Mississippi State Bulldogs senior big man Tolu Smith has announced he will return for his fifth season next year with the program. This comes after the big man decided to withdraw from the 2023 NBA Draft after testing the process. Smith is allowed to return for a fifth season thanks to the extra year of eligibility that was granted to players because of the impact the Coronavirus had on the 2020-21 college basketball season. The Bulldogs getting their upperclassman big man back for next season is a major bone for the program and will help keep them competitive in the SEC.
Tolu Smith is back with the Bulldogs ?
The All-SEC First Team member is returning for another year with Mississippi State ? pic.twitter.com/Wj8OxCAguW
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) May 22, 2023
This past season with the Mississippi State Bulldogs, Tolu Smith averaged 15.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game. He paired those numbers with a field-goal percentage of 57.2 percent and a field-goal percentage of 58.8 percent. With Smith returning to the program, he will be an early favorite to make the first All-SEC team once again and could be an early favorite to win the SEC Player of the Year award as well. Mississippi State will hope to make the NCAA Tournament in the spring with their big man back on the roster. Rebuilding a program is never easy, but having talent like Smith lightens the burden some.