The latest five-star prospect to commit to Mississippi State under Ben Howland is set to fill a significant need in the future.
Reggie Perry, a five-star forward from Thomasville (Ga.) committed to the Bulldogs Monday. He’s rated as the No. 15 overall player in the 2018 recruiting class, per 247Sports’ composite rankings.
His father, Al, who played at Mississippi State in the mid-1970s, explained his son’s decision to The Clarion-Ledger.
Al envisions Reggie, who is 6-foot-9 and 200 pounds, as a “stretch-four” or a power forward who can space the floor with his shooting ability and ball handling skills.
“Coach (Howland) allowing his stretch-fours to handle the basketball, setting four or five screens for (them) and create some mismatches,” Al told The Clarion-Ledger’s Will Sammon. “It’s something we looked at, not stifling Reggie’s game.
“Coach’s style allows him to show his versatility on both ends of the court.”
Per Al, Howland also emphasized how aggressive Reggie needs to be on defense, which was something that appealed to the family.
Mario Kegler figured to fill the stretch-four role in the immediate future, but transferred to Baylor this offseason, which created a void at that spot.
“Reggie saw the need,” Al said. “They also emphasized how important they thought he would be if he came. … He understands how good those guys are already.”
Nick Weatherspoon, the former Velma Jackson standout and a four-star point guard, is set to enter his first season with the Bulldogs. His brother, Quinndary, averaged 16.5 points last season, which led MSU and was seventh in the SEC.
And Lamar Peters was an All-SEC Freshman last season.
“Reggie sees that,” Al said. “And they can help bring him along too.”
Reggie is the first commit for Howland’s 2018 recruiting class at Mississippi State.
“No. 1, I think the coaching staff did a tremendous job of recruiting Reggie and our family and made us feel very comfortable,” he said. “I think that for us and Reggie, being away from home and close enough to reach out to him (was key).”
Al also went on to mention Howland’s three trips to the Final Four as UCLA’s coach and said Reggie was intrigued by the fact Howland has coached several NBA players.
He also said Reggie took a liking to the college atmosphere in Starkville.
“He really kind of fell in love with that,” Al said. “Small, but big enough.”