Mississippi State basketball notebook

Bulldogs open with Miami in Puerto Rico Tip-Off

Mississippi State’s non-conference men’s basketball schedule continued to take shape on Thursday as the bracket for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off was announced.
The Bulldogs, led by first-year head coach Ben Howland, will begin action in the event on Nov. 19th when they face Miami. MSU will then play either Texas Tech or Utah the next day before wrapping up in Puerto Rico with a contest on Nov. 22.
Other teams participating in the eight-team field are Butler, Minnesota, Missouri State and Temple.
“This is a very strong tournament field that will later have teams in the NCAA Tournament,” Howland said in a university release. “I know our team will be excited to play and it’s the type of tournament that will certainly get us ready for the SEC.”
All games in the tournament will take place at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan.
Each game of the event will be broadcast by ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPN3.
Mississippi State’s game times against Miami and its final opponent in the tournament will be determined at a later date, though MSU’s second-round contest will be at either 4 p.m. or 6 p.m.
The Bulldogs have previously met each of the teams on their side of the bracket at least once. MSU and Miami are 2-2 against each other with the Hurricanes winning the last meeting 64-58 in December of 2007. Mississippi State lost its only meeting against Texas Tech in 2009 and defeated Utah in the two schools’ lone game in 1995.
The Puerto Rico event will be MSU’s first games of the 2015-16 season to be played away from Humphrey Coliseum. The Bulldogs open the year by hosting Eastern Washington on Nov. 13 and Southern University on Nov. 16.

Strugg to enroll this month
A Mississippi State basketball spokesman confirmed Thursday that Joseph Strugg has been cleared by the NCAA and will enroll at MSU this month.
Strugg is the final piece of Howland’s first signing class with the Bulldogs, along with Malik Newman, Aric Holman and Quinndary Weatherspoon.
The 6-foot-8 forward comes to MSU from Carver High School in Montgomery, Alabama, the same high school that current Mississippi State guard Craig Sword and former Bulldog Roquez Johnson attended.

Stapleton arrest due to clerical mistake
MSU guard Xavian Stapleton’s Saturday arrest was due to a clerical error the Starkville Daily News was able to confirm Thursday.
Stapleton was arrested by Mississippi State police for speeding and driving with a suspended license, but the district attorney’s office in Ouachita Parish in Monroe, Louisiana said Stapleton’s license should have never been suspended.
Stapleton was granted an extension to pay a previous citation in Louisiana, and though Stapleton paid the ticket in full, the extension date wasn’t placed into the computer, thus resulting in the suspension of Stapleton’s license.


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