Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Stansbury talks Bost, $30k fine and more

PHOTO CUTLINE: MSU basketball coach Rick Stansbury was the guest speaker Tuesday night at the annual Bulldog Club meeting at the Washington County Convention Center in Greenville.

GREENVILLE — Mississippi State basketball coach Rick Stansbury can still vividly remember that crushing 75-74 loss to Kentucky last season in the SEC championship game. The loss cost the Bulldogs a SEC title and a birth in the NCAA Tournament.
“We knew it was a SEC championship at stake. We didn't know it was a NCAA bid at stake......It was a very tough pill to swallow,” Stansbury said Tuesday night as he spoke to a packed crowd during the annual Bulldogs Club Meeting at the Washington County Convention Center.
The second-longest tenured SEC basketball coach spoke for about 45 minutes about everything from this year's expectations to the questions surrounding the possible return of point guard Dee Bost.
And the latter is usually the first question he's asked, Stansbury said.
”Right now, there are a lot of Dee questions,” he said. (Renardo) Sidney questions are easy to answer because everyone knows about him. It's the unknown in Dee's situation that seems to get a lot of questions.” Bost originally declared for the NBA Draft, but decided to withdraw his name after the deadline. He reportedly said that he didn't know about the new deadline set by the NCAA. Bost is still awaiting a final decision by the NCAA.
As of now, Stansbury said he has no status on the North Carolina native. He added that he thought he would get news regarding the situation last week, but the process has stalled due to football season. However, he's confident the final decision is not far away.
“He took his name out of the draft 12 hours after the deadline.....He had no NBA workouts, no agent — so what advantage was gained?,” Stansbury asked the crowd. “You talk about kids wanting to stay in college, so how can you punish him? I said last year that Sidney would be eligible, but you see what happened there.
“So we don't know anything. You'll probably read about it on the Internet before I know about it. “
Another hot topic Stansbury discussed was the $30,000 fine he was dealt for his criticism of officials following the SEC Tournament game against Kentucky. It was the first-ever fine against an SEC basketball coach for criticizing officials.
“If I knew I was going to get fined $30,000, I would have said more,” Stansbury joked. “Because I didn't get my money worth, I can promise you that.”
Sidney has since been suspended for a year a nine games for unethical conduct and impermissible benefits. He sat out all last season and will not be on the floor for the first nine games of year.
“He got a year (suspension) plus nine games for something he said in ninth grade. Not what he did, but something he said,” Stansbury told the crowd.
Nowadays, Sidney is looking slimmer, as he's lost 15 pounds and now weighs around 285, Stansbury said. Until Sidney is able to take the court, Elgin Bailey will most likely join Kodi Augustus in the frontcourt.
MSU will, however, be without one of their most heralded players in history — Jarvis Varnado, who was drafted in the second round by the Miami Heat, but now plays in Italy.
Stansbury added that the Heat instructed Varnado to play overseas for one season, and they would sign him to a two-year deal afterwards.
“They're paying him good money and it's tax free,” Stansbury said.
The Bulldogs will also be without longtime assistant coach Robert Kirby, who left for Georgetown in June. His replacement is a former Stansbury recruit and Meridian Community College head coach George Brooks.
“George is a guy that I recruited in 1990 with Marcus Grant. That was my first recruiting class,” said Stansbury.
“When I told his (grandparents) in the 90s that I would take care of him, I didn't mean for the rest of his life,” joked Stansbury.
But no matter what goes on surrounding the MSU basketball program, Stansbury knows what everyone wants to hear: the outcome of Bost.
“It can't drag on much longer. When they drag it on, we'll appeal it,” said Stansbury.
“Now can we win our appeal like some other people have? We'll see. We're not real good at appeals.” said Stansbury before the crowd burst into laughter.

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