After starting the season as a potential darkhorse in the SEC, the Mississippi State Bulldogs have been one of the most injury prone teams in the entire nation. The average college basketball fan would assume that the Bulldogs’ season was done – especially if they saw Mississippi State’s absolute demolishing at the hands of North Carolina. However, December could change everything.
The December schedule for Mississippi State is extremely light, and the Bulldogs should win all three games, plus the first in January by a large margin. That means that the Bulldogs should be 7-5 going into SEC play – a respectable record for a team missing its two top players. But the weakness of their schedule is not the only reason to look forward to December.
The Bulldogs are getting a late Christmas present: The Return of Jalen Steele. Steele, one of the best players in the SEC, and possibly the country, injured his wrist in a win against Florida Atlantic University. Some speculate that he will return as early as the December 30th game against Alabama A&M, but Rick Ray is a smart coach and will most likely delay Steele’s return to the first SEC game against South Carolina.
Once Steele is back, and with the unexpected addition of a scoring threat in forward Roquez Johnson, the Bulldogs will be a completely different team than the one that was destroyed by North Carolina. Mississippi State will go from the worst team in the SEC to a legitimate threat in the SEC West in less than a month.