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Mississippi State star of civil rights era dies

Mike Krzyzewski’s team again must regroup.

Mike Krzyzewski’s team again must regroup.

JACKSON, Miss. — W.D. "Red" Stroud, a former Mississippi State basketball star and member of the state's Sports Hall of Fame, died Saturday after a battle with leukemia. He was 66.

Mr. Stroud was a member of the 1963 Bulldogs when the team left Starkville against the wishes of Mississippi leaders to play in the NCAA Tournament against an integrated Loyola team.

During those turbulent years, Mississippi's universities were pressured not to participate in games against integrated teams.

Mr. Stroud played for the Bulldogs from 1961-63, averaging 15.1 points, played briefly in the American Basketball Association, then coached high school basketball.

He ranked fourth on the university's career free-throw list at 82.5 percent.

Mr. Stroud was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.

DUKE PONDERS: Duke started the season as it always seems to. The finish was familiar, too, for the wrong reasons.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski's team seemed to make plenty of progress during a 22-1 start. Then came five losses in the last 11 games that included a second straight year of short stays in both the conference and NCAA tournaments, capped by a 73-67 loss to West Virginia in the second round of the NCAAs.

Krzyzewski was talking about that loss in the postgame media session, but he could have been talking about the season when he said that "we had, I think, good looks, good things right around the basket. We didn't have real good finishes."

Bounced before the region semifinals for the second straight year, the Blue Devils head into the offseason trying to figure out how to recapture the swagger of a program that, by its standards, might have slipped. Krzyzewski preferred to take a big-picture look rather than isolate the way it ended.

DeMarcus Nelson is the only member of the 10-man rotation who's expected to leave, and ACC rookie of the year Kyle Singler and his eight returning teammates have seven months to improve their conditioning.

"That's a great season. … You always have to look at the full body of work, and this team was a lot of fun and great to work with, a young group," Krzyzewski said. "I'm proud of our guys."

Mississippi State star of civil rights era dies 03/23/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:46am]
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