1 of 10
Rogelio V. Solis, Associated Press
Rick Ray gestures after being introduced as Mississippi State’s head basketball coach on Monday, April 2, 2012 at the school's Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville, Miss. The 40-year-old Ray comes to Mississippi State after spending two years as the top assistant at Clemson.

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Rick Ray has been introduced as Mississippi State's head men's basketball coach.

The 40-year-old Ray said during Monday's press conference it was a "no-brainer" to take the Bulldogs' job.

Comment on this story

He has spent two years as the top assistant at Clemson. He's also been an assistant coach at Purdue, Northern Illinois and Indiana State.

Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin praised Ray's background, saying Ray "is ready to be a head coach" after consistently reaching the NCAA tournament as an assistant with Clemson and Purdue.

Ray replaces Rick Stansbury, who retired in March after 14 seasons leading the program. Ray inherits a roster in flux — juniors Renardo Sidney and Arnett Moultrie have already announced their intention to pursue a professional career while freshman DeVille Smith has also left the program.