The last time Mississippi State and Alabama met on the hardwood a capacity crowd was on hand to watch [db]Jarvis Varnado[/db] break the NCAA all-time record for blocked shots.
Another packed house at Humphrey Coliseum is expected today as Bulldog fans anticipate the return of junior point guard...[details]
2010 (Senior):HEADER JARVIS VARNADO Power Forward Mississippi State University Bulldogs #32 6:08.3-210 Brownsville, Tennessee Haywood High School
OVERVIEW One of the most dominating defenders in the SEC, it was fitting that the first player in NCAA history to record over 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 rebounds in a career should win the most coveted national defensive award in the game.
Varnado made history by being named the first recipient of the Lefty Driesell Award, which will be presented annually to the nation's top Division I defensive player. The senior All-Southeastern Conference forward, who concluded his Mississippi State career by leading the Bulldogs to the Western Division crown and 24 victories, was also one of 20 players named by CollegeInsider.com to the 2010 Lefty Driesell Defensive All-American team.
The award is named after Driesell, who in 41 seasons as a head coach amassed 786 wins, which ranked him fifth all-time among division I head coaches when he retired in 2003. In 2007, he was named to the second class of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.
Varnado became the 31st player in Mississippi State history to score 1,000 points as a senior. He finished 13th all-time with 1,403 points, while his 1,096 rebounds are second only to the 1,277 Bailey Howell grabbed from 1957-59. Yet, he'll be remembered most for his shot-blocking ability.
Against Alabama on Feb. 24, 2010 at Humphrey Coliseum, he became the NCAA Division I career leader, breaking the mark of 535 blocks set by former Louisiana-Monroe standout Wojciech Myrda. He finished with 564 after swatting 170 this past season, which tied the Southeastern Conference season-record he set as a junior.
In addition to his rebounding and shot-blocking excellence, he shot 58.9 percent from the field, the fourth-best percentage in school history. His field goal percentages of 64.1 in 2007-08 and 64.7 in 2006-07 rank fifth and third, respectively, on the MSU season-record chart.
At Haywood High School, Varnado averaged a team-leading 13.2 points, 10.1 rebounds and 7.1 blocks as a senior in helping lead head coach Winston Varnado's (his father) Tomcats to a 31-5 overall record, a second-straight Region 7-AA championship and a second consecutive appearance in the Class AA boys basketball state quarterfinals. He was named to the 2005-06 TSWA Class AA All-State team, and was selected to The Jackson Sun's All-West Tennessee Boys' first-team.
Varnado was credited with seven triple-doubles as a senior. He scored a career-high 32 points, along with 12 rebounds and 10 blocks, vs. eventual state champ Liberty Technology Magnet High School. He registered double figures in blocks nine times, including a season-high 13 rejects vs. Liberty. He also pulled down a career-most 22 rebounds, while also having 11 points, nine blocks and five assists vs. Southside.
Varnado averaged 14 points, nine rebounds and seven blocks as a junior, en route to leading the team to a 29-5 record and a quarterfinal-round appearance in Class AA state tournament. He was tabbed All-State honorable mention by The Jackson Sun, as well as collecting all-district and all-region honors. He also participated in the 2006 Golden Circle and Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association East-West All- Star Games.
Varnado was an instant hit in his first season at Mississippi State. He saw action in a 35 games with 13 starts in 2006-07, as he broke Erick Dampier's MSU rookie record with 67 blocked shots to rank fifth overall in the Southeastern Conference (1.9 blocks per game) and tied for seventh nationally among freshmen. He also averaged 5.0 points and 4.2 rebounds per outing to rank 11th and fifth, respectively, among the conference's leading freshmen scorers and rebounders.
As a sophomore, Varnado started all 34 games and led the nation with 157 blocks. He was named both the SEC's and nation's top defender, as he matched the league's all-time single-season mark for blocks set by Shaquille O'Neal of LSU in 1991-92. He was the SEC's sixth-best rebounder (7.8), while hitting 64.1 percent of his field goals (fourth on MSU's all-time season list).
In 2008-09, Varnado earned All-SEC first-team honors and was named to the All-Defensive team and tabbed SEC Defensive Player of the Year for the second year in a row. He led the nation with 170 blocked shots, more than nine of the SEC teams, while only 21 of 330 Division I teams had more. His 394 blocks to date ranked second in SEC history behind Shaquille O'Neal's 412.
Varnado also averaged 12.9 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. With eight blocks vs. Fairleigh Dickinson, became MSU's all-time leader, surpassing Erick Dampier's mark of 249. He had a team-high eight double-doubles and scored 20-plus points six times. After the season, he was a member of the Team USA squad for World University Games. In six games, including three starts, he averaged 5.5 points, 3.8 boards and had seven blocks en route to winning the bronze medal and posting 6-1 record.
The Defensive All-American and All-SEC first-team choice became the league's first three-time recipient of league Defensive Player of the Year honors. He was also selected the National Defensive Player of the Year. The senior did not win his third-straight blocked shots title, but did rank second nationally, averaging 4.7 rejections per game. He scored a career-best 13.8 points per game, as he also averaged a career-best 10.2 rebounds.
GAME ANALYSIS Made all eight field goal attempts, scoring 22 points to go with 14 rebounds and seven blocked shots vs. Rider...Added eight blocks, three steals, 20 points and nine boards vs. Southeastern Louisiana and blocked eight more shots while totaling 12 points and 15 rebounds vs. Texas-Pan American...snared 14 boards, as he tallied 12 points vs. DePaul and scored 13 points, as he pulled down 17 rebounds while blocking five shots vs. Houston...Followed with 23 points and 17 rebounds vs. San Diego, beginning a string where he had 12 rebounds in the next three games vs. Western Kentucky, Ole Miss and Arkansas (also had ten blocks and 17 points for a triple-double) before grabbing 14 boards to go with 14 points vs. Georgia...Followed that five-game, double digit rebounding effort with a six-game stretch that saw Varnado grab 14 boards vs, Arkansas, 10 with 11 points vs. Louisiana State, 14 with 12 points and nine blocks vs. Vanderbilt, 13 with five blocks and 16 points vs. Florida, 11 boards and 11 points vs. Ole Miss and 12 rebounds, five blocks and 10 points vs. Auburn...On Feb. 24, Varnado registered 10 rebounds, eight blocks and 17 points with two steals vs. Alabama at Humphrey Coliseum, becoming the NCAA Division I's career blocks leader, breaking the mark of 535 set by former Louisiana-Monroe standout Wojciech Myrda...Added 12 boards and 11 points vs. South Carolina in his next game...Blocked six shots, scored 11 points and had nine rebounds vs. Vanderbilt and totaled 18 points, nine boards and five blocks vs. Kentucky in the SEC Tournament...Tallied 21 points, three blocks and 11 rebounds vs. Jackson State in the opening round of the opening round of the NIT Tournament and closed out his career with four blocks, seven boards and 14 points in a loss to North Carolina.
2009-10 SEASON Named National Defensive Player of the Year by The NBA Draft Report and NABC, as he became the first recipient of the Lefty Driesell Award, given to the nation's best defensive player...First player in Southeastern Conference history to be named the league's Defensive Player of the Year three times...All-SEC and SEC All-Defensive Team choice... The Division I's all-time shot blocker ranked second in the nation with an average of 4.7 blocks per game, as his 170 blocks tied his own school and conference season-record that he set as a junior...Averaged a career-best 10.2 rebounds per game, finishing with a total of 369 boards...Handed out 32 assists and had 24 steals...Averaged a career-best 13.8 points per game, totaling 496, as he hit on 58.2 percent of his field goals (184-of-316) and 61.0 percent of his free throws (128-of-210)...Logged 1,141 minutes in 36 games...Scored in double figures 31 times and had at least 10 rebounds 20 times, including streaks of five and six games during the mid-season...Had a season-best ten blocked shots vs. Arkansas...Was credited with one triple-double performance (vs. Arkansas, 1/14/10) and registered nine double-double efforts.
2008-09 SEASON All-SEC first-team, league All-Defensive Team and SEC Tournament MVP, as he also earned Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors for the second-straight season...Recipient of the Cellular South Howell Trophy Award (best player in the state of Mississippi)...Broke the SEC season-record that he shared with LSU's Shaquille O'Neal, as he led the nation with 170 blocked shots, the eighth-best season total in NCAA Division I history...Made 180-of-328 field goals (54.9 percent) and 104-of-159 free throws (65.4 percent), as he scored 464 points (12.9 per game)...Pulled down 317 rebounds (8.8 per game), as he added 28 assists and 22 steals...His 170 blocked shots were more than the entire roster of nine SEC teams...Scored at least 20 points six times.
2007-08 SEASON Named Collegeinsider.com National Defensive Player of the Year...Selected the SEC's Defensive Player of the Year, as he led the nation and tied the league's season-record with 157 blocked shots...Shot 64.1 percent from the field (109-of-170), the fifth-best field goal percentage in a season by a Bulldogs player...scored 269 points (7.9 per game), as he grabbed 264 rebounds (7.8 per game), dished out 18 assists and came up with 18 steals...Had 10 blocked shots in each of the Kentucky, Miami and Florida games...Registered the third triple-double performance in school history, as he totaled 10 points, 12 rebounds and 10 blocks in 1/15 home win over Kentucky...Recorded 12 double-digit scoring efforts and had at least ten rebounds on 10 occasions, including a season-best 17 in a 1/09 win at LSU.
2006-07 SEASON Saw action in a 35 games with 13 starts, as he broke Erick Dampier's MSU rookie record with 67 blocked shots to rank fifth overall in the SEC (1.9 per game) and tied for seventh nationally among freshmen...Also averaged 5.0 points (174) and 4.2 rebounds (146) per outing to rank 11th and fifth, respectively, among the SEC's leading freshmen scorers and rebounders.
CAREER NOTES Varnado became the first player in college history to score 1,000 points (1,403, the 31st MSU player to score 1,000 points), grab 1,000 rebounds (14th in SEC annals with 1,096 boards), and block 500 shots (564)...Became the first player in Southeastern Conference annals to earn league Defensive Player of the Year honors three times...First player to lead the SEC in blocked shots three consecutive years and the first league player to lead the nation in blocked shots twice...His 564 blocks topped the NCAA Division I career-record of 535 by Wojciech Myrda of Louisiana-Monroe (1999-2002) and rank second at all college levels, topped by only Ira Nicholson of Division III's Mt. St. Vincent (576, 1993-97)...His 170 blocked shots in the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons are tied for eighth on the Division I season-record list (12th at all levels)...Those 170 blocks broke the previous Southeastern Conference record of 157 that Varnado (2006-07) shared with Shaquille O'Neal of Louisiana State (1991-92)...Varnado's 564 blocks also shattered O'Neal's old SEC all-time record of 412 (1990-92)...Had at least 10 blocked shots four times during his career. Only O'Neal (six) had more 10-block game performances in league history...Joined Kalpatrick Wells (1979-83) as the only players in school history to lead the team in blocked shots four times during a career...Shot 58.9 percent on field goals during his career, the fourth-best field goal percentage in school annals...His field goal percentage of 64.1 in 2007-08 and 64.7 in 2006-07 rank fifth and third, respectively, on the MSU season-record chart...Became the third player in school history to grab more than 1,000 rebounds in a career (1,096), joining Bailey Howell (1,277 from 1957-59) and Rickey Brown (1,092 from 1977-80)...His 317 rebounds in 2008-09 and 369 in 2009-10 rank seventh and fifth, respectively, on the MSU annual record list...His average of 10.2 rebounds per game in 2009-10 marked just the second time since the 1978-79 season (Wiley Peck, 11.3 per game) that an MSU player averaged more than ten rebounds per game in a season, joining Lawrence Roberts (11.0 per game, 2004-05).
HIGH SCHOOL Attended Haywood (Brownsville, Tenn.) High School, where he played basketball for his father and head coach, Winston Varnado...Averaged a team-leading 13.2 points, 10.1 rebounds and 7.1 blocks as a senior in helping the Tomcats to a 31-5 overall record, a second-straight Region 7-AA championship and a second consecutive appearance in the Class AA boys basketball state quarterfinals...Named to the 2005-06 TSWA Class AA All-State team, and was selected to The Jackson Sun's All-West Tennessee Boys' first-team... Credited with seven triple-doubles as a senior...Scored a career-high 32 points, along with 12 rebounds and 10 blocks, vs. eventual state champ Liberty Technology Magnet High School...Registered double figures in blocks nine times, including a season-high 13 rejects vs. Liberty...Also pulled down a career-most 22 rebounds, while also having 11 points, nine blocks and five assists vs. Southside...Averaged 14 points, nine rebounds and seven blocks as a junior, en route to leading the team to a 29-5 record and a quarter-final-round appearance in Class AA state tournament...Tabbed All-State honorable mention by The Jackson Sun, as well as collecting all-district and all-region honors that season...Also participated in the 2006 Golden Circle and Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association East-West All- Star Games.
OTHER TOURNAMENTS/TEAMS SUMMER LEAGUE Member of Team USA squad for the World University Games...In six games, including three starts, he averaged 5.5 points, 3.8 boards and had seven blocks en route to winning the bronze medal and posting 6-1 record.
PERSONAL Physical Education major...Son son of Janice and Winston Varnado...Father was his basketball coach at Haywood High School and presently coaches at West Point High... Born 3/01/88, in Fairfax, Virginia...Resides in Brownsville, Tenn.
2008 (Junior): - All-SEC pick by the AP and league coaches. Also named to the All-Defensive team and tabbed SEC Defensive Player of the Year for the second year in a row.
- Led the nation with 170 blocked shots, more than nine of the SEC teams, while only 21 of 330 Division I teams had more.
- With eight blocks against Fairleigh Dickinson, became MSU's all-time leader, surpassing Erick Dampier's mark of 249.
- Had team-high eight double-doubles.
- Had school-record nine first-half blocks against Louisiana-Monroe.
- Scored career-high 31 points vs. LSU.
- Scored 20-plus points six times.
- Against LSU in SECT, became the SEC single-season leader in blocked shots.
- Fourth in SEC in field goal percentage at .549 (180 of 328).
- His 394 career blocks are the second-most in SEC history behind Shaquille O'Neal's 412.
- Had career-high in steals (4) at Georgia and assists (4) vs. Ole Miss.
- Member of Team USA squad for World University Games. In six games, including three starts, averaged 5.5 pts, 3.8 boards and had seven blocks en route to winning the bronze medal and posting 6-1 record.
2007 (Sophomore): Started all 34 games en route to leading the nation with 157 blocks and being named both the SEC's and nation's top defender... Matched the all-time single-season SEC mark for blocks (157) set initially by veteran NBA All-Star Shaquille O'Neal of LSU in 1991-92, which also ranks tied for 15th on the NCAA's all-time season listing... Credited with more blocked shots individually a year ago than nearly 300 NCAA Division I schools... Already ranks second behind Dampier (249) on MState's all-time chart with 224 career blocks in 69 games (3.25 bpg)... Enters his junior season atop the school's all-time field-goal percentage chart (184-286 FGs for 64.3%)... Averaged an improved 7.9 points per game and ranked sixth among the SEC's leading rebounders (7.8 rpg) a year ago as a sophomore, while also hitting 64.1 percent of his field goals on the year (4th on MSU's all-time season list)... Credited with a school-record 10 blocks against three eventual NCAA Tournament teams (Miami [FL], Georgia & Kentucky) during a nine-game stretch last season... Registered MSU's third recorded triple-double with 10 points, 12 rebounds and 10 blocks in Jan. 15 home win over Kentucky... Approached a triple-double the game prior with nine points, nine boards and 10 blocks in Jan. 12 home victory over Georgia... Notched six double-doubles on the season... Recorded a dozen double-digit scoring efforts last year, including career-high, 16-point outings at Vanderbilt (7-9 FGs) and against Lafayette (5-5 FGs) in Jackson, Miss... Collected 10 or more rebounds on 10 occasions last year, including a career-most 17 (also 13 pts & 7 blks) in State's Jan. 9 win at LSU... Grabbed 16 rebounds in early-season win over UT-Martin.
2006 (Freshman): Saw action in all 35 contests (13.5 mins/gm) as a true freshman for the Bulldogs, including 13 starting assignments through the team's first 16 games of the campaign... Broke Erick Dampier's MSU rookie record with 67 blocked shots to rank fifth overall in the SEC (1.9 bpg) and tied for seventh nationally among freshmen, while playing an average of less than 14 minutes per game... The 67 rejects also stand third all-time on MState's single-season chart behind Dampier's 106 and 78 swats in 1995-96 and 1994-95, respectively... Also averaged 5.0 points and 4.2 rebounds per outing to rank 11th and fifth, respectively, among the SEC's leading freshmen scorers and rebounders... Connected on 65 percent of his field-goal attempts on the year, while finishing second on the team (behind Charles Rhodes) with 61 offensive rebounds... Credited with at least one block in all but five games in 2006-07, including 16 multi-block outings... Averaged 4.0 blocks over a seven-game span in December... Notched his first collegiate double-double by tying his season best with 13 points along with setting season highs with 15 rebounds and seven blocks (one shy of MSU's single-game mark) against New Orleans in Jackson, Miss... Scored in double figures five times on the year, including three straight double-digit scoring efforts (13 vs. McNeese State; 12 vs. Alabama State & 13 vs. UNO) in which he hit a combined 16-of-22 field goals (73%) prior to the Christmas break... Tallied 10 points apiece in late-season home wins over Alabama (5-6 FGs & 8 rebs in 10 mins) and Florida State-NIT (5-5 FGs)... Hit for nine first-half points on 4-of-5 shooting at Clemson... Posted seven-point, nine-rebound outings against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (5 blks) and at Missouri... Collected a dozen rebounds (6 off. rebs), along with six points and three blocks, in home NIT victory over Bradley... Averaged 8.0 points (11-15 FGs) and 6.3 rebounds during MSU's three home NIT contests.
Personal: Jarvis Lamar Varnado was born March 1, 1988, in Fairfax, Va... Majoring in physical education... The son of Janice Varnado and Winston Varnado.
SCOUTING REPORT Positives: Outstanding shot blocker and dominating rebounder with impressive wingspan (7-foot-4-inch), excellent reach (9-2), standing vertical reach (11-10), good leaping ability (32 1/2-inch vertical jump) and impressive court quickness (3.37 three-quarter-court sprint) and explosive acceleration...Constantly harasses the shooter with incredible arm length he possesses and has the lateral movement and quickness to not only stay in front of the shooter, but time leaps (and lunges) to elevate and get to the shot in a flash...Has the balance and body control to defend vs. small forwards and "two" guard types when moving out to the perimeter...Still working on his offensive game, as he gets most of his points on dunks and put-backs, but showed marked improvement with his release point, elevation and footwork executing his jumpers from 10-12 feet...Could use his body better when attacking to draw contact, but you can see the extra hours he's put in working on his shooting stroke...Good passer with the vision to locate teammates when trying to push the ball out away from double teams...Very physical establishing position in the paint, greatly improving his footwork to stay in front and provide good help defense...Has a good spin move and left shoulder dip to take the ball in the low post, knowing how to distribute the ball to his off-hand and execute the right-hand baby hook shot...Has the large, natural hands to catch and shoot, even in traffic...Times his jumps well, using his long reach to block and alter shots consistently; holds the NCAA Division I career-record with 564 blocks...His offensive game is starting to develop, but he is known for his pressure defense and solid rebounding...Has the lateral agility and speed to get up and down the court with ease...Uses his long arms and leaping ability well under the basket to execute put-backs or dunk over the taller centers...Shows the stamina to log considerable minutes before needing a breather... Because of his lanky frame, opponents often try to challenge him by attacking him in half-court sets in the paint, only to see their shots swatted down...When drawn out of the paint to defend on the perimeter, he closes on his man in a hurry, staying in their face to prevent the shooter from slashing to the basket and has the quick hops to time and elevate on his leaps to alter the shot consistently...Operates well without the ball in his hands and shows enough quickness to defending against smaller players -- has the agility and reach to defend shots without being in the offensive player's shirt...His long reach has also resulted in great success in securing offensive rebounds, even when he doesn't have position...Has good leg strength and possesses the speed to glide to the basket, post up and then execute a drop-step move.
Negatives: Has improved his perimeter shooting, but is still a work in progress on offense, getting most of his scoring opportunities around the basket...Has valid power to handle the action vs. smaller defenders, but will have to improve his core strength to establish inside position vs. bigger and more physical NBA centers and power forwards...Good on catch-and-shoot plays, but will lose sight of the help defense and when he puts the ball on the floor with a high dribble, he invites an opponent to picj his pocket...Has good court speed, but there are quite a few times where he will lag behind, especially on the fast break...Needs to do a better job of keeping his shoulders square and driving harder into the lane...Not a great low-post scorer; keeps the ball low and seems uncomfortable playing with his back to the basket...Will leave his feet rather sitting back and timing his leaps to coincide with the elevation of the shooter...Needs to dedicate more hours to improving his mechanics at the foul line, as he is just a marginal shooter.
--Report by Dave-Te' Thomas
Compares To: DENNIS RODMAN, ex-NBA -- Not a lead scoring option, Varnado is just as determined to alter a shot or get to the rebound as Rodman was in his heyday. Varnado is an improved offensive player in recent years but has a ways to go in his development. He's a blue-collar type that attacks the rim and ball. There is a crying need for players with good shot-blocking and defensive skills, which is Varnado's calling card. Late in the first round, or early in the second, the MSU product should be selected.