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By MATTHEW STEVENS
Mississippi State junior point guard Dee Bost hasnâ€™t played enough games in the 2010-11 season to qualify to be a league leader in certain statistical categories but that doesnâ€™t mean the Southeastern Conference office isnâ€™t taking notice.
Bost was recognized Monday as the SECâ€™s Player of the Week after averaging 17.0 points, 8.0 assists and 4.5 rebounds in a pair of wins over Ole Miss and Auburn.
After being suspended and academically ineligible for a total of the Bulldogs first 14 games of the season, Bost returned for the league opener against Alabama but made an impact on the road against Ole Miss last Thursday when he poured in a game-high 25 points and eight
â€śWe allowed Dee Bost to turn the corner time and time and time again,â€ť Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy said.
The victory in Oxford was the Bulldogs (10-7, 2-1 in SEC play) third straight in Tad Smith Coliseum making Bost undefeated in that building in his MSU career.
Mississippi State head coach Rick Stansbury said on the SEC media teleconference the play of his point guard has been better since struggling to find his rhythm in the conference-opening loss to Alabama.
â€śHis biggest role (this year) is he becomes our primary ball handler at all times,â€ť Stansbury said. â€śLast year we could initiate the offense with Barry Stewart. Right now itâ€™s not easy to do that because with Riley Benock and Ravern Johnson, thatâ€™s not their games.â€ť
Similarly to when he made his exhibition return against NAIA Belhaven College before the Bulldogsâ€™ 15-day holiday trip, Bost may be allowed to slide over to the shooting guard position as junior-college transfer Brian Bryant develops during the 2010-11 season.
â€śThe biggest thing for him that heâ€™s learned throughout the years (is) you donâ€™t have to search for your shot,â€ť Stansbury said. â€śThereâ€™s times we wish we could slide him over to the two-guard and give him some freedom off that basketball to go score more.â€ť
The NCAA issued Stateâ€™s floor leader a nine-game suspension after he became academically eligible in the spring semester. The suspension by the NCAA Student-Athlete Reinstatement Staff is specifically for Bost
failing to properly withdraw by May 8 NBA draft deadline. The 6-foot-2 guard was coming off a sophomore season averaging 13 points, 5.2 assists per game and 4.4 rebounds per game.
Bost and the rest of his MSU squad will travel to Georgia (13-3, 2-1) Saturday for a 3 p.m. tip.
â€śBost is terrific and so good in every area,â€ť Georgia head coach Mark Fox said during Mondayâ€™s SEC coachesâ€™ teleconference.