Kennedy seeks balanced scoring as Rebels visit Vols

KENNEDY

KENNEDY

By Parrish Alford

Daily Journal

Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy says scoring support for his two best players has to come by committee if the Rebels are to continue their road success.

Ole Miss and No. 3 Florida share the SEC lead with four road wins. For Ole Miss, two of those have come amid a four-game win streak that has the Rebels (14-5, 5-1 SEC) a game behind the league-leading Gators.

Ole Miss will go for its third conference road win tonight at Tennessee.

With a 7 p.m. tip at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tenn., it’s a game with resume-building potential for the Rebels, as the Vols (12-7, 3-3 SEC) sport an RPI ranking of 53.

Marshall Henderson lit up the Vols with 32 points at Thompson-Boling last year as the Rebels won in Knoxville for the first time in 22 years.

Henderson and Jarvis Summers are averaging almost 37 combined points for Ole Miss.

The scoring was as balanced as it’s been this season last Saturday in the Rebels’ 82-63 win over Mississippi State. Ole Miss was just single baskets from Aaron Jones and Anthony Perez from having five players in double-figures.

“We’ve got to get contributions from a number of different guys. We’re getting those from Anthony Perez, who has put together the best three-game run of his early career,” Kennedy said. “We’ve got to get Snoop (LaDarius White), and we’ve got to get Derrick (Millinghaus).”

Since scoring a career-high 22 at South Carolina, Perez has shot 59 percent over the three-game span.

White has posted back-to-back 11-point games.

Ole Miss will need committee work from its defense too. Sophomore guard Martavious Newby, who Kennedy calls his best on-ball defender, is out indefinitely after sustaining a broken hand against the Bulldogs.

Newby was giving the Rebels an energetic 13.3 minutes a game.

“He can’t be replaced. We as a team are going to have to buckle down on the defensive end and make stops,” White said.

Newby will miss this week and will then be reevaluated.

White expects to draw high-scoring Vols guard Jordan McRae, a 6-foot-5 slasher from the wing.

But Tennessee has become one of the league’s better rebounding teams with the return of Jeronne Maymon, who missed the 2012-2013 season with injury.

The Vols are plus-8.9 in rebound margin, second among league teams only to Kentucky and well ahead of the Rebels pace of minus-1.4.

“It’s a little different matchup for us at it relates to the physicality they’re going to present up front,” Kennedy said, “and then when you throw Jordan McRae in there … He’s probably as explosive a scorer from the wing that there is in our league.”

parrish.alford@journalInc.com