Ole Miss will take on its in-state rival later this week. Mississippi State’s depth issues have been well-documented.
The Rebels have not been without depth issues, and the two freshmen who have gotten the minutes in the absence of Demarco Cox and Aaron Jones have had some bright spots but have mostly looked like two average freshmen.
Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy hopes that’s about to change, particularly with Brutus, a 6-foot-6 forward, who had six rebounds in 15 minutes against Auburn, a big part in helping the Rebels go plus-16 on the glass.
“I think Terry’s gotten a lot better. He’s a good position defender, and he has to be. For a long time he was not reacting quick enough. The fact that he was under-sized was costing him. Now he’s starting to figure things out a bit and understanding, ‘I’ve got to beat people to spots, because I’m going to be under-sized at times.’ He’s rebound the ball better for us, again, six rebounds in 15 minutes is a pretty good ratio. He understands his role offensively, keep balls alive, slip to the basket, be efficient around the rim.”
At times Brutus has shown the aggressiveness to go to the rim and finish. Other times he’s looked lost and has let rebounds in or near his grasp get away from him and let the opponent head down the floor.
Perez has more of an offensive skill set. He’s not going to be a banger but will always present the threat of offense to the other team. He was 3-for-4 from the floor in 10 minutes at Missouri. He scored in a variety of ways that day, hitting a 3-pointer, a mid-range jumper and putting the ball on the floor to get to the rim. Unfortunately, 0-for-1 from the floor as he was against Auburn has been more of the norm.
Kennedy: “Anthony, in fairness to him, it’s been hard for him, because I’ve switched positions with him three or four times. I know that when he gets out there he’ll pursue the ball. He’s a matchup difficulty. He’s always a threat to make a shot.”