Mississippi State basketball signee Quantel Denson has been released from his scholarship for “failure to adhere to rules and regulations set prior to his signing back in November,” the school announced in a release this morning.
Denson is one of four players who signed with first-year coach Rick Ray during the early signing period in November. The 6-foot-9 forward is currently playing at Mineral Area Community College in Park Hills, Mo.
“We had a zero tolerance policy with Quantel, and he failed to live up to the obligations we had outlined for him,” Ray said in a statement. “We wish him the best for his future endeavors.”
Ray didn’t specify, but the zero tolerance was likely due to Denson’s arrest last year. He robbed a former coach, and in September he pleaded guilty to robbery and aggravated burglary. He could’ve gone to jail but instead was given three years’ probation. The judge in Denson’s case had strong words for him: “You’re a lucky guy that you’re not going to prison, because generally speaking, someone who is willing to put someone else’s life in danger for some money doesn’t deserve to be out on the streets with us – and that would be you. You should be thanking your lucky stars nobody died.”
There’s no word on what Denson did to violate Ray’s zero tolerance policy.
Denson is currently averaging 13.7 points and 5.4 rebounds in nine games for Mineral Area. He’s shooting 58.5 percent from the floor, 33.3 percent from 3-point range and 84.2 percent from the free throw line.
After Denson signed with MSU last month, Ray heaped praise upon him, saying he “is probably one of the most talented junior college kids in the nation. He continues that thing I’m looking for as far having a four man that can do a bunch of different things, that has some versatility.”
MSU now has room to sign another player for the 2013 class. It currently has 10 players on scholarship and will lose one senior after this season, Wendell Lewis. The NCAA has a 13-scholarship limit. The Bulldogs have been battling attrition and injuries since the summer, with three players currently out hurt. Two players, Shaun Smith and Kristers Zeidaks, were dismissed from the team prior to the start of the season.
MSU is 3-5 heading into Saturday’s game at Loyola-Chicago.