(Photo by Michael Wardlaw, SDN)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. â€“Â â€¨It's something that many athletes go through at certain times of their careers.â€¨They struggle, search, question, and pick a part each and every aspect of their game trying to get rid of it. Baseball players deal with it.Â Receivers experience it.
On Saturday night, Mississippi State point guard Dee Bost broke out of his slump.
Entering the matchup with Arkansas, Bost was not playing up to his usual standards, averaging 7.3 points over the past three games while shooting just 21.5 percent. He struggled with few assists and simply wasnâ€™t getting to the foul line with just four attempts.
â€śIâ€™ve been pressing. Iâ€™ve just been trying to force it," said Bost, who scored 21 points his most since scoring 22 against Florida Atlantic. â€śI have no clue (why), but you know whatâ€¦Iâ€™m back to myself now.â€ťâ€¨
Bost did what his team needed him to do against Arkansas despite falling to the Hogs 98-88.Â He was looking to get his teammates involved early, but once Arnett Moultrie and Renardo Sidney found themselves in foul trouble Bost began to look to be a scorer for State.
â€¨â€śI feel it but Iâ€™m relaxed now,â€ť said Bost. â€śI can just chill now.Â I think Iâ€™ve been going back to my old ways and trying to force it too much.Â Now, I can just let (teammates) just do what they do."
â€¨When his team needed him to Bost returned to attacking the basket, allowing him to get Rodney Hood, who scored 17, more involved in the action.
â€¨â€śI donâ€™t have to force it. I just donâ€™t and Iâ€™m not,â€ť he said. â€śIâ€™m not scoring six or eight points, Iâ€™m still going to score. Fourteen, thatâ€™s cool.Â I mean Iâ€™m not going to just go out there and think about scoring.Â My first instinct is to be going out there and running the team. When it comes it just comes, thatâ€™s why my shot has been off, Iâ€™ve just forced shots.â€ť
â€¨In order to turn things around, Bost simply went back to the basics as he spent tireless hours during the pass week putting up shots trying to find his rhythm.
â€śIâ€™ve been in the gym this whole week trying to find my shot and I found it,â€ť he said. â€śThis is SEC play and thatâ€™s when stars are born. You can lose to anybody on any night in this league so we are going to show up ready to play. Weâ€™ve just got to take our game to a new level.â€ť
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Even after breaking out of the slump, at the end of the day, Bost agreed he would gladly trade his performance for an MSU win.