January 16, 2009

Stallings talking Mississippi State

If Vanderbilt's Kevin Stallings did not have to face Mississippi State today, he would likely be a fan.

The Commodore head coach likes the new four-guard lineup that Rick Stansbury is going with and the up-tempo style of play it presents.

"Their four-guard lineup presents challenges in a lot of ways," Stallings said. "They are a very good team and are a fun team to watch. They are fast, they shoot well and they share the ball."

Stallings has been impressed with the four-game winning streak the Bulldogs are on and is expecting a tough battle tonight in Starkville at 7 p.m.

"We have a difficult task," Stallings said. "Mississippi State maybe playing as well as anybody in the league right now. I would imagine that Rick is having an incredible amount of fun coaching that team. It reminds me of the team I had two years ago with everybody that could shoot except for we didn't have the unbelievable presence in the middle that they have. In any event, they have a very good team and Starkville is always a very difficult place to play."

And that "unbelievable presence" in the middle is none other than returning National Defensive Player of the Year Jarvis Varnado. The 6-foot-9 junior swat machine already has 90 rejections this season, more than nine other Southeastern Conference schools.

Stallings quipped that he hoped Stansbury would just sit the big man out of tonight's contest to make things easier for his Commodores.

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