Quinndary Weatherspoon

Quinndary Weatherspoon prepares to shoot a free throw for Mississippi State.

Quinndary Weatherspoon now has a Bailey Howell Trophy for each hand.

Weatherspoon, Mississippi State’s standout senior guard, was awarded the Howell Trophy for the second straight year on Monday. The honor is given each season to the best male college basketball player in the state of Mississippi.

With his laid-back demeanor and nonchalant style, it might perhaps be easy for some to overlook Weatherspoon and his talents. However with two Howell Trophies now in his collection, it’s apparent Weatherspoon’s work hasn’t gone unnoticed inside the Magnolia State.

“I know how much I appreciate him,” MSU head coach Ben Howland said of Weatherspoon last week. “He’s had an incredible career here thus far and we want to keep it going for a while. I’m really proud of him.”

Weatherspoon’s MSU career indeed will be extended by at least a couple of games after he wrapped up his final regular season last Saturday. The Bulldogs, who sport a 22-9 overall record and 10-8 mark in Southeastern Conference play, will begin action in the SEC Tournament on Thursday against either Texas A&M or Vanderbilt. State hopes to make a run in that event, but no matter what, it’s a virtual certainty the Bulldogs will also play in the NCAA Tournament starting next week. It’ll be MSU’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in a decade.

The backbone of all of State’s success this season has been Weatherspoon. He’s averaged 18.5 points per game this year – the third-best total in all the SEC. Weatherspoon also has averaged 4.9 rebounds per contest.

In conference games, Weatherspoon actually leads the league in scoring, averaging 19.4 points per game.

Buoyed by his outstanding season, Weatherspoon has risen up the MSU record books and now sits as one of the school’s all-time great players. Weatherspoon enters the SEC Tournament with the third-most career points in Mississippi State history, behind only Howell, the namesake of the trophies Weatherspoon has won the last two years, and Jeff Malone.

Weatherspoon has scored 1,956 career points. That’s just 74 behind Howell and 186 behind Malone.

It isn’t just Weatherspoon’s scoring that has made him great though. He’s been a well-rounded player. He currently sits third on MSU’s all-time career steals list (195). He’s also in the top 20 all-time in career rebounds. Weatherspoon currently sits 17th on that list with 667 boards.

It has unquestionably been a remarkable career for Weatherspoon to say the least, yet his coach isn’t at all surprised. Howland and Weatherspoon both arrived in Starkville at nearly the same time before the start of the 2015-16 season. Last week, Howland recalled his initial thoughts on Weatherspoon and how he lived up to all the potential.

“I remember going to (Weatherspoon’s) home the day after I had my initial press conference on the floor (of the Humphrey Coliseum after being hired),” Howland said. “I’ll never forget that. We re-recruited him essentially. We told him how excited we were. I watched film and saw how athletic he was – what a good finisher he was in particular – when I was watching film on him.

“In June (of 2015), after they arrived for summer school, he was in the weight room. I just saw this body…He has a perfect basketball body. I said, ‘Man, this guy really looks like a player.’ Sure enough, it held to be true.”

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