2008 Mississippi Rebels Basketball Preview
In the last two seasons, the Rebels of Ole Miss (24-11 overall, 7-9 SEC) have gone to the NIT. The prior three years, this team did not make it to the post-season. Entering his third year, head coach Andy Kennedy looks to be on track to get the Rebels back to the NCAA Tournament.
The frontcourt will be the purview of freshmen forwards Terrance Henry and Murphy Holloway. Henry is the best of the best and ably plays both ends of the court while Holloway is a tough, hands-on player who can finish off shots with aplomb. Henry is a capable defender and Holloway looks to be a scorer. Redshirted freshman Kevin Cantinol and junior college transfer DeAundre Cranston will provide support upfront. Sophomore forward Malcolm White (6.7 MPG, 2.2 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 0.0 APG, 46.9 FG%, 73.3 FG%) is an athletic player who has the potential to dominate above the rim.
Sophomore Chris Warren (31.9 MPG, 15.8 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 4.5 APG, 39.6 FG%, 80.2 FT%) offers points and solid free throw skills. Junior guard David Huertas (26.0 MPG, 10.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.9 APG, 38.2 FG%, 78.6 FT%), who transferred from Florida, will need to show more consistency and power. Junior Eniel Polynice (29.6 MPG, 10.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.1 APG, 44.6 FG%, 50.5 FT%) can penetrate and can also hit the 15-foot jump shot. Sophomore Zach Graham (13.9 MPG, 5.9 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 0.7APG, 46.4 FG%, 66.2 FT%), who is six-foot-five and 220 pounds, offers mismatch opportunities and athleticism. He can control the boards. Freshman guard Will Bogan has a sound three-point shot.
Last year, this team placed third in their division and went to
the NIT. They defeated three teams before losing to Ohio State 81-69
in the semifinals. This season, fans should expect more of the same.
The frontcourt has talent but lacks experience and depth. The 2008-2009
season will be one of ups and downs. There’s certainly depth
in the backcourt and that should help. Ole Miss is a fine team that
looks to get back to the NCAA Tournament this year.