By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
HOOVER, Ala. – He was thousands of miles away, but Dee Bost felt responsible for what happened in Honolulu on Dec. 24, 2010.
That’s when the infamous brawl involving Renardo Sidney took place in the stands of the Stan Sheriff Center, when Mississippi State was playing in a holiday tournament.
Bost was sitting at home in Charlotte, N.C., because of NCAA and academic suspensions.
“I felt like I was responsible for it at the same time, because I could’ve probably stopped it,” Bost, a senior point guard, said at SEC Media Day on Thursday. “It wouldn’t have happened if I was there.”
Bost took to Twitter that night to apologize, and now that he’s a co-captain, it’s up to him to help keep Sidney in line. The 6-foot-10 junior has by all accounts worked on his attitude and his conditioning, and the Bulldogs are eager to leave that incident in the past.
“We haven’t had problems in 13 years. We had one isolated situation,” coach Rick Stansbury said. “It’s not something that’s been in our program in any way. So we don’t expect it or look for it to happen.”
MSU will play perhaps its toughest non-SEC schedule during the Stansbury era, with games against No. 19 Texas A&M, West Virginia and No. 12 Baylor.
“We won’t find out what our team is early, it’s just a good early test,” Stansbury said. “Those early games are just going to make us better. It won’t determine how good we are early against Texas A&M, versus where we’ll be later on.”
If MSU does well early, then national observers will take notice. While the Bulldogs’ collection of talent is strong, a lot of it is unproven, so you won’t find them in any preseason rankings.
“For us to be in that conversation, we probably shouldn’t be right now because of what we are and just being a new team,” Stansbury said.
Speaking of Hood, he’s one of two freshmen who should make an early impact for State, the other being point guard DeVille Smith.
Hood is a 6-8 three-guard from Meridian who is more polished than your typical freshman. He will likely be in the starting lineup when MSU opens its season Nov. 7 against Eastern Kentucky.
“I have probably more expectations from him than I have a lot of freshmen, because his adjustment is minimized in so many areas because of his background,” said Stansbury. “Great family, understands hard work, understands accountability, been taught values of being a good teammate.”