White finished the blowout win with 14 minutes played and six points, but it was his first-half numbers that generated conversation along press row.
The 6-9 freshman from Genesis One Christian School produced a very active line: six minutes, six points, six rebounds, three fouls. White definitely made things happen.
"If you have noticed, I am trying to get him in the game and let him have that much-needed experience because he is going to be someone that not only helps us in the future but also helps us win games this year," Coach Andy Kennedy said.
White, who was heralded as one of the top signees in Ole Miss' recent history and the crown jewel of last year's class that featured a trio of backcourt standouts, already displays the skills necessary to score and defend. The physical gifts aren't the problem. It is a mixture of learning the speed of the game and also opportunity – considering three seniors that play in the paint are on the roster.
"Malcolm is going to be a tremendous player," Kennedy said. "Right now, he is in a situation of being the fourth post player behind three seniors that are bigger, stronger and more experienced. They have a better understanding of what is going on.
"He has a good touch around the basket and is a long, athletic kid. He'll get a lot stronger and has gained 12-15 pounds already. He has all the attributes. It is just about getting adjusted to the speed."
White's time in the weight room and on the court surrounded by experience looks to pay dividends later this season and especially in the future when he will be the marquee post player for Ole Miss. He may be averaging only five minutes per outing, but he is also soaking up a combined ten years of SEC knowledge from Kenny Williams, Jermey Parnell and Dwayne Curtis.
"I have already seen a change in his approach at practice just by being around those seniors that have been tremendous in their consistent approach to the game day in and day out," Kennedy added. "Hopefully, now that he sees the effort and intensity needed to play with, he will carry that around with him everyday."
Watson all about winning
Terrance Watson has emerged as a true team guy. And why not? He has been on some pretty good teams.
The Detroit, Mich., native is experiencing success with Ole Miss in his first season, but the Rebels' hot start is simply a continuation for Watson. Last season, he earned All-America honors after leading Mott Community College in Flint, Mich., to the NJCAA Division II national championship.
Without knowing Watson, the easy thought is that he is frustrated with limited minutes as a junior transfer. However, that thought would be wrong.
It hasn't been difficult," Watson said. "I will take anything. As you see from my background, I am a winner, so I will take anything to win whether it is less minutes, more minutes or whatever."
Also like White, Watson is situated behind the senior frontcourt and must make the most of limited chances at the present.
"We have seniors, and this is my role right now. I come in and bring energy. Anything I can do is fine. We need to win these next couple and maybe be in the top 10."
Watson is a shorter post player at 6-5, but a gargantuan wingspan of more than seven feet allows him to match up well defensively with teams' threes and fours. His most notable moment came against South Alabama when Watson tipped the in-bounds pass and stole the ball, allowing the clock to run out to preserve a three-point Rebel victory.
He has been slowed this season by an ankle injury that is still not 100 percent.
"The ankle has been really sore. After practice, sometimes it swells up, but I will be all right."
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