STARKVILLE • Mississippi State basketball will be without junior guard Nick Weatherspoon for the first 10 games of the upcoming season, head coach Ben Howland confirmed on Thursday.
Weatherspoon’s suspension is a continuation from last year when he missed the final 10 games of the season for a violation of team rules. He is believed to be the lone men’s basketball player involved in academic misconduct involving an online chemistry course and a former university part-time tutor.
Federal law prevents MSU or the NCAA from identifying which specific players are suspended for that offense.
Howland said Weatherspoon will be the Bulldogs’ starting point guard when he returns on Dec. 22 against New Mexico State in Jackson. Weatherspoon will also start Mississippi State’s two preseason exhibition games as well.
The Bulldogs will play TCU at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Oct. 12 and will also host South Alabama in exhibition action on Oct. 27.
Senior Tyson Carter will fill in as the starting point guard while Weatherspoon is suspended and freshman Iverson Molinar will serve as the backup. Howland noted that Carter sank 93 of his 100 3-point attempts on Wednesday.
ADO, FEAZELL UPDATES
Abdul Ado was back on the floor when MSU started their first official practice last Friday.
The junior forward had been on the shelf for the previous 4 ½ months following surgery on his right shoulder.
KeyShawn Feazell has shed 30 pounds during the offseason and is down to 220 on his 6-foot-8 frame.
“He’s really lean and you can see it in his movements and conditioning,” Howland said.
STATE ADDS SMITH
The Bulldogs added Western Kentucky transfer Tolu Smith to its roster.
The 6-foot-10, 240-pounder from Bay St. Louis will not be eligible to play this season due to NCAA transfer rules but is practicing with the team.
“All of our players know that he’s going to be an impact player for us a year from now when he becomes eligible after his redshirt year because of transferring,” Howland said. “He’s a very, very good player and is getting better because of his attitude. He’s really got a great drive to be good. He’s very physical, tough and skilled. He might be our top two low post scorer along with Reggie (Perry). Boy, I wish he was eligible right now.”
Smith played in all 34 games for former MSU coach Rick Stansbury at Western Kentucky last season averaging 3.3 points, 2.6 rebounds and 10.1 minutes per game as a freshman.
Speaking of Stansbury, his oldest son, Isaac, is a walk-on freshman guard for the Bulldogs this year.