Competition for minutes

Tis the season of competition for minutes for Ole Miss basketball.

Six newcomers — talented and diverse — are added to a roster with seven returning players, four returning starters. In the jockeying for position among the new guys, here are some thoughts as the Rebels prepare to take on Coastal Carolina tonight at 7.

Marshall Henderson is the centerpiece. He’ll struggle at times, because all players do. He’ll shoot the Rebels in games and out of games, but he’ll be on the plus side more often than not.

Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy raved about Martavious Newby in his postage comments following the Rebels’ 93-57 win over Mississippi Valley State.

Kennedy: “Did you look at his stat line? I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anything like it. He plays 15 minutes and gets up 12 shots. He gets 11 points, eight rebounds, two assists, two turnovers and a block. That’s pretty active play. He’s always around the ball. He was post-feeding to the cheerleaders. I thought he was throwing one over there to you. His energy is infectious. Defensively he wreaks havoc. We’ve got to get him to settle in, and he’s going to be a big weapon for us.”

There’s an obvious skill set for Anthony Perez. He’s a smooth ball-handler, a confident shooter. Through and exhibition and a regular season game, it’s clear he’s still figuring things out.

Kennedy: “I think Anthony can help us in a variety of ways. Because of his size, he’s able to rebound some for us. He’s got some toughness. He can stretch the floor and make a shot. He’s a versatile talented player.”

We didn’t see Derrick Millinghaus in the exhibition because of an academic issue that has since been cleared up. Prior to the Valley game, I saw some video of him and had heard Kennedy describe him as fast and aggressive. With that in mind, he looked to be pressing against Valley. He played more than he might have because of foul trouble by Jarvis Summers, but for a guy expected to be Summers’ primary back-up, it worked out well.

Millinghaus offers a nice change-of-pace from Summers, who will be slower, more deliberate. Millinghaus looks like a guy who can get in the lane and create offense. He certainly believes he can and wasn’t shy about things against Valley. Like Newby, he’ll need to settle down, but there’s a nice skill level there.

Kennedy: “I’m going to us him a lot. I think he’s a guy who brings us a speed dimension, and it just so happened that his first game he was able to play with us, Jarvis got into foul trouble and picked up two quick ones. Typically, that would not bode well for us because we’d have to move Snoop over or I’ve even talked about Anthony, but with Derrick it lets those guys play in their natural positions, which I think is advantageous for this group.”

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to Kory Keys and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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