"Obviously, we are disappointed in Rodney's decision," Ray said. "I was looking forward to getting a chance to develop and coach him. This decision, unfortunately, was made before my hire. The Hoods were forthright and honest about where they were when I met with them, and I appreciate their honesty.
"I look forward to putting together a team with the current members, rolling up our sleeves and recruiting new Bulldogs."
The 6-foot-8 Hood averaged 10.3 points and 4.8 rebounds and made the SEC all-freshman team.
"I want to thank Mississippi State for giving me an opportunity to play this year," Hood said. "It was just a long, tough year for me. Coach Ray will be a great asset to Mississippi State and getting to know him last week made this decision even harder, but after much thought, I am going to ask for a release. I wish my teammates and the program nothing but the best."