By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – While the Rebels played without their top reserve, Jelan Kendrick, there came a time when the status of junior guard Nick Williams was in doubt.
Williams, averaging 10.3 points and 3.4 rebounds, pulled himself out of the game in the first half with what Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy called a “slight shoulder separation.”
Williams played 14 minutes in the half, 32 in the game. He finished with nine points on 3-for-10 shooting. He also had four rebounds and two assists.
“It affected him with range of motion, but he got out there and battled, and other guys were able to take up the slack,” Kennedy said.
Williams had 19 points – his SEC-high – when the Rebels lost 69-67 in double overtime at Alabama earlier this season.
White maintains focus
Freshman LaDarius White said he did not get down on himself when his playing time began to decrease.
Strong and athletic at 6-foot-5, there were high expectations for White, rated a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, coming out of South Pike High School.
He did not become eligible until the close of the fall semester, and after a time of Kennedy working him into the playing rotation, his chances were fewer. In four SEC games he did not play at all, and in four others he played six minutes or less.
“I could easily have gotten off track, but I stayed focused and worked hard. I knew my time would come,” he said.
White’s 17 minutes against Alabama were his most since playing 19 at LSU and 18 at home against Arkansas in the first two conference games of the season.
His 10 points were an SEC high and his most since getting 16 in his debut against Mississippi Valley State on Dec. 10.
“Snoop really stepped up, and in the first half when they zone us, he was very aggressive with the basketball,” Kennedy said.
Rebels finish 8-8 in SEC
The Rebels finish 8-8 in the SEC regular season, the third time in Kennedy’s six seasons they’ve been at .500 or better in conference play.
Kennedy is 46-50 in SEC regular season games.
The three-game win streak for Ole Miss includes wins over LSU and Arkansas and is the Rebels’ longest SEC win streak of the season. Prior to the streak, the Rebels dropped three straight with losses at home to Vanderbilt and Kentucky and at Tennessee.