2022 Record: 21-13 (8-10)
Head Coach: Chris Jans (Career Record 164-57) (Mississippi State Record 21-13)
PG: Dashawn Davis (8.7 Pts, 1.9 Reb, 3.5 Ast)
SG: Andrew Taylor (Marshall 20.2 Pts, 4.7 Reb, 4.7 Ast)
SF: DJ Jeffries (8.8 Pts, 6.4 Reb, 1.8 Ast)
PF: Cameron Matthews (6.9 Pts, 5.6 Reb, 2.3 Ast)
C: Tolu Smith (15.7 Pts, 8.5 Reb, 1.7 Ast)
6: SG Shakeel Moore (9.8 Pts, 3.0 Reb, 2.3 Ast)
7: PF JaQuan Scott (Salt Lake CC 16.8 Pts, 9.9 Reb, 1.6 Ast)
8: SG Trey Fort (Howard JC 24.9 Pts, 5.8 Reb, 2.5 Ast)
9: C Jimmy Bell (West Virginia 4.8 Pts, 5.2 Reb, 0.5 Ast)
10: SF Shawn Jones Jr (3.2 Pts, 1.6 Reb, 0.4 Ast) (PWO)
11: PF KeShawn Murphy (3.3 Pts, 1.7 Reb, 0.8 Ast)
12: PG Josh Hubbard
13: C Gai Chol
14: SF Adrian Myers
Mississippi State returns their top 5 scorers from last season and also brings in a mix of transfers and high school players that can make an immediate impact next season. Mississippi State’s most notable returner is big man Tolu Smith. He is going into his 5th season and has really exploded onto the scene these last couple years. Smith started his career off at Western Kentucky and really struggled to see the floor. He left Western Kentucky after his freshman season without starting a game. Smith joined Mississippi State as a PWO and has suddenly become one of the best big men in the SEC. PF Cameron Matthews is another returning starter for the Bulldogs this season. Matthews started in 33 of 34 games last season and he made a name for himself on the defensive side of the ball. Matthews is an excellent defender and fits perfectly in the Chris Jans system.
Returning to the Bulldogs backcourt next season is Dashawn Davis and Shakeel Moore. PG Dashawn Davis is a former JUCO All-American who spent the 2021-22 season at Oregon State before transferring to Mississippi State this past season. Davis is a very quick and athletic guard who is also an elite defender. Davis is capable of raising his shooting splits this upcoming season as well. Shakeel Moore is expected to take on a 6th man role this season with the Bulldogs. Moore is another player who is elite on the defensive side of the ball and will be an anchor on the perimeter for what could be a top 10 defense next season. SF DJ Jeffries is also returning for the Bulldogs and will start next season. He adds to the elite defense for Mississippi State and also rebounds at a high level. He also previously played for Memphis and is going into his 5th season of CBB. PF Keyshawn Murphy and SF Shawn Jones Jr who is a preferred walk on are also returning to the team next season and should see a rise in minutes.
Mississippi State also went into the transfer portal to get SG Andrew Taylor and C Jimmy Bell. Taylor is a big get for the Bulldogs because they were desperate for some shooting this offseason. Mississippi State had an elite defense last year, but was a bit lackluster on the offensive end at times. Taylor comes in and immediately fills that void as the primary offensive scoring guard. Taylor averaged over 20PPG this past season at Marshall. Taylor is a career 36% three point shooter and has a season high of 42% in the 2020-21 season. West Virginia transfer Jimmy Bell will add some depth at the center position for the Bulldogs. Bell started all 34 games for the Mountaineers last season averaging 5PPG and 5RPG. He is more of the physical defensive big man that can fill in for Tolu Smith at times.
Mississippi State also signed 2 JUCO players this offseason that both figures to be big parts of the rotation. SG Trey Fort averaged 25PPG this past season and shot 52% from the floor overall and 44% from three. He also spent time at UT Martin for his freshman season where he played very minimally before taking the JUCO route. Fort has a chance to start at times next season but many of the starters return from last years team so it’s more likely for him to come off the bench. PF Jaquan Scott spent his freshman season at East Carolina before taking the JUCO route at Salt Lake CC. Scott averaged 17PPG and 10RPG on a team that went 29-5. Scott committed to Mississippi State over many other high major offers. He will be a vital piece of the rotation for Mississippi State this upcoming season. The Bulldogs also signed 3 freshman in the 2023 class. PG Josh Hubbard was ranked #145 in the 247 sports rankings. Big man Gai Chol was ranked #230 and SF Adrian Myers was ranked #266.
Mississippi State returns a lot from last seasons team including their 5 leading scorers. The Bulldogs also signed some talented players in the portal and high school ranks that can make an immediate impact next season. Mississippi State will be a team that has an elite defense and should be a tournament team again like last season. Mississippi State projects to be in the 7th-8th range next season in the conference. The offense will also likely be improved with the additions of Andrew Taylor and Trey Fort.