MSU men's basketball ranked No. 18 in preseason by AP

By: 
SPECIAL REPORTS
For Starkville Daily News

The Mississippi State men’s basketball team collected a No. 18 preseason ranking announced Monday by The Associated Press.

The Bulldogs are ranked among the preseason AP Top 25 for the sixth time in program history. The program’s previous preseason appearance also was at No. 18 leading into the 2009-10 season.

Mississippi State makes its return to the AP Top 25 for the first time since holding a No. 20 ranking on Feb. 5, 2012 and breaks a streak of 121 editions without appearing in the poll.

The Bulldogs are joined by Kentucky (No. 2), Tennessee (No. 6), Auburn (No. 11) and LSU (No. 23) from the Southeastern Conference. The five SEC teams are second-most among conferences behind only the ACC with seven teams. 

Mississippi State is led by fourth-year head coach Ben Howland, who guided the Bulldogs to a 25-12 record and a National Inviational Tournament Final Four appearance in 2017-18. The 25 victories were the fourth-highest total in program history behind only the 1995-96, 2001-02 and 2003-04 teams.

Mississippi State returns its top six scorers from last season, who combined for 2,264 points and 83.4 percent of the team's scoring. Quinndary Weatherspoon (14.4 points per game), Aric Holman (10.9 points per game) and Nick Weatherspoon (10.8 points per game) headline the group.

The program’s incoming recruiting class is a consensus top 25 group, which features McDonalds All-American Reggie Perry along with D.J. Stewart and Robert Woodard.

Mississippi State takes on Georgia Southwestern in a 2 p.m. exhibition tilt on Sunday, Nov. 4, at Humphrey Coliseum, then, the Bulldogs square off with Austin Peay to open the regular season on Friday, Nov. 9. Tipoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. from the Humphrey Coliseum. Both games will be streamed by SEC Network + and available online only via the WatchESPN platform.  

The Mississippi State athletics ticket Office is selling season tickets for as low as $199. Fans can purchase tickets online at www.HailState.com/Hoops, in person at the MSU athletics ticket office located at the Bryan Athletic Building or via the phone at (888) GO-DAWGS (463-2947). Information on single-game tickets and mini plans will be announced at a later date by the ticket office.

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