But what if they don’t?
If that’s the case, then that would make for three players leaving the program ahead of schedule. Romero Osby said last week he was transferring after two years in Starkville.
Such losses would give MSU a drastically different look, especially in the backcourt. Bost is a two-year starter at point guard, while Johnson is the same at the three position, where he’s drained many a 3-pointer.
State’s got plenty of shooters, so Bost would be harder to replace. He can shoot it himself – he averaged 13.0 points per game last season – and he’s improved in directing the offense. He averaged 5.2 assists against 3.3 turnovers per game.
Bost’s backup as a freshman was Twany Beckham, but he missed the entire 2009-10 season after surgery on both hips. Beckham is raw to begin with – he had 39 assists and 37 turnovers as a freshman.
Brian Bryant, a junior college transfer, could step in and take over immediately. Bost ran things effectively as a freshman, so the thinking would be that Bryant could do the same after excelling on the juco level.
As for replacing Johnson, there is a bevy of candidates. The versatile Phil Turner, who can play four positions, would fit there. So would redshirt freshman Shaun Smith, assuming he can get over injuries that have nagged him since high school.
Turner and Smith could also see time at shooting guard, which is left open by Barry Stewart’s graduation.
Osby was not a starter, but he did provide big minutes off the bench in his two years at State. He was especially valuable this past season, as injuries and the eligibility case of Renardo Sidney made MSU thin in the post.
With Jarvis Varnado now gone, MSU will turn to Sidney – who must sit out the first nine games as part of his punishment for violations found by the NCAA – and hope that A) Elgin Bailey recovers from his ankle injury, and B) 7-foot-1 John Riek and 6-8 Wendell Lewis, both sophomores, make marked improvement.
The key here could be the play of rising senior Kodi Augustus, a returning starter who’s been in coach Rick Stansbury’s doghouse more than once and still hasn’t become the player many think he can be.
Contact Brad Locke at 678-1571 or email@example.com.