The Mississippi State Bulldogs poor start to the season just got much worse. Star player and potential All-SEC candidate Jalen Steele is out six weeks after fracturing his left wrist in the Bulldogs win over Florida Atlantic University on Tuesday 78 – 58. Steele was attempting a lay-up in the first half and on an attempted block got thrown to the floor. This is a tremendous blow for a team that already was shaping up to be one of the worst in the SEC, because Steele was an invaluable leader and clearly the best player on the team.
The Bulldogs have had a terrible start to the season, losing an easy game against Troy and losing stars DeAndre Applewhite, Jacoby Davis and now Steele, to injuries. It is almost as if nothing else can go wrong for Rick Ray in his first season as head coach for the Bulldogs. Ray needs to pull his team together because this injury is going to be tough to overcome.
Unfortunately, what this means is that new coach Ray and Mississippi State will be looking to next season already. Mississippi State lost most of their talent due to graduation and the draft, but a player as talented as Steele could have carried them to at least an NIT berth. Ray’s first season in the SEC is going to be a very disappointing one, but Mississippi State does not need to give up hope yet; next year they will improve tremendously.
Mississippi State should focus the rest of the season on building its youth talent in order to have depth for next year.