January 27, 2010

Bulldogs look to bench for answers

During his Monday press conference, Mississippi State head coach Rick Stansbury stressed the importance of developing his bench in order to ease the burden on his starting five.

The Bulldogs have three starters averaging over 36 minutes in conference play and have had only two players score off the bench during that span.

Sophomore point guard Dee Bost and senior center Jarvis Varnado are each averaging 36.5 minutes while senior shooting guard Barry Stewart is logging 36.2 minutes in league play.

"We've got to find some more depth," Stewart said. "We have to use our bench more. We've got to get more help from out bench to give other guys some rest."

Only Phil Turner and Romero Osby have aided the starters off the bench scoring seven and 5.3 points respectively in the SEC.

Turner is playing 17.3 minutes a contest off the bench at power forward and has been the guy Stansbury has had on the floor late in the game.

"I feel like my competitiveness just allows me to be out there during the close games," Turner said. "I think that's a little bit better sometimes than starting because you want to be out there during crunch time."

The 6-foot-3, 170-pound junior started the final 27 games at the four spot last season and has made three starts there this year despite being a natural shooting guard.

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