STARKVILLE – John Riek’s collegiate debut wasn’t memorable, but at least he got on the floor.
Mississippi State’s 7-foot-1 freshman, who was eligible to play after serving a nine-game NCAA-mandated suspension, didn’t check in until there were 27.5 seconds left in MSU’s 80-69 win over Wright State on Wednesday. It wasn’t enough time to accumulate any statistics, but he did get a rousing ovation from the fans.
The reason Riek didn’t play more, coach Rick Stansbury said, was Wright State’s style of play. The Raiders don’t have a true post player that stays planted on the block.
“There couldn’t have been a worse team in America for him to step into and try to play tonight,” Stansbury said. “As you saw that game being played, you can imagine now how that would’ve been. I wasn’t going to put him in that situation. I got him in at the last just to get him in and let the crowd acknowledge him.
“We’ll take it from here on out and see matchups, where he can help us at, and where he can’t.”
Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal