SuperTalk Mississippi

Mississippi State Hires New Basketball Coach

STARKVILLE, Miss.- Just two days after firing now-former head coach Rick Ray, the University reaches out to the west coast to find their man. The deal (and terms) are still being worked out, but all signs are pointing to the hiring of former UCLA head coach Ben Howland as the next head basketball coach at Mississippi State University. With this move, Howland is in for a little bit of a culture shock, as he will be moving from the Los Angeles area to Starkville, Mississippi. Nevertheless, this move is considered by many to be a slam-dunk hire (pun intended).

Howland guided the Bruins to three consecutive Final 4 appearance from ’06-’08, after already taking Pittsburgh and Northern Arizona to the tournament in his previous two stints. In his last season at UCLA, he lead the team to the 2013 PAC-12 Regular Season title. However, he has been out of coaching since that season, so it may take a little time for him to knock the dust off his loafers.

The basketball program in Starkville took a major step back over the past few seasons. Since Ray took over for Rick Stansbury three seasons ago in 2012, the combined record has been less than stellar, posting a 37-60 mark, winning only 13 games this past season. Cut the guy a little slack though. This was his first head coaching gig after previous stints as an assistant at Clemson, Purdue, Northern Illinois, and Indiana State. While it is known that the SEC isn’t exactly THE premier basketball conference (sans Kentucky), its hardly a cake walk for a first year head coach.

Howland will inherit a team with several returning veterans next season, including seniors Gavin Ware, Fred Thomas, and second team ALL-SEC selection Craig Sword.

Stay up to date with all of Mississippi’s latest news by signing up for our free newsletter here

Copyright 2024 SuperTalk Mississippi Media. All rights reserved.

Related posts

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More