MSU Men’s Hoops Garners No. 18 Pre-Season AP Ranking

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STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State men's basketball team collected a No. 18 pre-season ranking announced Monday by the Associated Press.

The Bulldogs are ranked among the pre-season AP Top 25 for the sixth time in program history. The program's previous pre-season appearance also was at No. 18 leading into the 2009-10 season.

Mississippi State makes its return to the AP Top 25 for the first time since holding a No. 20 ranking on Feb. 5, 2012 and breaks a streak of 121 editions without appearing in the poll.

The Bulldogs are joined by Kentucky (2), Tennessee (6), Auburn (11) and LSU (23) from the SEC. The five SEC teams are second-most among conferences behind only the ACC with seven teams.

Mississippi State is led by fourth-year head coach Ben Howland, who guided the Bulldogs to a 25-12 record and a NIT Final Four appearance in 2017-18. The 25 victories were the fourth-highest total in program history behind only the 1995-96, 2001-02 and 2003-04 teams.

Mississippi State returns its top six scorers from last season, who combined for 2,264 points and 83.4 percent of the team's scoring. Quinndary Weatherspoon (14.4 PPG), Aric Holman (10.9 PPG) and Nick Weatherspoon (10.8 PPG) headline the group.

The program's incoming recruiting class is a consensus Top 25 group, which features McDonalds All-American Reggie Perry along with D.J. Stewart and Robert Woodard.

Mississippi State takes on Georgia Southwestern in a 2 p.m. CT exhibition tilt on Sunday, Nov. 4, at Humphrey Coliseum. Then, the Bulldogs square off with Austin Peay to open the regular season on Friday, Nov. 9. Tipoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. from the Hump. Both games will be streamed by SEC Network + and available online only via the WatchESPN platform.

The Mississippi State Athletics Ticket Office is selling season tickets for as low as $199. Fans can purchase tickets online at www.HailState.com/Hoops, in person at the MSU Athletics Ticket Office located at the Bryan Athletic Building or via the phone at (888) GO-DAWGS (463-2947). Information on single-game tickets and mini plans will be announced at a later date by the ticket office.

Visit www.HailState.com for the latest news and information on the men's basketball program. Fans also can follow the program on its social media outlets by searching 'HailStateMBK' on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Mississippi State Pre-Season AP Poll History
Season, Preseason Ranking
1962-63, No. 6
1995-96, No. 9
2002-03, No. 12
2004-05, No. 12
2009-10, No. 18
2018-19, No. 18

Pre-Season AP Top 25 Poll – October 22, 2018
Ranking, Team (First Place Votes), Points
1, Kansas (37), 1,581
2, Kentucky (19), 1,529
3, Gonzaga (1), 1,461
4, Duke (4), 1,452
5, Virginia (2), 1,286
6, Tennessee (1), 1,268
7, Nevada, 1,230
8, North Carolina, 1,221
9, Villanova (1), 1,085
10, Michigan State, 1,024
11, Auburn, 974
12, Kansas State, 922
13, West Virginia, 678
14, Oregon, 638
15, Virginia Tech, 630
16, Syracuse, 620
17, Florida State, 530
18, Mississippi State, 451
19, Michigan, 437
20, TCU, 311
21, UCLA, 297
22, Clemson, 268
23, LSU, 187
24, Purdue, 170
25, Washington, 165

Others receiving votes: Loyola Chicago 162, Marquette 124, Indiana 98, Florida 71, Nebraska 35, Maryland 28, Wisconsin 24, Notre Dame 22, Cincinnati 21, UCF 15, Alabama 15, Arizona 14, Buffalo 14, Louisville 11, Miami 10, San Diego State 9, Texas Tech 6, Southern Cal 6, Butler 6, Texas 5, St. John's 3, Arizona State 3, Providence 2, Xavier 2, Davidson 1, Missouri 1, Marshall 1, North Carolina State 1.