July 30, 2014
By Austin Miller, OleMissSports.com
OXFORD, Miss. -- With the departure of leading scorer Marshall Henderson, junior college transfer Stefan Moody looks to pick up the scoring slack as well as complement senior Jarvis Summers, an All-SEC second team selection and the league's second-leading returning scorer at 17.3 points per game.
A 5-foot-10 guard originally from Kissimmee, Fla., Moody earned Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year and all-conference second team honors at Florida Atlantic, averaging 15.7 points and 4.2 rebounds per game for the Owls before transferring to Kilgore C.C. (Texas).
As a sophomore at Kilgore, he increased his scoring to 17.7 points per game, to go along with 3.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. He also played the point for most of the season to get acclimated and prepared for his role alongside Summers in the Ole Miss backcourt.
"Jarvis will be able to score a lot more because I will take a lot of pressure off of him, as far as getting the ball up the court and getting them into the offense," Moody said. "It will be a breather for him, so when he gets the ball in the offense, he will look to score a lot more."
Summers is more deliberate and methodical with the ball in his hands, while Moody looks to push the ball as possible. With a 46-inch vertical jump, Moody has modeled his game after Nate Robinson of the Denver Nuggets, who he's also been compared to since middle school.
"In certain situations, where it involves slowing the pace down, taking your time to make sure you get the basket, or in a 1-on-1 situation, that's more of Jarvis's game," Moody said. "I'm trying to get it and go. When you put both of those together, there is a change of pace and it's tough to guard."
Moody is one of five newcomers on this year's team, along with graduate transfers M.J. Rhett and Terence Smith, fellow junior college transfer Roderick Lawrence and incoming freshman Marcanvis Hymon.
Team chemistry, Moody said, has come by itself, having been together so much on the court and off the court leading up to the start of the season.
"We see ourselves as one of the best teams," Moody said. "We have all the pieces we need, as soon we put it together. Every day, we talk about putting in the work and getting prepared for the season. The intensity is there. The drive to get back to the NCAA Tournament is there."
Austin Miller is a writer and blogger for OleMissSports.com. He joined the staff in June 2013 after serving as sports editor of the Daily Mississippian. Follow him on Twitter @austinkmiller.