Blog – MSU hoops start practice Friday (with video)

There is no doubt in head coach Rick Ray’s mind that this year’s Mississippi State basketball team is going to be better this season.

He also thinks the Bulldogs, who won 14 games last year, will win more games this season.

“For us to take that next step as far as challenging for postseason play, we’re going to have to have leadership inside the locker room,” Ray said. “I think these past two years, I’ve been the unquestioned leaders.”

The Bulldogs only won three Southeastern Conference games a year ago.

MSU starts practice Friday and will have 30 practices in 42 days leading up to the first game of the season against Prairie View A&M on Nov. 8.

Ray adds depth to this year’s roster, something he has not had in his first two seasons. The roster features seven newcomers.

Ray brings in freshmen Maurice Dunlap, Fallou Ndoye, Oliver Black, Demetrius Houston and Elijah Staley who is also playing football.

Ndoye redshirted last season. Travis Daniels arrived on campus during December of last year, but redshirted. Big man Johnny Zuppardo transferred in from Jones Junior College.

“We actually have experience for the first time in my tenure here,” Ray said. “Along with that experience we actually have size. I think (that) allows simulation in practice.”

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