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Better Bulldog Shot-Blocker: Jarvis Varnado or Erick Dampier? A Statistical Analysis

Posted by Kyle Weidie on November 25, 2008


At face value, the answer is simple. Having surpassed Erick Dampier’s all-time Mississippi State record of 249 career blocked shots this past Saturday, Jarvis Varnado is clearly more prolific at sending the ball back from where it came. Even more amazing is that Varnado needed 20 less games than Dampier to amass his current career total of 255 blocks.

But totals are one thing, is Jarvis Varnado a better shot blocker than Erick Dampier? The stats point to yes.

Per game statistics don’t tell the whole story as they don’t always indicate how a player performs with the minutes he is given. Dampier averaged 2.7 blocks per game for his career. So far, Varnado is swatting 3.5 per game.

Part of the deeper tale is how many blocks a player is getting in his minutes on the court. For his career, Dampier averaged 28.4 minutes per game. So far, Varnado is clocking in at 21.1 per. To even the playing field, let’s compare how many blocks each player swatted per 25 minutes on the court in each of their first three years.

Full Raw Data Spreadsheet

As you can see, while Dampier remained a consistent shot blocker throughout his three-year career (a 2.36 blocks per 25 minutes average), Varnado is improving his rate. Of course, the 08-09 sample is small as Varnado has only played four games against inferior competition. However, Jarvis’ rate increased 14.5% between his freshman and sophomore years, while Dampier’s went down 4.6%.

What percentage of opponent shots are blocked?

If the opponent is shooting more shots, then there are more opportunities for blocks. Part of assessing the shot blocking prowess of Dampier and Varnado is looking at what percentage of opponent field-goal attempts end up being blocked by those individual players. However, it’s hard to directly compare because Varnado only averaged 13.5 minutes per game his freshman year while Dampier averaged 23.4 minutes per game in his first season at Mississippi State.

I don’t have a way of measuring exactly how many shots were taken while Varnado and Dampier were on the court. I’m sure those in-depth statistics are kept by someone, but they are not available to me. So, for each respective season, I’ll adjust total opponent field goal attempts to match the ratio of each player’s average minutes to the full 40 minutes of a college basketball game. It’s an imperfect statistic, but it better compares the percentage of opponent attempts blocked when the players are averaging different amounts of minutes per game.

If you want to better understand, you can check the full data here. Similar to blocks per 25 minutes, Dampier’s numbers remain relatively flat throughout his career. I won’t necessarily discuss this current year for Varnado since, as mentioned, the sample size is so small. Dampier blocked about 6% of opponent shot attempts adjusted to his time on the court (6.13% career average). Varnado, in contrast, has sent back more than one out of every 10 opponent field-goal attempts adjusted for his time on the court (10.67% career average).

Block, but don’t foul.

Blocking shots is an art. A player must have discipline and cannot go after every shot that comes his way or he’ll be spending time on the bench, unavailable to help his team. So, an obvious comparison would be to look at how many shots a player blocks against how many fouls he is committing.

Raw Spreadsheet Data

Both players have similar blocks-per-foul ratios for their first seasons (Dampier – 0.79, Varnado – 0.91). However, in year two, when both players averaged similar minutes per game (Dampier 28.4, Varnado – 28.5), and when both players committed 99 fouls on the season, Varnado swatted 79 more shots than Big Damp.

SEC Record Book

Last year, Jarvis Varnado tied Shaquille O’Neal for most blocks by an SEC player in a season with 157, albeit O’Neal accomplished that number in four less games.

SEC Record Book [PDF]

Currently, with 255, Varnado ranks 9th on the SEC’s list for most career blocks:

  1. Shaquille O’Neal, LSU (90-92) – 412
  2. Kyle Davis, Auburn (01-04) – 360
  3. Lavon Mercer, Georgia (77-80) – 327
  4. Steven Hill, Arkansas (05-08) – 318
  5. Robert Horry, Alabama (89-92) – 285
  6. Dwayne Schintzius, Florida (86-90) – 272
  7. Jamaal Magloire, Kentucky (97-00) – 268
  8. Roy Rogers, Alabama (93-96) – 266

Will Varnado finish his career as the SEC’s all-time leader in shots blocked? Undoubtedly. For one, I simply cannot see Varnado jumping to the NBA after this season. If he were three inches taller, maybe. But the kid is still skinny and his offensive game has a long way to go. Of course, that’s not to say he can’t be in the league as a hustling, defending big who runs the floor like a gazelle, yet with not much offensive game to speak of. However, NBA players have the strength and know-how to avoid getting their shot blocked, so Varnado would be much better prepared for the next level with four full years of college seasoning.

If Varnado repeats his sophomore block amount of 157 in each of these next two seasons (which would total 538 career blocks), he’d not only shatter the SEC career record, but would also break the NCAA Division I career shots blocked record. (The list: Wojciech Mydra, Louisiana Monroe: 1998-2002 – 535; Adonal Foyle, Colgate: 1994-97 – 492; Tim Duncan, Wake Forest: 1993-97 – 481; Alonzo Mourning, Georgetown: 1988-92 – 453; Ken Johnson, Ohio State: 1997-2001 – 444).

With 19.7% of last year’s total through only four games, Varnado is well on his way to breaking more records. No, he won’t continue to face the North Alabamas and Fairleigh Dickinsons of the world, but I imagine that Varnado’s minutes, currently 24.5 per game (down 4 minutes from last year), will increase as the competition increases.

Either way, don’t blink Mississippi State fans, you may be watching the best shot blocker in college basketball history, much less Mississippi State school history.

Other Notes:

Varnado was also named the SEC player of the week, here are the media coverage links:

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Posted in Bulldog Basketball, erick dampier, jarvis varnado, mississippi state bulldogs, ncaa basketball, sec basketball | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Jarvis Varnado Stands Out at Adidas Nations, Unveils Offensive Game

Posted by Kyle Weidie on September 8, 2008

The summertime basketball evolution of Mississippi State’s Jarvis Varnado recently continued at the Adidas Nations camp, which took place in Dallas, Texas back in mid-August.

If you’ll recall, Varnado has already taken part in two of Nike’s Skills Camps, led by Amare Stoudamire and LeBron James, during the latter of which, Varnado went up against King James and Chris Paul in a pickup game.

At Adidas Nations, Varnado came under the tutelage of current NBA players Antawn Jamison (Washington Wizards), TJ Ford (Indiana Pacers), Josh Smith (Atlanta Hawks), Kyle Lowry (Memphis Grizzlies), Desmond Mason (Oklahoma City Thunder) and Raymond Felton (Charlotte Bobcats). Also according to the Adidas Nations press release, Paul Silas, Detlef Schrempf, Terry Stotts, Larry Krystowiak, Lionel Hollins, Frank Johnson, Ed Schilling and Dwane Casey acted as regional head coaches for participating teams.

Jarvis was one of three players from the SEC to participate in the camp, the other two being Scotty Hopson and Tyler Smith from Tennessee.

Aggrey Sam of Slam Magazine highlighted Varnado as one of his 10 standouts in an Adidas Nations Wrap-Up:

Somewhat of a sleeper nationally, the soft-spoken Varnado was arguably the nation’s most intimidating defensive force last season, but his surprisingly skilled offensive game was a welcome revelation, as he showed he could step out to hit jumpers, maneuver for buckets on the block, run the floor for dunks on the break and finish with power.

Of course, Sam also cited Scotty Hopson as being a standout….I have a feeling the loss of Hopson will continue to hurt for a while. But the bright side is that Jarvis Varnado continues to build excitement among Bulldog fans heading into the 08-09 college basketball season.


Posted in jarvis varnado, mississippi state bulldogs, ncaa basketball, scotty hopson, sec basketball, SEC Sports | 1 Comment »

Bulldog Basketballers, Ravern Johnson and Elgin Bailey, Kick It In The Dominican Republic

Posted by Kyle Weidie on August 12, 2008

Mississippi State Bulldog basketball fans may remember that last summer Jarvis Varnado and Phil Turner took a week long tour playing basketball in Argentina with Score International. Well, this summer, Ravern Johnson and Elgin Bailey made a similar trip with Score to the Dominican Republic.

Hopefully, Johnson and Bailey will follow in the footsteps of Varnado, who led the nation in blocked shots this past season and upped his summer competition to the likes of Chris Paul and LeBron James, but hopefully not in the footsteps of Phil Turner, who was recently arrested for disorderly conduct.

According to the Score International site, the American team faced off against the Dominican national squad, featuring Al Horford (former Florida Gator and current Atlanta Hawk),  Francisco Garcia (former Louisville Cardinal and current Sacramento King), and Larry Turner (former Tennessee State Tiger and current Los Angeles Laker). The game was broadcast on Dominican national television, and even though the Score team lost 77-49, MSU’s Ravern Johnson led his team with 17 points.

In game two, the Score team won in the capital city of San Domingo 67-65. Johnson scored 13 points, while Bailey put in some work in the paint with eight rebounds.

Game three brought another match-up against tough competition as Score faced the Dominican National “B” team. They were once again defeated, but put up a better fight, losing 73-68. You could actually say that the Score team got gypped. Evidently down three points with 12 seconds left, and the ball, a whistle blew from the stands, causing confusion, and thus a turnover. Guess you really can’t play until you hear the whistle.

In the end, great experience on the court and off for these two young Bulldogs which will hopefully carry over into the upcoming season and further down the road in their lives.

Speaking of Varnado…..

Storming the Court recently wondered who would play if the US Men’s Basketball Olympic Committee reverted to sending college players to compete instead of NBA players. Jarvis Varnado was dubbed among those who would be apart of the front court.

In my opinion, this sounds great and all…..but let’s never send college players to the Olympics again. With the days of one-and-done and early entries, how on earth would you be able to truly get the best college age players?  Other countries will continue to send their best, let’s continue to send our best.

Charles Rhodes

Nothing much happening since the interview with Dallas Dedicated. But, I wanted to recap what some outlets (and Mavericks personnel) have said about Rhodes:

Mavs Courtside View

Charles Rhodes isn’t a training camp lock. The rugged forward is mulling over various European offers and hasn’t committed to a tryout with the Mavs yet.

But the Mississippi State product has impressed everyone so far.

“We see Rhodes as an athletic, tenacious 4-5 type that can shoot the mid-range shot and is a very good rebounder,” Rick Carlisle said.

Rhodes (6-8, 245) averaged nearly 10 points and 5 boards during summer league, and shot 62 percent. Rhodes has been compared favorably to Brandon Bass, last year’s summer league find.

Ft. Worth Star-Telegram – “Mavericks have two roster spots available”

Nelson said Charles Rhodes, a bruising 6-8, 245-pound forward from Mississippi State, and JaJuan Smith, a 6-2 guard from Tennessee, will likely be invited to fall training camp.

“Rhodes is real athletic and showed really good promise,” Nelson said. “Smith is a guy we have our eye on. The rest are open for discussion.”

Posted in bulldogs in nba, charles rhodes, elgin bailey, jarvis varnado, mississippi state bulldogs, olympic basketball, ravern johnson, sec basketball | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Jarvis Varnado Denies Chris Paul and LeBron James

Posted by Kyle Weidie on July 10, 2008

A lot of people love to knock the NBA, college basketball die-hards included. The league is full of selfish, money hungry players who individualize a game where you only need to watch the final two minutes, which take forever by the way…..or so goes the stereotype. This blog entry could go on a diatribe against such a gross misconception, but it won’t. I’ll just tell a story about two of the best players in the world heading down to the local rec center to play pick-up because they love the game.

Recently, a buzz filtered throughout the University of Akron campus….LeBron James, the self-proclaimed ‘King of Ohio’ was playing pick-up at the recreation center. Oh yea, 07-08 NBA MVP runner-up Chris Paul was there too, playing alongside LeBron. But King James and CP3 weren’t playing against your run-of-the-mill scrubs, they were matched against some of the best college basketball players in the nation who were in town for the LeBron James Skills Academy. How the NBA duo fare? Four wins and three losses. Huh? I know, I just did a double-take and heard a record scratch to a halt as well. LeBron James and Chris Paul lost?

Upon reading this story via CBSSportsline.com, I figured that LeBron was just going through the motions, much akin to the way Michael Jordan casually beats and berates the old men (35 and over) who pay $17,500 to attend his Senior Flight School. Two caveats, Jordan didn’t lose those games, and LeBron was actually playing with a competitive spirit. Quoting Gary Parrish’s article on CBSSportsline: “Proof of this came during one of the last games, when James wasn’t just attacking the rim but also complaining to an official about getting fouled on his way. James looked just as intense in this pick-up game as he does during the NBA playoff games and was visibly disgusted every time he lost.”

Previously, I wrote a blurb in a Bulldog Maroon & White blog post about Mississippi State’s Jarvis Varnado participating in Amare Stoudamire’s Big Man Skills Camp, part of a network of Nike academies focused on bringing fundamentals back to the American game. Well, it appears as if Varnado AKA “Swat” made the trip to Ohio to further hone his game at LeBron’s specialized academy. A Bulldog fan could not be more encouraged by this revelation.

Even better is that fact that Varnado’s squad, featuring Patrick Beverley (6’1″ G – Arkansas), Patrick Christopher (6’5″ G – California), Jonny Flynn (6’0″ G – Syracuse) and Terrence Williams (6’6″ F – Louisville), gave Team James-Paul the most difficulty, winning two and losing two. From the account, Terrance Williams spent the day guarding LeBron, even blocking his shot once, but we all know that Swat was holding down the painted area for his team.

Bulldog fans are well aware that Jarvis Varnado has a great attitude. Now he is getting, by far, more prolific summertime experience than any other Mississippi State basketball player in history. I’m expecting big things from this young man in the future, and in turn, for the MSU Bulldog basketball program as well.

Posted in arkansas razorbacks, jarvis varnado, mississippi state bulldogs, nba, sec basketball | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Why The Mavericks May Be Charles Rhodes’ Best Shot

Posted by Kyle Weidie on June 30, 2008

Rhodes will try his ten-gallon hat in Big D

It’s been reported in the Dallas Morning News that Charles Rhodes will join the Dallas Mavericks summer league team in Las Vegas. Bulldog Killer….Vanderbilt’s Shan Foster, taken 51st overall in the draft, will be among others vying for a spot.

Why a potential good fit for Rhodes.

Assuming that Eddie Jones does not opt-out of the final year of his contract, he must do so by Tuesday, the Mavs are left with only seven players signed for next season. Just two of those players are big men in former Bulldog, Erick Dampier, and Hasselhoff fan, Dirk Nowitzki. It looks like the Mavericks will attempt to use their full MLE (mid-level exception) on DeSagana Diop (whom Dallas traded to New Jersey to get Jason Kidd). Diop would serve as a two headed monster along with Big Damp at the five spot.

The Mavs will still need a post player with scoring ability as Diop and Dampier are often estranged from the hoop. Rhodes has the capability to provide buckets in a variety of ways, given he doesn’t force the issue and learns to distribute as a team player. Rhodes’ biggest competition among other post players in Vegas will be Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Pape Sow, and Marcus Slaughter.

New Dallas coach, Rick Carlisle, is known to be demanding of players. But his appreciation of offense and defense should allow Rhodes to show his diverse skills, as long as he works his butt off.

Ideal Big Man Camp?

The Clarion-Ledger had a feature on Jarvis Varnado in Sunday’s edition. Varnado recently participated in one of Nike’s invitation only Skills Academies. Steve Nash has a point guard camp, Kobe Bryant has a shooting guard camp, Vince Carter has a wing forward camp, and Amare Stoudamire has a big man camp.

These Nike camps serve as a pseudo grassroots campaign initiated to instill fundamentals back in USA basketball. Varnado was one of around a dozen or so players at his position invited to participate in Stoudamire’s exclusive camp. The college participants in turn acted as instructors to top high school prospects, also invited to improve skills for their respective position.

MSU coach Rick Stansbury should be ecstatic about Varnado’s participation. He had an excellent chance to go against elite college bigs such as UConn senior Jeff Adrien, Pitt sophomore DeJuan Blair, Notre Dame junior Luke Harangody, and Oklahoma sophomore Blake Griffin. Amare Stoudamire is a great talent. But between you and me, I’d rather hear that the camp be led by the likes of Bill Russell, David Robinson, Kevin Garnett, or Tim Duncan….much better examples to headline where the American big man game should be going.

Free Throw Conditioning

Every time clips of last second March Madness heroics are shown, should missed free-throws be responsible for setting the scene, they should be prerequisite viewing along with the buzzer beater. The importance of FT shooting needs to be further indoctrinated somehow.

Case in point: I was flipping around the tube on Saturday afternoon and came across the last two minutes of the 1998 tourney match-up between Ole Miss and Valparaiso…you know, the Bryce Drew game. With 4.1 seconds left and Ole Miss up 69-67, Ansu Sesay had a chance to ice the match at the charity stripe. Clang. Timeout. Clang. Rebound tipped out of bounds by Ole Miss with 2.5 seconds left and the distance of the court to go. The rest is history.

The latest and greatest example for the Mississippi State Bulldogs? Try the three-point buzzer beater West Virginia hit to win the March 2007 NIT semifinal game in Madison Square Garden. Live Angle. Game Highlights. And then the video showing Jamont Gordon missing the second of two FTs which would have put the Bulldogs up three, 63-60.

Posted in charles rhodes, jamont gordon, jarvis varnado, mississippi state bulldogs, nba draft, ole miss rebels, rick stansbury, sec basketball, vanderbilt commodores | 2 Comments »

Total Game Preview: Mississippi State vs. Oregon

Posted by Kyle Weidie on March 21, 2008

Everyone is worried about a bunch of quacks, including myself. Oregon can fire the rock…to the tune of 40.1% from 3-point territory on the year, knocking down 8.7 per game. Big man center, Maarty Leunen, who hoisted 114 threes this season, making 50.9%, is on the chalk-talk from Eugene to Starkville. The remaining Duck starters combined to shoot 38.8% from long distance. The Bulldogs as a team only mustered up 34.1% from beyond the arc, yet they only attempted 7.2% less three-pointers than this gunning Oregon squad.

The point is, 39% of Oregon’s shot attempts are 3 pointers. Can you guess what that percentage is for Mississippi State, a team with an interior offensive presence which is described as being “rough and tumble,” especially when it comes to defense and rebounding? 36.8%. More than a third of the Bulldogs’ shots are 3 pointers. Why does the difference between these two teams seem so little? I’m certainly baffled, but the conclusion is simple: Mississippi State can’t afford to get in a shooting contest against the Oregon Ducks, because……well, the Bulldogs can’t really shoot.

Meet the Press:

OK, so how does one go about predicting this game?

I almost spit up my [insert what you might be drinking here] when I read the Dawgs-Ducks game preview on the Sporting News:

Defense usually prevails in postseason, and that would lead one to pick Mississippi State. But the Ducks played in the nation’s toughest conference this season and are more tested. Don’t expect Oregon to get the score into the 90s, but it should be able to impose its will.

The Crap-10 is the nation’s toughest conference? Are you kidding me? First of all, the Pac-10 is #2 in conference RPI, ACC is 1, SEC is 4. Another fact: those are just numbers. I know it’s a down year for the SEC, but the Pac-10 will never, repeat, never be “tougher” than the SEC, much less the best in the nation. That’s why I never read the Sporting News anyway.

——

Joe Lunardi, Bracketologist, M.D., ranks the tourney participants 1-64. Mississippi State is #30, Oregon is #45.

Accuscore on ESPN gives Mississippi State a 53% and Oregon a 47%, and predicts the score: 71.9 to 70.6 in favor of the Bulldogs.

Pat Forde says the “best case scenario” for the Bulldogs is to beat Oregon and push Memphis to the limit before losing. The worst? Stans catches heat for another early exit and Jamont Gordon hires an agent, gets a new car, and never makes it back to Starkvegas (a paraphrase).

CBS Sportsline “Expert” Picks:

Gary Parrish, Senior Writer – MSU wins, loses to Memphis.
Gregg Doyel, National Columnist – MSU wins, loses to Memphis.
Michael Freeman, National Columnist – Oregon Wins.
Dennis Dodd, Senior Writer – MSU wins, loses to Memphis.
Brian De Los Santos, College Producer – MSU wins, loses to Memphis.
Pete Gillen, CBS College Sports Analyst – Oregon Wins.
Steve Lappas, CBS College Sports Analyst – Oregon Wins.

But most importantly, Neil Patrick Harris (Doogie Howser, M.D.) picked the Dawgs to beat the Ducks. Aren’t you excited?

The Rivals.com experts have picked Mississippi State across the board.

However, both Bill Simmons and his wife are picking Oregon.

ESPN.com Bracket Caster

Back to ESPN……no joke, my first and only run at the ESPN Bracket Caster for the South Region produced this result (click thumbnail to the right to see the results):

—–

MY PREDICTION:

What worries me the most about this game is not en fuego Oregon 3-point shooting; it’s the Bulldogs themselves. One can only hope that they don’t shoot themselves in the foot (no pun intended) with careless turnovers and missed free-throws. Mississippi State averaged 15.5 turnovers per game and shot 63.5% from the line this season. But it’s not like Oregon takes care of the ball and their business at the charity stripe either. They committed about 12.7 tos per and shot 68.9% on freebies.

The Oregon Ducks are small, and they are not known to be a good defensive team. I certainly see them packing in a zone against the Dawgs, usually not a good sign for MSU. But this game will be won on the boards and the vertically challenged Ducks will have a hard time keeping Mississippi State away from the offensive glass in their zone defense.

In contrast, the gritty Bulldog D will be able to extend their man defense out to the 3-point line as Jarvis “Swat” Varnado will allow them to do so. The guy Varnado will probably guard is Joevan Catron, the 4 that’s really a 3 in Oregon’s three guard offense. Catron is only 6’6″, but is not known to knock down the trey as he’s only 5-13 from deep this year.

So, as the cliché goes: defensive teams are set-up to do well in the NCAA tournament. This game will be no exception. Oregon will not get hot because they will not get many open looks or second chances. The Bulldogs will overcome their own mistakes to move on to the second round.

Mississippi State 76 – Oregon 68

Other News Items:

Posted in jarvis varnado, mississippi state bulldogs, ncaa tournament, oregon ducks, rick stansbury, sec basketball | 1 Comment »

Running With The Bulldogs and Their Awards

Posted by Kyle Weidie on March 12, 2008

The 2007-2008 Mississippi State Bulldogs squad have picked up their share of SEC conference awards.

First Team All-SEC x Two: Congrats to both Jamont Gordon and Charles Rhodes for being named to the SEC Men’s Basketball All-Conference 1st Team, along with 7 other players. Gordon, with Shan Foster of Vanderbilt (the SEC Player of the Year) were the only two unanimous 1st team selections. Take that Chris Lofton!

No real surprise that Jarvis Varnado was named the unanimous SEC Defensive Player of the Year. It’s pretty much required that the honor go to the nation’s leading shot-blocking.

Jamont Gordon to the NBA? Personally, I’m betting he goes. We also find out via the link to Kyle Veazey’s Clarion-Ledger Mississippi State blog entry that Ben Hansbrough recently put Flexall in the basketball tights of Brian Johnson. Flexall, or sometimes Rocket Balm, in the tights…..a time tested Mississippi State basketball tradition. Although, I’ve never heard of a sophomore doing it to a junior.

Rick Stansbury a dapper gentleman? Ron Morris of The State (South Carolina paper) gives Stansbury the “Rick Pitino Award”Stansbury? How about checking out assistant Robert Kirby?

On Monday, the Big Lead had Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and Tennessee as the only “locks” from the SEC to make the NCAA Tournament……they were skeptical of Kentucky and Arkansas, and said that Billy Donovan and his two championship rings would be hitting the bricks.

….and later that afternoon, The Big Lead put the aforementioned three, along with Kentucky and Ole Miss, and not Arkansas, in the Big Dance.

In any case, the Mississippi State Bulldog math adds up.

….That is, unless you are talking about MSU free-throw shooting; the misses add up in a bad way. This Clarion-Ledger article by Kyle Veazy doesn’t do much to aid the Bulldogs in their search of a solution. In fact, all it really does is use the grade school argument of “Look, they’re doing it too!” as more of an excuse, and not a solution.

Ben Hansbrough’s older brother: Tyler.
Mike Freeman has an interesting article on CBS Sportsline discussing the media’s love for Tyler….or “Psycho T” – Yes, the media (and especially Dick Vitale, whom I do not like) can be a little crazed sometimes, especially when it come to Great White Hopes (or Hypes). However, I’ve seen Tyler Hansbrough play plenty of times, albeit not as much as the pundits, and he clearly brings much more intensity than your standard college basketball hustler. And definitely more intensity than anyone I saw in my five years of watching Mississippi State basketball and all their opponents up close. Well, perhaps with the exception of my boy Brandon Carr; Coach Stansbury used to have to tell him to slow down during practices.

Mike Freeman claims not to knock Hansbrough, but putting him in-the-mix with other college basketball players is definitely a slight (Freeman’s cookie-cutter race argument notwithstanding). Personally, I’m far from putting Tyler Hansbrough on a pedestal as “analysts” obviously have, but his gamesmanship can not be questioned. And remember, Tyler’s teammates gave him the “Psycho T” nickname, not the media.

Kansas State’s Michael Beasley.
If you read Ryan O’Halloran’s article in the Washington Times, “B-Easy”, you’ll know that Mr. Beasley carries four cell phones.

“Out of Beasley’s pockets come four devices: an iPhone, a T-Mobile Sidekick, a Verizon LG phone and a Sprint BlackBerry. The static disappears, and he conducts the interview.”

I can’t blame Beasley. After all, he’s probably trying to lock up a mobile phone sponsorship. Why not start a bidding war between the four carriers?

Other News:

Looking for an excuse to miss work for the NCAA tournament? Epic Carnival has your back….hey, I didn’t say they were going to be good excuses.

Want to get to know a mid-major via cheerleaders? I present to you: St. Mary’s.

Posted in ben hansbrough, charles rhodes, jamont gordon, jarvis varnado, mississippi state bulldogs, rick stansbury, sec basketball | Leave a Comment »