Idaho Stampede's one constant is having to change his game

Idaho point guard Dee Bost is trying to find his niche on new-look squad.

bmurphy@idahostatesman.comMarch 15, 2014 

Dee Bost played last season in Montenegro, an experience he described as “humbling.” He opted to return to the U.S. to give himself a better opportunity at the NBA and get a better sense for where he fits in the game. Bost spent training camp with Portland.

KATHERINE JONES — kjones@idahostatesman.com

— On an ever-changing Idaho Stampede roster, Dee Bost has been the one constant.

Bost, a 6-foot-2 point guard in his second season out of Mississippi State, has started every game - all 41 - for Idaho, playing at an all-star level for most of the year.

But the 24-year-old Bost was on the bench for the entire fourth quarter of Friday night's 111-101 win over Reno at CenturyLink Arena.

Scott Machado, acquired in a Feb. 26 trade, played point guard in the fourth quarter, and Idaho outscored Reno 32-19. It was a much-needed win for the Stampede (22-19) and their playoff hopes.

"Dee (had) a solid line, but Scott Machado steps up," Stampede coach Michael Peck said. "If you want to be a quality team, a playoff team, a championship team, that's what you need. I'm not saying you're going to have half of your games like that, but you need some of them."

Bost entered Friday's game averaging 16.1 points, 8.3 assists and 6.7 rebounds per game. But he failed to reach any of those numbers for the fourth consecutive game, contributing seven points, six assists and three rebounds in 20 minutes - his fewest minutes of the season.

Bost entered the game averaging a team-high 41.7 minutes per game, a huge number that Peck said is taking a toll.

Bost scored in single-digits four times in the first 38 games of the season. He has now done so in three consecutive games. Bost is 6-for-27 from the floor and 2-for-14 from 3-point range in the last three games.

"Lately, I haven't been playing like myself," said Bost, who has five triple-doubles on the season.

Part of it is a changing roster and part of it, as Peck alluded to, could be the extraordinary minutes Bost has been asked to play for most of the season. Before leading scorer Pierre Jackson left for Turkey and the Stampede added a slew of new players, Bost's role was clear-cut.

"I let (Jackson and current leading scorer Kevin Murphy) do the scoring, and I tried to get the assists," Bost said. "Our team's changed. So I'm just trying to get a feel, see what my role is. My role is always going to be to initiate the offense and get everyone involved."

It's clear his game needs work in two key areas - cutting down on turnovers and better 3-point shooting. Bost is averaging 3.5 turnovers per game. "That's too many," he said. He'd like to cut that to one per game.

Bost, who has taken a team-high 317 3-point attempts, is shooting 29.9 percent from long range.

"My shooting will come. My turnovers will come," said Bost, a football and basketball standout in high school in North Carolina. "It just comes with time and experience."

Brian Murphy: 377-6444, Twitter: @murphsturph

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