Quinndary Weatherspoon and Malik Newman showed they deserve to have the team focused on them in the Mississippi State basketball win over Ole Miss.
If there was any question about who the best two players were on the Mississippi State basketball team, it was answered in Saturday’s win over Ole Miss. Quinndary Weatherspoon kept the Bulldogs in the game in the first half. Malik Newman inserted the daggers in the second half.
The performance given by the two top 100 prospects for the Mississippi State basketball team was sorely needed. The Ole Miss Rebels were without their three best players for the game, but throughout the first half, the Bulldogs seemed to think they were the ones down three players. No one was attacking or trying to exploit the depleted Rebels with the exception of Quinndary Weatherspoon.
Weatherspoon scored 18 points in the game, and 15 of those points came in the first half. The talented freshman added six rebounds on 7-10 shooting, and 2-4 from the three point line. Quinndary Weatherspoon’s 15 kept the Bulldogs in the game as they went to the locker room down two to the Rebels.
In the second half, Malik Newman showed for the first time all season why he was one of the most coveted players in the country coming out of high school. Newman scored 20 of his 25 points in the second half. He hit 8-16 field goal attempts, and was 7-10 from behind the three point line.
More from Maroon and White Nation
- College football schedule week 4: 3 must-watch under-the-radar games
- Meeting the Opponent: Week 4 – South Carolina Gamecocks
- Mississippi State football vs LSU: The good, bad, and ugly
- M&WN Staff – Week 3 SEC Picks and Best Bets
- Mississippi State football film study: Why did MSU’s defense fail vs. LSU?
Gavin Ware was the team’s leading scorer in the non-conference portion of the schedule. In most of those games, the opposition didn’t have enough size to slow down the senior big man. Since SEC play began, SEC teams have thrown as many bodies as they can at him to slow him down. To his credit, he’s still played well, but it’s been much more of a struggle than it was in the first half of the season.
Nemwan and Weatherspoon are the most naturally gifted players on the team. They lack the experience the rest of the team has, but the rest of the SEC isn’t scared of the seniors on this team. The players that scare them are the freshmen.
If the Mississippi State basketball team wants to make any noise in the SEC in 2016, it will only do so behind the lead of its two most talented players. It’s time for Ben Howland to make them the focal point of the offense.