College Basketball

Who Are The Top 10 Greatest Mississippi State Bulldogs men’s basketball Players Of All Time?

The Mississippi State Bulldogs men’s basketball team has a long and storied history. From its early days as an independent program in the 1920s to its current status as a member of the Southeastern Conference, the Bulldogs have produced some of the best basketball players of all time. In this blog post, we will take a look at the top 10 greatest Mississippi State Bulldogs basketball players of all time. We’ll consider their individual accomplishments and contributions to the program to determine who made the cut. So without further ado, let’s dive into the list of the best Bulldogs basketball players of all time.

#10 Erick Dampier

Erick Dampier, a native of Vicksburg, Mississippi, is one of the top 10 greatest Mississippi State Bulldogs men’s basketball players of all time. During his time at Mississippi State, Dampier was an incredibly versatile player, who could play both center and power forward. He was named to the All-SEC Freshman Team in 1994, and the All-SEC First Team in 1996.
Dampier was a key member of the Bulldogs’ 1995 Sweet Sixteen team, averaging 12.4 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. He also earned Academic All-SEC honors twice during his collegiate career. After graduating from Mississippi State, Dampier went on to play professionally for 13 seasons in the NBA, spending time with the Indiana Pacers, Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks.
Dampier holds several school records at Mississippi State, including most career double-doubles (26), most blocks in a season (92) and most blocks in a career (260). He was inducted into the Mississippi State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011. Dampier’s career has solidified him as one of the greatest Bulldogs basketball players of all time.

#9 Jeff Malone

Jeff Malone is one of the most iconic Mississippi State Bulldogs men’s basketball players of all time. The 6-foot-4 shooting guard from rural New Hebron, Mississippi was a standout player for the Bulldogs during his four-year college career from 1981 to 1985.
Malone was a four-time All-SEC selection and the 1984 SEC Player of the Year. He finished his collegiate career with 1,942 points and held the school’s all-time scoring record until Darryl Wilson broke it in 2003. Malone was also the first MSU player to have his number (15) retired in 1985.
Malone went on to have an impressive NBA career, spending 10 seasons with the Washington Bullets, Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks. He was a two-time All-Star and ended his NBA career as one of the league’s top long-range shooters. He was also known for his clutch shooting, which earned him the nickname Money Malone.
To this day, Malone remains one of the most beloved figures in Mississippi State basketball history. His #15 jersey still hangs in Humphrey Coliseum and he is fondly remembered by Bulldogs fans everywhere.

#8 Jarvis Varnado

The 8th greatest Mississippi State Bulldogs men’s basketball player of all time is Jarvis Varnado. He was born in Brownsville, Tennessee and attended Haywood High School where he led the team to two state championships. During his senior year, he averaged 27 points and 15 rebounds per game.
Varnado then continued his basketball career at Mississippi State University. During his college career, he became the SEC’s all-time leader in blocks and shattered the NCAA record for most blocks in a single season with 170. He was named First Team All-SEC twice and won the SEC Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2009 and 2010. He also earned the Henson Award, which recognizes the nation’s top defender, twice.
In 2010, Varnado was selected as the 41st overall pick in the NBA Draft by the Miami Heat. He spent two years in the NBA and then went on to play professionally overseas. Throughout his career, Varnado has won several awards and championships, including two German League championships, two Russian Superleague championships, and an Israeli Cup championship.
Jarvis Varnado is a true Mississippi State legend and one of the best Bulldogs men’s basketball players of all time. His dominance on both ends of the court has earned him a place on this list of great Bulldogs basketball players.

#7 Joe Smith

Joe Smith, the #7 greatest Mississippi State Bulldogs men’s basketball player of all time, had a phenomenal career with the Bulldogs. Smith was a three-time All-SEC selection in 1983, 1984, and 1985 and was twice named to the SEC All-Tournament team in 1983 and 1984. He was also an honorable mention All-American in 1985 and was inducted into the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1999.
During his career at Mississippi State, Smith averaged 15.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game and ranks seventh in school history with 1,368 career points. He is also one of only five players in school history to score more than 1,000 points and grab more than 500 rebounds in a career. Smith was an incredibly versatile player who could score from anywhere on the court and rebound with the best of them.
Smith was drafted by the Golden State Warriors with the #1 pick in the 1985 NBA draft, making him the first ever Mississippi State player to be taken with the first overall selection. He went on to have a successful 15-year NBA career, playing for nine different teams and making the All-Star Game in 1997 and 1998.
Joe Smith is a true legend of Mississippi State basketball and deserves his place among the top 10 greatest Bulldogs players of all time.

#6 Cameron Blakeney

Cameron Blakeney was a major part of the Mississippi State Bulldogs men’s basketball team for four seasons from 1992-1996. He was a fan favorite, known for his intense drive and incredible athleticism. During his time in Starkville, Blakeney helped the team to three NCAA tournament appearances and one NIT appearance.
Blakeney was an All-SEC selection in 1996 and averaged over 17 points per game in each of his four seasons. He was also a tenacious defender and was often tasked with the assignment of guarding the opposing team’s best scorer. His tenacity and ability to lock down other players earned him the nickname The Glove.
Off the court, Blakeney was heavily involved in the community, volunteering his time and money to local charities. He was beloved by Mississippi State fans and continues to be remembered as one of the greatest Bulldogs of all time.

#5 Mario Austin

When you talk about the greatest Mississippi State Bulldogs men’s basketball players of all time, one name that is sure to come up is Mario Austin. Austin had an incredible college career at Mississippi State and was a key part of the Bulldogs’ success during his time in Starkville.
Austin arrived at Mississippi State in 2001 and quickly established himself as one of the top players in the SEC. In his freshman season, he was named the SEC Freshman of the Year, averaging 16 points and 7 rebounds per game. In his sophomore season, Austin was even better, earning All-SEC First Team honors after averaging 19.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. He continued to put up huge numbers for the Bulldogs for his final two seasons, finishing his career with over 1,500 points and 800 rebounds.
In addition to being one of the best players in Mississippi State history, Austin was also a leader for the Bulldogs both on and off the court. His work ethic and determination to succeed earned him the respect of both teammates and coaches, and he served as team captain for three seasons.
Overall, Austin was one of the most dominant players in Mississippi State history. His ability to impact the game in a variety of ways is why he is widely regarded as one of the top Bulldogs basketball players of all time.

#4 Todd Day

Todd Day is one of the most prolific scorers in Mississippi State Bulldogs men’s basketball history. The 6-foot-7 forward led the team in scoring for three consecutive seasons, averaging 21.1 points per game over his career. He also pulled down 8.5 rebounds per game and was named a First Team All-SEC selection in 1991 and 1992.
Day was the Bulldogs’ first NBA draft pick since 1986 when he was chosen seventh overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1992 draft. He had an 11-year professional career, playing for several teams including the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics. He also won a gold medal as part of the USA Men’s Basketball Team at the 1995 Pan American Games.
Despite not having a successful professional career, Todd Day’s impact on Mississippi State basketball can still be felt today. He remains the all-time leading scorer in Bulldogs’ history with 2,459 points, and his jersey number 23 has been retired by the school. He is rightly remembered as one of the greatest Mississippi State Bulldogs basketball players of all time.

#3 Bailey Howell

Bailey Howell is widely considered one of the top Mississippi State Bulldogs basketball players of all time. A member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Howell was an All-American at Mississippi State and was one of the first two players ever to be drafted into the NBA from the school.
As a freshman in 1957, Howell led the Bulldogs to the Southeastern Conference title and an NCAA Final Four appearance. He went on to become the SEC Player of the Year in 1958 and 1959, averaging 25.2 points per game in his senior season. In total, Howell scored 2,040 points in his college career.
The 6’7 forward was selected second overall by the Detroit Pistons in the 1959 NBA draft and played for eight different teams over his 13-year NBA career. He was an All-Star six times, an All-NBA second team selection once, and named to the NBA All-Defensive second team once. He also won a championship with Boston in 1968.
Howell’s #50 jersey has been retired by Mississippi State, and he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1997. He is widely recognized as one of the top Bulldogs basketball players of all time.

#2 James Bubba Wells

James Bubba Wells is widely regarded as one of the top 10 greatest Mississippi State Bulldogs men’s basketball players of all time. He spent four years in Starkville and achieved incredible success, earning All-SEC honors three times and becoming the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,036 points.
Throughout his career, Wells displayed great scoring ability and a knack for rebounding. He averaged more than 20 points per game in three consecutive seasons and was named to the All-SEC first team three times. He also held the school’s single season rebound record (312) for twenty-one years until it was broken by Travis Outlaw in 2003.
Wells’ legacy at Mississippi State lives on today. In 2001, he was inducted into the school’s athletic Hall of Fame, and in 2007 his jersey was retired by the university. He is remembered as one of the Bulldogs’ most successful players and an unforgettable figure in Mississippi State history.

#1 Jerry Stackhouse

When it comes to the top ten greatest Mississippi State Bulldogs men’s basketball players of all time, the list starts with Jerry Stackhouse.
Stackhouse was an All-American during his three seasons at Mississippi State from 1993 to 1995. He was an incredibly versatile player who could score from any spot on the floor. He averaged 21.6 points and 8.7 rebounds per game during his college career and shot 50.4% from the field. Stackhouse was also a two-time Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, and he was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.
Throughout his NBA career, Stackhouse was a two-time All-Star, played for six teams, and scored over 17,000 points. He is now an assistant coach with the Detroit Pistons.
Jerry Stackhouse will always be remembered as one of the greatest Mississippi State Bulldogs men’s basketball players of all time.

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