Mississippi State Bulldogs: 50 Greatest Athletes in School History

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Dec 2, 2015; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs dance team members entertain the crowd during the game against the Texas Southern Tigers at Humphrey Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

#45 Dontae’ Jones, Basketball Forward (1995-1996)

Dontae’ Jones is one of only two players to play for the Mississippi State Bulldogs for just one year to make the list. And he wasn’t even great the entire year. But once he got hot, he became Dontae’s inferno. Jones transferred to Mississippi State from Northeast Community College where he was named the JUCO Player of the Year. His arrival to a team that returned most of its production from a Sweet 16 team the prior year brought huge expectations to Starkville. The Bulldogs played very inconsistently throughout much of the 1995-96 season, mainly due to Jones having a difficult time adjusting. He started to figure things out in February of that year, and when he did, he was as good as any player in college basketball. Jones led the Bulldogs to the 1996 SEC Tournament Championship over the eventual National Champion Kentucky Wildcats and was named the Tournament SEC Most Valuable Player. He also led the team to a Final Four appearance with wins over #1 seed Connecticut and #2 seed Cincinnati. Jones was named the Regional Most Outstanding Player. The superb play of Dontae’ Jones led the New York Knicks to draft him in the first round of the NBA Draft.

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