By Parrish Alford
OXFORD – Ole Miss basketball coach Andy Kennedy jokingly calls the experienced Jarvis Summers his “old man” point guard because of the crucial minutes he’s put in as a three-year starter.
Now Kennedy may choose to ride Summers’ rickety bones as long as he can.
The Rebels played without suspended guard Derrick Millinghaus – Summers’ backup – in their 79-67 win over Alabama Wednesday.
Summers made the scoring impact that’s come to be expected of him, though his shooting percentage was a little off. He was 5-for-15 from the floor, 1-for-6 from 3-point range, and 9-for-10 from the free throw line.
Minus Millinghaus, LaDarius White is the backup point guard, but Kennedy seemed reluctant to use that option.
“We were going to play Snoop (White) some at the Backup 1,” Kennedy said. “We didn’t have to get to that situation simply because Jarvis was able to play heavy minutes.”
Summers had 20 points against Alabama, his third-straight game with at least 20.
He also had five assists with only one turnover and was in fact able to stay out of foul trouble.
He also played 38 minutes, almost 10 minutes more than his average of 29.9.
He’s aware of how his role changes with Millinghaus out and admits to trying to save his legs at points during a game.
“I just kind of save it like on offense, tell somebody else to make plays or put someone else in a situation to make plays. That’s basically it,” Summers said.
Summers’ scoring resurgence has come in three straight home games. In the three previous road games he’s 10-for-34 from the floor.
The road is where the Rebels are for two of their three remaining games beginning Saturday night at Texas A&M.
“You want to play your best players, and if you look at what Alabama did, what A&M does, Arkansas does, they typically play their best players down the stretch,” Kennedy said. “Jarvis just has to stay out of foul trouble. He’s got to play heavy minutes.”