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MSU Basketball Head Coach Ben Howland Introduced, Plans to Take School to Tournament

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STARKVILLE, Miss.–Mississippi State introduced their 20th head basketball coach Tuesday at a press conference and rally at Humphrey Coliseum. Ben Howland is a former coach at UCLA and agreed to a four-year contract.

Howland has a history of success at UCLA, but said he is excited about coaching in the SEC.

“The SEC is a special conference. To have the opportunity to compete at the highest level, to play against the best team in the country, Kentucky,” Howland told Head to Head’s Richard Cross and Matt Wyatt.

“Ultimately the goal is to try to get in that tournament (NCAA) and when you get in the tournament, anything happens.”


He said that he feel it is a privilege to compete against the best teams in the country, a sentiment echoed by MSU Athletic Dir. Scott Stricklin at the press conference about having Howland on board.

“I’ve long been an admirer of him and his teams and the way they’ve competed,” said Stricklin. “For Mississippi State to be successful at any sport, it is important that we do so with coaches and student athletes who represent what makes our school so special, people who are tough, competitive and hard-working. Ben, his teams, the ones he’s coached in the past, emoby those characteristics.”

Howland replaces Rick Ray, who was fired after four years on the job.

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