MSU opened the season with a win against Arizona State at the Barstool Sports Invitational in Chicago. Led by coach Chris Jans in his second season, the Bulldogs then picked up a pair of home wins against UT Martin and North Alabama. Mississippi State won the Basketball Hall of Fame Classic in Uncasville, Connecticut, with a first round victory against the Cougars before beating the Wildcats.
Mississippi State’s rise in the rankings comes amid injuries and suspensions to key players. All-SEC forward Tolu Smith has yet to play this year and isn’t expected back until conference play. Forward KeShawn Murphy also hasn’t played due to injury. Guard Shakeel Moore missed the first two games due to a violation of team rules.
MSU returns to Humphrey Coliseum on Friday (1 p.m., SEC Network+) for a matchup with Nicholls State (2-3).