Stepping Up

Everybody, it seems, keeps getting better. Freshman Terrence Henry had his best game yet against Auburn.

The Rebels beat the Tigers in impressive fashion 78-59, and Henry stepped up as he hadn't so far.

One of several talented freshmen thrust into important roles due to injuries of three teammates, the Monroe, La., product had been a bit overshadowed in his class by the recent play of guys like Terrico Holloway and Murphy Holloway. Against Auburn, Henry figured prominently.

The 6-foot-9, 195-pounder, a consensus Top 100 national recruit last year and first-team All-State in Louisiana as a junior and senior, scored a career-high 10 points and pulled down five rebounds. He was 2-for-3 from the floor, good on his only 3-point basket, and was 5-of-6 from the free throw line. He had three assists, a block, and a steal, and had just two turnovers while at times being the guy to bring the ball up the court.

Defensively he has improved, and he has obviously gotten more comfortable at the college level, now 22 games into the 2008-09 season. Andy Kennedy likes the progress the talented freshman has made.

"I thought Terrence Henry had his best game as an Ole Miss Rebel," Kennedy said after the Rebs moved to 13-9 overall and 4-4 in SEC play. "We started him. They start four guards. He had a senior point guard to guard. That's the matchup we had him on, and I thought he did a tremendous job. He was very active. He had five rebounds, but he kept another four or five alive for someone else to get. He helped us vs. their pressure."

Henry said he is pleased to continue to develop and help the team.

"It feels good," he said of his contributions and also the wins the Rebels have had lately. "We're just now finding our identity as a team. We're spreading the floor more, because we're finding more people who can make plays."

Henry said he even likes having the ball in his hands and bringing it upcourt.

"I told Coach (Kennedy) I was going to be the point guard before the season's over with," said Henry, smiling.

It was a moment that proved how confident and more comfortable this team has become as the win streak has grown to three.

"We feel great right now," Henry said. "We've got like a silent confidence, like Coach says. We've won three in a row, and nobody thought we could do that. We're just going to keep on playing and keep competing."

Ole Miss' next opponent is Vanderbilt (13-8, 2-5) in Nashville Saturday, a 12 noon tip on CBS. The Commodores host Alabama today at 6 p.m. on ESPN2.

Kennedy said his team is trying really hard, giving great effort daily, and that is as good a place to start as any, given all they've had to work through.

"We've certainly given ourselves some life," Kennedy said. "I'm just proud our guys are battling. From an effort standpoint, I can't ask for more than they're giving. From an efficiency standpoint, we're still not close to where I hope we can be when it's all said and done."

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