Teaira McCowan Is Almost Unstoppable for Mississippi State Basketball, She Can Still Be Better

COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 01: Kathryn Westbeld
COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 01: Kathryn Westbeld /
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Teaira McCowan Has Improved Every Year for Mississippi State Basketball, She Still Has Room to Grow

Mississippi State basketball has an incredibly talented star in Teaira McCowan. At 6-7, McCowan is far taller than most of her competitors. And when she’s given the ball in the paint, McCowan is a force to be reckoned with that most teams simply can’t hope to match up against.

But, Teaira McCowan hasn’t always been this good. Yes, she had a phenomenal year in 2017-2018, but it wasn’t that long ago when she was contributing in a smaller role of the bench.

In her freshman season with MSU, Teaira McCowan only played 13.7 minutes per game. Through the 35 games that she played in that season, McCowan started only one. She scored 6.6 points per game coming off the bench and made 49.5% of her attempts, the lowest in her career. Still, she blocked 46 shots and made opponents know that she would be there by grabbing 5.6 rebounds per game.

Into her sophomore year, McCowan made some improvements to her game. Her playing time increased to 19.7 minutes per game and she earned 6 starts. Her field goal percentage increased to 56.9% and she scored 8.7 points per game. Through the year, McCowan blocked 47 shots and pulled down 7.1 rebounds per game.

This year, McCowan exploded in terms of growth for her production. She routinely had 20-20 games, set a record for rebounds in a Final Four game, and was on a rampage all season. McCowan scored 18.9 points per game off of 60.1% shooting, pulled down 13.9 rebounds per game, and blocked 81 shots.

Her development on the court has been incredible. And on top of all of that, Teaira McCowan still has room for growth. McCowan is almost unstoppable, but she can become even better.

Now, McCowan Looks To Control The Court Next Year

Teaira McCowan is a junior and she’s set to return to Mississippi State for another season. She is the only starter from this year’s team to come back for another go round. Morgan William, Blair Schaefer, Roshunda Johnson, and Victoria Vivians are all gone.

And as they leave, Mississippi State is losing a lot.

But the Bulldogs also have a core group of younger players on its roster that’ll step up and improve as they develop. All of their development will occur around McCowan as she looks to control the court and lead MSU next year.

Mississippi State relied heavily upon McCowan this year and the Bulldogs will certainly do more of the same next season. Questions remain about how MSU will look to spread the floor, but McCowan will have opportunities all next season.

Given how she has progressed throughout her career to this point and what MSU is losing from its seniors, Teaira McCowan could have an insane year next season. The Bulldogs will need to find shooters to give McCowan support, but she’ll be ready to dominate games in 2018-2019.

Next: What's Next For Vic Schaefer and Mississippi State?

It’s not clear exactly how good Mississippi State basketball can be next season. The Bulldogs have plenty of talent, but they also lost the winningest senior class to come through Starkville. Next season will likely hinge on how well the Bulldogs can replace those pieces while letting Teaira McCowan shine on the court.