#8 Mississippi State Women's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Mississippi State Bulldogs
Overall Rank: #8
Conference Rank: #2 SEC
 Mississippi State Logo
Mississippi State spent their summer representing the United States and the World University Games, where they won a silver medal. That was coming off their second straight outright SEC regular season title. The Bulldogs did exit the NCAA Tournament a little earlier than hoped though, falling in the Elite Eight. After back-to-back trips to the national championship game, even a trip to the Elite Eight is a bit disappointing. Some key pieces are gone, but Coach Vic Schaefer has some talent waiting in the wings and even more heading into the program.
2018-19 Record: 33-3, 15-1
2018-19 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Vic Schaefer
Coach Record: 194-56 at Mississippi State, 274-166 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Teaira McCowan, Center, 18.4 ppg
Anriel Howard, Forward, 16.4 ppg
Jazzmun Holmes, Guard, 8.0 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Jordan Danberry, Senior, Guard, 13.1 ppg
Chloe Bibby, Junior, Forward, 11.9 ppg
Andra Espinoza-Hunter, Junior, Guard, 9.0 ppg
Bre’Amber Scott, Junior, Guard, 7.1 ppg
Jessika Carter, Sophomore, Forward/Center, 3.2 ppg
Myah Taylor, Sophomore, Guard, 3.0 ppg
Xaria Wiggins, Sophomore, Guard, 2.9 ppg
Key New Players
Jayla Hemingway, Freshman, Guard
Rickea Jackson, Freshman, Forward
Aliyah Matharu, Freshman, Guard
JaMya Mingo-Young, Freshman, Guard
Yemiyah Morris, Junior, Center, JC Transfer
Promise Taylor, Sophomore, Center, Transfer from Ole Miss
Sidney Cooks, Junior, Forward/Center, Transfer from Michigan State, not eligible
Jordan Danberry started all 36 games last year and is the only senior on the roster. She is not a shooter, but Danberry will get to the basket and finish or find a teammate. On the year she averaged 13.1 points and 3.5 assists and those numbers should only get better in 2019-2020. Chloe Bibby started 18 games before an injury ended her sophomore campaign. The 6-1 junior is a good outside shooter and an all-around talented scorer. When Bibby went out, Andra Espinoza-Hunter stepped into the starting lineup. On the year, the guard averaged 9.0 points per game and connected on an impressive 68 three-pointers at a 42.2 percent clip. With Bre’Amber Scott also back, Mississippi State has a few very consistent outside shooters. That is why this team ranked ninth in the nation in three-point field-goal percentage last season. However, it may be difficult to keep that up now that this group could have to rely more heavily on their outside shooting without interior scorers like Teaira McCowan and Anriel Howard doing much of the scoring. The newcomers will look to pick up some of that interior scoring. Promise Taylor and Yemiyah Morris bring some experience to the frontcourt, while Rickea Jackson is the first McDonald’s All-American recruit in program history. The rest of the recruiting class is pretty good too with guards Jayla Hemingway, Aliyah Matharu and JaMya Mingo-Young all capable of making an impact right away. It may take a little while before Coach Schaefer finds the right mix of playing time with all of these newcomers, but once that gets figured out, this group will be ready to push for another trip to the national championship game.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 86.2 (2nd in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 58.2 (39, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 49.3 (5, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.2 (84, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.1 (239, 10)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.8 (9, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.2 (74, 3)
Rebound Margin: 12.8 (2, 1)
Assists Per Game: 16.4 (24, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.4 (17, 2)
Madness 2019 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#3 Rickea Jackson
#58 Jayla Hemingway
#61 Aliyah Matharu
#90 JaMya Toung