Mississippi State junior center Jarvis Varnado just got out of a meeting with head coach Rick Stansbury and said … that he still isn’t sure what he wants to do next year. That’s according to team spokesman Gregg Ellis. Will Varnado return to Starkville? Enter the NBA Draft? I wouldn’t be surprised if he did what Gary Parrish suggested on this blog, which is to enter the draft without hiring an agent. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: Stansbury released a statement about Varnado, saying, “We met this afternoon and no decision was made. But, we don’t have to be in a hurry because we have until April 26. Until then, we’ll gather all the facts we can and continue to communicate and come to a decision for what’s best for Jarvis.”
The Kodi Augustus saga has taken a turn for the better, as far as Mississippi State’s concerned. The 6-foot-8 sophomore has decided to stay with the Bulldogs, he said today. “It was my choice, I have to live with it,” he told me. “We just looked at everything, and the positives outweighed the negatives.” The “we” included his parents, MSU’s coaches, and Augustus’ AAU coach, the always opinionated John Eurey, who earlier in the season told me that the benching of Augustus was “unfair.” Augustus started the first nine of the games of the season after senior Brian Johnson went down but then was stuffed down the bench until late in the season.
Augustus finished the year strong, becoming the Bulldogs’ biggest contributor off the bench as they rolled to the SEC Tournament title and into the NCAA tournament. “I’m thrilled. All that’s coming back, basically the same team, way more experienced. Finally everybody can stop talking about how young we are,” he said. “We’re going to be way better than we were this year.”
How close was Augustus to leaving Starkville? Pretty close, he said. “I seriously thought about it after what I had went through my first year and my second year.” He insists there was never a rift between he and Stansbury. “Never was a problem. He told me he was trying to figure out some things. He said he had a bunch of pieces, he was trying to move some things around, that’s what happened. I just caught the bad end of it.”
Now Augustus can focus on next year, which he expects to be a good one for both MSU and himself. “I think I played well. I feel good about it, I’ve just got to keep doing it in order to get stronger. I’m going to go to some camps this summer and build on it and get stronger and get more knowledge about the game, and everything should fall into place.”