Andy Kennedy and staff have had a busy summer and fall. He has already received verbal commitments from guards Serrel Smith and Brian Halums. And now he has added yet another one, the third in three weeks(!), earning a verbal pledge from three-star small forward Anthony Higgs.
I would like to announce that I will be attending University of Ole Miss. Special thanks to my father as well as my coaches and family!!! pic.twitter.com/ErRMld2LsO— Ant (@Flyhighant) September 27, 2017
The Rebels did their homework, hosted Higgs, his family, and coach for the South Alabama game, and were able to eventually hold off a late push from the Minutemen from UMass, Cincinnati, Colorado, Kansas State, St. Joseph’s and Xavier, among others. Not only is this big for Ole Miss since they are now 3-for-3 in crootin, but Kennedy and lead recruiter Todd Abernathy made Higgs a priority and knocked it out of the park. If I’m not mistaken, I would deduce that The Pavilion is starting to pay dividends on the recruiting trail.
The 6’8, 200-pound small forward from Perry Hall (Md.) High School in Baltimore was a key cog in helping them win the Maryland 4A state championship, averaging 15.7 points per game, 8.8 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and 1.0 steals per game. The southpaw is also a member of Team Melo when he competes on the AAU circuit. He chose Ole Miss over other offers from Kansas State, George Mason, and Old Dominion.
How does he fit in?
Higgs is a well-built, skilled forward who will be a dynamic wing player and defender for the Rebels. In high school, he is a well-known front court commodity in the Northeast and he should add to Kennedy’s legacy of left-handed forwards who defend the rack. Higgs’ high school coach, George Panageotou told Scout’s Ben Garrett that Anthony has shown big-time improvement as of late.
“Over the past year he’s really gotten a lot better. Scary better,” Panageotou said. “He’s up to 6-8, he’s got a 7-foot-1 wingspan, he can jump out of the gym and he can really knock down the 20, 25-footer now, too. He’s a matchup nightmare just because he can go face-up to the basket, get straight on the pick-and-rolls, pick-and-pops and also he’s got the size to go down low.”
Panageotou also thinks that despite being a three-star rated recruit, that the No. 77 ranked small forward is only going to get better with each passing day.
“(He’s a) good rebounder, real athletic stretch four. He can play the four or the three,” Goodie said. “He’s a great rebounder offensively and defensively, he’s a good shot-blocker and he runs the floor well. He can shoot all the way out to three; he has a great touch for the three. He’s great in pick-and-rolls and stepping back and hitting threes, pick-and-pop. And he’s got his best basketball ahead of him. He hasn’t really played at this level that long, so his best ball’s ahead of him.”
Higgs is the type of player that we have grown accustomed to seeing during Kennedy’s tenure at Ole Miss. An athletic wing front court player who can also run the floor, defend and hit you with some face-up game. Higgs should arrive on campus with the expectation of providing energy off the bench and developing his game into eventually being a legitimate three or stretch four for Kennedy’s up-tempo pace.