Dee Bost catches a big break

At this very moment, Mississippi State guard Dee Bost is thanking his lucky stars and the almighty NCAA for a show of leniency.

The NCAA has decided to suspend Bost for nine games rather than take away his collegiate eligibility for failing to meet the NBA draft withdrawal deadline in May. That means that once the talented 6-foot-2 junior becomes academically eligible (he's ineligible in the fall), he can start serving the suspension.

The waiting game weighed on Bost, teammate Ravern Johnson told the Starkville Dispatch.

"It's a painful time for him," Johnson said Tuesday. "He's really not himself right now. He's ready to get back. He brings it up every day. He even says that if he gets cleared, he'll stay 'til his senior year."

Even getting back Bost for part of his junior year is great news for coach Rick Stansbury, who is looking to build on a 24-win season. The Bulldogs could be real contenders for the NCAA tournament once Bost returns along with forward Renardo Sidney, who has to serve a nine-game suspension this year as well.

Bost has maintained that he simply wanted to test the draft waters and made a mistake with the rules.

It cost him some games and some peace of mind this offseason, but things certainly could have ended up worse.