Seph Anderson, Sportswriter to The South, focuses his sports writing skills on covering timely Ole Miss & SEC news, among all things sports across the South.
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Ole Miss lost two key bench contributors during their loss to Kentucky. Now, a very young, inexperienced Rebel bench will have to become productive in a hurry for Andy Kennedy’s Rebels.
The physically ailing Rebels will now rely upon none other than four freshmen reserves.
Freshmen Rebel Reserves That Must Step Up:
Freshman G Derrick Millinghaus
Already having seen a fair amount of playing time this year, the 5’10”, 170 lb. Millinghaus is averaging 14.9 minutes per game, 5.5 points per game and 1.8 assists per game heading into the Florida game. Until G Nick Williams is able to return from a foot injury, the diminutive Millinghaus will become a player Ole Miss needs to both be productive and consistent down the stretch.
Freshman G Martavious Newby
The 6’3”, 210 lb. G Newby has been less of a consistent contributor than Millinghaus at the guard position, averaging only 7.6 minutes per game and 2.3 points per game up to this point. However, taller (by 5 inches) and heavier (by 40 pounds) than Millinghaus, Newby has the potential to give the Rebels much more physical minutes at the guard position. If the speedy Millinghaus and physical Newby can become consistent and dependable off the bench, starting guards Marshall Henderson, Jarvis Summers, and Ladarius White should have ample time to get a little rest.
Guards Derrick Millinghaus and Martavious Newby will have to combine to produce an additional 24.5 minutes per game, 2.6, rebounds per game and 9.4 points per game just to make up for the production being lost with G Nick Williams out. A little more production definitely wouldn’t hurt.
Freshman F Terry Brutus
Andy Kennedy hopes Terry Brutus will become a substantial part of his game rotation, being 6’6” and 240 lb. Only averaging 4.3 minutes per game entering the Florida game, Brutus has the potential to become a major player off the bench for Andy Kennedy. He has the height and weight to be a force in the middle, providing quality rest time for Rebel starting big men Holloway and Buckner. With Brutus’ size, the Rebels also hope he can help wear down opposing teams big men inside.
Freshman F Anthony Perez
The 6’9”, 205 lb. Venezuelan forward has a near mirror image body frame to that of the injured Aaron Jones. Unfortunately for Ole Miss, similar to Brutus, Perez has seen only limited action compared to reserve guards Millinghaus and Newby. Its crucial Ole Miss keeps F Murphy Holloway and F Reginald Buckner out of foul trouble moving forward, and for that to happen Perez will have to provide much more than the 6.8 minutes per game he has averaged so far this season.
Freshmen forwards Terry Brutus and Anthony Perez will have to join forces to account for at least another 16.9 minutes per game, 4.1 rebounds per game and 3.5 points per game to compensate for Aaron Jones’ lost production. Bringing in points and rebounds would be helpful, but more than anything Brutus and Perez need to provide physical play in the paint when Holloway and Buckner are resting.
Much will be expected of these freshmen reserves, as Ole Miss closes out their final 11 conference games. After returning from a daunting trip to No. 4 Florida, Kennedy will have 10 SEC games remaining before play begins in the SEC Tournament. Only facing one currently ranked opponent in their final 10 games, the four freshmen reserves should have time to gain some much needed confidence before beginning postseason play when there are no room for rookie mistakes.
Follow me @SephTheRebel for Ole Miss news from an Ole Miss guy …