January 25, 2010

Stansbury searching for minutes

There is no secret that Mississippi State has depth issues off the bench.

Rick Stansbury is without the services of backup point guard Twany Beckham, shooting guard Shaun Smith and center Elgin Bailey all due to injury. He has also had his hands tied by the NCAA regarding the eligibility of five-star prospect Renardo Sidney and a nine-game suspension for 7-foot-1 center John Riek.

Stansbury is looking for more production out of his reserves, of which only Phil Turner and Romero Osby are the only two to score in league play.

"The key to your team is the six, seven, eight and nine guys and how many minutes they can give you and be productive," Stansbury said. "Right now we are not getting a lot of minutes from the six, seven, eight and nine. That effects those other guys out there playing especially the amount of minutes that they have to play. The bad thing is you can change the flow of the game the way that you want to consistently with your bench. I'd say we've got one guy off the bench that can change the flow of the game off the bench and that's Phil Turner."

The amount of diluted reserves has caused most of the Bulldogs starters to play 36-plus minutes per game since the conference slate began.

Jarvis Varnado and Dee Bost are averaging 36.5 minutes a game while Barry Stewart is logging 36.2 minutes in SEC play.

"I think our problem is our ability to rest Jarvis," Stansbury said. "That kills a lot of things we want to do against that pressure. Jarvis needs to come out of there on ball screens and sprint out of there more. I've just got to find a way to rest him more. It's effecting him which effects the other guys when he's not doing it. He's not getting any rest and you can't fault him for that. He's playing too many minutes and I've got to find a way to rest him. I don't have the answer yet."

Stansbury listed three possible solutions to counter Varnado's fatigue which are to play Riek and Wendell Lewis more, if Sidney were to be cleared by the NCAA or possibly moving Kodi Augustus to the five spot some.



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