If you are looking for our Current Mississippi State Bulldogs Basketball page, check out 2011 Mississippi State Bulldogs Basketball.
Mississippi State Bulldogs basketball looks to build upon an outstanding 2007-8 season as they enter the 2008-9 campaign. Last season, the Bulldogs were a balanced bunch, spreading the scoring, with 4 players averaging double figures in points per game. However, the Bulldogs will face some challenges en route to another successful season. The primary challenge will be replacing the 3 of those 4 double digit scorers who have since departed the team.
Much is going to be expected out of junior center Jarvis Varnado, who in 2007-8 averaged just under 8 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 blocks per game. It remains to be seen whether Varnado will be able to develop his offensive skills to the point where he can be a reliable offensive weapon. The Bulldogs will also lean heavily on junior guard Barry Stewart, who will be the leading returning scorer from the 2007-8 campaign, when he averaged 11.5 ppg. Beyond those two, however, the cast of returnees is slim.
The incoming recruiting class features, among other players, a pair of players who are expected to eventually make impacts at MSU. However, how quickly they are able to contribute remains to be seen. Both Romero Osby as well as Dee Bost are projected to be above average Division I players, but neither, at least according to early analysis, appears ready to immediately carry the burden of the team on his young shoulders.
The thinking here is that, while the Bulldogs will be competitive once again, they will take a step back from last season's successes simply because they program will be unable to fully compensate for all that is has lost during this off-season. The team should be exciting to watch, but look for this team to miss out on the NCAA Tournament at the conclusion of the 2008-8 season. It remains to be seen if this is a one year blip, or if the program is able to retool quickly enough to get back to a top level in 2009-10.
If you haven't read it yet, check out our Rick Stansbury Biography. You can read more about last year's Mississippi State basketball team at 2007-2008 Mississippi State Team Basketball and 2009-2010 Mississippi State Bulldogs Basketball page.
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