that in the past week, several media members from around the state have talked to me about being anxious to see Monique Horner lace em up.
Don't be surprised if she drops 40-something on the Lady Warriors in the track meet. But don't be surprised if Choctaw Central comes out on top. If current trends hold up, the Lady Warriors will advance to the final game.
But, who knows, this is one that could go either way. Pack it in Lauderdale and Neshoba County, and enjoy.
Where's Robert?
Mississippi State basketball fans will no longer enjoy being able to chant the trademark sing-song "Ro-bert Jack-son" as they have done whenever the junior center scores a basket.
For reasons unknown, Jackson will no longer be with the Bulldogs the rest of this season. According to head coach Rick Stansbury, Jackson neither quit, nor was he kicked off the team.
Let that sink in for a moment.
What does that mean, exactly?
Stansbury reportedly said he and Jackson sat down and decided it would be best if he wasn't with the team for the remainder of the season. Curious.
Now why would a team fighting desperately to keeping faint postseason hopes alive simply jettison one of its best players? And decide to "re-evaluate him during the offseason?" That explains a few things. I thought that Georgia loss on Wednesday night sounded a tad lopsided when I first heard the score.
Well, obviously since I don't have the man hours each week to be in Starkville all the time, and I'm usually covering a high school game when Scott McKinney's "Conference Call" is on, I have to say you won't find out the answer to that mystery here. I'll leave that one to the folks who get paid the big bucks to figure that one out.
I will say this, the Bulldogs are done. There's no way they will be able to get into the Southeastern Conference Tournament and win it now.
Not without Jackson. Yes I know, the Bulldogs still have access to former Sumter County great Mario Austin, but in the center position, you need experience in this league.
Sorry State fans, just calling it like I see it. Whatever the transgression if it even was one must have been pretty big. Let's face it, you just don't see those kind of decisions made during this time of year.
Kinda gives new meaning to the term "March Madness."
Richard Dark is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at rdark@themeridianstar.com.

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