In-depth with MSU Guard Barry Stewart

Mississippi State guard Barry Stewart, just a freshman, is cool, confident and fast becoming a fan favorite among the Mississippi State faithful.

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When watching Barry on the court one of the first things you notice is how cool he is under pressure. But he claims there's no magical formula for his calm demeanor.

"I think it comes from my experiences since I was a little kid. When you've been in the game so long, you recognize situations," said Barry. "And I try to keep within myself while I'm on the court and not let the pressure get to me.

"Personality is also part of it. Everybody has different personalities and you'll take your personality onto the court. Some guys are loud and emotional. I'm more low-key. I've been like this since I was little."

The second thing you notice is how well he shoots the three pointer.

"I think my shooting comes from hard work," said Barry. "My dad and I used to work on my mid-range game a lot. He told me that I needed to work on my jump shot first, then go out as you get older and stronger. That way, your three-point shot won't look so slow and will be more fluid."

Hard work is part of it, but like so many great shooters Barry has that shooter's confidence.

"My mindset is that I know I have worked hard in practice and as many times as I have shot the ball, I think I will make my shot," said Barry. "You have to expect to make it. If you have any doubt, you could miss the shot, so you have to expect to make it."

But he also knows there is room for improvement even when you are one of the top three-point shooters in the tough SEC.

"My mom and dad tell me that my shot is a little slow," said Barry. "To improve on my shot you need to shoot, catch and release, just step into your shot a little quicker. I go against (sophomores) Reginald and Richard (Delk) in practice. They are taller than me and have long arms and are quick off the floor. They have probably made my shot a little quicker."

Barry also acknowledges that another area of needed improvement is his strength, or lack of.

"I would say (my lack of strength) affects my rebounding because some guys like to push you while you are in the air," said the 165-pounder. "I'm a ways away from where I want to be, but I have gotten bigger while in Coach (Richard) Akins' weight lifting program. And I know he will get me even stronger."

Despite being a skinny freshman with a shot that could be a little quicker, opposing teams are very aware of Barry.

"It's fun to know that (SEC coaches) are watching you and looking at you," said Barry. "It makes you feel confident in yourself."

Confident enough to make pressure filled shots against the likes of Kentucky in one of the most intimidating places in college basketball .... Rupp Arena.

"I wasn't intimidated," said Barry. "It just seemed like another gym, although it was a whole lot bigger with a lot more fans."

He can even remember in detail a couple of crucial shots that he made at the end of MSU's close loss to Kentucky a little over a week ago.

"One of the shots toward the end, I knew we needed a basket because of the score. They had keyed on Charles (Rhodes) at the post and I came off the screen and hit it and felt good about it because it got us back into the game," said Barry. "The last shot that Jamont gave me, I just knew to be ready to shoot in case they sunk in on Jamont."

He hopes to make many more shots like those during his career at MSU not only for his team but for the MSU fans who have made him one of their favorite players.

"It is a great honor, a great thrill to play at Mississippi State," said Barry. "It was great here even before basketball season started, but it's gotten even greater since it has started. It's great to see the support we have here at Mississippi State."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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