Ole Miss put on a defensive show against Georgia, particularly in the post where Malcolm White had five blocked shots, one on a dunk attempt.
It should be noted here that Georgia is bad. It’s hard for me to imagine the team I saw yesterday beating Florida, but I chalk that up to the blind squirrel finding the acorn. It happens.
Several Ole Miss players, most notably Terrico White, admitted to taking the Bulldogs’ lightly, which isn’t surprising for a young team, but it could be costly. Perhaps a lesson was learned in the victory.
The Rebels looked out of sorts in the first half. White finished 8-for-18 from the floor, which isn’t terrible, but he was just 1-for-5 from 3-point range. He’s had much better success out there of late.
Murphy Holloway had defensive energy in the first half but didn’t always have defensive intelligence. He wasn’t finishing around the rim early, but that got better in the second half.
It would help this team to get more out of Zach Graham on offense. He has the skills, but he’s not producing consistently. Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy equates that to his injury situation, one where he doesn’t practice during the week and sees full-speed action only during games with the hope his knee will hold out until the end of the season. That arrangement has affected Graham’s timing on offense, Kennedy says.
To his credit, Graham has become a much better defensive player than he was at the beginning of the season. That was the biggest concern when Eniel Polynice went down … Graham’s ability to fill the defensive void. He’s done well, and it’s taken a mental makeover on his part.
It was a nice, focused second half for the Rebels.
If this was the Georgia team Ole Miss faced in the first round of the SEC tournament last year, Kennedy would have gotten his first NCAA bid.