By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
Looking Back: Jarvis Varnado made history with eight blocked shots against Alabama, making him the NCAA career leader in that category. Varnado also had 17 points and 10 rebounds in the Bulldogs’ 74-66 win over the Crimson Tide.
State followed up the Alabama win with a key road victory, 76-63 at South Carolina. The win clinched a share of the SEC West title, the fifth such title won or shared under MSU coach Rick Stansbury.
The Bulldogs are guranteed a bye in next week’s SEC tournament in Nashville.
Looking Ahead: The Bulldogs are at Auburn Wednesday night at 7 and at home against Tennessee Saturday at 5.
Who’s Hot: Varnado had 36 points, 22 rebounds and nine blocked shots for the week.
Also Hot: Barry Stewart had 27 points for the week but even greater contributions with a 10-2 assist-turnover ratio and six steals.
RPI Watch: MSU begins the week with an RPI of 58.
Bottom Line: MSU has won five of its last six, but given the SEC’s No. 4 standing in RPI among major conferences this is no time to let off the throttle. Win twice this week, and the Bulldogs are not talking about if they’ll make the field of 64 but what seeding they will be.