Tonight, Mississippi State (10-1) hosts Wright State (6-6) at The Hump as the second-to-last non-conference game. Mississippi State is one of the hottest shooting teams in the country and no team has been able to stop them. Teams like Clemson and Cincinnati have fallen victim to the Bulldogs’ excellent shooting in the past few weeks.
Wright State brings in a team with losses to Murray State, Penn State, SMU, Indiana State, Miami (Ohio), and Kent State. 5 of those losses came in a 6 game stretch. Wright State got out of that slump and is coming in after two straight wins against Northwest Ohio and Morehead State. I don’t see this as a test to see if Wright State can beat Mississippi State, but there is a test to see if the Bulldogs can focus on this game and not look ahead. I believe that Coach Ben Howland has the ability and the experience on the team to prevent that from happening.
Wright State’s leading scorer is Junior Forward Billy Wampler. Wampler is currently scoring 14.7 points per game. The biggest matchup I would pay attention to is Mississippi State’s Abdul Ado against Parker Ernsthausen. Both players are 6’11”, but Ernsthausen has the ability to shoot the ball from 3. He’s currently shooting .417 from deep. This will be a great test for Ado to become a more versatile defender.
Wright State’s roster is very guard heavy, and they’ll need every single one of them to try and slow down the red-hot guards that are playing in Maroon & White. Coach Howland has 3 big wins already on this year’s résumé, come conference play, he’ll be ready to add many more to that list.