Football may be slowed by an impending NCAA decision and a probable coaching change, but basketball is business as usual. And then some. Andy Kennedy and his staff have been working tirelessly on the recruiting trail to rectify losing two of their top signees last signing period. And they are not disappointing one bit.
Zach Naylor, a 6’7 guard/forward at Weatherford (Tex.) College has verbally committed to Ole Miss and Kennedy. The Richmond, Tex. native played his prep ball at William B. Travis High School where he averaged 15 points, five rebounds, and two steals per game as a senior.
Two former Rebels helped to recruit the newest Rebel. Assistant coach Rahim Lockhart and former Ole Miss great Ansu Sesay played a part in Naylor’s decision to become the newest Reb.
As a freshman at Weatherford, Naylor played in 26 games, averaging damn near a double double, pouring in 20 points and nine rebounds per game. He shot 55 percent from the field and 42 percent from deep. Zach is the fourth commit in a 2018 class that is steadily climbing the ranks in the SEC.
How does he fit in?
Naylor appears to be an exact replica of Terrance Henry. So celebrate that Rebel Nation, Andy Kennedy has turned the Tuohy Basketball Center into his own cloning laboratory. But, for real, other than being right-handed, Naylor looks a lot like the former Rebel great from Monroe, La.
At 6’7, he is an imposing figure on the perimeter as a defender and as a ball-handler. He can slice through the lane with a Euro step in a matter of seconds and he isn’t afraid to crash the boards either. He’s not shy when it comes to crashing the boards with a putback dunk or stepping back and draining a dagger in someone’s eyeball.
Naylor should be a nice piece to the 2018 class because of his versatility. He has the length to mix it up in the front court while still being able to do more than hold his own on the perimeter due to his athleticism. He has an electric first step, can put it on the floor to beat his man, and has a nice, soft touch from deep.
A redshirt year and a college weight program will do his body good and you should expect to see Naylor flying through The Pavilion real soon. The Rebels lose Marcanvis Hymon and Justas Furmanavicius after this year so they will need Naylor to hit the ground running once he arrives in Oxford and be ready when his name is called.