Ole Miss Hosts Mississippi Valley In Season Opener
Nov. 7, 2012
Who are the Rebels' top returning statistical leaders? Murphy Holloway in scoring (11.2 ppg), rebounding (9.0 rpg) and steals (1.6 spg), Reginald Buckner in blocked shots (2.2 bpg) and Jarvis Summers in assists (3.4 apg). Ole Miss returns 67.2 percent of its scoring and 67.1 percent of its rebounding from a year ago.
Sophomore guards Jarvis Summers and LaDarius White finished the 2011-12 season on a tear, with Summers averaging 14.5 ppg over his final six games and White posting 11.8 ppg over his final five contests.
Senior forward Reginald Buckner already holds the Ole Miss career record in blocked shots (228) and ranks sixteenth in SEC history in that category.
KENNEDY ADMINISTRATION BEGINS SEVENTH YEAR
In six seasons under Mississippi native Andy Kennedy, Ole Miss has a 125-78 record (most wins by an Ole Miss coach in a six-year period), two SEC West championships, five 20-win campaigns and five postseason berths, which includes a pair of trips to the NIT Final Four. The Rebels have their sights set on challenging for the program's first NCAA Tournament bid since 2002, as Kennedy enters his seventh year at the helm.
Ole Miss returns four full-time starters from last year's squad (Nick Williams - 32 , Murphy Holloway - 30, Jarvis Summers - 30, Reginald Buckner - 25) that started a combined 117 games last season and boasts 228 career starts.
Ole Miss lost 1,000-point scorer Terrance Henry (1,095 points) to graduation. Henry started all 34 games for the Rebels last season and led the team in scoring (12.5 ppg), while finishing second on the squad in blocks (35) and third in rebounding (4.3 rpg). his production each year of his four-year stay and finished with more than 1,200 career points.
The Rebels added six newcomers to this year's team - four freshmen and two junior college players - including the National Junior College Player of the Year in Marshall Henderson, who led South Plains College to the junior college national championship and No. 1 ranking in the NJCAA with a perfect 36-0 record after averaging 19.6 ppg. Ole Miss also added 6-8 junior college forward Jason Carter, who originally signed with Alabama out of high school. The Rebels signed four prep players highlighted by Martavious Newby, who averaged 23.1 points and 7.2 rebounds as a senior at Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis and earned the Tennessee Class A Mr. Basketball honors. Terry Brutus comes to Oxford after averaging 17.0 points and 9.0 rebounds for coach Chad Myers at Massanutten Military Academy, while leading the Colonels to the eight-team National Prep Championships. Derrick Millinghaus averaged 28 ppg and shot 43 percent from beyond the arc for coach Tyson Waterman at Believe Academy (N.C.), while Anthony Perez, a native of Venezuela, averaged 15 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists per game as a senior at Montverde Academy (Fla.) where he helped lead the team to the NHSI Basketball National Championship game.
Junior Marshall Henderson scored a team-high 19 points, including 14 in the second half, and senior Murphy Holloway added 12 points and six boards as Ole Miss cruised to a 77-62 exhibition win over Montevallo on Monday. Henderson, a native of Hurst, Texas, connected on four 3-pointers in the second half, on his way to a game-high five threes. Senior Reginald Buckner added nine points, eight rebounds and three blocks and Nick Williams chipped in eight points and five boards, while sophomore point guard Jarvis Summers had five points and a game-high seven assists. Newcomers Martavious Newby, Anthony Perez and Terry Brutus all played double-digit minutes. Newby, a four-star recruit from Memphis, Tenn., scored five points, while Perez scored seven, going 2-2 from behind the 3-point arc, and Brutus added three points. The Rebels shot 51.9% from the field, while holding the Falcons to 26.5% with nine blocked shots. Troran Brown led the Falcons with 21 points.
Ole Miss has an overall record of 77-25 (.755 winning percentage) in season openers. The Rebels have won their last eight season openers, including last season's 60-38 triumph over Louisiana-Monroe. The last defeat in a season opener was a 74-69 loss to Arkansas State in 2003. Ole Miss has an overall record of 82-13 (.863 winning percentage) in its first home game of the year, and has won 15 of the last 16 home openers.
Mississippi Valley State made its fifth NCAA Tournament appearance last season, falling in the opening round to Western Kentucky. The Delta Devils posted a 21-13 record and a 17-1 mark in SWAC play last year and lost seven players from a team that swept the SWAC regular season and conference tournament titles. First-year head coach Chico Potts takes over the team for Sean Woods, who left for Morehead State, and must replace 98.9-percent of the team's scoring from last year.
The Rebels and Delta Devils are meeting for the fifth time. Ole Miss won matchups in 2006, 2007, 2010 and last year, by an average of 28.6 points. Last year's 80-56 Rebel victory saw five players score in double figures, led by LaDarius White's 16 points and four assists. Reginald Buckner also posted a double-double in the victory with 11 points and 10 boards, while adding a season-high six blocks.
Ole Miss enters the home opener with a perfect 35-0 record against teams that currently comprise the Southwestern Athletic Conference. The Rebels have faced every SWAC school except Texas Southern, while having played Alabama State the most times at seven.
In six seasons under head coach Andy Kennedy, Ole Miss has racked up a 30-6 record in November games, including a 5-1 mark last year.
Winning at home has been a trademark of Andy Kennedy's squads since he took the reins in 2006-07. Ole Miss is 84-18 (.824 win pct.) in games played at Tad Smith Coliseum during Kennedy's tenure, including a 12-3 record last season. Ole Miss has won 215 of its last 265 games (.811 win pct.) in Oxford dating back to the 1995-96 campaign. The Rebels have an all-time record of 448-197 (.695 win pct.) at Tad Smith Coliseum, which opened in 1965-66.
The Rebels boast a 75-21 record (.779 win pct.) against teams outside the SEC since Andy Kennedy took over in 2006-07, including a 51-2 mark at home. The Rebels went 10-4 against non-league teams in the regular season.
Ole Miss was predicted to finish seventh in the SEC in the preseason media poll. The league eliminated the East and West divisions for the 2011-12 season. Kentucky was tabbed league champion, followed by Florida, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama and Ole Miss. Rounding out the predictions were Georgia, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, LSU, Auburn, South Carolina and Mississippi State. Athlon also tabbed Murphy Holloway to the national All-Underrated first team.
With a selection to last year's NIT, Ole Miss earned its fifth postseason berth in six seasons. Andy Kennedy is the first coach in school history to lead the Rebels to five postseason appearances. Ole Miss also made NIT appearances in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011, reaching the Final Four in New York in 2008 and 2010.
The Rebels reached 20 wins last year for the fifth time in the last six seasons under Andy Kennedy. Ole Miss had seven 20-win campaigns in the 96 seasons prior to Kennedy's arrival in Oxford. He is just the sixth coach in SEC history to guide his teams to 20+ wins in five of his first six seasons. The others: Joe. B. Hall (Kentucky), Don DeVoe (Tennessee), Rick Pitino (Kentucky), Tubby Smith (Kentucky) and Bruce Pearl (Tennessee).
With his 125th win vs. Tennessee last season, Andy Kennedy passed future Hall of Famer Billy Donovan and has the sixth-most wins by an SEC head coach in his first six years in the league.
With 20 wins last year, Andy Kennedy has the most overall wins by an Ole Miss head coach in a six-year span (125). With eight league victories last season, his total of 46 is also the most SEC wins over a six-year span. Kennedy already ranks third in Ole Miss career victories behind B.L. "Country" Graham (144 wins in 13 seasons) and Rod Barnes (141 wins in 8 seasons).
Ole Miss boasted a sixth straight winning season in 2011-12. The last time the school had six straight winning campaigns was the 1996-97 to 2001-02 seasons. Andy Kennedy is only the second coach in school history to guide the Rebels to six straight winning seasons. The other was R.L. Sullivan (1920-25).
The court presence of senior F Murphy Holloway was of measurable value for the Rebels last year. The second team All-SEC selection (Blue Ribbon) and All-SEC honorable mention pick (AP) was sorely missed after he sprained his ankle in the second half against Middle Tennessee (Dec. 21). The Rebels went on to drop that contest and two of the next three without him. He returned against Arkansas to score 19 points, grab 14 rebounds and effectively energize his teammates in leading the Rebels to victory. He was particularly effective in the SEC Tournament with a 13-point, 13-rebound effort in the first-round win over Auburn and 14 points and 10 boards in the win over Tennessee. Ole Miss was 19-10 last year when Holloway played the whole game.
Entering his final season at Ole Miss F Murphy Holloway has broken into the school's top 10 for career rebounds. He enters his senior season with 743 boards, which is ninth-most in school history. He needs 12 more to pass Coolidge Ball (754) for eighth place on the Rebels' all-time chart. Holloway become just the second Rebel (Dwayne Curtis - 9.6 in 2007-08) since 1980 to average 9.0 boards per game last season.
Sophomore guards Jarvis Summers and LaDarius White both closed out their freshman campaigns on a roll. Summers averaged 14.5 ppg over his final six games. He scored 16 of his 17 points in the second half to help the Rebels come from behind in a 77-75 road win at Arkansas and scored 17 huge points in the 77-72 overtime win against Tennessee in the SEC Tournament. He posted 16 in the Rebels' NIT game versus Illinois State. White posted 11.8 ppg over his final five contests, including 13 points in the SEC Tournament semifinals against Vanderbilt and a career-high 25 points against Illinois State in the NIT.
Senior F Reginald Buckner became the Rebels' all-time career leader in blocked shots last year. In just 95 games, the Memphis native has now accumulated 228 blocks, which is 6th in SEC history. The school record was previously held by Sean Murphy, who had 180 blocks in 117 games from 1988-91. Buckner's 2.2 average last season ranked fifth among SEC players and 41st in the nation. He now holds the school record for blocks in a career, season and game. He blocked at least one shot in 29 of 31 games last year and 82 of 95 games over his three-year career. His total of 69 blocks last season is the Ole Miss record by a junior and is the second-most in a season in school history. His sophomore season total of 95 is the school record.
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