SAD NEWS: 2 key players depart Mississippi State just now…….

Josh Hubbard of Mississippi State concentrated on improving his leadership skills and output.
Josh Hubbard of Mississippi State had an incredible welcome to the SEC in the previous season. Furthermore, the rookie All-SEC performer rarely faltered.

Hubbard led the Bulldogs in scoring (17.1 ppg) and three-point field goals made (100), and he also led the SEC in three-point field goals made. During his rookie season, Hubbard scored 598 points, setting a school record.

Hubbard is not at all satisfied with his sophomore campaign. Friday afternoon, Hubbard spoke with local media about his off-season objectives and other subjects.

Q: Did you ever consider leaving, or what did it mean to you to see the fans’ response when you declared you were coming back to State?
Hubbard: Nothing entertaining was going on. From a fan’s perspective, you never know with today’s society and the portal. You want to be clear with the supporters and those who care about the basketball program in today’s society. Since everyone was curious, my dad, Coach (George) Brooks, and I just decided to tweet it out and let everyone know.

When you saw that response after tweeting it, what did it mean to you?

When you saw that response after tweeting it, what did it mean to you?
Hubbard: Having those supporters and their desire for me to return was a nice feeling. I had already planned to return for the program’s development under Coach (Chris) Jans after Year 1.

Josh Hubbard, Mississippi State, Point Guard

What are your off-season goals for your game?
Hubbard: To improve as a leader and to increase my own performance. to become a more capable leader and facilitator and to transition into a mature guard.

Q: This staff added backcourt additions Riley Kugel, Claudell Harris, and Kanye Clary. How do you find the new additions?

Hubbard: They can all shoot the ball well, even though it’s very early. Their numbers are good from their prior schools. I enjoy how fast-paced their games are. During the initial weeks of practice, everyone is genuinely doing a fantastic job of developing rapport. We are moving swiftly, and everything is for the best.

How has it been practicing being Kanye Clary’s guardian?
Hubbard: It feels like I’m protecting myself. On both offense and defense, we both have a quick first step. It’s possible for both of us to shoot it over each other. Competing against someone who shares your build is a lot of fun. Since iron sharpens iron, we have an advantage over other players.

Q: With guys looking to you as ‘the guy’, how does that affect the way you approach the offseason workouts?
Hubbard: Really no difference. We’re all still hungry. After the first year we were not satisfied with the way things ended. So we are motivated even more to fix those things so when we do get back to postseason, we know what to expect.

Q: Seems like the staff emphasize scoring in the transfer portal. Does that take pressure off of you?
: Yes, it is all great. Offense is great and I love the way we play and our capabilities on the offensive end. But we’re also going to defend, as well. We might even defend better this year just because of the way Coach Jans wants us to defend and the program and our values in the game. Yeah, the offense is great and it will always be there. But defense wins games.

How has rookie Dellquan Warren adapted thus far?
Hubbard: He’s adjusting quite nicely. The physicality and speed of the game are the same as what I experienced as a freshman and every other player. He’s adjusting quite rapidly. He is doing a fantastic job of engaging his teammates and providing excellent facilitation. He’s making easy baskets and being a terrific teammate. He’s undoubtedly doing a fantastic job.
What has to happen for this team to have a successful March?

Hubbard: We’re almost done with games. Last year, we did things like control the game, pace, and not allow teams to gain momentum. Both this year and last, we have the guys who can accomplish that.

Both this year and last, we have the guys who can accomplish that. But the way things turned out was unfortunate for us. This year, we have a strong team to enable those abilities.

Q: Last year, you made some huge shots at crucial times. How does it feel to take such a significant risk?
Hubbard It seems like a dream when you think back on it. But because I had to return to defense, I was unable to even process some of those big shots. However, watching the videos of the crowd’s reactions and the arena’s explosions—especially in The Hump—is an incredible experience that cannot be matched.

Q: The past few seasons the offense has been geared around Tolu Smith. How different is the offensive focus this year with the transfer additions?
Hubbard: Especially with the new guys we got, we can play really fast. I think that’s what we’re going to add to our core, just breaking down the defense quicker, not setting up as much, attacking and putting pressure on their feet whether they make it or miss it. Just creating easier buckets and paint touches and things like that.

Q: Yourself, Kugel and others can play multiple spots. How versatile does that make the offense?
: Really versatile. We’re all positionless, multiple positions. We can spread the court and anybody can play anywhere the way we’re playing. We’re excited about that, too.

Q: Last year, you had the ball in pivotal moments despite the close wins and losses. What was it like for a freshman to have that experience?
Hubbard: Having that faith and confidence in me, Coach Jans, was a blessing, particularly from my teammates. That’s the kind of scenario we frequently rehearse in practice. Since there will be circumstances similar to that at the end of the game, everyone has had that opportunity during practice. I would like to express my gratitude to the staff and my teammates for believing in me.

Chris Jans, the head coach of Mississippi State, announced staff promotions.
Chris Jans, the men’s basketball coach at Mississippi State, announced Patrice Days, Dillon Elder, Jovan Austin, and Scott Padgett’s promotions on Friday.

Day, Padgett, and Elder have been promoted to assistant coaches, and Austin will take on the role of director of recruiting for the team.
“Recently, we were able to honor our staff members for their hard work and dedication to Mississippi State basketball,” stated Jans. For our third season together, a core group of people is returning, which is fantastic for collaboration, communication, and output. Our new hires’ skill sets and those of our returning employees will work well together. I’m eager to see what this group can achieve to benefit both our program and our players.

Jans also revealed the addition of Doug Wagemester and Jordan Sperber to the team earlier this week.

Sperber joins the team as Senior Director of Basketball Strategy, and Wagemester as Senior Associate Athletics Director of Men’s Basketball.

The group of four has been a part of Jans’ team that has led State back to the highest level of college basketball after two trips to the NCAA Tournament and two seasons with 21 wins. The Bulldogs haven’t received consecutive bids to the NCAA Tournament since 2007–08 and 2008–09.

For the third time in program history and the first time since 2001–02, State triumphed three times against opponents ranked in the Associated Press Top 10. In addition to defeating No. 8 Auburn, the Bulldogs defeated No. 5 Tennessee, the SEC regular season champion, both in the regular season and in the SEC Tournament.

State had the second-best start to a season in program history in 2022–23 with an 11-0 record, which propelled the team to as high as No. 15 in the country.

Over the last two seasons, the Bulldogs have defeated five opponents ranked in the AP Top 25, which is the program’s best two-year total since 2001–02 and 2002–03.

Humphrey Coliseum was one of the nation’s most electric environments in 2023-24 featuring seven sellouts – the most on record for a season dating back to 2008-09 highlighted by four in a row.

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