Benock Shooting For the Stars

Mississippi State basketball signee Riley Benock will be representing his home state of Kentucky in the annual Anthem Kentucky/Indiana All-Star Classic.

Riley Benock Profile

The selection and practice process has taken a long time, but Riley and his fellow Bluegrass natives will take to the floor as a unit for the first time this weekend.

"We play this Saturday at Diddle Arena at 7:30 and then the next Saturday we play at Conseco Field House in Indy," said Riley.

To even be nominated to play on the All-Star team is an honor, but Benock beat out several other hopefuls for his spot on the roster.

"There were 40 people in all," said Riley. "All of the Region Players of the Year are nominated, then the coaches get to make some picks and then the media picks a certain number. We had a two day tryout and then they take it down to 12 people, but this year they went with 13."

Benock reports that a large portion of the process was a series of games with different lineups on the floor. Some players had a tough time making the needed adjustments.

"We scrimmaged a lot," explained Riley. "You could tell people were tight. I just tried to play my game like I always do. I went out there and I felt that I played pretty loose. I shot the basketball well and I took it to the basket a little bit. Everyone can make room for a shooter on a team and I think that is a big reason why I made it."

Several other divison one signees including future players for Notre Dame, Marshall and Louisville all made the team. Riley feels at home with the group.

"I think the main thing for me is to shoot it," said Riley. "We have some guys who can penetrate and kick out. I think my role is to be a shooter and knock down some shots. I was one of the top three point shooters in the state, so that's why I'm here."

Later this year, Riley will be doing his best to establish his role on the Mississippi State Bulldog basketball team.

"I get done here and then I head down there July the 9th," said Benock. "I will be their for summer school and then I go home for a week. I go down there for good about the 20th of August."

"I am looking forward to it," said Benock. "You're always going to be nervous when you start something new, but I am anxious to get started. It's a new life that is starting up and I know it's going to be a lot of work."

Riley stays in regular contact with the Bulldog coaching staff.

"I get a lot of things in the mail from them and I talked to some of the assistants I guess about once or twice a week," said Benock. "Coach Stansbury was in town the other day to see some family and I got the chance to talk to him for a short time then."

Being from Coach Stansbruy's neck of the woods presents some unique situations and opinions.

"A lot of people think there is pressure on me being from Coach Stansbury's home town, but if anything it's probably more pressure on him," said Benock. "A lot of people think he may be taking a risk with me because he is from here. What he told me was that he recruits people who he feels can come in and play and win championships. If he feels that way, I can't really worry about what everybody else says."

Benock is game for just about anything as far as the 2007-08 season goes. The talented guard is preparing as if he will be counted on heavily this season.

"Nothing has been decided and I am sure we will find out more once we get started," said Benock. "They never redshirt anybody until the day before. They wait. Coach Stansbury told me to come in looking to contribute as a freshman. He wants me to be in that mindset because if something happens I am ready to go. If I redshirt then we will work that out, but I am getting ready for everything."

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