BASKETBALL: Scouting Charles Rhodes

6-8, 245 pounds • Senior • Jackson, Miss. Mississippi State's Charles Rhodes entered his name in the 2007 NBA Draft, but withdrew it on the last day underclassmen can return to school. The Bulldogs are happy he did. Rhodes was tabbed a preseason, All-Southeastern Conference selection and has lived up to the billing.

The senior remains one of the most productive big men in the conference, averaging 14.9 points and 7.7 rebounds. He comprises half of Mississippi State's talented one-two punch, teaming with point guard Jamont Gordon to push the Bulldogs to the top of the SEC West.

Mississippi's latest success has largely been because of Rhodes, who missed three games earlier this season with a sprained ankle. After a slow start to SEC play, the forward has turned it on lately. Rhodes is averaging 17.2 points and 10 rebounds in the past five games.


Rhodes is a talented scorer who can get his points in a variety of ways, whether it's in the paint or out on the perimeter. He doesn't miss often either. Rhodes is sixth in the SEC in field goal percentage (55 percent) and put up a season-high 26 points against Ole Miss last month.

The senior is a tough matchup for opponents because he has developed a handful of post moves. He can score over an opponent. He can hit turnaround jumpers. He can post up and score. He can drive and score.

But his favorite way to score? Dunking the basketball. Of Rhodes 469 career field goals, 33 percent of them have come on dunks.


Rhodes is capable of taking over games, but the talented senior also has shown the potential to disappear. He scored just five points against Alabama earlier this season, going 2-for-7 from the floor. The Razorbacks harassed Rhodes in the first meeting, too, holding him to 11 points.

Rhodes hasn't done a good job of getting to the free-throw line for one of the league's prominent big men either, attempting just 88 in 20 games. For example, Alabama's Richard Hendrix has attempted 155 free throws this season. Even when Rhodes gets there, he has been erratic and is shooting 63.6 percent from the foul line.

How to Play Him

Arkansas did a good job of slowing Rhodes in Arkansas' win in Fayetteville last month, holding him to 4-of-11 shooting even though senior Charles Thomas was suspended for violating team rules. The Razorbacks' plan was rather simple: Throw a variety of big men at the talented forward and frustrate him throughout the night.

Thomas, Steven Hill, Darian Townes and Michael Washington will all take turns trying to frustrate Rhodes for the second straight time. But, once again, some of the pressure falls on Arkansas' guards. If Gordon continually beats defenders off the dribble Rhodes will get easy looks.

The Skinny

Rhodes has scored 10 or more points in 17 of the 20 games he has played this season. That included his memorable, 26-point performance (12 of 14 from the floor) against in-state rival Ole Miss three weeks ago.

It was the type of performance MSU coach Rick Stansbury would like to see from the talented player on a nightly basis. But, either way, Rhodes will be remembered as one of the most talented big men to play at Mississippi State when his career is over. He currently ranks 19th on the school's list for career points (1,211). Rhodes also is sixth in career blocks (131). Even more, he holds the school's record for dunks (153).

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