CBB Summer Buzz: Mississippi St.
If Renardo Sidney and Dee Bost play well, Mississippi State could make some noise
Insider knows you're hot for hoops during the summer, so we're bringing you a closer look at a few of the big-profile schools before most freshmen have even moved into their dorms. We continue with Mississippi State.
It's not an out and out rebuilding year, but there's definitely going to be some change in Starkville. Last year's tumultuous season of infighting and disciplinary action wasted the talent that permeated the Bulldogs roster. Even with all the drama, the team still made its usual push to the SEC tournament finals before a loss to Vanderbilt ended the season and burst the Bulldogs' bubble hopes.
It was the first time since 2006 that Mississippi State missed out on the postseason, the first time that Rick Stansbury had to enact a "no tweet" policy and the first time the head coach had to send home a player for fighting a teammate. The slate's not entirely clean (three starters return) but now with a top-25 freshman class on campus and an intriguing lineup of athletic players, the Bulldogs could regain some of the national respect lost to the soap opera that was 2010-11.
Irked by the selection committee's snub, Stansbury and AD Scott Stricklin are building a tough nonconference schedule that already includes an appearance in November's 2KSports Classic (Texas A&M, St. John's, Arizona), a December game against Baylor and an unreleased game against a Big East opponent. And the Bulldogs got a head start on setting up their rotation and rectifying personality clashes during an August barnstorming tour of Europe, where they played five games against club teams. The problem? Troubled junior forward Renardo Sidney (14.2 points per game, 7.6 rebounds per game) was notably absent from the trip, prompting a round of speculation that despite the turnover, team-building and scheduling, chemistry problems could thwart any planned program makeover.
To read the rest of Mississippi State's summer preview, you must be an ESPN Insider.
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COLLEGE BASKETBALL SUMMER BUZZ
Insider knows you're hot for hoops during the summer, so we're bringing you a closer look at 25 of the most intriguing college programs before school's even in session.
All in one place
A collection of all the Buzz to date.
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St. John's Red Storm
Massive turnover defines Lavin's crew
Cards have talent to fill holes
North Carolina Tar Heels
Tar Heels prep for title run
Duke Blue Devils
Blue Devils face point-ed questions
Michigan State Spartans
Another tough schedule awaits Tom Izzo's crew
Ohio State Buckeyes
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Postseason hopes reborn in Bloomington
Freshmen, vets form potent combo
'Dores seek NCAA tourney breakthrough
The Mike Anderson Era begins
Vols face long, tough rebuilding path
Mississippi State Bulldogs
Bulldogs need Sidney to stay on the court
Frontcourt will have to carry load for Bruins
Talented Wildcats need a new star to emerge
How does Kansas replace the Morris twins?
Perry Jones should blossom for Baylor
Freshmen must lead Longhorns
Can Butler do it again?
Rice, MWC movement will aid Rebels
Tu Holloway's moment is here
George Mason Patriots
Pearson should flourish under Hewitt
Can Rams run deep again?