Mississippi State’s leading scorer out 4-6 weeks, JuCo transfer done for season

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All is well with the Mississippi State football program in mid-October as the nation’s new No. 1 team. The men’s basketball team, however, is off to a bit of a rough start in the first few weeks of practice.

The school announced on Monday that last season’s top scorer Craig Sword will need to undergo surgery on a bulging disk in his back. The 6-foot-3 will miss 4-6 weeks, meaning even at the earliest, he’d still have little to no room to prepare for the team’s season opener.

As a sophomore, Sword averaged 13.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. He was one of two Bulldogs — forward Gavin Ware being the other — to average double figures last year.

The press release also announced that 6-foot-9 three-star junior college transfer Johnny Zuppardo will miss the entire 2014-2015 season due to a torn ACL and meniscus. Zuppardo averaged 15.2 points and 6.9 rebounds per game last season at Jones County Junior College (Mississippi).

Mississippi State, which finished last in the SEC last season, opens the 2014-2015 campaign on Nov. 14 at home against Western Carolina.