Bulldogs grant Brooks release from NLI

MSU men's coach Ben Howland
Staff Writer

Mississippi State has granted four-star signee Garrison Brooks a full release from his National Letter of Intent to play with the Bulldogs.
Brooks, the son of Mississippi State assistant George Brooks and a 6-foot-10 forward who inked with the Bulldogs last November, requested his release last month. That request was originally denied by MSU and then Garrison Brooks’ appeal was rejected by the NCAA. However after MSU head coach Ben Howland spoke with Garrison Brooks on Tuesday, Howland decided to grant Brooks his release.
“I first met Garrison not long after taking the job here at Mississippi State, and I was so excited when he originally committed to playing here,” Howland said in a school release. “Mississippi State is where his dad played and now works, and I knew this would be special place for him. This entire situation is very unfortunate for the young man, but I don’t want to put him in a situation that causes further family hardship.
“I want to do what’s best for Garrison Brooks. I’m in support of him being happy and successful. I’ve enjoyed getting to know him the past several years, and I want to wish him the best moving forward.”

Weatherspoon on mend

Quinndary Weatherspoon underwent surgery on March 30 in New York City to repair the torn scapholunate ligament in his wrist that he dealt with over the course of his sophomore season.
“He’s in a cast and he had pins put in,” Howland said of Weatherspoon. “He is in a cast that will be removed in three months, then it will be in a soft cast and he’ll do the rehab process from that point.”
Howland said Weatherspoon should be able to fully return to the court with no restrictions in about five months.
Weatherspoon was MSU’s leading scorer last season. He averaged 16.5 points per game and 5.1 rebounds per contest.

Datcher also having surgery

Forward E.J. Datcher is scheduled to have surgery today to repair a labrum tear.
Like Weatherspoon, Howland expects Datcher to return fully in about five months.
“It is unfortunate to have two guys that have had to undergo full surgeries,” Howland said.
Datcher played in 31 games as a freshman last season for MSU. He averaged one point and 1.5 rebounds per game in his reserve role.

Strugg no longer on team

Joe Strugg will not return to the MSU basketball team next season.
The forward played in only six games last year and averaged just 1.8 points per contest. Howland mentioned Tuesday that, for now, Strugg is the only attrition to the roster he expects.
“At this time, we have nothing to report,” Howland said of other players possibly not coming back.

National search for strength coach

With strength coach David Deets leaving MSU for Tulsa, Howland said a national search to find his replacement is underway.
“We have a lot of interest in that position,” Howland said. “It’s a great facility and weight room, and it’s the SEC and Mississippi State has a great reputation.”
Howland said he expects to have the position filled by the time players return in the summer.
“I am going to be very diligent about doing a good job of evaluating and then get to where we are interviewing three candidates to where we make a good decision,” Howland said.