Dee Bost is climbing up the MSU career charts – 30th in scoring, 11th in steals – but only one category matters to him.
“As far as assists, I do want to be the career leader here,” Bost said Monday.
Entering today’s game at Arkansas (8 p.m., CSS), the junior point guard has 428 career assists, which ranks fifth in school history. He’s only 86 behind leader Derrick Zimmerman, which means Bost – if he returns for his senior year – should break the record before SEC play begins next season.
He’s been handing out assists like Halloween candy lately: Nine against Ole Miss, nine against LSU, 10 against Tennessee. Bost’s averaging 6.0 per game, which is tops in SEC play – and remember, he’s played only league games this year. Second place is Kentucky’s Brandon Knight, at 4.2.
As MSU coach Rick Stansbury pointed out, Bost’s numbers aren’t watered down by non-conference games. And not only that, he’s doing it without another reliable ball-handler consistently by his side.
“Last year he had another ball-handler out there the whole time with him in Barry Stewart, a guy who could take the pressure off of him, a guy who could manufacture a basket, a guy that could really bring it up against the press, too,” Stansbury said. “That’s been an adjustment for him, because that’s not Riley (Benock) and Ravern (Johnson)’s strengths, manufacturing baskets, and it’s not their strength putting it on the floor and being that really second handler. He’s had to take on a different role from that standpoint.”
Thing is, Bost is making such an impact while battling injuries. He’s had to deal with a busted tooth, a bad hamstring and a strained Achilles’ tendon, which is the only thing still bothering him. He’s not shot well the last few games.
“I think he’s doing a great job right now of reading defenses,” Arkansas coach John Pelphrey said.
Said Stansbury, “With all that, having to adjust there, having to adjust to missing (14) games, and having to adjust to injuries, I think he’s fought through it all and done pretty well.”