February 3, 2009

Stansbury talking Wildcats

But Bulldog head coach Rick Stansbury knows traveling to Kentucky will not be an easy place to accomplish that feat, especially with the Wildcats dropping their last two games and eager to get back on track themselves.

"Rupp Arena is one of the most difficult places in this league and in the country to go play at not just because of the crowd, but because they have a good team," Stansbury said. "Billy (Gillispiedoes an unbelievable job with his team. I know they've come off a disappointing loss and it's never good when you go in there. I know we will have our work cut out for us."

One area State has been lacking in during the last three games is a absence of blocks. It seems teams have found a way around one of the most prolific shot blockers in college basketball history in junior center Jarvis Varnado. While Varnado still leads the nation with 98 swats, he has been limited to only five in the last three contests.

Stansbury feels several things factor into there late changes for Varnado.

"Last year was really when he came onto the scene and got the national publicity and got the SEC Defensive Player of the Year," Stansbury said. "So now he has that bullseye on his chest but I haven't really noticed any difference (in how teams prepare for him). I think what has hurt him in not blocking as many shots is that he is the only big in there now. He doesn't come off the ball as easy when there is a Charles Rhodes in there as another guy who can block it. That's probably kept him from blocking as many shots and also the fatigue. He's playing a lot more minutes now and I think that's had a little to do with it."

Stansbury is not expecting any favors when Varnado squares off in the post with Kentucky's Patrick Patterson.

as the longest termed coach in the SEC.

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