Four-star center to Bulldogs
Mississippi State's resurgence on the recruiting trail under the direction of Ben Howland continues to move forward at an impressive clip. Wednesday, the nation's No. 34 player in the class of 2016 Schnider Herard became the latest high level prospect to jump onboard when the four-star center confirmed to Rivals.com that he's a Bulldog.
BREAKING DOWN HERARD: Standing 6-foot-10 and checking in at around 260 pounds, Herard is a throwback big man. He's a low post space-eater who dishes out physical punishment and knows that he is at his strongest and most effective playing tough around the rim.
In addition to being big and strong, Herard has good hands and though he isn't a high flyer, he does get off the floor relatively quickly and he can finish through contact. He controls his area as a rebounder and is a good positional defender. How good he can be in Starkville is going to depend on how badly Herard wants it. There are stretches where he doesn't give maximum effort and he sometimes struggles with his conditioning.
IN HIS OWN WORDS: At Mississippi State, Herard saw a chance to play early minutes and play for a coach who has made the Final Four and helped to produce several professional players.
"I'm going to Mississippi State," said Herard. "''m going to get a chance to play right away as a freshman and I'm going to be the big guy. They won't really have a true big man next year."
"I'm just going to go in and do what big men do. I'm going to rebound for them, I'm going to block shots and I'm going to score and do what a big man should man do."
"Everybody knows that (Howland) is a great coach. He's been to the Final Four three times and he's put so many guys in the league. He's proven himself and I'm just glad that I can play for him because he's a really great coach."
RIVALS' REACTION: While there are available minutes and Herard is physically ready to play in the SEC, it could be a few years before he shows his true potential. He is going to have to work hard in the weight room to maximize his body and get in top condition and he will have an adjustment to the speed of high major basketball. But, he's also a true center who has a nasty side to him when he gets rolling and he has the tools to develop into a guy that can be relied upon to get position, hold it and convert on opportunities around the rim.
The Bulldogs class is looking pretty stellar right now. In addition to Herard, they have four-star combo guard Tyson Carter, four-star point guard Lamar Peters and four-star shooting guard Eli Wright. When team rankings get updated and expanded on signing day next week, it could be a top 10 group.
WHAT'S NEXT?: Now Ben Howland and his staff can concentrate on Mario Kegler. A punishing 6-foot-7 forward with inside/out skill, he's a top 30 player, homegrown and would take their already strong class to an entirely new level.