Transitioning Perez?

When Anthony Perez put up 22 on South Carolina he posted a career-high, and it wasn’t just barely.

Perez’ previous career scoring best was 14 points against Mississippi Valley State earlier this season. That was right after scoring 10 at Coastal Carolina. Those two games are the only time Perez has reached double-figures for his career, which now spans 46 games over a year and a half.

His SEC scoring high had been seven points set at Missouri last year.


Scoring looks like a natural trait for a 6-foot-9 guy who plays on the perimeter and moves with the ball the way Perez does.

He appears to be pressing less than he did as a freshman when he shot 33.3 percent from the floor, 23.1 percent from 3-point range.

Through 16 games this season Perez is shooting 36.9 percent from the floor, not great, but he’s up to 35.3 percent from 3, third on the team among players with more than three attempts.

Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy says he doesn’t need Perez to focus on scoring.

“A lot of guys, especially when they’re young, they think the way to stay on the floor is to make shots. That’s not his role with this team. He made some the other night, and thank goodness he did. I thought he was much more efficient. He doesn’t need to go out and hunt shots.”

Perez doesn’t need to “hunt shots,” because Marshall Henderson and Jarvis Summers will and should.

Perez, though, needs to score within the flow of the offense. If he becomes more consistent, Henderson and Summers will have successful hunting more often.

The other part of the Perez question is this: If he’s not scoring his contributions are minimal, particularly if he’s asked to bang with other bigs at the 4. The effort is there, but he’s had five or more rebounds only three times this year. Blocked shots and steals aren’t his game.

From the day he arrived on campus he’s been aggressive with the ball. He hit some shots early at South Carolina and got on a roll.

Maybe he becomes that third scorer. Right now, Kennedy is glad to have the committee approach.

“That is truly the essence of a team. At this stage of the season and getting contributions from a number of different guys is where I’m most encouraged.”


Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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  • UMBBFan

    I seem to remember that AP tried to play aggressively against South Carolina (and a fellow Venezuelan) last year. Maybe the he will continue to rebound and play defense, however I doubt it. I think we will see more good games from Saiz than Perez. It makes me wonder how good we could be if they both had good games, AJ rebounded and blocked shots, Snoop hit some threes, Marshall had his regular game and both point guards played average. This is something that we should see regularly. maybe it will happen tonight, I think we will need it to win.

    • Killer_Beeze

      You just imagined the perfect game: an unstoppable Ole Miss team. That would be a game I’d gladly pay to watch. 🙂

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