Welcome to The Sports Bank’s fourth annual college basketball season preview series where we break 111 teams in the 111 days leading up to the opening tip-off of the 2013-2014 season. We will rank the 84 power conference teams (including the new Big East and American Athletic Conferences) and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order. We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.
Led by the controversial Marshall Henderson, the Ole Miss Rebels finished with their best season in more than a decade. If Henderson can stay out of trouble and on the floor, the Rebs should be in contention for another berth to the NCAA Tournament.
OLE MISS REBELS
Last Season: T-2nd, 12-6 in SEC, 26-9 overall
Predicted SEC Finish: 5th
Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Demarco Cox (Sr)/Dwight Coleby (Fr)
PF: Aaron Jones (Sr)/Terry Brutus (So)/Sebastian Saiz (Fr)
G/F: Ladarius White (Jr)/Anthony Perez (So)/Janari Joesaar (Fr)
SG: Marshall Henderson (Sr)/Martavious Newby (So)
PG: Jarvis Summers (Jr)/Derek Millinghaus (So)/Jerron Martin (Fr)
Gone: PF-Murphy Holloway, C-Reginald Buckner, G/F-Nick Williams
This summer, the oft-troubled Henderson was suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules. He is practicing with the team and expected to play this season which is great news for the Rebels. Henderson is clearly a dynamic scorer who can light up the scoreboard in a hurry with his limitless range from the outside and is the spark plug for Andy Kennedy.
Starting point guard Jarvis Summers and last year’s sixth man Ladarius White figure to start in the backcourt alongside Henderson. After a terrific freshman year, Summers took a bit of a step back last season partially due to his struggles shooting the ball and partially because of Henderson’s presence on the floor. White provides Ole Miss with a big, physical wing who brings needed versatility on the defensive end as well since Nick Williams has graduated.
Derek Millinghaus was a key reserve as a freshman and will resume that role as the first guard off the bench. Martavious Newby and Anthony Perez saw minimal playing time a year ago and figure to be pushed by newcomers Jerron Martin and Janari Joesaar.
Ole Miss will have a new look in the frontcourt since starters Murphy Holloway and Reginald Buckner are gone. Aaron Jones was the primary reserve until he suffered a season-ending ACL injury. He is expected to be back to full strength for the start of season and Kennedy will need him to be 100% and become more of a focal point down low.
The Rebels also get Demarco Cox back after he missed most of last season due to a foot injury. He brings his wide body and physicality down low but is limited as an offensive threat. Role player Terry Brutus should be the first forward off the bench but freshmen Sebastian Saiz and Dwight Coleby will try to crack the rotation as well.
A lot of this season depends on Henderson. If he can cut back on his boisterous shenanigans on and off the court, Ole Miss should be a borderline tourney team. Without Henderson, the Rebels figure to move back into the middle of the pack in the SEC.
Player to Watch: Marshall Henderson
From his on-the-court antics to his capability of going off at the snap of a finger; Henderson might be the most polarizing player in college basketball. Can he mature this year and put his team first? That’s what the Ole Miss Rebels will need to get back into the Big Dance.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/29 vs. Georgia Tech (Barclays Classic)
11/30 vs. St. John’s/Penn State (Barclays Classic)
12/5 at Kansas State
12/8 vs. Oregon
12/14 vs. Middle Tennessee
12/30 at Western Kentucky
1/4 vs. Dayton
OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#56 Saint Mary’s
#60 Florida Gulf Coast
#64 Florida State
#66 N.C. State
#67 Kansas State
#70 Miami FL
#72 Texas A&M
#73 Long Beach State
#76 Indiana State
#77 Georgia Tech
#84 Washington State
#86 Oregon State
#87 Louisiana Tech
#89 Wake Forest
#90 Central Florida
#95 Seton Hall
#97 George Mason
#99 Penn State
#101 West Virginia
#102 South Florida
#103 Mississippi State
#105 South Carolina
#106 Texas Tech
#108 Virginia Tech
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu to Milwaukee. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet , AND the second most accurate 2013 NBA Mock Draft. (Yup, nearly 3peat champ… #humblebrag.)
You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks