Hoops season openers tonight

Andy Kennedy’s eighth season as Ole Miss coach officially begins tonight.

Matt Insell’s first as women’s coach also begins.

The ladies play at 5 against Jacksonville State, and the men follow against Troy.

Here area  few notes on the Ole Miss-Troy game:

- Troy is led by first-year coach Phil Cunningham, a longtime MSU assistant under Rick Stansbury, who was hired by longtime Ole Miss senior athletics official John Hartwell, who is now the AD at Troy.

- Troy returns three starters from a team that was 12-21 a year ago, 6-14 in the Sun Belt Conference.

- The Rebels, though, will be playing again without Marshall Henderson, and that was pretty ugly in a 75-70 overtime win against SC-Aiken in the exhibition. There will be a different intensity level tonight, brought on by the fact that it’s a regular season game but more to the point because Kennedy won’t be running wild combinations onto the floor in an effort to get a look at as many players as possible.

- The Rebels are still looking for someone to assist Henderson with scoring when he returns but to really take the lead in that role while he’s out, which will also include the first two SEC games come January.

- Derrick Millinghaus had 15, LaDarius White 13 in the opener. It was difficult for either to really get in a groove, because of the substitution patterns. White was 2-for-5 from 3. Jarvis Summers also had 13 points but could have had more had he been better at the free throw line where he was 7-for-12. Millinghaus was 4-for-8 from the floor, 0-for-2 from 3 and 7-for-9 at the free throw line. It was Millinghaus, not Summers, who had the ball in his hands trying to create at the end of regulation.

Aiken shot better than 40 percent from the floor in both halves.

- Ole Miss is 7-0 all-time against Troy, the last win coming 84-63 in the NIT in 2010.

- Senior guard Hunter Williams is Troy’s leading returning scorer after getting 10.4 points a game last year.

 

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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