Mississippi State men's basketball predicted to finish near bottom of league by SEC media

The Bulldogs will have a new-look team this season
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With a new-look team, expectations are not high for Mississippi State men's basketball this season according to Southeastern Conference media members.

The SEC announced its predicted order of finish on Thursday and the Bulldogs were tabbed 12th in the 14-team league. Only Georgia and Vanderbilt were behind MSU.

State is coming off a year in which the team had a 20-11 record before the season was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bulldogs were fighting to make the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight year. 

However this year's group looks massively different than the team of a season ago. Associated Press SEC Co-Player of the Year for last season, forward Reggie Perry, is gone. So, too, is starting guard Robert Woodard II. Both Perry and Woodard are possible picks in next week's NBA Draft. The Bulldogs also lost a pair of other starters as Tyson Carter and Nick Weatherspoon are no longer with the program. Additionally, several pieces of last year's MSU bench have transferred elsewhere.

It all leaves State with potential, but little certainty. The Bulldogs will be relying heavily on sophomore guard D.J. Stewart and senior center Abdul Ado to lead the way. MSU hopes to get increased production out of guard Iverson Molinar in his sophomore season, as well as impacts from a host of new faces including freshman guard Deivon Smith, freshman guard/forward Cameron Matthews and others.

For now, the MSU group has a lot to prove. Here is the full predicted order of finish:

 Preseason Media Poll

1. Tennessee

2. Kentucky

3. LSU

4. Florida

5. Alabama

6. Arkansas

7. Auburn

8. South Carolina

9. Ole Miss

10. Missouri

11. Texas A&M

12. Mississippi State

13. Georgia

14. Vanderbilt

It's also notable that MSU didn't have anyone on All-SEC teams. Here are the league's preseason individual honors however:

First Team All-SEC

John Petty Jr. – Alabama

Keyontae Johnson – Florida

Brandon Boston Jr. – Kentucky

Trendon Watford – LSU

John Fulkerson – Tennessee

Second Team All-SEC

Olivier Sarr – Kentucky

Javonte Smart – LSU

Dru Smith – Missouri

AJ Lawson – South Carolina

Yves Pons – Tennessee

Savion Flagg – Texas A&M

SEC Player of the Year

Keyontae Johnson – Florida

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