Team preview: Mississippi St.

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2003-04 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: November 9, 2003, 1:56 PM ET
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After a tough off-season during which he lost his best returning player and top recruit to the NBA, Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury needed something good to happen in order to keep his team at the level it has performed at the last two years. In late August, something good happened.

Badly in need of a post player after the defection of junior center Mario Austin and incoming freshman Travis Outlaw to the pros, Stansbury picked up a gift from scandal-ridden Baylor, just as classes were about to begin. Baylor administrators placed the program on probation when a litany of NCAA violations were uncovered after the murder of former player Patrick Dennehy, but petitioned the NCAA to allow any player who wanted to transfer to become immediately eligible at another school. The NCAA quickly granted its approval.