Varnado Working Hard, Launching Shots

Jarvis Varnado, who tonight looks to capture a second consecutive Howell Trophy as the state’s top college basketball player, has been hard at work in Los Angeles preparing for the NBA Draft. He tested the waters last year but returned for his senior season, in which he averaged 13.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 4.7 blocks per game. He became the NCAA’s career blocks leader, with 564.

The 6-9 center probably won’t play the pivot in the show. That’s why he’s working hard on his outside shot, which he’s always had but never needed to use at MSU. I caught up with him a few minutes ago before the ceremony here in Jackson.

“I know I’m not going to be playing the five, so that’s why I’ve been getting up shots, playing the four or maybe even a little three,” he said. “Just working towards trying to get my shot right. And who knows, I might be a starting three man in the NBA.”

Varnado, who signed with agent Kevin Bradbury of BDA, said he puts in at least eight or nine hours of day doing individual work, weight lifting, shooting, and whatever else he needs to work on. His trainer – whose last name he forgets – has worked with the likes of Kevin Garnett and Chauncey Billups.

“I’m really busy out there,” Varnado said. “I don’t have no time to lay around and chill all day.”

Varnado hasn’t received any feedback from the NBA or its teams yet, but he said he’ll start working out for teams in May.

“I’m more comfortable than I was last year about the process. I know what I need to work on and improve on, and that’s what I’m doing while I’m in L.A.”