Adding On

Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy knew the type of player(s) he was looking for this spring.

Follow SpiritBen on Twitter

The Rebels were eliminated by Illinois State in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament in March. They finished the year 20-14, falling short (again) in their quest for a berth in the NCAA tournament.

Kennedy, his team void of scorers, was in search of proven point-producers. Mission accomplished.

Ole Miss is set to sign three players Wednesday: South Plains (Texas) College shooting guard Marshall Henderson, Chipola (Fla.) Community College forward Jason Carter and Queen City (N.C.) point guard Derrick Millinghaus.

Henderson, who scored 32 points in leading South Plains to an NJCAA national title and an undefeated, 36-0 season, was named the national JUCO Player of the Year. He made 5 of 12 3-pointers in the title game win and 13 of 13 free throws.

Henderson -- formerly of Utah -- averaged nearly 20 points per game on the year, shooting 43 percent from 3. He shot at a near 90-percent clip from the free throw line.

"Just excited to go to Ole Miss," Henderson said. "I talked to Coach Kennedy, and I was just kind of reviewing what they had there. I was able to watch them play here at the end of the season and in the SEC tournament. I know they've got the whole team coming back except for one player. They just missed the (NCAA) tournament; I really wish they'd made it.

"I know they've got everybody coming back, and I feel like the thing they could really use some help on is a shooter. It felt like a real good situation for me. Coach Kennedy, he was the one saying I should be there. From my understanding, they kicked some guys off the team. They needed a two-guard. After watching them play, it felt like the right place to go."

Jason Carter
Associated Press

Carter transferred to Chipola from Alabama. He played one season for head coach Jake Headrick, leading his team to a 19-1 overall record before a torn meniscus ended his season. He was averaging 15 points and eight rebounds per game.

Headrick said Carter could have played the final few games of the season. He opted to hold Carter out instead.

"We just didn't want to stick him out there," Headrick said. "He's got a bright future. We wanted him to try to get healthy, 100 percent. Obviously him playing one or two games towards the end of the year wasn't going to do us much good."

In his only season at Alabama, the 6-foot-8, 235-pound Carter appeared in 16 games, scoring 1.4 points per game. He appeared in just three conference games, playing one minute apiece against Mississippi State, LSU and Kentucky in the Southeastern Conference tournament.

Headrick described Carter as "a true face-up forward that can step out and really shoot the 3." Carter shot 40 percent from 3 on the year.

"The thing he does best is shoot the basketball," Headrick said. "Him coming here for a year and being at Alabama, it's probably made him a better player. I think he's going to help Ole Miss. He's going to be a post player that can really step out and extend the defense with how well he shoots it. He's an athletic guy, too. He's going to give them offense that they don't have right now."

Millinghaus, a 5-foot-10 point guard, averaged 28 points per game at Queen City Prep. He shot 43 percent from 3. He originally signed with St. Bonaventure. Along with Ole Miss, Miami (Fla.), Wake Forest, Georgia and Cincinnati all showed interest in signing him.

"He's very aggressive and he's super athletic, as well, for a smaller guy," Queen City Prep head coach Tyson Waterman said. "The thing about him is his will to win. He has a tremendous passion for winning. I just think that he's going to be great for Mississippi. I know that Coach Andy really loves him, and I think that he's going to be a great fit for them for the next few years of his career."

"I feel good. I feel that all my work is paying off now and just that it's another step to show the world what type of player I am and what Ole Miss basketball is all about," Millinghaus said.

Sources indicated Tuesday Ole Miss is aiming to sign a fourth player this spring and is in good position for Spring Valley, N.Y., forward Terry Brutus, who will visit campus starting Thursday. A commitment could be forthcoming.

A face-up four, Brutus can play the three. He's a good rebounder, according to sources, and a year spent at Massanutten Military Academy this season apparently served him well. He added around 30 pounds of muscle. He was short of his core classes in high school, hence the stop at Massanutten.

He has drawn comparisons to Marquette forward Jae Crowder. The 6-foot-6 Brutus has four years to play four. Drake, West Virginia, George Washington and Charlotte are among the schools to show interest.

Ole Miss signed two players in the fall in guards Martavious Newby and Anthony Cortesia.

OM Spirit Top Stories