With Mississippi State departures and transfers, is Bulldogs’ APR in danger?

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With Connecticut’s final appeal to the NCAA struck down and the Huskies now barred from the 2012-13 postseason because of Academic Progress Rate problems, the once less-than-talked-about measurement is now firmly in the college basketball discussion.

Mississippi State may be entering the rebuilding phase after the retirement of coach Rick Stansbury and, with a flurry of departures and transfers in its wake, a list that now includes promising freshman Rodney Hood, the Bulldogs have the specter of APR to deal with, as well.

As the Clarion-Ledger points out, nine players have left the Mississippi State program in the last 16 months, including four in the past 30 days.

Arnett Moultrie and Renardo Sidney will try their hand at professional basketball, DeVille Smith withdrew from school on March 19, and Hood, as mentioned above, is transferring.

The APR measures both individual eligibility, making sure players remain in good academic standing, as well as retention, whether players stick around.

Mississippi State had a four-year rolling score of 948 during a period that ended in 2009-10, which is 18 points higher than the new NCAA benchmark of 930.

“We feel comfortable with where we are with it. …We’ve positioned ourselves to where, if you stubbed your toe a little bit, it’s not going to be fatal,” MSU athletic director Scott Stricklin told the Clarion-Ledger.

If any school falls below that 930, scholarship sanctions and other penalties would take effect, like they did at Connecticut.

The Bulldogs have five players signed from the Class of 2012, but guard Josh Gray from Houston, Texas, has asked out of his letter of intent.

New head coach Rick Ray, who replaced Stansbury, will have some work to do, with six of the top seven scorers from the 2011-12 squad not returning to the team next season.

The spring signing period begins Wednesday.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_