Although year three under Ben Howland was better, the season did not end as many State fans had hoped. Year three came to close Tuesday night after (how do I put this nicely?) getting beat down by Penn State. The final score was 75-60, but the score doesn’t even show how poor Tuesday night’s performance was. At one point during the game, Penn State went on a 24-0 run. 24-0. I apologize for repeating that statement, but obviously, State had not prepared well for that Penn State squad. The team that played Penn State was certainly not the team that played Louisville in the quarterfinals.
Nonetheless, year three has come to an end and I think everyone would say it was an improvement. State fans wanted to improve this year and I would say Howland was successful in that. With everyone on the team (excusing transfers at the moment) coming back, I would say there has to be an improvement in year four as well.
There are rumors going around about certain basketball players transferring, but I don’t know that losing one player would hurt this team all that much. Assuming none of these guys transfer, returning Quinndary Weatherspoon, Nick Weatherspoon, Aric Holman, Abdul Ado, Lamar Peters, Tyson Carter, and Xavian Stapleton will play a massive role in how well this team could be next year.
But those returning ballers are not all that State will rely on next year. Signing a 5-star and a couple of 4-star’s could elevate this team to a new level. There is one player, in particular, many State fans are excited about and that’s Reggie Perry. He is a 6’9 Power Forward out of Thomasville, Georgia. He will be participating in tonight’s McDonald’s All-American game.
Reggie Perry should fit right into Mississippi State’s squad next year, along with Robert Woodard and DJ Stewart (two 4-star’s).
Obviously, MSU didn’t want to end with a loss in the semifinals of the NIT, but if this team continues to see improvement... State fans won’t be watching their basketball team in the NIT.
All in all, a great year three for Howland and he’s one year away from capturing this fanbase and taking this team to a new level.