By Parrish Alford | NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Ole Miss forward Murphy Holloway said it wasn’t too hard to shake off the emotions and get ready to play against South Carolina.
For Holloway, a native of Irmo, S.C., it wasn’t just playing against the home-state school. The relationship is different since he transferred to South Carolina for family reasons following the 2010 season, only to transfer back following the 2011 season when he said his family situation had improved.
South Carolina coach Darrin Horn gave his blessing to Horn’s return transfer.
“He’s a terrific player. He did tonight what he’s done almost every night, put up a double-double, played some really good defense, a couple of steals and some good finishes,” Horn said.
Horn says he doesn’t spend time wondering if his team would be better than 1-5 in the SEC had Holloway remained.
“Absolutely not. We’re really happy that he’s happy, and we love the guys that we have.”
Holloway had 14 points and 11 rebounds, his seventh double-double. He’d had just one offensive rebound in the previous three games but had four against the Gamecocks.
He was only 6-for-13 from the free throw line but also had four assists and three steals.
“I have a knack for the ball, so this was my kind of game, getting loose balls and getting rebounds,” he said.
He didn’t gloat and remembered friendships with several South Carolina players, specifically Malik Cooke and Bruce Ellington.
“It wasn’t too emotional,” he said. “I’m just glad we won. We needed that one.”
Big minutes for Kendrick
When Ole Miss point Jarvis Summers picked up his second foul early in the first half, backup Jelan Kendrick turned in a productive 23 minutes.
Kendrick had season-high 11 points on 5-for-9 shooting, but also had four turnovers to only one assist.
“It was Jelan’s best minutes of the year. His turnover ratio is a little high for a point guard,” Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said. “Jarvis is settling in to being more solid in his decision-making. We’ve just got to get that other guy to stop trying to dribble through the whole team.”
The week ahead
The Rebels don’t play again until Saturday at Alabama. Kennedy said he’ll use the time to try and rest his players’ legs.
As the rotation has tightened, starters are getting heavy minutes. Kendrick with 23 minutes and DeMarco Cox with 13 were the reserves used most against South Carolina. LaDarius White played four mintues, Maurice Aniefiok two.
“We’ll take a little time and regroup. We have an opportunity to tweak some things, our last opportunity to reall tweak the mechanics of what we’re doing,” Kennedy said. “We’ll shoot a bunch of free throws and get bodies rested for the stretch run.”