#116 Mississippi Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Mississippi Rebels

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #116
Conference Rank: #10 SEC

Mississippi Team Page#116 Mississippi Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy Mississippi Basketball Tickets

Things didn’t go as planned for Ole Miss last season. Coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2013, where the Rebels knocked off 5th seeded Wisconsin and with emerging star Marshall Henderson returning, another trip to the big dance was the goal. The season started off well, as Ole Miss got off to a 14-5 start, including 5-1 in SEC play, but things fell apart after that. The Rebels lost nine of their next 14 games and missed out on the postseason all together. Andy Kennedy is now tasked with getting what’s left of last year’s underachieving team back on track.

2013-14 Record: 19-14, 9-9
2013-14 Postseason: None
Coach: Andy Kennedy
Coach Record: 171-101 at Ole Miss (192-115 overall)

Who’s Out:
Marshall Henderson was the lone senior on last year’s team and he will be missed on this year’s squad. Henderson had some trouble during his college career, including three transfers and numerous off the court problems, but even with the problems, he was still a very talented player. That was evident during the NCAA Tournament in 2013, where Henderson averaged 20 points per game, and last season, when Henderson led Ole Miss in scoring, averaging 19 points. Henderson might have been the only senior, but he wasn’t the only departure. Four other players decided to leave the program with eligibility remaining, led by Derrick Millinghaus and Demarco Cox. Millinghaus appeared in 30 games last season, including nine starts, averaging 6.6 points and 2.7 assists per game, while Cox saw action in all 33 games, earing 16 starts, and averaged 4.2 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. Janari Joesaar, 2.3 points per game and Jerron Martin, who redshirted, joined Millinghaus and Cox in leaving the program.

Who’s In:
Kennedy went the transfer route to reload this offseason, bringing in two Division I transfers who are eligible this season and a pair of junior college transfers as a part of a five man class. Forward M.J. Rhett, a transfer from Tennessee State, will bolster the frontcourt after averaging 10.9 points and 9.1 rebounds per game last season, while Terence Smith could be in contention to fill Henderson’s vacant off guard spot after averaging 14.6 points per game at UT-Martin last season. Guards Stefan Moody, who averaged 17.7 points per game at Kilgore Community College last season, and Roderick Lawrence, who averaged 13.1 points per game at South Plains Junior College last year, will bolster the backcourt. Marcanvis Hymon, a three star recruit from Memphis, rounds out the five man group.

Who to Watch:
Ole Miss returns eight players from last year’s team, all of whom have seen quality playing time during their careers. Leading the way is point guard Jarvis Summers. The senior guard was second on the team in scoring last season, averaging 17.3 points, and led the team in assists, averaging 3.8 per game. Two other seniors return in LaDarius White and Aaron Jones. Jones started 27 of the team’s 33 games was the team’s leading rebounder last season, averaging 6.6 per game to go along with 6.0 points per game, while White averaged 7.1 points while appearing in all 33 contests. White will look to join Summers and Jones in the starting lineup, as will junior Anthony Perez, who averaged 7.1 points per game last season. Sophomores Sabastian Saiz and Dwight Coleby will vie for the spot alongside Jones in the frontcourt after averaging 5.1 points and 5.6 rebounds and 2.4 points and 1.9 rebounds per game, respectively, last season. Adding depth will be junior Martavious Newby, who averaged 3.2 points, and sophomore Terry Brutus, who is back after redshirting last season after tearing his ACL.

Final Projection:
With the new additions Kennedy has brought in via the transfer route, this season’s Ole Miss team has the potential to do better than last season’s. Ole Miss has two key starters in Summers and Jones, and has four other players, White, Perez, Saiz and Newby, who started at least 12 games last season. Add in Rhett and Smith, who both having starting experience at the Division I level, and Moody and Lawrence, who are experienced juco guards, and there is a lot of potential on Kennedy’s team. What he needs is a player or two to step up as viable second or third options. Summers is going to be the go to guy, and Jones is going to be big in the post, but one of the other players needs to show that he can score consistently. As long as a couple players can average double digits in scoring to help replace Henderson’s production, Ole Miss could see improvement.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Jarvis Summers, Senior, Guard, 17.3 points per game
LaDarius White, Senior, Guard, 7.1 last season
Anthony Perez, Junior, Guard, 7.1 points per game
Aaron Jones, Senior, Forward, 6.0 points per game
Sebastian Saiz, Sophomore, Center, 5.1 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.2 (62nd in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 72.7 (249, 14)
Field-Goal Percentage: 41.7 (296, 13)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.9 (87, 11)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.8 (41, 1)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.9 (179, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.6 (178, 6)
Rebound Margin: -2.5 (269, 12)
Assists Per Game: 12.5 (182, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.2 (69, 3)


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