Former NBA coach and Mississippi native Tim Floyd got a first-hand look at Mississippi State’s Quinndary Weatherspoon recently and was blown away by the sophomore’s skills and demeanor.

Quindarry Weatherspoon Credit: MSU media relations

“He’s special,” Floyd said. “He has all the physical tools, obviously, but I also loved his makeup, his character and his poise. A lot of kids have the ability but not the mental makeup. He’s got both. I really believe he has what it takes to have a long career in basketball.”

Weatherspoon, who averaged 18.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 steals a game, injured his left wrist in a Friday victory over Boise State but still played Sunday with his hand and wrist wrapped in a victory over Floyd’s UTEP team. Weatherspoon will undergo surgery for ligament damage and will miss the rest of the season. He is expected to get a medical redshirt and return to play at State as a sophomore in the 2017-18 season.

“I hate it happened,” said Floyd, a Hattiesburg native who coached both the Chicago Bulls and New Orleans Hornets. “You can’t replace a player of his caliber. Sure, you can replace a few of his points but you can’t replace what he means to their team. He’s such a focal point for what they do.”

Floyd and Mississippi State coach Ben Howland are friends from when Floyd coached at Southern Cal and Howland at UCLA.

“It looks to me like Ben is getting all the pieces in place,” Floyd said. “He’s usually really good in his third season at a school and it looks like that will be the case at Mississippi State. That said, this is going to really, really hurt them this year.

“You just don’t replace a player that can do all the things that kid can do.”

State, 3-1, returns to Humphrey Coliseum Friday night for a game against Lehigh.


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Rick Cleveland, a native of Hattiesburg and resident of Jackson, has been Mississippi Today’s sports columnist since 2016. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s in journalism, Rick has worked for the Monroe (La.) News Star World, Jackson Daily News and Clarion Ledger. He was sports editor of Hattiesburg American, executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. His work as a syndicated columnist and celebrated sports writer has appeared in numerous magazines, periodicals and newspapers.
Rick has been recognized 13 times as Mississippi Sports Writer of the Year, and is recipient of multiple awards and honors for his reporting and writing.