New In Class
Ole Miss showcased its five newcomers Friday night against Delta State.
They didn’t disappoint.
Led by junior college transfers Roderick Lawrence and Stefan Moody, the Rebels coasted, 97-58, in the unofficial tipoff of the 2014-15 season. The pair finished with 14 points apiece, while one-year graduate transfers Terence Smith, a guard, and M.J. Rhett, a forward, had 10 points and six points, respectively. Rhett added three rebounds.
“Mission accomplished,” head coach Andy Kennedy, entering his ninth season leading the Rebels, said. “Dress rehearsal. Got a lot of guys a lot of minutes.”
“They’re working real hard,” senior guard Jarvis Summers, who CBSSports.com named its preseason SEC Player of the Year, said. “They showed me a lot. They’ve still got a lot to work on. We just got to get in that gym and put the work in.”
Moody, formerly of Florida Atlantic, also recorded two steals, one of which was capped by a dunk that brought the fans in attendance to their feet and his teammates on the bench halfway down the scorer’s table.
One of those kind of nights.
“Rod Lawrence had 14 points in 14 minutes. Pretty efficient,” Kennedy said. “I’m trying to play a lot of guys. There’s not a big separation (between the first and second units.)
“My expectation for this group is very high as it relates to attention to detail. I thought we saw some of that tonight.”
Not to be forgotten, a pair of familiar faces led the way in points and rebounds.
Summers, who made the start despite having dealt with a high-ankle sprain for the last three weeks, had 16 points. Sebastian Saiz recorded 11 rebounds – six defensive and five offensive.
“He’s only been back full speed for about a week,” Kennedy said of Summers. “I thought he played better; starting to get a little pop back.”
“I don’t even feel the pain,” Summers said.
Ole Miss hosts Charleston Southern for its season opener a week from today at 6 p.m.
Random notes: Senior forward Aaron Jones was suspended for the game for a violation of team rules. He'll miss at least two more games. ... Dwight Coleby, who had seven points and three rebounds, left the game early in the second half with a twisted ankle. Kennedy wasn’t sure of severity when addressing the injury postgame. “Hopefully it’s not too extreme.” ... Ole Miss made 39 of 74 shots, good for 54 percent. The Rebels were 9 of 22 from 3 and 10 of 20 from the free throw line. ... Ole Miss had 20 assists off of 39 made field goals.
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