Class of 2011)

Twany Beckham has window of opportunity

June 12, 2011 

Mississippi St Arkansas Basketball

Mississippi State's Twany Beckham (4) breaks away from Arkansas' Stefan Welsh (14) during the first half of the NCAA basketball game in Fayetteville, Ark., Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009. (AP Photo/Beth Hall)

BETH HALL — ASSOCIATED PRESS

Twany Beckham

Position: Point guard

Height: 6-5

Weight: 190

Hometown: Louisville

High School: Ballard

Last school: Mississippi State

Twany Beckham's high school career ended in Rupp Arena on March 24, 2007, with a heartbreaking loss to Scott County in the Sweet Sixteen title game. He's hoping to revitalize his college career on the same court this winter.

Nearly five years and a few address changes after his Ballard Bruins lost the state championship to the Cardinals, Beckham will finally make his return to Rupp.

The 6-foot-5 point guard went from Ballard to New Hampton School in New Hampshire. He played well enough there to earn a scholarship offer from Mississippi State, signing with the Bulldogs in the spring of 2008. Beckham didn't see much action during his first year in Starkville, averaging just 1.6 points and 1.5 rebounds in 8.4 minutes per game.

He didn't even get on the court the following year, missing the entire season after surgery to remove bone spurs in both hips.

When he finally returned last year, Beckham started the first five games of the season in place of the suspended Dee Bost. Then things got bumpy. Beckham was replaced in the starting lineup and the Bulldogs imploded on and off the court, a meltdown punctuated by a fight in the bleachers between two Mississippi State players at a Christmas tournament in Hawaii.

Beckham felt like it was time to get out of Starkville. Luckily for him, his dream school had an open spot. It was a long trip, but well worth the wait.

"I'm a Wildcat," Beckham told Scout.com after landing at UK. "This is the happiest day of my life."

Beckham joined the Cats in the middle of last season as a preferred walk-on. He was able to practice right away and impressed John Calipari right off the bat with the unbelievable pressure he put on UK's guards.

Beckham, who describes himself as a pass-first guard, won't be eligible to play in actual games until the second semester, and it's unclear what role he'll have once that time comes.

With no true point guard on scholarship other than Marquis Teague, there should be an opportunity for Beckham to contribute right away.

He'll have plenty of time to prove he's up to the challenge.

Ben Roberts

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