July 9, 2010

Benock begins senior campaign

Jarvis Varnado and Barry Stewart spent two seasons as the upperclassmen leaders on the Mississippi State basketball team.

But both players are now gone leaving the Bulldogs with a leadership role to split between four players, one of which is Riley Benock. Benock has spent the last three years as one of MSU's top reserves off the bench and is looking to expand his responsibilities during his senior campaign.

"Somebody has got to do it and we've got a couple of seniors that can step into that (leadership) role," Benock said. "We took on a little bit more of that last year being juniors but it's something that you have to learn and work on. With me not being real vocal all the time it's taken a little bit longer to develop. I still feel like I can go out there on and off the court and lead by example and at the same time be more vocal too."

Benock has appeared in 100 games during his Bulldog career serving mostly as a backup shooting guard behind Stewart. Now with the position up for grabs, Benock is utilizing what he has learned to feel Stewart's shoes.

"Barry is a great player and I loved playing behind him and having the experience to play with him," Benock said. "I learned a lot from him. I can't really change my game but I've got to look to be more aggressive. We'll miss Barry's defensive presence and he was our lock down defender. Playing with him, I tried to develop that too and I've got to keep expanding on that and be our perimeter shut down guy and then offensively just build on what I have."

The 6-foot-4, 180-pounder from Battletown, Ky., has played in every game over the past two seasons and averaged 1.7 points in 11.7 minutes a game in 2009-10.

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