The Basketball Bulldogs went into the late signing period this year looking for shooters and after adding College of Southern Idaho's Travis Gabbidon yesterday, they picked up another player this morning in Shelbyville, Tenn.'s Barry Stewart, who was recruited by MSU coach Phil Cunningham. Stewart talks about his decision and his soon-to-be reunion with several friends.
"He signed with Mississippi State this morning," commented Shelbyville coach Kevin Tomas. "He just felt comfortable with the kids and the program where it's at and the kids that are already there."
While he will be traveling to Starkville to play his college ball, it will be almost a homecoming of sorts, as he already knows four Bulldogs that are from Tennessee.
"I felt like it was the best fit for me and l felt like I have fit in with the guys," Stewart commented. "I've known the guys for a while now. I liked the coaching staff and the environment around the campus. It just seemed like it all fit my lifestyle."
Stewart played AAU ball with both of the Delk twins – already members of the team - and also played with Jarvis Varnado, who inked with State in the fall. He also already knows native Tennessean Jamont Gordon, giving State almost a local flavor.
Stewart took his official visit to MSU over the weekend he was hosted by Reginald Delk. That was the final straw that helped him make up his mind.
"Yeah, I evaluated it, but I didn't make a decision," he explained. "I wanted to come home and think about it, and after I thought about I felt like it was the place for me and a home away from home."
So where does he fit into the mix next year?
"First they want me to come in and work, and get strong. They plan on me to come in and help the team right away. So I am going to do all I can to get bigger and stronger, and get better on ball handling to help the team right away. They want me to play the two."
Stewart was named the Tennessee 3A player of the year after averaging 23.1 points per game and seven rebounds per game.