• TheDMonline.com Staff Member?
  • Log In
Share |

Newcomers hoping to make a difference

There are some high expectations for this year's Ole Miss basketball team with a lot of veteran leadership. However, six newcomers are expected to push the Rebels to the next level.

Ole Miss basketball will have six new faces this season who will try to help the Rebels reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2002. 
“I think the six guys have integrated into what we’re trying to accomplish about as smoothly as possible,” head coach Andy Kennedy said on Tuesday.  
Two junior college transfers and four freshmen will look to make an impact on this year’s team. Marshall Henderson, the JUCO Division 1 Player of the Year, brings outside shooting to the team that senior guard Nick Williams thinks will be instrumental to the team’s success.
“Marshall coming in, he’s probably going to be one of the top shooters in the country,” Williams said. 
Outside shooting was a weakness for last year’s team. The Rebels made the fewest 3-pointers in the Southeastern Conference last year, totaling 62 in 16 conference games. 
Henderson led South Plains College to an undefeated season and a national championship. He scored just under 20 points per game and shot 41 percent from 3-point range. 
Another player expected to have a big impact is Anthony Perez, a native of Venezuela. Perez was the only player not to practice with the team during the summer because he was playing with the Venezuelan national team.
Perez is 6-foot-9 and weighs 205 pounds, but Kennedy has no plans to play him in the post. 
“A lot of people characterized him as a (forward). He is not a 4. He is a straight wing,” Kennedy said. “He doesn’t know this yet, but he would be our third point guard.”
Kennedy also added a point guard to back up sophomore Jarvis Summers in freshman Derrick Millinghaus. 
“You bring in a Derrick Millinghaus, who is the polar opposite — he’s 5-foot-10. He’s a jet,” Kennedy said. “He brings a speed and athleticism to the position that I think is going to be a great complement to Jarvis (Summers).”
Freshman guard Martavious Newby will also look to get some time at the wing position. Newby, a Memphis native, was rated as a top-100 prospect out of high school by Rivals.com. He averaged more than 23 points per game as a senior at Booker T. Washington High School, but he will bring more to the team than just offense. Nick Williams said he is “a dog on defense."
Also joining the team are forwards Jason Carter and Terry Brutus. Carter, for whom two years of eligibility remain, transferred to Ole Miss from Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Fla. Brutus, a freshman from Spring Valley, N.Y., will add some bulk to the front line, as he weighs 240 pounds. 
Kennedy has been pleased with his young players in the first week of practice.
“Our four freshmen have been outstanding, not only following the lead of our upperclassmen but also taking some initiative,” Kennedy said. 
For continuing coverage of Ole Miss basketball, follow @thedm_sports and @Tyler_RSR on Twitter.