Depending on who you asked, Mario Kegler was the biggest prize in Ben Howland’s recruiting cereal box. Depending on which recruiting service you use, he was the highest or second highest rated player in the Mississippi St. Bulldogs Men’s Basketball recruiting class.
If you use the 247 Sports Composite ranking, Kegler was the second highest rated recruit, just slightly behind Schnider Herard. He was the 52nd highest rated player in the 2016 class, and 8th highest rated small forward. Mario Kegler originally played at Callaway High School in Jackson, but he transferred to Oak Hill Academy in Virginia before his junior season.
One of the best things Kegler will bring to the Bulldogs in 2016 will be his versatility. He is listed as a 6’7” small forward, but he has enough size that he can play a stretch four if asked to do so. Kegler will be a valuable asset to the team.
Kegler is a good rebounder, but his most valuable asset is his ability to shoot. The talented freshman will spend lots of time around the perimeter relying on the guards for the team to make plays off the dribble and create scoring opportunities for Kegler.
If there is anything to be concerned about with Kegler, the one thing you can worry about is how quickly he is able to mesh with the team. Due to questions surrounding his high school course work as many other recruits have had coming from Oak Hill, he wasn’t cleared by the NCAA until after the Bulldogs’ trip to Italy. As a result, he didn’t get the additional playing time some of the other freshmen had to gel together.
But that’s a minor concern. There has been more than enough practice time since the trip was concluded for him to get on the same page with the rest of his teammates. Between his time at Callaway and his time at Oak Hill where his team won the Dick’s Sporting Goods National Championship, Kegler has competed at the highest levels available to him. There’s no reason to not expect Mario Kegler to come in and be an instant difference maker for Mississippi State in his freshman season.