January 6, 2011 8:40:00 AM
STARKVILLE -- Injuries and a lack of playing time marred Twany Beckham''s career with the Mississippi State men''s basketball team.
The lack of playing time was the reason Beckham cited Wednesday in announcing his decision to transfer from MSU.
The redshirt sophomore point guard is the second player to announce a transfer this week. Junior forward Elgin Bailey announced Monday he has left the program
Beckham is the 12th player to transfer from MSU on his terms since 2002. After last season, forward Romero Osby transferred to the University of Oklahoma, while senior-to-be guard Phil Turner didn''t have his scholarship renewed. Turner is playing at Delta State this season.
Beckham sat out last season after having surgery to remove bone spurs from his hips. He opened this season as the team''s starting point guard while Dee Bost was academically ineligible and serving a nine-game, NCAA-mandated suspension.
Beckham started the first five games and averaged 3.8 points and three assists. Junior college transfer Brian Bryant replaced him in the starting lineup and has started the past nine games.
Beckham said he spoke with MSU coach Rick Stansbury about transferring right before he lost his starting job.
"That pretty much sealed the deal for me transferring," Beckham said Wednesday.
Bost''s return from suspension will see him reclaim his starting job -- and the bulk of the point guard minutes -- Saturday when the MSU (8-6) begins Southeastern Conference play against the University of Alabama (8-6) at 3 p.m. at Humphrey Coliseum.
Already splitting minutes with Bryant, Beckham didn''t foresee his role increasing.
If Beckham would have stayed, the Bulldogs would have had three options at point guard, with Beckham being third in the rotation. He served as Bost''s primary backup during the 2008-09 season when the Bulldogs won the SEC tournament and earned a berth in the NCAA tournament.
"It''s very easy to look out there and see where your minutes come from," Stansbury said. "He''s looking to next year already, too, with his minutes, so I can''t fault him with his decision."
Beckham said he''s looking for a starting role and will begin his search for a new program immediately. He hopes to find a new school within a four-mile radius of his hometown, Lexington, Ky.
"My mom hasn''t been able to see me play much since I''ve been at Mississippi State," Beckham said. "I''m looking to transfer to another D I school. Deciding to transfer now instead of the end of the season gives me a better chance to do that."
Despite MSU going through a wave of transfers before he signed, Beckham said he wasn''t fazed by the perception and the advice he received about avoiding MSU.
"Some people I talked to said coach Stansbury was difficult to play for," Beckham said. "I wanted to give it a shot and find out for myself."
Beckham said he and Stansbury got along well, but the differences between the two came on the court. Beckham didn''t feel his ability was being maximized in Stansbury''s system.
"Since I''ve been here, I''ve been more of a pass-first point guard," Beckham said. "That''s not really how I played in high school. It''s been tough getting used to that, and I just don''t feel like I had the chance to be the best player I could be here."
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