As anticipated, coach Vic Schaefer’s bunch is off to the races and is indeed as good as advertised having taken down Jackson State with ease. That said, this 2018-19 squad may be Schaefer’s best to date. While senior center Teaira McCowan led the way, everybody had their moment in this one.
McCowan was on point from the opening tip. But given her start to the season, it was not her best performance statistically. Usually McCowan would put up a double-double but fell just short in today’s game with 19 points and six rebounds. However, her two blocks set the defensive tone throughout.
But it was McCowan’s presence down low that proved to be too much for the Tigers. McCowan ruled the paint and made it borderline impossible for anyone on the opposition to challenge her. She continues to prove why she is the best in the game, as McCowan’s dominance shall carry throughout this long season.
Also a formidable paint presence with plenty of experience to take the load off McCowan is Anriel Howard who also had a day with 11 points, seven rebounds, an assist, and two steals. Howard has looked more and more comfortable in her role and has adjusted to Schaefer’s system. It is only a matter of time until her name is up there with McCowan’s as it pertains to notoriety.
Senior guard and defensive specialist Jordan Danberry added 16 points while also giving the Tigers headaches defensively. Her quick hands and nose for the ball were on full display, as she is becoming one of the team’s primary faces. Look for her to excel more on the offensive side of the ball going forward.
That said, perhaps the biggest story thus far for the Bulldogs is the bench. Having combined for 54 of Mississippi State’s 105 points, the Bulldogs’ bench has depth and then some. Expect a whole lot more from them, as all have a sky high ceiling.
All in all it was another day at the office, but one that showed the power of a complete team. Comparable to last year’s squad, this year’s Bulldogs have enough talent to go 12 deep. Mississippi State has started the season on all cylinders and expect them to roll into Arkansas with confidence, as they take on the Trojans of Little Rock Wednesday evening at 7:30 ET.