It’s been a rough first season for Rick Ray at Mississippi State. The Bulldogs are 7-19 overall and 2-12 in the SEC and have lost a dozen games in a row.
They were beaten by 41 points at home by Vanderbilt on Saturday. They lost by 42 at home to Missouri, by 35 at home to Florida, by 26 at Arkansas and by 32 at home to Alabama.
A quick look at who State has been missing this year explains at least part of the Bulldogs’ problems:
Jacoby Davis – out for season with torn ACL. Rick Ray’s first commitment at MSU was expected to be the team’s point guard. Instead, the 6-foot-1 guard from Charlotte, North Carolina tore his ACL in July and is sitting out the year.
DeAndre Applewhite – out of season with torn ACL. The 6-5 forward from Memphis injured his knee in November and is sitting out the season. Applewhite was another freshman who was expected to contribute immediately in Starkville.
Wendell Lewis – out indefinitely with broken kneecap. The 6-9 senior fractured his knee cap in December and, at the time, was expected to miss at least eight week. He was averaging 8.1 points and 4.9 rebounds for the Bulldogs. Plus, he was coming off a stretch in which he scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds against Providence, then scored 20 points against Texas-San Antonio.
Jalen Steele – missed 8 games with wrist; 3 games suspension. The junior guard fractured his wrist against Florida Atlantic in November and missed eight games. Then, on February 11, Steele was suspended three games for what Ray termed “a selfish act.”
Colin Borchert – missed 3 games suspension. At the time of Steele’s injury, Borchert was also suspended for a violation of team rules. A transfer from East Mississippi Community College, Borchert is now starting for the Bulldogs.
Roquez Johnson — suspended indefinitely. The 6-7 sophomore forward was averaging 8.8 points and 4.5 rebounds when it was announced he had been suspended indefinitely. Ray has not said when Johnson will be allowed to return but hasS said it won’t be tonight against Kentucky.