By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
John Calipari has given Twany Beckham a chance to fulfill a lifelong dream.
Beckham, the sophomore point guard who left Mississippi State’s program two weeks ago, joined Kentucky as a walk-on Tuesday. That’s the school he cheered for growing up in downtown Louisville.
“Growing up here in Kentucky, that was a big dream of mine,” Beckham said. “So when the opportunity came available, it was just something I can’t pass up.”
Beckham will begin classes today. He’ll be eligible to compete after the end of the 2011 fall semester.
The 6-foot-5 Beckham spent two-and-a-half years at Mississippi State, mostly in a backup role. He missed the 2009-10 season after hip surgery but started the first five games of this season.
He then was benched in favor of junior college transfer Brian Bryant, and when starting point guard Dee Bost returned from NCAA suspension earlier this month, Beckham decided to leave, citing a lack of playing time.
He averaged 2.9 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 14 games this season.
Beckham said he wasn’t promised playing time by Calipari, but said he’ll have a chance to earn a scholarship.
The Wildcats are currently 14-3 (2-1 SEC) and ranked No. 12 in the country.
“It’s kind of been crazy since the news got out,” Beckham said. “I’m taking it all in. It ain’t really sunk in yet.”
An MSU compliance official said MSU placed no restrictions on where Beckham could transfer.
Bailey back home
– Southeastern Louisiana made official on Tuesday the transfer of ex-Bulldog Elgin Bailey.
The junior forward left MSU in early January after his much-publicized brawl with teammate Renardo Sidney in Hawaii. Like Beckham, he will be eligible following the 2011 fall semester.
Bailey went to school in Hammond for two years and graduated high school in nearby Baton Rouge.
“I wanted to come to a program where I can contribute and help maintain its winning success,” he said in a statement.
The Lions are currently 7-7 overall, 1-1 in Southland Conference play.
Bailey averaged 5.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game this season, starting in 11 of the 12 games he played for MSU.
Contact Brad Locke at 678-1571 or firstname.lastname@example.org.