NASHVILLE, TENN. — It was a burning question.
How often does LSU coach Nikki Fargas visit her father-in-law, actor Antonio “Huggy Bear” Fargas, and discuss his most memorable role?
“He and my husband, when they get together, they are doing all types of re-enactment,” Nikki said. “It’s pretty funny.”
Antonio played the streetwise ultra-hip character in “Starsky and Hutch.” His son Justin Fargas played seven seasons for the Oakland Raiders, where he met Nikki.
“When I met Justin, I actually didn’t know who he was,” she said. Nikki, who watched the TV show growing up, then realized he looked exactly like the guy on the screen.
No. 2 again
Mississippi State was in a familiar place in the SEC women’s preseason predictions.
“It’s very frustrating, but you always got something in the back of your mind, telling you, ‘You still got something to work for,’” star guard Victoria Vivians said. “Just got to go back the next season and try to be first in everything.”
The Bulldogs posted their winningest season last year and were the darlings of the country after knocking off Connecticut in the NCAA tournament.
All MSU had to do was win one of its final two games to clinch its first SEC regular-season championship last season. The Bulldogs lost both, allowing South Carolina to sneak up and grab its fourth straight.
The Bulldogs and Gamecocks tussled for the SEC tournament title, USC seeking its third straight and MSU wanting its first. Gamecocks 59, Bulldogs 49. Then after posting one of the biggest upsets in the sport’s history, MSU was playing for the national championship. USC won.
This year’s preseason predictions again put the Gamecocks on top, despite losing three starters. MSU returns its star power from a year ago, but still was voted second.
Stylin’ and profilin’
Ole Miss coach Matt Insell showed up in a powder-blue pullover with the red school logo on the left breast. The lighter shade of blue will be incorporated into the Rebels’ uniforms this year before a bigger rollout next season.
“It’s ‘Italy Blue,’ that Nike came up with,” Insell said. “We’re going to have it as a trim on our white uniforms this year and then next year, we’ll have a full uniform.”
The powder/Italy blues next year will be an alternate uniform, with the Rebels continuing to wear red as their primary road togs.
More red than garnet
Georgia coach Joni Taylor passed a hello from her husband Darius Taylor to Gamecock Nation. Darius was an assistant coach under Dawn Staley from 2010-15.
The Taylors were engaged when Joni was elevated to head coach after Andy Landers retired. Darius resigned from USC to be with his bride. The couple welcomed their first child, Jacie Elise, around a year ago and she’s doing fine.