Team preview: Mississippi State

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: October 20, 2004, 5:06 PM ET
Blue Ribbon Yearbook
Editor's Note: Insider has teamed with Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, long known as the Bible of college basketball, to provide a comprehensive look at all 326 Division I teams.

COACH AND PROGRAM

One of the hard-luck programs of the Southeastern Conference has gotten a major break the last two years.

Mississippi State has the distinction of being the first school in NCAA history to lose not one (Jonathan Bender) but two (Travis Outlaw) high school recruits to the NBA as first-round draft picks. Last year, in addition to Outlaw, Bulldog coach Rick Stansbury also saw junior forward Mario Austin declare for the draft and a potential impact recruit from Poland opt for a European pro league. In August, Stansbury was faced with the possibility of having just two post players, both of them unproven-on his roster. That would have made life tough in one of the country's most competitive conferences

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