Henry preparing for big first season

The No. 1 question since Ole Miss was eliminated from the NIT in NYC last year was who will step in and replace the three big men? Freshman Terrance Henry is an obvious candidate.

Actually just plugging in three more centers/forwards to replace Dwayne Curtis, Kenny Williams, and Jermey Parnell hasn't been the thought process. There was a method to what hasn't been madness but a planned creation of a more versatile front line.

Henry brings much to the table. He's tall at 6-foot-9. He wants to add some weight, which he has since he's been here, from roughly 184 to 192. At first glance it's obvious he can add more and continue to be athletic and mobile.

Curtis, Williams, and Parnell were cut out of the same cloth, at least for the most part – big, strong, not great jumpers, didn't play above the rim. Now there is variety and versatility among the Rebel big men. Kevin Cantinol and DeAundre Cranston are built more like the three departed big men, and Henry and freshman Murphy Holloway join Malcolm White as players with a little different makeup than those already mentioned.

It's what Andy Kennedy has wanted. It's how he feels his team can win more games.

The personable Henry says he's ready to step in and step up. He knows the philosophy of the program is to score more points and to be able to run the court better, both from an offensive and defensive standpoint.

"He wants us to be a running team," Henry said of Kennedy's goal. "He wants us up and down the court. We've been trying to get ready for that."

Henry, from Monroe, La., said he can tell the season is getting closer and that official practice has begun.

"We've picked it up," said the consensus top 100 national recruit from last season, among the nation's top 75 overall according to Scout.com as well as a top 20 power forward by Scout.com. "We got to work for a while as a team before official practice started, so we got the concept of practice. Things have been going well. We're going even harder now."

Henry, runnerup for Mr. Basketball in Louisiana last year, had colleges from Kentucky to Kansas and instate LSU coveting him. He has the potential to truly become a complete player. He has leaping ability and can step out and drain a three. He's good in transition and can run the floor.

And while the potential is there for being effective offensively from the outside, he says he's been spending more time in the paint than anywhere else.

"I really haven't been working with the guards lately," said Henry, who averaged 25 points, 12 rebounds, and five blocks as a senior last season. "I work with the post players all the time now. At the beginning of the year I did some, but now I'm just with the post players."

Henry watched the Rebels from afar last season. He likes what he sees from this Rebel team.

"I feel like we're more athletic than last year. We're not as big as they were last year, but we can run the floor and we can play extended defenses with the players we have now, like full-court presses and things like that."

Defense, as is normally the case for freshmen, is stressed even more than he thought it would be, Henry said.

"A lot more," said Henry, who turned 19 last Saturday. "It's like the help-side defense is way different than high school. I've had to get adjusted to it. I was used to doing it like we did in high school. It's a whole different way now."

Henry said he believes he brings things to the team that can help the Rebs win now.

"Just being versatile and being able to do more than one thing well, not just being one-dimensional," he said. "I can shoot the ball from the outside, push the ball up the floor and make a play, play defense, guard multiple positions."

He said there is an adjustment to being in college.

"I feel I've adjusted pretty well. I was not used to it all, like time management and all the things we have to do. But I feel I've gotten used to it pretty quick."

He already has his No. 1 objective for the year.

"I set a goal to be SEC Newcomer of the Year. I'm playing for the team and also that goal."

A team he knows can win.

"Coach (Kennedy) always says he feels we have 12 players who can play in the SEC. He talks about how the team led the SEC in rebounding the past few years. With that many players, we can keep fresh players on the floor. Anybody can come in and step in and have a good game any day."

Terrance Henry is likely to have quite a few of those this year and into the future as an Ole Miss Rebel.

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