Mississippi State men’s basketball head coach Rick Stansbury addressed the Starkville Rotary Club, a group consisting of over 200 community leaders representing Starkville’s businesses, educational institutions, and governmental bodies, Wednesday and of course a couple of weeks before he roams the sidelines for a 13th season, Stansbury let the humor fly.
Our own preps reporter Joel Coleman (follow him please on http://twitter.com/JoelTColeman and on The SDN Prep Sports Blog) was there to cover Stansbury’s speech and here’s just a taste of what Stansbury had to say.
After Stansbury was introduced which included a speech about how former Kentucky head coach Adolph Rupp would “rather go to hell than to Starkville”, the Bulldogs head coach opened with this one-liner about his Feb. 15 matchup with the Wildcats on ESPN.
“Thank you but the problem is – I’ve got to go to Rupp (Arena) this year,” Stansbury said followed by instant laughter. “I think you’ve seen I’ve probably stirred them up a little bit here in the last week.”
On last season’s SEC Tournament final against Kentucky:
“I’ve said enough about those four seconds trust me but if I’d known I was going to get fined $30,000 – I would’ve gotten my money’s worth,” Stansbury said. “I did not get my money’s worth that’s for sure.”
On the new responsibility for seniors Kodi Augustus and Ravern Johnson:
“The thing I’m on those two guys about….do something besides shoot three-point shots. Affect the game in some other ways. Ravern has gotten better off the dribble and Kodi’s got to get in that post some.”
On junior-college transfer guard Brian Bryant:
“He’s the big surprise so far and I love him after a week of practice. He’s just what his coach told me he was. He came from the same program as Branden Vincent. His coach told me (Bryant) was the best leader I’ve ever had, that says something. Brian Bryant is just a great piece. I don’t know what he is – a very versatile player – can play many positions and maybe one of our best rebounders. We had a scrimmage last Saturday and this is good and bad – our point guard led us in rebounding. He had 15. (LAUGHTER). He does all the little things coaches want, he’s about winning. He and Dee Bost are best friends and there’s already a great chemistry with those two guys out there.”
On freshman guard Jalen Steele:
“One of those guys that we’ve made a living off of – a guy no one has heard much about – a Barry Stewart-type player. Great kid, stronger at 195 pounds. Can do one thing right away as a freshman – shoot the basketball. He’s ahead of the curve defensively because he came from a very good high school program.”
On Renardo Sidney:
“Enough has been said about him. I don’t know if there’s another big guy in the country that possesses the size, strength, skills that he does. At the same time, he’s never utilized them. He’s down from about 310 pounds to about 282 now. Again he’s one of those guys, you weigh him in on Friday at 282 and Monday morning he’s 292 (LAUGHTER), never seen a guy like this. The game comes easy to him. What he can do is get in the post, throw him the ball and score. He can do that better than anybody in the country. He controls how good he wants to be in this game.”
On Dee Bost:
“To his credit, you hope he’s learned from this situation and grow from it. He has. It has matured him a lot. As a player he’s been better than I anticipated he’d be. He makes everybody around him better. That’s what we wanted him to do last year. I didn’t do a very good job coaching him. I had nobody else to put in – zero. I let him play and a lot of the things he did, you don’t want your point guard doing. He’s been great this early though.
On the 2010-11 season:
“We need to survive early and then Sidney gets thrown into the fire. All of these guys want to be NBA players and we play an NBA schedule this season. We’re going to play five games in five days. It shows how important players are trust me (LAUGHTER) because you want your best players for your most important games (LAUGHTER). Believe it or not, there’s still teams looking for games. That’s amazing isn’t it?
On Arnett Moultrie:
“I didn’t mention him because he can’t play this year but our best player right now – Arnett Moultrie. He’s absolutely the real deal. Great kid and great basketball I.Q.”
Starting five if you’re starting tomorrow?:
“Remember this about me. I don’t always start my best players and I know that sounds crazy. Sometimes you start people for chemistry but late in that game – you’ll find your best pieces in there. I want a Riley Benock and Twany Beckham to step up and give us some minutes. Our center position – I want Elgin Bailey at that spot because when he barks, folks listen. He’s a guy that can physically and verbally can lead you. Jarvis Varnado and Barry Stewart led by example and there’s nothing wrong with that but Elgin last year was even a guy that would get in that huddle and get them going.”
Thoughts on the SEC?
“I was very surprised the media picked us to win the West. Not that we don’t appreciate it or expect to do it but you take Jarvis, Barry, Sidney and Dee off our team and you got two players back that are healthy in Kodi and Ravern – everybody else is new. Not that those guys know what they’re talking about number one (LAUGHTER) and our goal is to win a championship. Ole Miss brings back a lot of people. Alabama brings back a lot of people. Auburn lost everybody. LSU lost Tazmin (Mitchell) and that’s a load to lose. Arkansas will be interesting to see what they have. In the East, everybody seems to think Florida is the team to be out there because they return all five starters. I think Georgia is a sleeper in the East and they got those guys back and the best power forward in the league in Trey Tompkins. Tennessee’s good. Kentucky – hey, you’ve got God coaching that team so you know they’ll be good. (LAUGHTER).”
On Dee Bost’s new role when he gets back from suspension:
“This year Dee can be our best point guard or best shooting guard. Will we see Dee out there with another point guard? A bunch. Does Dee Bost like to shoot the ball? He does. We may allow him to do that more. When you put two point guards out there, it puts pressure on that other team too. I like Brian Bryant and Dee Bost out there together after a week of practice, I can tell you that.”
NOTE: Mississippi State’s men’s basketball team will have a open scrimmage at Humphrey Coliseum Saturday at noon and The SDN Bulldog Blog will be there to bring you a live update of all things newsworthy that comes from that session. The scrimmage is free of charge and open to all MSU fans.
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