HOOPS: Day After Observations

PRINT EDITION GAME COVERAGE
Ole Miss 67, MSU 63

Making your own luck

Game notebook

DAY AFTER OBSERVATIONS
As young players for Ole Miss have become more productive and play at a higher level, thoughts immediately turn to how good this team could be if it was completely healthy.

When the season began this was a team that was going to compete for an NCAA tournament bid. Now with back-to-back wins at home against No. 24 Kentucky and at Mississippi State, the Rebels seem like they’d have been a lock to reach that goal.

It’s important to remember how some roles have changed, however. Freshman Terrico White wouldn’t be playing point guard right now if Chris Warren was healthy, and White’s been pretty darn good with the ball in his hands.

This run of recent success has coincided also with improvement from post players Malcolm White and DeAundre Cranston.

Freshman Murphy Holloway has been there all year, and he still provides the energy and effort plays. He had seven rebounds yesterday.

But the extra boost has come from the older guys. Three days after getting 20 points against Kentucky, Malcolm White had a quiet 11 against State. Quiet in the box score, but still a good effort in a game where the Rebels weren’t going to put up big post numbers against one of the nation’s best post defenders, Jarvis Varnado. White still hit 5-of-7 field goals.

The emergence of Cranston as a 3-point threat enables the Rebels to lure a big guy like Varnado out of the lane and create more space in the middle.

None of the post guys alone had monster numbers, but White, Cranston and Holloway combined for 20 points and 16 rebounds. Not a bad day’s work.

Terrico White continues to hit big shot after big shot. He had 18 points on 7-for-14 shooting, and the baskets seem to come at the most opportune times.

Sophomore Zach Graham is an emerging story as well, a guy called on for more offense who has delivered and is playing through the pain of a partially torn knee tendon.

The sum total of the parts creates a young team gaining confidence, the kind of team you don’t want to face down the stretch.

Gaining that NCAA berth will be a long shot, but there’s a lot of basketball to be played.

Right now this isn’t a team that believes anything is out of reach.

— PA

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15 Responses to “HOOPS: Day After Observations”

  1. Jay Stokes Says:

    Good blog, PA…….I agree that the Tourney is a long shot, but it would be the ultimate underdog story if they were to somehow make that happen. With all the injuries and all the drama surrounding the team after what happened in Cincy….I will be happy with 20 wins this season — which I think they’re on their way to getting.

  2. rebel2011 Says:

    Great game yesterday. You have gotta give it to the coaches and the players. All involved did exceptional. Also, this team is going to be a force to be reckoned with. I heard Kennedy say that he knows that they will be formidable next season and that it seems like they want to be formidable this season too. I want to know with the way that Terrico is playing point, what are the chances that he could be the primary PG next year with CW being the 2 guard. Or is CW too short to succeed as a 2 guard? Or would Terrico do even better playing the 2 guard and taking dishes from CW all day? What do y’all think?

  3. ripleyreb Says:

    Jay, I hope you are correct on the 20 wins, but it would be a very tall task. We have 9 regular season games left, five at home and four away. If this team keeps improving you never know what might happen in the SEC tourney. rebel2011,if Warren comes back next year at 100% healthy that will be a good problem for Coach K to have. I think Chris will be back at the point though. Hoping all the injured Rebs come back healthy and stay that way.

  4. farley662 Says:

    Any truth to one of the OM coaches getting hit in the face with a quarter after the game?

  5. m4rebs Says:

    Not sure about the quarter farley, but I wouldn’t doubt it, they are easy access (unlike batteries, that have to be a planned deal) and people do stupid stuff when they are mad about their team losing. I don’t think the Mississippi State crowd are all bad fans if it were true. An isolated incident like that isn’t near the things I’ve seen throughout my many, many visits to Tiger Stadium.
    I would think Warren would be the point next year and Terrico the 2. Terrico is creating right now late in the shot clock, so I don’t see where it is an issue, you can work a play and try to get him on a flex cut or a back-door, or a curl for an open look at first. Then, work it to him for an iso with under 10 on the shot clock. I think a player like him is going to gravitatate to he middle of the scoring, regardless of what position he is playing. He is a special scorer no doubt, and once confidence is built (like it appears to be now) he will find a way to get his…kinda like Jodie Meeks does now. It is imperative for us to have an inside presence, and I think the success we’ve had in the last 2 games is because of the 3 headed moster that we appear to have created with M. White, Cranston, and Hollaway. It is hard to keep the defenses honest when they can pressure the backcourt because the frontcourt isn’t producing.

  6. ripleyreb Says:

    Farley, I heard on the post-game show that Coach Miller was hit in the head with a quarter. Kellum said he was ok. Don’t know if it happened during or after the game.

  7. farley662 Says:

    Coming from Kellum, I don’t believe it since he seems to be the only one who “saw” it. He will tear down another team and their fanbase in a heartbeat. That’s why I was asking if PA had heard the same.

  8. Jay Stokes Says:

    farley….

    “kellum will tear down another team and their fanbase in a heartbeat”

    um…………………………ok.

  9. bigdraws Says:

    Jay, I’ve heard him do it many times. Said our baseball uniforms looked like womens softball unis last year. You stay classy David.

  10. imabulldog Says:

    I kinda agree, I liked the old MS logo, keep it simple, because the last 4 years we have not even looked like MSU

  11. farley662 Says:

    Um………….Get a clue moron.

  12. JB Says:

    Adversity of the adverse; Cats and Dogs; Ishmael Clan vs Isaac Clan; Mississippi State fans vs Ole Miss fans.

  13. farley662 Says:

    Nice JB, real nice.

  14. JB Says:

    Good avatar. Hows the little guy doing?

  15. farley662 Says:

    Doing good man. Got his first cardiology appointment since the surgery on Tuesday.

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