Howland believes MSU men’s hoops will make NCAA tournament if team remains healthy



STARKVILLE, Mississippi (WCBI) – For Mississippi State men’s basketball, the addition of transfers like Garrison Brooks (UNC), Rocket Watts (Michigan State) or DJ Jeffries (Memphis) combined with key returns has created high expectations for the fan base. ESPN projects MSU as one of the top four teams in the NCAA tournament.

Watts (hip injury) is expected to return in mid-November while Tolu Smith (foot) is expected to be back in late November. Howland said if the team sticks to that schedule and stays healthy, they will be an NCAA tournament team.

“I think our team definitely has the opportunity to do it. The only thing that worries me is health. If we stay healthy and stay healthy, we have a chance to do it, ”Howland said. “We won’t rush Rocket or Tolu. We have to see how they continue to evolve.

“We’re all talented,” said transfer from Memphis and MSU forward DJ Jeffries. “Guys like Garrison, Rocket and Shak (Shakeel Moore, transfer of state to North Carolina). All are playing at a high level. We are going to bring our experience to this team and try to help the youngsters take back some of the things that we have learned, because that will help us this year. You need college basketball experience and we have a lot of it.

The Bulldogs’ season kicks off Nov. 10 against North Alabama.


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