Terrico White working to improve this summer

Terrico White took a dance class during his first semester of summer school at Ole Miss along with an English class. His size 16 feet were put to some use for something besides basketball.

The 6-foot-5, 209-pounder, one of the newcomers to Ole Miss men's basketball, said the class has helped even with his basketball skills.

"I wanted to improve my defensive foot speed," said White, a Craigmont High School product out of Memphis, Tenn. "My feet are 16s, and I'm only 6-5. So I wanted to work on my foot movement."

It's not all he's worked on this summer. White, who averaged 27.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, five assists, and 3.5 steals a game as a high school senior, said he knows there are other areas of his game he needs to improve upon.

"We've been lifting, doing drills, playing pick-up games in the Tad Pad," he said. "I want to improve everything I do."

White said he hopes to bring quite a bit to this year's lineup as the Rebels have making the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2002 as one of their main goals.

"I hope I can bring some excitement to the team," said White, who scored 22.2 points per game as a junior along with seven rebounds, three assists, and three steals at CHS. "Dunks, shooting skills, hopefully other things, too."

And as with most players transitioning from the prep ranks to Division I hoops, defense is the area where he admittedly has the farthest to go.

"The coaches emphasize that," said White, who ultimately picked Ole Miss over Arkansas. "I know I have to get better in that area. It's not all about shooting."

A three-time Tennessee all-state first-teamer, White was tabbed by Scout.com as a 3 star player when he inked with the Rebels but is now a 4 star and a Top 100 nationally-ranked player for the incoming class.

Dave Telop, Scout.com's national recruiting analyst, had high praise for White, who is ranked as the 17th best shooting guard nationally in the incoming class.

"Out of all of the players Ole Miss is bringing in next year, and there are some very talented ones in Coach Kennedy's class, I really see Terrico White making the biggest impact next year," Telop said. "He has a really smooth jumper, can really take it to the rack, and has the athleticism to create his own shot."

White said picking the Rebels was a fairly easy decision.

"Ole Miss had been recruiting me since 10th grade," he said. "I got to know these coaches and really like them. And it's important that I'm close to home so my family and friends can come see us play."

Returning players at the two-guard are David Huertas and Trevor Gaskins. If White helps out at the point, there also are returnee Chris Warren and fellow frosh Will Bogan.

Playing early and often is a goal. White said he's willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen.

"Work hard and do anything possible to help the team," he said.

That has already included taking a dance class at Ole Miss.

"It was ballet and modern dance," White said. "Maybe that will help."

And maybe those size 16s will get up and down the floor just a little better, he'll improve that defensive foot speed, and will become the all-around player at the D-I level he's projected to be. It appears he has an opportunity to be a special player for Ole Miss.

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