There’s plenty of reasons to be excited about Mississippi State basketball going forward. The immediate influx of young talent is going to provide a platform for Ben Howland to compete with some of the best teams in the nation in the coming years. But, as much of an impact that the 9 freshmen on the team will make, in the short term it’s meaningless if Quinndary Weatherspoon does not have a great year this season.
So far, there’s nothing to indicate that he won’t have an impressive season. If anything, what we’re seeing right now leads me to believe that he’s going to be one of the best players in the SEC this year.
His 29 points against the Lithuanian National Team (yes, against professional basketball players) are worth noting. He performed far better than expected as he helped lead Mississippi State to take down Lithuania in overtime.
And that’s not the only noteworthy aspect of Weatherspoon’s career. What he did last year is definitely something that should be discussed some more.
The sophomore guard has shown his worth in the SEC and he was the third leading scorer on the team last year, putting up 12.0 points per game in his freshman year. As a whole, his performances were considerably more impressive than then teammate Malik Newman, who was expected to outshine the rest of his teammates.
Weatherspoon’s shooting accuracy as a freshmen are notable too. He made 39.4% of his 109 shots from behind the three point line and had a 44.8% field goal percentage, making him arguably the best scoring option for most of the season.
His ability to rebound and his defense were both incredibly valuable as well as he wound up being the second leading rebounder on the team with 4.7 rebounds per game and became the team’s leader in steals with 1.4 per game.
As the season wore on, he became much more of a threat for opposing teams to have to worry about. Once the Bulldogs hit conference play, Quinndary Weatherspoon became the leading scorer for the Bulldogs with 14.9 points per game. He was the second leading rebounder for the team with 5.8 rebounds per game as well.
As for shooting against SEC opponents? His total field goal percentage decreased to 44.1%, but his accuracy from deep improved greatly up to 42%.
The most impressive of those SEC threes that he made? That buzzer beating three he drained against Vanderbilt.
There are things he will need to improve upon, of course. He committed 45 turnovers and 75 personal fouls, coming in at 5th and 3rd on the team respectively last season. But that was on a less than stellar team. He’s got an opportunity to shore that up and be a leader on a much, much better team.
Quinndary Weatherspoon is set to lead Mississippi State in 2016 and 2017. He’s primed to be the leader of a young team that looks to erase all of the heartbreak that Mississippi State has endured these past four years. And after we saw him scorch the Lithuanian National Team, it seems that he’s ready to take on what the SEC throws at him this season.