Varnado & the NBA: ‘This Is About Potential’


Mississippi State junior center Jarvis Varnado would be a fool not to at least consider leaving early for the NBA, and he is considering it. The question that must be answered: Is he ready? Varnado had a breakout year in 2008-09, adding a solid offensive game to his already top-tier defensive game. Two questions within the larger question: Is that offensive game polished enough? And, is his body (6-foot-9, 210 pounds) ready for the next level? projects Varnado as a first-round pick. Gary Parrish, senior writer for, agrees that Varnado must at least test the waters.

“He has to test it, at least, because to not do so would be to waste an opportunity that literally has no downside,” Parrish wrote in an e-mail. “There’s absolutely no reason to not enter without hiring an agent, and I suspect that’s what he’ll do, just to see what franchises think. Remember, not all 30 teams have to like you for you to be a first-round pick. It only takes one team to like you, and if that happens, you’re good. So my understanding is that he’ll at least test it and go from there.”

Ah, but the big question: Is he ready? Says Parrish, “No, probably not. But who is, outside of Blake Griffin? There’s not another player in the draft who couldn’t stand to get a little stronger, a little better offensively, so on and forth. But that’s not what this is about. This is about potential, and whether somebody will give you millions of dollars based on it, and that’s what Jarvis has to find out. But clearly, if he wants to make a paycheck next season, he can. It’s just a matter of where, and for how much.”

I’m sure Varnado has looked back to last year, when Jamont Gordon left MSU after his junior season and went undrafted. But Varnado is a better player, and his ability to defend will be invaluable and could be what keeps him in the association for a long time. Stay tuned.


4 Responses to “Varnado & the NBA: ‘This Is About Potential’”

  1. dadwithpride Says:

    How many hundreds of Jamont Gordons are out there, who listened to adviser(i.e. agents) that advised them to go out early, only to fail, and are now working down at the locall Winn-Dixie. Barring major injury, you’ve done without the Bmw, and bling for 19 years, you can get it all next year, and if you still fail, at least you got a degree to fall back on. Look a just MSU and all the “sure fire NBA prospects” we’ve had and how few are in the league. Even the guy who was player of the year a few years ago, tested the waters and came back, he still hasn’t made it in the NBA yet, to my knowledge.

  2. carwwest Says:

    i think he is right to test the waters but i do think he should come back because alot of things i have seen have him projected as a first rounder next year, not this year…

  3. carwwest Says:

    plus, im greedy and i want him as a bulldog again…ha

  4. warbirdz44 Says:

    dadwithpride, Jamont Gordon is making bank in Italy right now. Might not be the NBA but that is a long wat from Winn-Dixie. And I think the player of the year you are referring to is Lawrence Roberts. He played decently with the Grizzlies for 2 years but hurt his knee and missed a year and is now playing very well overseas for BC Red Star. (leading scorer and rebounder for them i believe)

    So while I would agree that coming out early isn’t always the best move, Jamont Gordon is still doing pretty well for himself and so will Varnado if he declares. Now as a State fan I really want him to stay and I think he will but I don’t think coming out early would necessarily kill his career.

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