Bad luck keeps piling on Mississippi State.
Starting guard Jalen Steele, the team’s top returning scorer and leader of the team, will miss about six weeks of action due to a fractured left wrist. That was revealed earlier today after an MRI, the school announced. Steele, who averaged 8.7 points and shot 39.3 percent from 3-point range last season, will not require surgery.
The junior hurt himself in Tuesday night’s 78-58 win over FAU. With 10:47 left in the first half, he went in for a layup, had the shot blocked, and slammed to the floor. He needed eight stitches in his head and was taken to the hospital for further evaluation. This is Steele’s second major injury at MSU; he suffered a torn ACL and meniscus during his freshman season.
“I feel for Jalen because he put in a great deal of work in the offseason so that he could take advantage of the opportunity that was present for him this season,” MSU coach Rick Ray said in a statement. “I know with Jalen’s work ethic that he will attack his rehab and be ready to come back and help this team when that time comes.”
Steele is the third Bulldog to suffer a big injury this year. Freshmen DeAndre Applewhite and Jacoby Davis both suffered knee injuries before the season and are out for the year. So MSU is down to six healthy scholarship players for the Maui Invitational, which begins Monday with a matchup against No. 11 North Carolina.
Why only six scholarship guys? Because forward Colin Borchert has been suspended for a violation of team rules, Ray announced today. The amount of his suspension was not revealed, but missing Maui means a minimum of three games. Disciplining players is nothing new to Ray, who in September dismissed Shaun Smith and Kristers Zeidaks for repeated violations of team rules.
On the upside, State did sign three players on the first day of the early signing period: high school guard I.J. Ready, and juco forwards Travis Daniels and Quantel Denson. Big man Fallou Ndoye, who hails from Senegal and is playing at Findlay Prep in Nevada, is expected to sign, too. His paperwork may take longer to get processed because he’s from overseas. The 6-foot-10 Ndoye committed Tuesday.