Freshman Terrico White is a man of few words.
Usually when speaking to the media, he often takes time to gather his thoughts, as to carefully clarify his ideas in the most conservative of ways.
But the minute Terrico laces up his gym shoes, the persona changes. The man becomes a terror for opposing defenses, displaying the type of athleticism not seen in Oxford for quite some time.
I guess actions speak louder than words.
"He's a big-time player," head coach Andy Kennedy said. "He steps up and makes hard shots. He has the ability. He's growing each and every day."
White isn't a natural point guard. Actually, until this season, he's rarely played the position at all. But after three veteran guards fell victim to knee injuries, Terrico was catapulted into a new role.
With 18 points and five rebounds in 36 minutes against Mississippi State, it appears that experiment is paying off.
"He's becoming much more comfortable with the role we've had to put him in," Kennedy explained. "He's growing each and every day."
Terrico also senses his play improving with each passing game.
"Running the point is becoming easier for me," he said. "Coming off those screens, I can either shoot it or take my time instead of rushing. The confidence in my shot is coming back."
Some outsiders might be surprised by the success White's experienced in limited SEC action, but Kennedy isn't.
In fact, the Rebel leader spotted him early on in the recruiting process and immediately identified White as a top priority.
"When I first got the job, I saw this kid as a rising junior and he was No. 1 on our list from day one," he said. "Owen Miller and my staff did a tremendous job recruiting him and showing him the vision we had for him, so none of this is surprising."
With reported offers from Ole Miss, Arkansas and Middle Tennessee, Terrico certainly had a nice list of suitors. However, no coach recruited the high-flyer better than Kennedy.
Even when Memphis made a late charge for his services, White spurned their advances in favor of Red and Blue. His relationship with the Rebel coaching staff was all it took to gain the blue chipper's signature.
"Coach Kennedy saw me while I was playing for (former Memphis Grizzlies and current Minnesota Timberwolves guard) Mike Miller's AAU team as a junior," said White. "He really recruited me the hardest. That day, he told me they would have a scholarship waiting on me my senior year."
The rest is history.
Now Terrico sits as one of the top freshman in the conference. He has easily become one of the most valuable members on the Ole Miss roster and is consistently asked to trigger the Rebels offensively.
Against the Bulldogs, White made tough shot after tough shot in some of the more pressure-filled moments of Saturday's game.
But Terrico is one cool cat.
"We had to come out and play good," White said of the Rebels' victory over MSU. "Coach Kennedy told us we hadn't won here since 1998. We knew we had to come out like silent assassins."
I couldn't have put it better myself.
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