Probable starters


• G Jordin Mayes (6-2 sophomore)

• G Kyle Fogg (6-3, senior)

• F Solomon Hill (6-6, junior)

• F Jesse Perry (6-7, senior)

• C Kyryl Natyazhko (6-11, junior)

Mississippi State

•G Dee Bost (6-2 senior)

•G Rodney Hood (6-8 freshman)

•G Brian Bryant (6-3 senior)

•F Arnett Moultrie (6-11 junior)

•F Renardo Sidney (6-10 junior)


MSG not kind to Miller

It's natural for just about everyone to wax poetic when playing at Madison Square Garden - except, that is, for Arizona coach Sean Miller. As a player at Pittsburgh, Miller was a part of six Big East Tournament games at the Garden and lost four of them. "As much as I enjoyed being in the Big East Tournament, that wasn't always our thing," Miller said. "We always had an early exit." Counting regular season games, Miller was 5-7 overall at the Garden as a player at Pitt.

Good Sidney or bad Sidney?

So which Renardo Sidney will show up tonight? The one who was suspended for nine games last season and opted out of the Bulldogs' preseason trip to Europe, or the one who is an immense talent and can make a huge difference on the floor? "Skill level is never a question," Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury said. "He is better than he was. His attitude has been much better and the biggest thing is his conditioning, so he can play the minutes he needs."

Parrom feeling "lucky"

UA forward Kevin Parrom made the pages of the New York Post on Thursday, when he discussed his brother's incarceration for narcotics possession, his grandmother's death in August. "I know some people will not understand this, but I feel so lucky,'' Parrom told the Post. "My mom and dad sheltered me from so many of the bad moments in life. Not many kids from my neighborhood get the chances I've gotten. They never get out. I'm somewhat of a miracle.''


• The series: Arizona is 2-1 against Mississippi State but hasn't faced the Bulldogs for seven years. The Wildcats beat MSU 68-64 in the Wooden Classic at Anaheim, Calif. Arizona lost 75-74 to the Bulldogs in the final game of the 2000-01 Fiesta Bowl Classic, when Lute Olson took a leave of absence because of his ill wife, Bobbi, who died two days later.

• Mississippi State overview: Chemistry problems have defined the Bulldogs recently, with both Bost and Sidney missing nine games last season for suspensions, and Mississippi State snapped a six-year NCAA tournament streak. But when Bost and Sidney are on, they're a force - Sidney with his size and inside-outside game, and Bost with his ability to find shots and teammates equally well. UTEP transfer Moultrie adds size and production inside; he averaged a double-double during a preseason exhibition trip to Europe.

• Who's out: Arizona: C Alex Jacobson (back) is probable if needed.


Dee Bost

Mississippi State

The Bulldogs' veteran point guard sat out the first half of last season with NCAA and academic suspensions but finished strongly. This season, he has also been playing off the ball and sharing the backcourt with Bryant.

Kyryl Natyazhko


There will be games all season where the Wildcats must get production out of their Ukrainian big man and this figures to be one of them. Mississippi State has a combination of size and skills inside that demands attention from comparably sized players.

He said it

"They may be one of the most talented teams we will face all year; they have three NBA players on their team. They run a lot of NBA pro-style (offense), and it's going to be hard to score around the basket on them."

UA assistant coach Book Richardson, who scouted the Bulldogs.

Numbers game


Million dollars raised by the 2K Sports Classic to benefit Coaches vs. Cancer.


Players who participated in the 2K Sports Classic and went in the first 10 picks of the last six NBA drafts.


Assists shy of Mississippi State's school record (514) that Dee Bost was after Thursday's game with Texas A&M.

Bruce Pascoe