Focus Elsewhere

Sometimes, life can happen suddenly. So suddenly, in fact, it changes everything. But for junior forward Terrance Henry, life can't happen soon enough.

Henry is expecting the birth of his son any minute. The due date was Tuesday. Henry, already a dad to a 2-year-old daughter, has been restless this week.

"I'm trying to talk to him in spirit and let him go on and come out now so I won't have to miss this game Saturday," Henry said, laughing.

Henry, should his son be born today or Saturday, would have a tough decision to make.

Terrance Henry

Ole Miss (13-7, 1-4 SEC) hosts Tennessee (13-7, 3-2) Saturday at 3 p.m., the first of an important two-game stretch for the Rebels.

Henry has become something of a sparkplug for the team. He averages nine points per game and just over six rebounds.

He had his first career double-double in a 27-point win at LSU, collecting 13 points and 10 rebounds.

"We've been anticipating this," head coach Andy Kennedy said.

"I'm just basically waiting for him to tell me, ‘Hey, it's go time.' Terrance has handled it like you would hope an upperclassman would -- very mature."

Henry would rather not think about the tough decision he might well have to make in the next day or so.

He wants to be there when his son is born in his hometown of Monroe, La. But he also understands the importance of this week. "Maybe the most important week of our whole season," he said. After Tennessee, Ole Miss welcomes yet another SEC East heavyweight in Kentucky.

"We feel like we get these two wins we'll be right back in it as far as being West champs and in the running for SEC champs and even a tournament bid," Henry said. "But if we split these, we're still not out of it. We still have a lot more games to play."

Williams builds confidence at LSU:

Prior to the win at LSU, Nick Williams had struggled in SEC play.

Williams, a sophomore guard, had yet to score double-digit points against a conference opponent. His highest point total came at Florida, when Williams had a grand total of seven points. Williams averaged 3.0 points per game during those other three losses.

Andy Kennedy

He was Ole Miss' third-leading scorer at LSU with 14 points. He missed his first field-goal try to start the game, but was a perfect 5 for 5 the rest of the way. Williams also had four rebounds.

"He's an energy guy. He's a guy that's verbal. And when you're not playing well, it's hard for you to continue to be that guy," Kennedy said. "He hasn't shot the ball well in SEC play, and he's acknowledged that. He's worked real hard.

"Nick was tremendous (against LSU)."

Hosting Tennessee:

Tennessee heads to Oxford fresh of its own blowout win over LSU. The Volunteers are tied for second place in the SEC East.

"Many times in life, all you can ask for is opportunity, and we've got it," Kennedy said. "Forget about the five games that we've played. Let's try to learn from them. We've used this week to focus on those areas we can get better. Ultimately, now, it's an 11 game season. It starts with a great opportunity Saturday."

The Volunteers average 73.2 points per game. Two players average in double figure points, led by Scotty Hopson's 16.5 average. Tobias Harris adds 15.1 ppg and 7.5 rebounds per game.

"Possibly the most talented team in our league, or certainly one of the most," Kennedy said. "I've been surprised with how consistent they have played. They're four or five points away from being 5-0 right now. I think they've grown as a team as a result."

Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl will not be on the Volunteers' bench Saturday. Pearl is in the midst of an eight-game suspension from conference games -- a punishment levied upon him after Pearl lied to NCAA investigators over the summer.

Associate head coach Tony Jones, as he has through five conference games, will serve in his place.

"Schematically, they're doing the same things," Kennedy said. "It's the same Tennessee. They're going to be hard-nosed defensively. They're probably the most physical team that we've played, and their talent's unquestioned."

"As everybody knows, their coach is out right now," Henry said. "He's not going to be coaching here. It's going to be tough for them, but they play hard. They're a very good team. We're going to have to match their energy and execute to beat them."

OM Spirit Top Stories