February 23, 2010

Varnado swatting away at an NCAA record

Jarvis Varnado's pursuit of the NCAA's all-time shot blocking record is well within grasp now.

The 6-foot-9 Mississippi State senior center is only seven blocks shy of tying former Louisiana-Monroe standout Wojciech Myrda's record of 535 swats set from 1998-2002. Varnado is averaging five blocks a contest this season and has recorded seven or more blocks in eight games this year.

Varnado is hoping to break the record in the Bulldogs home contest against Alabama on Wendesday night to share the moment with the maroon and white faithful at Humphrey Coliseum.

"I'm going to try to break it," Varnado said. "I'm getting grey hair from talking about it. If I get to break it Wednesday night, that's what I plan on trying to do. I can do it at home for our fans who have been so tremendous to me throughout the years. That would be real cool if I can do it at home Wednesday night."

The Brownsville, Tenn., native is sitting at 528 blocks for his career. He is currently second in the country with 134 swats on the year after leading the nation in that category for the past two seasons.

"I like to say that it's an unselfish act," Varnado said. "If one of the guards gets beat off the dribble they know that I've got their back and can clean up their mistake as well as if something happens on the defensive end they have my back. It's kind of a team goal."

Despite the modern day basketball fan that is subjected to a daily dose of highlights consisting of dunks and 3-pointers, the fans at MSU have rallied around Varnado's plight. There are even two banners inside 'The Hump' counting down the progress until 'Swat's block party'.

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