After a year that many may not have expected, your Bulldogs are coming back better, and hungrier than last years team. Head coach, Ben Howland, has done a great job over the past three years in recruiting and in getting the Bulldogs back into their winning ways. In his three years at Mississippi State, Howland has put up a 55-45 record, and has gotten the Bulldogs into the second round in the SEC Tournament each of the past two seasons.
Last season, State posted an impressive 25-12 record, but sadly missed out on the NCAA Tournament. They did make it to the NIT though, and won their way to the “Final Four” before losing to the 2018 NIT Champion Penn State Nittnay Lions. Last years schedule was a rough one, as it included ten NCAA Tournament teams along with LSU and Georgia, both of whom were invited to the NIT Tournament as well.
Now, that was last year. On to this year.
Your Bulldogs come into the year ranked at #18, putting them behind only three SEC teams. State will have a tough schedule this season as well, as they have to play #22 Clemson, Cincinnati, and other rough games such as Arizona State, Dayton, and BYU. And those are only the non-conference games on the schedule. As soon as you jump into SEC play, you have #6 Tennessee, #2 Kentucky, #11 Auburn, #23 LSU, Texas A&M, and games in Columbus, Oxford, Fayetteville, and Nashville as well.
After only losing one player from last seasons roster, Mississippi State has many talented NBA prospects on the roster, such as seniors Aric Holman and Quinndary Weatherspoon, juniors Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter, sophomores Nick Weatherspoon and Abdul Ado, and the talented trio of freshman Reggie Perry, Robert Woodard, and D.J. Stewart. Howland also brought in transfers Prince Oduro from Siena and Jethro Tshisumpa from Arizona State, both of which should be able to expand the depth of this roster greatly down the road, and could possibly end up playing a big role as well. This is a very special group of kids that could take MSU deep into the SEC and NCAA tournaments.
Bulldog fans, coaches, and players included should be excited about this upcoming season as they look to get back into the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009, and get us back on top of the SEC like they did in 2009 as well. The Bulldogs are tabbed as the fourth best team in the SEC, and they also were tabbed as a dark-horse team to sneak into the Final Four.