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Fall Hoops Check In: Mississippi State

Basketball season’s not too far away. To get ready for the season, we’re reaching out to every SEC school. Next up, the Mississippi State Bulldogs

NCAA Basketball: SEC Basketball Tipoff Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

As October draws closer and closer to a close, college basketball is on the horizon. And just like the month of November, the Bulldogs of Mississippi State are looming.

Ben Howland got the Bulldogs back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in a decade. But Mississippi State was bounced unceremoniously from the tournament’s opening round by Liberty in what feels like the annual No. 12 seed over a No. 5 seed game.

Mississippi State won 23 games, 10 in SEC play and missed earning a double-bye in the SEC tournament by a single game. Ben Howland has the program moving in the right direction; Landon Young, editor of For Whom the Cowbell Tolls gives us some insight into the Bulldogs next step.

  1. So let’s go back to last year. State goes 23-11, finishes 5th in a strong SEC and earns a 5-seed for the NCAAs. But the Bulldogs are unceremoniously bounced in round one by Liberty. How successful do State fans view last season and how does the program bounce back from the one and done result in the NCAA?

I can’t speak for every fan, but fans wanted a Sweet 16 appearance last year. The Bulldogs need to reach the tournament again this year and get past the first round to look towards success.

2 . Even though the Bulldogs were upset in the tournament, the Starkville community has to be pleased with Ben Howland and the direction he’s taken the program right?

I would say the fans are okay with this past season, but not pleased. The Starkville community wants to expect to win again, and right now that’s not the case. Howland needs a Sweet 16 appearance to boost morale around Starkville.

3. Of State’s recruiting class Elias King is the headliner, but is it possible Iverson Molinar has the better career?

With King being a 4-star, you expect that to happen, but I could see Molinar being a tremendous asset to our team. Molinar’s ability to control the offense will be the factor that separates him.

4. What’s life like for State post Quinndary Weatherspoon?

We won’t know. It’s going to be weird that’s for sure. Weatherspoon happened to be at the MSU football game (against Kentucky) and received a warm cowbell welcome from the Bulldog faithful. He’ll be severely missed.

5. Reggie Perry declared for the NBA draft, but ultimately decided to return to school for his sophomore year and played for Team USA in the FIBA U-19 World Cup this summer. Do we see a leap from Perry in 2019-20?

Predicting a huge leap here. Perry showed signs of extreme maturity last season. This year could be massive for the sophomore.