Mississippi State loses Quinndary Weatherspoon for season: 3 things to know
Injury shouldn't hurt Bulldogs much in short-term but impacts the big picture
Shooting guard Quinndary Weatherspoon, Mississippi State's best player who we ranked as the 87th best player in college hoops, is out for the season because of a wrist injury, the school announced Monday. He has ligament damage that will require surgery.
Here are three things to know:
1. This is a potentially crushing blow to Mississippi State's season.
Through four games, Weatherspoon was averaging 18.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 steals. He had the potential to be a top-five -- maybe even a top-three -- player of value in the SEC this season. He was just named to the Charleston Classic all-tournament team after helping MSU to a 2-1 record in that event. He scored 25 in the win over Boise State on Friday.
Mississippi State (3-1) wasn't projected as an NCAA Tournament team, but gains were expected after going 14-17 last season, Ben Howland's first in Starkville. Now, expectations have to be adjusted. Freshman shooting guard Tyson Carter will be asked to carry a bigger load.
"I can't even begin to tell you how bad I feel for Q," Howland said. "He's worked so hard to get where he's at, but he knows he has the support of everyone on this team, and I expect him to fully recover and be back with us full strength next year."
2. Weatherspoon will take a medical redshirt.
The recovery time means the sophomore will take a medical redshirt, which Howland confirmed to CBS Sports' Gary Parrish. Weatherspoon has pro potential, but getting sidelined this early likely means he will be back in school next season. If the Bulldogs show growth without Weatherspoon, they could be projected into the top half of the SEC for 2017-18 if Weatherspoon comes back.
3. Mississippi State has the affordability of a weak non-conference schedule to get stronger in the short-term.
Howland did not schedule as though he thought his team would compete for an at-large bid. Upcoming opponents include Lehigh, Northwestern State, Oregon State, Georgia State, East Tennessee State, Southern Miss and UMKC. There are some solid mid-major teams in there, but all rank well into the 100s and 200s on KenPom. The only double digit-ranked KenPom team MSU has played is Central Florida, currently 91st.
This means the Bulldogs should be able to beef up their record even without Weatherspoon. But that won't help them much if they falter in a just-OK SEC this season. The team's next game comes Friday at home against Lehigh.
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