By Logan Lowery
STARKVILLE – Rick Ray added one final piece to his 2014 class at Mississippi State on Wednesday by signing Jones County Junior College forward Johnny Zuppardo.
The 6-foot-9, 240-pounder took an official visit to Starkville over the weekend and committed to the Bulldogs on Tuesday. He signed a national letter of intent today.
Zuppardo also had offers from Washington, Wichita State, St. Bonaventure, Iona and Kent State.
The former St. Stanislaus standout began his career at Arkansas State, where he appeared in 24 games as a true freshman, averaging 1.3 points and 1.0 rebound per game. From there Zuppardo transferred to Southern Miss, where he was forced to sit out the 2012-13 season due to transfer rules.
Zuppardo helped lead the Bobcats to the NJCAA National Championship this past season by averaging 15.2 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. He was selected to the NJCAA All-Tournament team.
Zuppardo is the fourth member of the MSU signing class, joining fellow forwards Demetrius Houston and Oliver Black along with guard Maurice Dunlap, who all signed in the fall.