STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's Barry Stewart has become the second State rookie this season to earn the SEC's Men's Basketball Freshman of the Week honor for his efforts in last week's outings against Mississippi and Kentucky. The announcement was made Monday by the league office headquartered in Birmingham, Ala.
Earlier this season (Dec. 4), MSU frosh Ben Hansbrough collected the SEC's Freshman of the Week accolade for his performances in home wins over Charlotte and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Last year's Tennessee Class AAA Mr. Basketball while starring at Shelbyville Central High School, Stewart averaged 10.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in helping lead coach Rick Stansbury's 10-6 Bulldogs to a 1-1 mark in league play. The 6-foot-2, 165-pound guard began the week by totaling 12 points (2-3 FGs & 7-7 FTs), five rebounds and two assists in MState's 77-67 home win over Ole Miss. This past Saturday in Lexington, Ky., Stewart had nine points on three second-half 3-pointers, three boards and an assist in the Bulldogs' hard-fought 64-60 road loss against the Kentucky Wildcats.
On the season, Stewart ranks as MSU's third-leading scorer (11.5 ppg) and the SEC's No. 2 freshman scorer behind Arkansas' Patrick Beverley. Coming off the Bulldog bench in all 16 games this season, Stewart has scored in double figures 11 times, including a season-high 22 points on 5-of-11 three-point shooting in State's 70-52 road win over Miami (Fla.) last month. Ranked eighth in the SEC overall in both three-point field-goal percentage (.404) and made 3-pointers per game (2.25 treys/game), Stewart has hit at least one 3-pointer in all but one game this season along with having nailed two or more treys in 12 of 16 outings. He also stands seventh among the league leaders in free-throw percentage (.780), including a perfect 7-of-7 night from the charity stripe in last week's 10-point home triumph over the Rebels.
For the year, Stewart is also averaging 3.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists per contest, while owning a positive assist:turnover ratio (19/12) and ranking second on the club with 15 steals.