Hoops: Steele Out 6 Weeks; Borchert Suspended; Three Prospects Sign

Jalen Steele.

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.

I am the online content coordinator for DJournal.com. I also co-host The Memo and Prep Rally podcasts and host the Newsbreak program. Previously at the Journal, I covered Mississippi State athletics (2008-13), high schools (2004-08), and was on the copy desk (2002-04).

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  • DirtDawg78

    Long season. I reckon the combined attendance for the season at the hump will be about 25,000. Sad but true.

    • Bowleggs

      Actual attendance Tuesday night vs FAU was just over 3,000. Therefore your projection for the season attendance may be a bit understated.

  • MidTennDog

    I think what State accomplished in the 2nd half of the Troy game and the FAU game after Steele went down shows what kind of coach State has. If State can hang around with North Carolina, hopefully, these unsigned recruits will understand the difficulties of this year but see how bright it can be. Unfortunately for this year, with only 6 scholarship players, this team will probably wear down before SEC play even begins. Just a tough break all the way around. But for anyone that may be saying, “Aren’t you regretting getting rid of Stansbury, now?”… No.

  • msufanpc

    I would like to know how MSU’s men’s basketball team is able to practice with only eight players left. Do a couple of coaches jump in and scrimmage with them? What will happen if they lose a couple more, seriously? Maybe the ball boys or cheerleaders will suit up. If it weren’t for bad luck, they’d have no luck at all.

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