May 11, 2009

Mississippi State star delays NBA bid

Mississippi State forward Jarvis Varnado said Monday he has decided to put off joining the NBA and return for his senior college season.

I feel like I wasn't ready for the NBA, Varnado said. Another year in college can only help my game, and I'm really excited about this team.

The 6-foot-9 Varnado started a school-record 36 games this past season. He averaged a team-high 12.9 points and 8.8 rebounds and led the nation with 170 blocked shots to run his career total to 394.

Varnado, two-time Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year, needs 19 more blocked shots to top the SEC record of 412, held by Shaquille O'Neal when he was at LSU. Varnado needs 141 blocked shots to equal the NCAA record of 535 held by Louisiana-Monroe's Wojciech Mydra (1998-2002).