#7 Mississippi State Women's Basketball 2017-2018 Preview

Mississippi State Bulldogs
Overall Rank: #7
Conference Rank: #2 SEC
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Mississippi State put together a fantastic 2016-17 season under the leadership of head coach Vic Schaefer as the Bulldogs shocked Connecticut in the National Semifinals. Mississippi State has steadily emerged as a national power and with their tremendous fan support at Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville, they will be a force to be reckoned with for a long time.
2016-17 Record: 34-5, 13-3
2016-17 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Vic Schaefer
Coach Record: 124-51 at Mississippi State, 204-161 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Chinwe Okorie, Center, 7.5 points per game
Breanna Richardson, Forward, 7.5 points per game
Dominique Dillingham, Guard, 6.6 points per game
Ketara Chapel, Forward, 3.0 points per game
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Victoria Vivians, Senior, Guard, 16.2 points per game
Morgan William, Senior, Guard, 10.9 points per game
Teaira McCowan, Sophomore, Center, 8.7 points per game
Roshunda Johnson, Redshirt Senior, 6.3 points per game
Blair Schaefer, Senior, Guard, 4.9 points per game
Ameshya Williams, Sophomore, Forward, 3.0 points per game
Jazzmun Holmes, Junior, Guard, 2.7 points per game
Iggy Allen, Sophomore, Guard, 2.7 points per game
Zion Campbell, Redshirt Sophomore, Center, 0.6 points per game
Key New Players
Myah Taylor, Freshman, Guard
Nyah Tate, Freshman, Guard
Bre’Amber Scott, Freshman, Guard
Chloe Bibby, Freshman, Forward
Jonika Gavin, Junior, Forward
Jordan Danberry, Sophomore, Guard, transfer from Arkansas
Victoria Vivians and Morgan William will anchor a starting lineup that will take some time to reload at the beginning of the season. Vivians, was 1st team all-SEC last season, along with being part of the 2017 All-Final Four team after averaging just under 17 points per game last season. William knocked down the shot heard around the women’s college basketball world as her buzzer-beater snapped the Huskies 111-game winning streak. The ability of both Vivians and William to make critical shots offensively is going to be an important part of this Mississippi State team’s success this season. Teaira McCowan is going to lead the way down low in the post as McCowan should average well into double figures offensively and is an excellent rebounder and shot blocker. Myah Taylor leads a talented incoming class of newcomers that will have ample opportunity to stake their claim to playing time right away. Jordan Danberry will be eligible in January 2018 after transferring over from Arkansas. Danberry was a highly regarded player coming out of high school and the change of scenery could help her elevate her play. Virginia, Oregon, Arizona State and Syracuse highlight a tough non-conference schedule for the Bulldogs. The conference schedule is fairly balanced as Mississippi State will only have to play South Carolina once in Starkville on February 5th. In the end, this Bulldog team should be right there in the Elite Eight/Final Four conversation once again this season.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.9 (22nd in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 57.6 (35, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.5 (28, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.4 (153, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.4 (195, 6)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.6 (55, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.1 (81, 6)
Rebound Margin: 6.4 (29, 1)
Assists Per Game: 14.7 (82, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.8 (24, 3)
Madness 2018 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#10 Teaira McCowan
#20 Victoria Vivians
Madness 2017 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#117 Myah Taylor
#161 Nyah Tate