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MSU's Smith will miss men's opener


Danny P Smith



STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State freshman guard Shaun Smith continues to have problems with a sore hip and won''t be available when the men''s basketball team opens its season at 8 p.m. Friday against Rider University. 


Smith, a former standout at Noxubee County High School in Macon, played only 14 minutes in one exhibition game (Oklahoma City) and missed both shots he attempted. 


After Smith had an MRI, Stansbury said Wednesday that Smith won''t play this weekend. There hasn''t been a decision on long-range plans. Smith could have surgery, but Stansbury didn''t say whether that was an option. 


Smith''s situation adds to the Bulldogs'' depth problem in the backcourt.. Sophomore backup point guard Twany Beckham will miss the season due to bone spurs in his hip, while junior guard Riley Benock is recovering from offseason foot surgery to repair a stress fracture. 


"Riley seems to be day to day," Stansbury said. "I thought he had made good progress last Monday and Tuesday, but seems to have taken a half-step back since then. 


"He''s had a tough first two days so far and he''s yet to go through everything in practice. We have to pick and choose some drills to put him in. If he plays again, it will probably be like the Georgetown (second exhibition) game where he can buy some minutes and gives some guys rest." 


Benock played 13 minutes in MSU''s 90-70 exhibition win against Georgetown College. 


"It was good to get him in those 13 minutes," Stansbury said. "There were some things he wasn''t able to do, but just having him back and getting into the game flow was good."



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