From the mother ship this morning, Ranked Rebels
It wasn’t that long ago, the beginning of SEC play in fact, that Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said he needed someone to “take the reigns” at point guard.
With the improvement of freshman Derrick Millinghaus there seemed to be some question as to exactly who that would be, even though Kennedy’s “old man” at the point, sophomore Jarvis Summers, was a critical part of the Rebels’ success last year and seemed to have won the position.
Summers is careful and methodical. Millinghaus has a high motor that’s running all the time, a pace Kennedy prefers.
As the Rebels head into Thursday’s Tennessee rematch at 4-0 in the league, it’s Summers who has taken the step forward.
He’s not the best in the SEC in assists nor in turnovers. He just has a knack for doing what his team needs.
Summers showed that ability at times last year as a true freshman. Since conference play began he’s taken on more of a scoring role. Neither he nor Andy Kennedy will say that Summers needed to be more assertive on offense. The code speak has always been that Jarvis “needs to be himself.”
In SEC play, though, Summers has been quicker to take the ball into the lane. He’s finishing at the rim — sometimes with the pull-up jumper — or getting to the free throw line. In four SEC games Summers is averaging 14 points and is shooting 47.2 percent from the floor (17-for-36). He’s 22-for-25 from the free throw line.
Summers was instrumental in keeping the Ole Miss lead at the eight to 10 mark for most of the second half in Knoxville as he scored the Rebels’ first nine points of the last 20 minutes.
Against Arkansas he was 6-for-11 from the floor.
Millinghaus will continue to improve and has in fact reduced his turnovers from what they were early in the season. It was clear against Arkansas’ in-your-face defense, though, that Kennedy was more comfortable with Summers in that situation.