After losing to Akron, Mississippi State has rebounded nicely to become 5-1 and gain a national ranking (#24). The post-season resume that has plagued MSU in recent years now has a couple of notches on the belt: #19 Texas A&M and #15 Arizona. State still has West Virginia from the Big East and #9 Baylor left to play before the SEC season starts in January.
One of the signatures of the great teams Stansbury had from 2002-2005 was rebounding. Since then, State has been more of a guard-oriented team that relied on jump shots. MSU has out-rebounded every team it has faced this season, and that is a good sign.
Arnett Moultrie looks like he could become an unexpected difference maker for the Bulldogs. He averaged 14 points and 9 rebounds while in New York and walked away from the 2K Sports Classic as the tournament MVP. He missed Monday night’s game vs. ULM with knee tendinitis, but is expected to be back for Friday’s game vs. UT-Martin.
Dee Bost has played up to expectations so far and Rodney Hood looks like a better version of Ravern Johnson. If (the same if we’ve been saying for 2+ years) Renardo Sidney can come close to his potential this team has the chance to be special. Sidney also missed Monday night’s game with a sprained left hand and is day-to-day. Brian Bryant stepped up in Moultrie and Sidney’s absence vs. ULM with a double-double (17 points, 10 rebounds). There isn’t much depth on the bench, but Deville Smith, Wendell Lewis, and Jalen Steele have all shown they can give quality minutes.
Here are the leaders in each category through 6 games:
Points: Dee Bost (16.8)
FG%: Wendell Lewis (66.7)
3 point% (min. 10 att.): Rodney Hood (41.7)
Rebounds: Arnett Moultrie (11.2)
Assists: Dee Bost (3.8)
Steals: Dee Bost (2.3)
Blocks: Renardo Sidney, Brian Bryant (1.0)