OXFORD – It was never a matter of Kodi Augustus wanting to play. It might have been part of his problem, though.
The Mississippi State sophomore was a starter for the first nine games of the season, and he played well. Then suddenly, he was on the bench. All coach Rick Stansbury would offer as a reason was, “Coach’s decision.”
On Jan. 8, Augustus’ former AAU coach, John Eurey, told me that the benching of the 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward was “unfair” and hinted there was a riff between player and coach.
Augustus refused to check in late in a game against Houston, but that was after he’d been sent to the pine. Playing those kind of minutes, to Augustus, seemed a waste of time.
He’s getting big minutes now, though. He had 13 points and seven rebounds off the bench in Saturday’s 82-80 win over Ole Miss. Against Florida on Wednesday, he had nine points and three rebounds.