In No. 18 Mississippi State's season-opening 88-74 loss to Rider on Friday night, forward Kodi Augustus scored nine points and have five rebounds in 15 minutes. He started but played just five minutes in the first half.
Of course, he had four fouls, two in the first half. After the game, he had strong words about his own playing time, as well as how coach Rick Stansbury chose to defend Rider’s Mike Ringgold , who scored 21 points.
Here it is.
“I thought we was up defensively. Ringgold, he’s just an unorthodox player, and he made some reverses on us. Let Jarvis keep f——— guarding him, I mean, he’s subbing him and taking him out. Let him keep guarding him.”
I then asked the 6'8" Augustus if he had issues with Stansbury’s substitution patterns. "What? I’m in for five minutes and then I’m out. I can’t even get no energy, talking about I got one rebound and played five minutes the first half. I’m not that type of player to beg the coach to play me or talk back or be this way. I’m not doing it. I didn’t do it my first two years, I don’t do it now. He’s the coach, but, I talked to my dad, he said, We got out-coached. So I don’t know.
“I only played 15 minutes the whole game. Yeah, I’m pissed. Like I said, I can’t do nothing about it. I played all those minutes in the exhibition games, and then you come and play me 15 minutes, wow, I mean.”
He then said he thought he and Phil Turner should’ve had more floor time together.
“I’ve been practicing hard. Like you said, I’ve made the change. I go hard every day, I do everything. I don’t see why I didn’t play that much. Play me and Phil at the same time. We’re both good. We both contribute on the team. Don’t make one of us suffer for the other one playing, because that’s what’s happened to me.”
Augustus said he didn’t talk with Stansbury about that, and he said he probably won’t.
“I asked coach (Robert) Kirby why he don’t put both of us in at the same time, he said we can’t do that. And I just walked away. I was like, ‘Put us in at the same time.’ Come on, man. This is Rider. We’re preseason ranked No. 18 in the country. We’re not supposed to lose our first game, home opener, wow.”
So, was he angrier about the lack of playing time or the loss?
“Both. I want to be out there helping. Who don’t? Crazy. I didn’t even play, I couldn’t get into a groove. I get subbed every time I look over my shoulder, I’m coming out the game. It’s crazy.”
It was not immediately known what kind of discipline Augustus might face. He started the first nine games of last season before being benched due to a "coach's decision." He eventually got out of Stansbury's doghouse and was a big factor as MSU won the SEC Tournament.