STARKVILLE — Mississippi State basketball coach Chris Jans was thrown into the fire to open his tenure with the Bulldogs.
In the first week of his first season, Jans had three games to prepare for. The Bulldogs (3-0) walked out unscathed with wins against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Akron and Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The former two were 2022 NCAA Tournament teams.
Mississippi State was rewarded with three days without games ahead of its matchup with South Dakota (2-1) on Thursday (8 p.m., SEC Network).
“Everybody was excited to take a deep breath,” Jans said.
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MSU took Monday off before returning to practice Tuesday, what Jans said was the first “real practice” since Thursday.
South Dakota is 2-1, with two victories last week after a Nov. 7 season-opening loss at Wisconsin.
Thursday’s matchup opens regional play for the Fort Myers Tipoff. The teams will head to Fort Myers, Florida, next week for the remainder of the invitational.
MSU faces Marquette on Monday before playing either Georgia Tech or Utah on Wednesday.
Stefan Krajisnik is the Mississippi State beat writer for the Clarion Ledger. Contact him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @skrajisnik3.