Say this about Ben Howland, the man knows how to recruit. That was proven once again on Sunday as his Mississippi State program earned a commitment from massive junior college center Jethro Tshisumpa, according to Gene Swindoll:
2018 juco center Jethro Tshisumpa has committed to Mississippi State.
— Gene Swindoll (@GeneSwindoll) February 18, 2018
At 6-foot-10 and 260 pounds, Tshisumpa has the size and length to come in and play immediately in a much-improved SEC.
An unranked prospect according to 247 Sports, Howland and the Bulldogs are hoping that Tshisumpa is a diamond in the rough. Mississippi State is his only known offer at this time. Tshisumpa was in Starkville this past weekend on an official visit, and on hand to watch the Bulldogs take down rival Ole Miss, 79-62.
That does not mean that Tshisumpa is without talent, however. Coming out of high school, he originally committed and signed with Arizona State, only to have to take a detour to San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas.
With Tshisumpa’s commitment, Mississippi State could have one of the biggest front lines in the SEC in 2018-19. The Bulldogs will return Abdul Ado, Aric Holman, and E.J. Datcher, all standing at least 6-foot-10. Plus, the crown jewel of Howland’s 2018 recruiting class is another big man, 5-star power forward Reggie Perry, who stands 6-foot-9 himself.
If nothing else, Tshisumpa will provide size, strength, and five fouls that Howland can use against some of the bigger teams in the conference. A known shot-blocker, Tshisumpa could prove to be a deterrent for those who get into the lane against the Bulldogs.
All told, Tshisumpa’s commitment brings Mississippi State’s 2018 class up to four players in total, as Tshisumpa joins Perry and two 4-star wings: Robert Woodard and DJ Stewart, both Mississippi natives. Prior to Tshisumpa’s commitment, the Bulldogs’ class ranked 17th in the country for 2018 and fifth in the SEC.