By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
HOOVER, Ala. – Dee Bost was playing for an “offbeat” AAU team in an “offbeat” gym when Rick Stansbury first saw him play.
That adjective – “offbeat” – is Stansbury’s word choice. The Mississippi State coach, speaking during SEC Media Day on Thursday, said he was scouting an AAU tournament one day when a friend told him to check out this Bost kid. So he did.
“I walk into the gym and sit down a few minutes and start watching him play a little bit, and all of a sudden you start looking around you – where’s everybody at?” Stansbury said. “It didn’t take me but one time sitting down to realize, this kid has a lot of potential.”
Bost, of course, is now a senior point guard for the Bulldogs. He was a preseason first-team All-SEC selection and is closing in on the school’s career assists record. Funny thing is, he wasn’t a point guard in high school or the year he spent at Hargrave Military Academy, but Stansbury saw him as one.
Bost took to the position quickly, and he’s started 89 games there in his career.
It took a while for him to develop a point guard’s mentality. He and Stansbury didn’t always see eye-to-eye Bost’s first couple of years in Starkville.
“He had no understanding about point guard play,” Stansbury said. “And he thought when we put the ball in his hands, point guard, you go score that basketball. So that was his adjustment. You don’t have to score every trip or look to shoot it and score it every trip to be a really good point guard.”
Bost can score, and MSU doesn’t want him to discard that part of his game. He averaged 15.3 points and 6.2 assists last season.
‘A good balance’
“He’s got a good balance right now, where he can score that basketball in a lot of different ways,” said Stansbury. “At the same time he’s very comfortable, he feels good about getting other people involved.”
Last season especially, Bost was forced to carry a bigger load than he should have. Because of NCAA and academic suspensions, he didn’t join the team until the beginning of SEC play, and he was the only player able to consistently handle the ball and score off the dribble.
This season, MSU has other players that can do that.
“It takes a lot of pressure off of me,” Bost said, “because I ain’t got to worry about carrying the load and trying to make plays all the time. I can rely on them.”
Exhibitions: Saturday, Florida Tech; Nov. 4, Pikeville
Opener: Nov. 7 vs. Eastern Kentucky
SEC opener: Jan. 7 at Arkansas