STARKVILLE – Quinndary Weatherspoon has been solid for Mississippi State all year.
But lately the 6-foot-4 true freshman has gone above and beyond to try and help his team turn their season around. Weatherspoon has assumed the role of playing power forward for the Bulldogs and has continued his success in the starting five.
“I never thought I’d be playing the power forward position because all my life I’ve been a two-guard,” Weatherspoon said. “It’s kind of funny to me right now that I’m playing the power forward position and scoring 16 points per game.”
Weatherspoon has started the last eight games for MSU and is averaging 16 points and 7.4 rebounds over that span. He scored a career-high 23 points in his debut at power forward against Tennessee and notched double-doubles in wins over Missouri and Arkansas.
“I’m so excited about his growth from where he was in June to where he is right now,” said MSU coach Ben Howland.“It all starts with his practice habits. He brings it every day. He plays so hard and has toughness. Right now we’re asking him to do things that would be hard for most freshmen to handle. I’m asking him to play power forward in our offense and defense at 6-foot-4. He’s really a two-guard.
“But his toughness and competitiveness and willingness to help the team any way he can has been real impressive to me. He think he’s going to continue to get better and better because he’s a competitor, cares and wants it so bad.”
The Canton native had concerns about just how effective he could be defensively at the four spot giving up such a huge size differential to his opponent but is succeeding at both ends of the floor.
“On the offensive end, I do have an advantage because I’m a two-guard and playing against bigger defenders,” Weatherspoon said. “Half of them are kind of slow so I try to use my speed on the offensive end to try and get baskets. It’s surprised me more on the defensive end that I’ve been able to keep up with people that are bigger, stronger and been here two or three years.”
Weatherspoon has appeared in all 23 games this season with 10 starts. He is scoring 11 points, grabbing 4.7 points and shooting 47.1 percent from the field. He has earned SEC Freshman of the Week once on the year.
Weatherspoon and fellow freshman Malik Newman were teammates on the AAU circuit and are having success since both began starting at the same time.
“We do feed off of each other,” Weatherspoon said. “It was the same way last summer when we played with each other. We got hot around the same time and connected. I think that chemistry is coming back around right now.”