STARKVILLE • When Mississippi State tips off the 2019-20 season in November, coach Ben Howland expects Nick Weatherspoon to be the Bulldogs’ starting point guard.
Weatherspoon was indefinitely suspended for the final 10 games last season for a violation of team rules.
“He’s on the team and he’s practicing,” Howland said. “He had a good practice (Monday) and I fully expect him to be available for the coming season.”
Weatherspoon started 23 of 24 games last year and averaged 9.6 points and 27.8 minutes per game. Having the junior back on the floor is good news for an MSU team trying to replace three players who are now in NBA camps.
Weatherspoon’s brother, Quinndary, was selected in the second round by the San Antonio Spurs last week and is the first player the Bulldogs have had drafted since Arnett Moultrie in 2012.
“That was a really big deal to get drafted with the 49th pick and I’m really proud of him,” Howland said. “I’m really happy for him and his family. He worked very, very really hard. Now a whole new chapter starts and you have to prove yourself all over again.”
Joining Quinndary Weatherspoon in the professional ranks are Aric Holman and Lamar Peters, both of whom inked deals with the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks, respectively. All three players will participate in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas next month.
One player that tested the NBA waters but chose to return to school is Reggie Perry. The sophomore forward is currently en route to Greece with Team USA to play in the FIBA U19 World Cup.
“He was their leading scorer and rebounder in their last two scrimmages before leaving out for Greece,” Howland said. “He’s representing our country and is on a really good team with outstanding coaches. It’s an incredible opportunity and will be playing against really good teams, the best teams in the world. That’s a very prestigious thing he’s involved with and quite an honor. Every NBA team will be there watching him play.”
When Perry returns, he will have three new teammates to get acquainted with. Four-star forward Elias King and three-star guards Iverson Molinar and Devin Butts all enrolled for the first summer term earlier this month. Butts sustained a severely sprained ankle last week but is expected to resume practicing when the second summer term starts on July 8.
The only member of State’s class still missing is 7-foot center Quenten Post, who is currently in Spain playing for the Dutch national team. Post signed his letter of intent last week.
“We were fortunate to get him and I think he’s going to be a good player for us,” Howland said. “He can really shoot the ball.”
The prognosis for junior forward Abdul Ado’s return continues to be October. Ado recently underwent surgery for a torn labrum in his right shoulder.
“He got operated on three weeks ago and seems to be doing well,” Howland said. “We want to be very conservative in his rehab and not rush him back.”
Ado also traveled back to his native Nigeria during the offseason, where he was reunited with his mother and other family members for the first time in six years.