[ED: Major props to bball1984 who put together this look at the men's basketball team for us. Thank him. Profusely.]
When we look at the 2013-2014 Ole Miss basketball roster, we see Marshall Henderson.....and a lot of unproven (or previously unheard of) names that are difficult to pronounce. I think there's reason to be cautiously optimistic about our team this season, especially if the freshmen turn out to be as good as advertised, but question marks still remain. Let's take a look at who we've got for this season (in no particular order, sorta):
Marshall Henderson - 6'2" 177lbs - Senior Guard: Love him or hate him, he is going to bring a lot of publicity to our program this year. He is the reason we'll be playing in prime TV slots several times this season. Averaged 20.1 points (led SEC in scoring and was somehow a second-team All-SEC pick...lololol) and 3.1 rebounds per game last season. You know what you're getting from him; he's going to bomb threes, piss off angry old white dudes at Auburn (we will never get tired of this gif), and take pics with random white girls on Wednesdays. If he can improve his shooting percentage and be a good team leader as a senior this year, that'll be a good foundation for the squad.
Ladarius "Snoop" White - 6'6" 211lbs - Junior Guard: Averaged 6.0 points and 3.0 rebounds per game last season. Super athletic, solid defender, and a good offensive threat when he wants to be. We need consistency from him this season. He has to emerge as our second offensive option, so we can't have games where he drops 20 followed up with games where he contributes something like 4 points on a 2-15 shooting outing.
Jarvis Summers - 6'3" 186 lbs - Junior Guard: A guy who feels like he's an eighth-year senior since he's started from the moment he walked on campus. Averaged 9.1 points last season and led the team in assists (128). He'll need to be a steadying force and contribute in many ways- scoring, defense, assists, etc. At times, it feels like our team goes as he goes. If he can be a consistent performer each game throughout the season, we could surprise a few folks and compete at a higher level.
Aaron Jones - 6'9" 220 lbs - Junior Guard: Big AJ! It's great to have him back. He plays hard on every possession, is super athletic, and can be one of the better defensive big men in the conference. He's coming off an ACL injury last season, so we need him to be recovered and confident in his knee so he's not hesitant on the floor. Averaged 3.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game last season. If he and Demarco Cox can combine for about 15 points and rebounds per game this season, we'll be in decent shape down low.
Demarco Cox - 6'8" 276lbs - Junior Center: The big man has battled injury issues over the past two seasons, so he hasn't seen a lot of floor time. He looks like a prototypical offensive tackle (in fact, he was recruited as one out of high school). He is big, burly, and strong as an ox. He's actually a legitimate back-to-the-basket offensive threat as well, which we haven't seen in a while in Oxford. He'll need to help offset the losses of Murphy and Buckner, and if his foot can stay healthy he will contribute a lot.
Martavius Newby - 6'3" 220lbs - Sophomore Guard: Another super athletic swing guard who saw limited playing time last season. He's a Terrico White-level athlete who has struggled with perimeter shooting. Probably the best perimeter defender on the roster. He'll be playing a back-up role this season, but I do expect us to see more of him this season than last where he averaged 1.6 points and 1.2 rebounds per game.
Anthony Perez - 6'9" 213lbs - Sophomore Forward: Very skilled but super thin big man who brings a lot to the table. He can shoot from three and get to the basket. At 6'9", his ability to play on the perimeter is an asset for AK's style. He's thin, so needs to add some weight to allow him to finish around the basket more often. We need him to emerge this season as a scoring option. He averaged 1.7 points and 1.5 rebounds per game last season.
Terry Brutus - 6'6" 237lbs - Sophomore Forward: Undersized big man who played hard and provided solid fill-in minutes while AJ was injured at the end of last season. Unfortunately, we won't see him this season because he suffered a season-ending injury in preseason workouts, but he'll be there waving a towel around and offering moral support, I guess.
Derrick Millinghaus - 5'10" 172lbs - Sophomore Guard: Full disclosure: I was not his biggest fan last season. He's a greatly undersized (Listed at 5'10" which is extremely generous... try something closer to 5'5") point guard who likes to take a lot of bad shots at bad moments and appears allergic to defense. But he made me look like a fool with his performance against Mizzou in the SEC tournament last season where he almost single-handedly won the game. Honestly, he improved throughout the season and provided valuable minutes down the stretch. He'll be backup PG this season and could emerge as a useful scoring option. He averaged 5.3 points and was third on the team in assists last season.
Sebastian Saiz - 6'9" 233lbs - Freshman Forward: A newcomer from Spain by way of Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas, Saiz is the freshman who appears ready to take on a large role for this team. He has shooting range out to 15 feet, is athletic, and played for Spain's national team in the FIBA U-19 World Championships this summer (which, for those of you who don't know international basketball, is a pretty big deal). He led Spain to a fifth-place finish while averaging 9.6 points and 9.4 rebounds. He also drew some NBA draft buzz from guys like Fran Fraschilla at ESPN after the World Championships. If you've seen him around the Grove this fall, you know he is lllooooonnnnggggg.....
Dwight Coleby - 6'9" 236lbs - Freshman Center: An incoming forward from the Bahamas by way of Piney Woods School in Jackson, Coleby is an athletic big man who the coaching staff is really excited about. Sergio Rouco, an assistant coach, stated in a radio interview that he and Saiz are skilled big men who bring it every day in practice, pushing AJ and Demarco to improve (and nipping on their heels for playing time apparently). He also said Murph and Buck weren't great practice players and that hurt AJ and Demarco's development, but that's another topic to discuss at a later date. He's an athletic and rugged forward who rebounds well, which is a skill we will need this season.
Janari Joesaar - 6'6" 208lbs - Freshman Forward: You're going to sense a trend here when I say that this is a freshman forward from Estonia who was Saiz's high school teammate at Sunrise Christian. Honestly, I haven't heard much preseason talk about Joesaar, so I think he's a little further down the depth chart. At this point, I believe he's a little more raw than Saiz and Coleby and will need a little time to develop. He's a big, athletic wing who has range out to the three-point line. Played for the Estonian U-20 national team at the European Championships in 2011.
Jerron Martin - 6'1" 165lbs - Freshman Guard: A 6'1" freshman PG from Maryland. He was a late signee who wasn't heavily recruited by many big-time programs, and I know little about him. He's the third-string PG at this time, so probably will redshirt if I had to guess.
Cade Peeper - 6'2" 185lbs - Sophomore Guard: A walk-on from Collierville HS in Memphis. Won't be playing much, but I have to mention him because A) He has the frattiest name ever B) he's from Collierville, adding to his obscene frattiness, and C) He rooms with Marshall Henderson for away games. Watching their twitter conversations on road trips last season was always interesting.
Will Norman - 6'5" 218lbs - Junior Guard: Will Norman. The Stormin' Norman. The Normtrooper. Almost scored against Auburn last year. If he's in the game (Peeper too), then it's well in hand.