Mississippi Men's Basketball 2012 NIT Capsule

Mississippi Rebels
SEC (20-13, 8-8)

Mississippi had a good first month or so of the 2011-2012 campaign. After that the losses started piling up and then the off-court distractions took their toll on the Rebels. Coach Andy Kennedy has done an admirable job, but this is not where Ole Miss wants to be. Yet, this is a young squad and making a run in March would help move this team forward.

Big Wins: 11/25 Miami FL (64-61), 1/18 Mississippi State (75-68), 2/25 LSU (72-48)
Bad Losses: 12/30 at Dayton (50-62), 1/14 at Auburn (68-69), 2/22 at Tennessee (60-73)
Coach: Andy Kennedy (6 seasons at Mississippi)

Why They Can Surprise:
The Mississippi frontcourt can compete with just about any team in the nation. Terrance Henry, Murphy Holloway and Reginald Buckner are a dynamic trio who can do it all. Henry is the scorer who can hit the long ball or score in the paint. The 6-9 senior is a very good athlete who can make his presence known on both ends of the floor. Holloway is the traditional interior scorer. Holloway is not a great defender, but that works out fine as long as Henry and Buckner are by his side. Holloway, who sat out last season while transferring from Ole Miss to South Carolina only to come back, is a great rebounder and can open up the perimeter with his ability to score consistently in the paint. Buckner is a regular on the SEC’s All-Defense team. He swats away over two shots per game and alters countless others. It is the play of Buckner that makes Ole Miss a decent defensive team and a very strong rebounding team.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Unfortunately, blocking shots and rebounding is about all this team does well on a consistent basis. The biggest issue is inexperience on the perimeter. Dundrecous Nelson was dismissed from the team in early January and that left Jarvis Summers as the team’s primary ball handler. Summers has done an admirable job and is a very capable scorer. He can hit the long ball and the opposition has to defend him on the perimeter. That is when Summers can attack the basket. But he is still a freshman and there is not much help for him on the perimeter when it comes to taking care of the ball and leading the team. Nick Williams is a tough wing who hustles for rebounds and scores around the basket, but he is not a ball handler. Jelan Kendrick, a transfer from Memphis, has yet to live up to his huge hype and it remains to be seen if he will return after being suspended. Ladrius White is another freshman and more known for his shooting, although he has never found his stroke this season. That leaves Summers to find the big men and keep the turnovers down.

Probable Starters:
Jarvis Summers, Freshman, Guard, 10.2 ppg, 3.2 apg
Nick Williams, Junior, Guard, 10.1 ppg, 1.1 apg
Murphy Holloway, Junior, Forward, 11.1 ppg, 9.1 rpg
Terrance Henry, Senior, Forward, 12.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.0 bpg
Reginald Buckner, Junior, Forward, 7.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.2 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Demarco Cox, Sophomore, Center, 3.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg
Aaron Jones, Freshman, Forward, 1.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg
Jelan Kendrick, Freshman, Guard, 5.1 ppg, 1.7 apg
LaDarius White, Freshman, Guard, 4.5 ppg, 1.0 apg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense:  66.1 (211th in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 65.4 (127, 8)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.1 (188, 8)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.5 (41, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game:  4.3 (321, 11)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: N/A
Free-Throw Percentage: 59.5 (332, 12)
Rebound Margin: 3.0 (78, 4)
Assists Per Game: 11.2 (286, 10)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.6 (247, 12)

Last Five Postseason Appearances:
Mississippi    2011    NIT        First Round loss to California
Mississippi    2010    NIT        First Round win over Troy
Mississippi    2010    NIT        Second Round win over Memphis
Mississippi    2010    NIT        Quarterfinal win over Texas Tech
Mississippi    2010    NIT        Semifinal loss to Dayton
Mississippi    2008    NIT        First Round win over UC Santa Barbara
Mississippi    2008    NIT        Second Round win over Nebraska
Mississippi    2008    NIT        Quarterfinal win over Virginia Tech
Mississippi    2008    NIT        Semifinal loss to Ohio State
Mississippi    2007    NIT        First Round win over Appalachian State
Mississippi    2007    NIT        Second Round loss to Clemson
Mississippi    2002    NCAA     Round of 64 loss to UCLA

*all team stats through 3/4

See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules