Mississippi State, coming off three convincing victories, will play host to South Dakota on Thursday night in Starkville, Miss.

The Bulldogs (3-0) opened the season with 19-point wins against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Akron before routing Arkansas-Pine Bluff 80-47 on Sunday.

One of the luxuries of those triumphs for Mississippi State coach Chris Jans was the opportunity to play many players. Against Pine Bluff, 13 Bulldogs played in the first half alone, with 11 scoring.

“The good thing is, the guys that we threw out there in the first half, the ones that haven’t been playing quite as much, looked good,” Jans said. “I’m happy for them. It may end up being a problem for me, but that’s a situation that will work itself out.

“It’s really hard to scout against when you have that many people who contribute in a bunch of different columns. It’s hard to prepare for.”

Jans had nice things to say about freshman Martavious Russell, who provided seven points, two steals, a block and an assist in 10 minutes.

“I love MJ,” Jans said. “He’s going to be a really, really good player. It’s not a matter of if, it’s just a matter of when. He’s going from 0 to 60 a little bit in terms of what’s required at this level — the athletes that he’s playing against each and every day. It’s a transition everyone has to make.”

The Coyotes (2-1) are coming off a four-day break after playing three games in six days. They lost by 26 to Wisconsin before defeating Lipscomb 85-77 and downing NAIA program Dakota State 82-64.

South Dakota guard A.J. Plitzuweit, who is averaging a team-high 19 points, won Summit League player of the week honors.

Through three games, the sophomore is shooting 64 percent from the field and owns the nation’s seventh-best 3-point rate at 76.9 percent. Plitzuweit scored 33 points in the victory over Lipscomb.

–Field Level Media