The disappointing season all started with the loss of expected freshman player from Memphis DeAndre Applewhite. Then, star player Jacoby Davis succumbed to injury. As if those two season-hope ending injuries were not enough, in the most crucial injury in the SEC, Jalen Steele went out for six weeks against Florida Atlantic.
Steele was expected to be one of the brightest players in the SEC and was clearly a front runner for the final All-SEC polls. He is a dynamic player that can control an offense and demolish a defense. He is an all around superstar of a player on a team that has been rebuilding. Once Steele was injured, the Bulldogs lost the one thing most elite teams have in the SEC: a playmaker.
However, Steele is only out for six weeks and should return before the first SEC game in early January. Good news for a team that would lose a majority of the mid-level SEC match ups without him. The Bulldogs first game is a crucial one against the South Carolina Gamecocks and could decide which one of these teams makes it to the NIT at the end of the year.
Hopefully, for the Bulldogs, they can win out until the early January return for Steele. The Bulldogs have a fairly week schedule until SEC play begins and, with a few crucial SEC victories over mid-level teams like South Carolina and Arkansas, could pull out a late invitation to the NIT. But, no one, and I mean absolutely no one, assumes that Mississippi State would have such an unlucky start to the college basketball season.