Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dee Bost Suspended

Mississippi State got bad, though expected, news as Dee Bost was suspended for 9 games. He was already academically ineligible for the fall semester, so he'll begin the suspension after he becomes eligible, which means that in the end he'll miss the first 16 games of the season. He'll likely miss the entire out-of-conference slate, in addition to their first SEC game, at home against Alabama. The team will also be without Renardo Sidney for the first nine games - the star 2009 recruit who missed all of last season as part of the same eligibility issues that have him out for the start of this season.

Bost is the team's starting point guard, and led the team (by far) in assists per game last season, and is also the team's top returning scorer. So he'll be greatly missed. And while we don't know for sure how well Renardo Sidney will play in college, particularly after a year off of competitive basketball, he's too physically talented to not be a big presence when he comes back.

Mississippi State will have some tough games out-of-conference that Bost will have to miss, including a Virginia Tech game played in the Bahamas, and the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii, where they'll play Washington State in the first round, San Diego or Baylor in the second round, and then either Utah, Butler, Florida State or Hawaii in their final game. Sidney will have to hit the ground running for them to be able to overcome a very weak backcourt without Bost.

The SEC West is going to be awful this season, which gives Mississippi State the opportunity to put up a 10-6 or 11-5 conference record, which could be enough to earn an at-large bid if they can play respectable out-of-conference. So their play without Bost will be key. The team won't be good enough to overcome a disastrous November and December.

With their full roster together, Mississippi State might be the favorite to take the SEC West, but the SEC West could end up with zero NCAA Tournament teams, despite the expansion to a field of 68.

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