White Ready To Take Next Step

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
White and the Rebels open exhibition play tonight.

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
White and the Rebels open exhibition play tonight.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Nov. 1, 2013

By Austin Miller, OleMissSports.com

OXFORD, Miss. — Ole Miss lost three starters from last year’s NCAA Tournament team in Reginald Buckner, Murphy Holloway and Nick Williams, and will have to replace nearly 41 percent of the team’s scoring output.   

With those losses, junior guard LaDarius White, the team’s third-leading returning scorer behind senior guard Marshall Henderson (20.1 ppg) and junior guard Jarvis Summers (9.1 ppg), will be expected to shoulder more of the scoring load and be more consistent in his junior campaign.

"I need him to take that next step," head coach Andy Kennedy said. "I thought we saw a natural progression between year one and two. He needs to that next step and be a guy we can depend on to be a double-figure scorer. 

"He needs to be a lockdown defender for us on the wing. And he needs to be a rebounder and a facilitator off the dribble. I need him to be involved in every statistical category in order for him to play to his potential and help our team like we need."

That next step will not be the first, however, for the McComb, Miss., native in his Ole Miss career.

White dazzled in his collegiate debut with 16 points, including four 3-pointers, against Mississippi Valley State. He then closed out his freshman year strong, averaging 11.8 ppg over the final five contests, punctuated by a season-best 25 points in the NIT game against Illinois State.

As a sophomore, he played in all 36 games with 15 starts, as his playing time increased from 14.2 to 20.9 minutes per game. He raised his scoring average from 5.4 to 6.4 points per game, to go along with 3.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 20.9 minutes per game.

White emerged as another perimeter shooter to complement Henderson, as he shot 35.1 percent from 3-point range (27-of-77), which led the team. White also scored in double figures seven times, including a season-best 22 points against Kentucky.

His role will only seemingly grow on this year’s team, as he looks to help fill the void left by , Holloway and Williams.

“Everybody on this team can score,” White said. “I’m going to have to step my game up, and that’s what I’m going to do.”

On the defensive end, he has already defined himself as the team’s defensive stopper, a role he inherits from Williams and a role he played some last year when Williams was limited by a foot injury.

“Coach already told me that I’m going to guard the other team’s best player, and that’s my challenge every day,” White said. “It’s a mindset. If you feel like you can guard or just contain the other team’s best player, you’re doing your job.

“Nick (Williams) was the defensive stopper last year, and I came in and played behind him, so that was my role also.”

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.

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Nov. 23

      Sunday, November 23, 2014 - Athletics

      It's that busy time of the year with the Ole Miss football, volleyball, men's and women's basketball teams all in action. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week that was in Ole Miss sports:- A slow start (17-0... read more

    • Rebels Unable to Overcome Slow Start

      Saturday, November 22, 2014 - Football

      FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Arkansas jumped out to a 17-0 in the first quarter and took advantage of six Ole Miss turnovers on the way to a 30-0 shutout win Saturday in Fayetteville."I was concerned all week, for whatever reason, that... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-Arkansas

      Saturday, November 22, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 8 Ole Miss travels to Arkansas in its final road game of the regular season Saturday. Slowing the Hogs' Ground Attack The extra week of preparation, defensive coordinator Dave Wommack said, should prove beneficial... read more

    • Rebels Ahead of Schedule in Year Three

      Thursday, November 20, 2014 - Football

      It's sometimes easy to forget where the Ole Miss football program was just three short years ago, when Hugh Freeze was interviewing for the head coaching position. The Rebels had won just two games in 2011 and had lost 14... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Nov. 10-16, 2014)

      Monday, November 17, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 10-16, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team opened up the 2014-15 season with two wins over the weekend. The Rebels took down Grambling 92-67 in the season opener on Friday and followed... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Nov. 16

      Sunday, November 16, 2014 - Athletics

      The Ole Miss football team was off, but it was a busy week in Ole Miss athletics nevertheless, as the men's and women's basketball teams opened their respective seasons. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week that was:-... read more

    • Getting Healthy, Staying Sharp on the Bye Week

      Friday, November 14, 2014 - Football

      No. 10 Ole Miss was without several starters and regular contributors against Presbyterian, and many others were limited.  But given an extra week of rest, head coach Hugh Freeze said he expects everyone, with the exception of the players out... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 11

      Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 11 - Presbyterian (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Nov. 3-9, 2014)

      Monday, November 10, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 3-9, 2014Football- Ole Miss took a break from the rugged Southeastern Conference and earned a 48-0 shutout win over Presbyterian on Saturday.- It was the Rebels' first shutout since beating Tulane 39-0 in 2012.-... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House - Nov. 9

      Sunday, November 9, 2014 - Football

      Austin Miller handled all of this week's edition of the Observations from the Best Seat in the House. Check out what he had to say below:- The nation's best scoring defense finally got its first shutout of the season, as... read more

    • Wilkins, Dodson Shine in Blowout Win

      Saturday, November 8, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss racked up the second-most yards in school history, totaling 640 yards, including 402 yards on the ground, in a 48-0 rout of Presbyterian. The Rebels were able to limit the reps for several players in the contest, with... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-PC

      Saturday, November 8, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 11 Ole Miss hosts FCS opponent Presbyterian in its final non-conference matchup of the regular season. Execute, Stay Heathy Saturday's game with Presbyterian is more about Ole Miss than its opponent, as the team's... read more

    • Injuries Create Opportunities for Young Players

      Thursday, November 6, 2014 - Football

      With injuries mounting on both sides of the ball, Saturday's game against Presbyterian presents an opportunity for young players and backups to gain experience and make an impression on the coaching staff. Among those injured players, head coach Hugh Freeze... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 10

      Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 10 - Auburn (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Path To Atlanta: A Little Homecookin'

      Monday, November 3, 2014 - Football

      A question we keep hearing is what needs to happen in order for the Rebels to get to the SEC Championship game. It's pretty simple, just cheer for the home team. The lone exception to that notion is Ole Miss'... read more