The Bulldogs face South Florida in the opening game on Sunday. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. CT at The Orleans Arena. MSU will play either Santa Clara or UNLV on Monday night. The Broncos and the Runnin’ Rebels will meet in Sunday’s nightcap at approximately 9:30 p.m. CT.
After winning only 10 games all of last season, Rick Ray’s squad already boasts an 8-2 record in the early part of the current campaign. The Bulldogs downed Florida Gulf Coast 66-53 on Thursday night.
Craig Sword continues to be red-hot in the scoring department, as he has accumulated 102 points in his last five games. The sophomore ranks 12th in the SEC in scoring with 15.5 points per game and fifth in steals with 1.8 a game.
Starkville native Gavin Ware ranks seventh in the league in rebounding with 8.1 boards per game. Ware ranks second on the team in scoring with 10.7 points per game.
Mississippi State currently leads the conference and is eight in the entire country with 9.9 steals per game. The Bulldogs also have the second-best steal per turnover ratio in the SEC.
The Bulls also enter the matchup with an 8-2 record, having won four-straight games. Victor Rudd leads USF in scoring with 15.7 points per game, while Corey Allen Jr. also averages 13.4 points.
MSU leads the all-time series 2-0, but the schools have not met since 1973-74 when the Bulldogs claimed an 86-81 victory.