Ben Howland is entering his third season as the head coach of Mississippi State. Historically speaking, the third year in a college basketball coaching tenure is usually put up or shut up time. The Bulldogs haven’t had a winning since 2012 and are hoping to change that this season. MSU is returning four starters from last year’s club and were picked to finish twelfth in the SEC.
The Bulldogs are a perfect 6-0 on the season, all six wins came at home against less than stellar competition. Whether or not Dayton would be Miss State’s first “test” of the season is obviously open for debate. The first thing that jumps out about MSU is their sheer size. Ben Howland’s roster features four players 6’10” or bigger that play significant minutes. I’d expect foul trouble from both Josh Cunningham and Kostas.
Junior shooting guard Quinndary Weatherspoon (12.2 ppg/5.5 rpg/4.8 apg) is the Bulldogs’ most talented player, a solid playmaker and will be the best defensive player on the floor. Nick Weatherspoon (12.0 ppg/44% 3fg), who sprouted from the same womb as Quinndary, was the top recruit in the state, a major get for Howland. The younger Weatherspoon is already logging thirty minutes per game and already has a DUI under his belt. Lamar Peters (12.3 ppg), a six-foot sophomore who made the SEC’s All-Freshman team, rounds out the Dogs’ three-guard lineup. Peters is a bit of a volume scorer, a kid who lacks a mid-range game at this stage of his career. Peters has been held out of the Bulldogs’ last three games due to a “violation of team rules.”
The MSU frontcourt is led by 6’10” junior Aric Holman and 6’11” freshman Abdul Ado. Holman (11.5 ppg/7.3 rpg/58% 3fg) facilitates a lot of offense from the top of the key on pick-and-pops and is an extremely versatile offensive player for his size. A double-double against UD is almost certain, folks. Ado (8.4 ppg/6.8 rpg/2.6 bpg) is from Nigeria, so the move to Starkville probably wasn’t that big of an adjustment. He’s an elite shot-blocker and solid around the rim.
Tyson Carter, a 6’4″ sophomore guard, put up 35 points in MSU’s win over North Dakota State on Thursday night. Carter (15.0 ppg/3.2 rpg/89% ft) is Howland’s best pure shooter, he’s attempting almost 60% of his shots from behind the three-point line, converting 34% of his attempts. Eli Wright (4.0 ppg/4.0 rpg) is Miss State’s John Crosby — he announced he was transferring after last season but came back to State with his tail between his legs. E.J. Datcher is a 6’9″ sophomore who eats pieces of shit like you for breakfast.
- Lots of hot takes resulting from Alabama making the college football playoff. Just remember, sports are supposed to make you miserable 99.9% of the time. So, OSU fans, this is just one of those times. Also, you guys didn’t want Clemson, be honest.
- John Crosby tenuous hold on the starting point-guard position seems to be slipping away from him quickly. This is actually the smartest thing AG can do in my opinion. Crosby obviously doesn’t figure into UD’s long-term plans, let’s see what we have with Crutcher and Davis and move on from there.
Hard to see a scenario where the Flyers come out winners in Starkville, yet I think they perform above expectations on Sunday. MSU isn’t an elite team, not by a long shot, but I certainly don’t expect the Flyers to go on the road and claim a Power Five scalp. Not this year.
Stay LOWD, remain NORMAL.
Tom Blackburn is a proud U. o' D. alum. He loses faith in humanity one day at a time, but not in you, you seem like you are all kinds of alright. Charter member of the T-Man fanclub.