Mississippi State men’s basketball may have added its last piece to the puzzle for the 2020-2021 season.
Derek Fountain, a 6-foot-8 forward from Holly Springs, signed his National Letter of Intent with the Bulldogs on Monday. With Fountain, the Bulldogs are up to 11 scholarship players, with one to play with depending on if Robert Woodard II decides to return to school or stay in the NBA Draft.
“I’m really excited for Derek to join our basketball family and for his commitment to our program,” MSU coach Ben Howland said in a news release. “He will continue to get bigger and stronger and has an outstanding future ahead of him being only 17 years old. Derek is very skilled and possesses all the tools. He’s a strong shooter, passer, rebounder and defender who comes from a great family.”
Fountain was the second-best prospect in the state of Mississippi for the 2020 class, according to 247Sports. Mississippi State’s 2020 haul included the three best players in the state, with Keondre Montgomery (No. 1) and Cameron Matthews (No. 3) being the other two. Other incoming freshmen include Deivon Smith and Andersson Garcia.
In his senior season, Fountain posted 23 points and 13 rebounds per game as Holly Springs secured a 28-5 record en route to the MHSAA Class 3A state semifinals. As a junior, Fountain averaged 16.0 points and 10.0 rebounds per game.
“Derek is a versatile wing man who leads by example,” Holly Springs coach Kenzaki Jones said. “He is a very humble young man with a great work ethic. I think that once his body develops and he gets stronger, he will be an elite ball player at the next level. He has all the tangibles to excel and do great things for Mississippi State.”