November 23, 2009

Stansbury, Bulldogs searching for rhythm

Yes, Mississippi State has a winning record and have won two consecutive games.

But the Bulldogs have not been the team that most people expected at this early stage of the season. MSU is 2-1 on the year bouncing back from an opening loss to Rider with wins over Southeastern Louisiana and Bethune-Cookman.

"I feel like we've been kind of playing down to the level of our competition," said MSU senior center Jarvis Varnado. "I think you could see it against (Bethune)-Cookman the other night that we were playing down to the level of our competition. When we play team like that we just need to play our style of ball."

Much of the Bulldogs problem has stemmed from a rash of injuries along the bench. State returned all five starters from a season ago but have lost sophomore point guard Twany Beckham for the season following multiple hip surgeries.

Junior center Elgin Bailey played three minutes against Southeastern Louisiana but remains doubtful for the rest of the year as is freshman shooting guard Shaun Smith, who is awaiting the results from an MRI on his hip this past Friday.

"Our numbers don't look like they are going to get much more healthier," said MSU head coach Rick Stansbury.

Stansbury has been handcuffed so far this season with injuries, ineligibility and suspensions with his substitution patterns.

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