As Mississippi State has become a powerhouse in women’s basketball, we can expect great things from next year’s squad. Though the Bulldogs will lose many key pieces, there is a lot of young talent on the roster. There is no doubt that the loss of seniors Tearia McCowan, Jazzmun Holmes, Jordan Danberry, Anriel Howard, and Zion Campbell will hurt and be a tough void to fill. That said, those who will be starting in their place have high ceilings, some of which we have already seen.
Prior to her knee injury, forward Chloe Bibby averaged 11.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. At 6-foot-1, Bibby is a versatile weapon. She is dominant inside and can also shoot the three. As she should start next season, Bibby will be a focal point for Mississippi State on both ends of the floor.
Promise Taylor, the heir apparent to Teaira McCowan, a transfer from arch-rival from Ole Miss will be eligible to play and has big shoes to fill. Taylor shined in her lone season with the Rebels, as her freshman stats included 8.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. Look for Taylor to increase her rebounding numbers, and, like McCowan, eventually average a double double.
Next year’s edition of Bulldogs will also be taller, especially down low with both Taylor and Jessika Carter at 6-foot-5. Excluding McCowan was 6-foot-7, Mississippi State’s tallest forward was Campbell at 6-foot-3. Coach Vic Schaefer, a defensive savant, should develop Taylor and Carter into a formidable duo in the paint.
At guard, Mississippi State is loaded. Andra Espinoza-Hunter and Bre’Amber Scott, snipers from distance both panned out to be capable starters and reliable in big moments. Espinoza-Hunter, who averaged 8.8 points and Scott with 7.1, should see their share of minutes and become primary weapons.
Xaria Wiggins and Nyah Tate, both four-star recruits are Swiss army knives, perfect for Schaefer’s system and able to matchup with multiple positions. While Wiggins and Tate give the Bulldogs depth, they will be key for the Bulldogs throughout the season. That said, both will have to improve defensively, as there is nobody better learn from than Schaefer.
Perhaps the most intriguing star is Myah Taylor, who will run the point. Prior to her, Mississippi State never had a scoring phenom at point guard. Holmes and Morgan William were facilitators and prided themselves on defense. Taylor can facilitate and score at will.
The five-star Mississippi native from Olive Branch is an offensive force that will add speed. A reason for their loss to Oregon, speed is essential today. Expect Taylor to step into her role and become a leader. She is a student of the game and has learned from the best in Holmes and William.
Mississippi State has become a staple for talent in women’s basketball and this squad will have much to show next year.