Due to an 0-3 start in conference play, the Mississippi State Basketball game against the Tennessee Vols has become a must win.
The only people that have really seen the 2015-16 Mississippi State basketball season as a disappointment would be the fans of the team. Most media members that cover college basketball saw a team that would likely be better than it had been in the previous three seasons, but it still had a huge uphill climb.
Losing the first three games of SEC play was expected for Ben Howland and the Mississippi State basketball team. But just because a tough season and a difficult opening stretch in conference play was anticipated, it doesn’t mean this team isn’t supposed to accomplish anything.
The Bulldogs need to be better than they were any of the previous three seasons under Rick Ray. Theoretically, Craig Sword, Gavin Ware, Fred Thomas, Travis Daniels, and I.J. Ready should have all made improvements throughout their careers.
Add in a new coach, a a top 10 Freshman, and another top 100 Freshman, and there isn’t any reason for this team to not at least finish in the top half of the SEC. I don’t think it is too much to ask for them to finish seventh.
If they are to do so, they will need to finish around .500 in conference play. Having an 0-3 start to the season has made that difficult, even if it was expected.
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The Tennessee Vols will come to Humphrey Coliseum today in much the same way as the Mississippi State basketball team. Their future is brighter than the present.
There isn’t any reason the Bulldogs can’t win this game. The Vols have one elite level scorer in Kevin Punter, and a few others who average double digits. They are good offensively, but one of the worst in allowing points per game. They also aren’t very efficient. The Vols average about 28 field goals per game, the same as the Bulldogs, but take about four more shots to get those 28 field goals.
If Mississippi State wants to send their veteran core out with a decent season, they’ll need a win today to do it.