Lamar Peters had the very definition of an auspicious start to his career with the Mississippi State Bulldogs basketball team. The talent he displayed was undeniable, but he had some off court issues that made people wonder what was to become of the freshman.
When the team traveled to Charleston, SC for the Charleston Classic, Peters was forced to sit the first game due to a one game suspension that we still don’t know the reasoning for. Less than two weeks later, when the Bulldogs took on Northwestern State, Peters overslept and coach Ben Howland sent someone to his dorm room to see why he wasn’t there at shoot around. When he received word of the reason Peters wasn’t there, Howland told him to just stay there.
It was at this point Peters could have gone in one of two ways. He could have continued to demonstrate characteristics of a problem child, or he could get his act together and be the solid player we all expected when he signed on with the Bulldogs.
He has obviously chosen the latter. His play since that time has been stellar. In the 8 games since he overslept, Peters has averaged 11.6 points, and 3.1 assists while shooting 47.8% from the field and and an incredible 47.5% from three point range.
At this point in the season, the argument can be made he is the second best player on the team behind Quinndary Weatherspoon. Coach Howland rewarded Lamar Peters for playing so well with his first start of the season this past Saturday against LSU. Peters scored 15 points and had 5 assists while shooting 40% from the field and three point range.
Outside his numbers, Peters provided an element from the starting unit we had not seen all season long. He was able to get dribble penetration and create other opportunities by kicking the ball out to shooters on the perimeter. But the threat of his penetration made teams stick closer to him on the outside which created other opportunities even when he didn’t have the ball.
This basketball team is going to be a work in progress. I’ve mentioned this many times when I’ve written about them, and when I’ve had discussions on Twitter. If this continues to be Peters role on the team, and I think it will based on Ben Howland’s comments after the game, then I think we’ve found the number two guy behind Quinndary Weatherspoon. And should Mississippi State pull off an upset or two the rest of the season, Lamar Peters will be a big reason why.