Mississippi State coach Rick Ray inherited a bit of a mess when he took over his first head coaching job. The experienced assistant was thrown into the fire his first two years with as little as seven scholarship players on the active roster. In the last two years, he's worked to get things back in order.
On Wednesday night, Ray scored a big target to help continue the team's progress when he pulled in Velma Jackson three-star guard Quinndary Weatherspoon. For Weatherspoon, the relationships were key for the in-state program.
"I really love what they're doing at Mississippi State," Weatherspoon said. "They've had to re-build things there but they're on the right track we just need to get some more guys there. I feel like I can come in and help them get rolling."
"I've felt comfortable with them every single time I've been to Starkville," Weatherspoon said. "Coach Ray and coach Brooks have told me the truth about everything. I'm just ready to play for those two now and I'm really excited about the future. I called coach Ray this afternoon and told him. He was just excited about me helping the team compete for the SEC Championship."
Weatherspoon has been to Starkville several times over the course of the last year and was offered a scholarship a few months ago. The last time he was on campus, he got a chance to see the sites of his future home.
"We came up there for our team camp this summer and got to play in the facilities," Weatherspoon said. "They have great facilities and the Hump is nice. I'm looking forward to help pack it out."
At 6-5, 170-pounds, Weatherspoon is extremely athletic and versatile and projects to be a guard on the next level with early playing time likely at the point for Ray. He averaged over 17 points per games last season and has the ability to put a lot of points on the board at times.
The big part now for the Bulldogs is the relationship that Weatherspoon has with one of the nation's top players, five-star Malik Newman. As the two have played with each other with the Jackson Tigers AAU team, Weatherspoon said it's now his goal to add Newman to the group.
"We talk a lot and have been playing together all summer," Weatherspoon said. "He's my biggest target right now and I'm going to go ahead and talk to him. I want to play with him on the next level and we could be a strong duo."
Weatherspoon is the third commit of the class joining Georgia point guard Tookie Brown and Alabama center Joe Strugg. There's room for one last player in the class, Newman, if the Bulldogs can land one of the state's most talented players in some time.