Though this past season will be a tough pill to swallow, Mississippi State has all the reason smile going forward. While Notre Dame’s Arike Ogunbowale snatched the Bulldogs’ hearts, it will not take long for them to bounce back. In fact, coach Vic Schaefer’s squad may just as, if not more dangerous going into next year.
Having said that, Mississippi State did lose the game’s best senior class, as Blair Schaefer, Roshunda Johnson, Morgan William, and Victoria Vivians helped take this program to heights beyond expectations. But as shown throughout March Madness, the future is bright. The Bulldogs’ second unit was a force to be reckoned with, as they are more than ready to take the torch from the four mentioned above.
However, it all starts with Teaira McCowan and her decision to stay or go pro. If she stays, the Bulldogs are back in the Final Four without question. “T” is the game’s best player down low, plain and simple. McCowan has become an elite player on both ends of the floor, as a return for her senior campaign would propel Mississippi State into another stratosphere.
The six-foot-seven center from Brenham, TX took has been a flat out superstar and took the tournament into her own hands. Her presence alone kept the opposition on their heels. She plays with tenacity and an attitude only so many possess. Moreover, McCowan gives it her all, unfazed and unafraid.
Junior guards Jordan Danberry and Jazzmun Holmes are on their way to stardom, as both have shown tremendous signs of promise. The two are students of the game and always willing to make a play. Though they are risk takers, Danberry and Holmes have come up big when it mattered most.
While the duo has big shoes to fill, each are more than willing. Having learned from the best, both should fill the stat line and be comfortable as leaders in the backcourt. The two are more than capable of setting and/or altering the tone and pace of a game, as they are well aware of their future roles.
The Bulldogs will be loaded at guard with every weapon one can think of, including Myah Taylor, Jacaira Allen, Nyah Tate, and Bre’Amber Scott. Each are sure make an immediate impact, and all have been highly regarded. All with the utmost potential, coach Vic will bring out their best. They are hard workers that will become fast learners, as each are sure to make the most of each and every minute.
Though they may not have as many options, Mississippi State is also deep at forward and center, especially if McCowan returns. Chloe Bibby and Zion Campbell have shown flashes, as each has shown up when called upon. Bibby and Campbell may develop into the game’s next powerful duo down low, as each has witnessed the best in McCowan.
It will not take long for the Bulldogs to find their way back to the primetime stage, as there are many positive signs ahead. Mississippi State has developed into a powerhouse, as this next class will not disappoint. While the loss of four seniors are dominating the headlines, look for the new look Bulldogs to make a statement that will change the titles sooner rather than later.