Ole Miss struggles in exhibition, looking for leaders without Marshall Henderson

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On Friday night, Ole Miss needed overtime to knock off University of South Carolina-Aiken, a Division II program, 75-70 in the Rebels’ final exhibition game before beginning the regular season this Friday.

Obviously there was a notable absence on the Ole Miss roster. Senior guard Marshall Henderson did not play, part of a suspension that includes Friday night’s season opener and the first two games of the SEC schedule.

The Rebels shot 18 percent from behind the 3-point line, coughed the ball up 18 times and were outscored by five in the second half. The SEC leading scorer from a season ago will be back in the lineup on Nov. 16 against Coastal Carolina. But Murphy Holloway, Reginald Buckner and Nick Williams still leave big questions for Andy Kennedy to answer, according to Hugh Kellenberger of the Clarion-Ledger.

“At times we’re still looking around as to ‘OK, who are the leaders of the team?’” Kennedy said after the game. “It really comes down to Snoop (LaDarius White), Jarvis (Summers) and Derrick (Millinghaus) without Marshall there. They’re the guys that were in the hard games last year and had success.”

Millinghaus led all scorers with 15 points off the bench while White and Summers each had 13 starting in the Ole Miss back court. Demarco Cox made his return to the floor after missing all but seven games last season to add 11 points and grab eight rebounds. Aaron Jones, who tore his ACL in January, struggled from the field, shooting 3-of-10 in his first game back.

“I kept waiting for our upperclassmen to make plays and we made a few down the stretch, which allowed us to win,” Kennedy added.

Ole Miss will be without Henderson, who misses Friday’s game against Troy and later in the season against SEC opponents Auburn and Mississippi State.

The Rebels will have non-conference games in Brooklyn (potentially against St. John’s) and at home against No. 19 Oregon to get more comfortable in their new roles before conference play — in an improved SEC — begins. And with Henderson on the floor, it should be annother entertaining season in Oxford.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson throws down a vicious putback

(YouTube)
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Zion Williamson made another highlight-reel play on Saturday outside of Atlanta as he threw down a vicious putback dunk at the Best of the South.

The five-star prospect has returned from a minor knee injury this spring to look like his old self in July as he’s entertained packed gyms of fans and college coaches the last two weeks.

The Class of 2018 star is currently regarded as the No. 3 overall prospect in the latest Rivals.com national rankings.

(h/t: Courtside Films)

Five-star 2018 point guard Darius Garland cuts list to six schools

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Five-star Class of 2018 point guard Darius Garland revealed the final six schools that he’s considering on Friday.

The N0. 12 overall prospect in the Class of 2018, according to Rivals, the 6-foot-0 Garland is one of the top floor generals in the nation as he is still considering Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA and Vanderbilt.

A native of Nashville, Garland is a potentially elite perimeter threat at the college level as he’s one of the more deadly three-point marksmen in the nation.

Garland spent this spring and summer playing with Bradley Beal Elite in the Nike EYBL as he averaged 16.8 points and 4.8 assists per game in the league this spring.

VIDEO: Kentucky’s John Calipari participates in the #DriveByDunkChallenge

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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The #DriveByDunkChallenge is sweeping the nation on social media this summer.

Rules to participate are pretty simple:

  1. Drive around in your vehicle.
  2. Find a basketball hoop (or a basketball ring if you’re Ted Cruz) on a random driveway.
  3. Run out of your car and dunk on that random hoop while a friend films.
  4. Run back to your car and drive away.

Let Anthony Davis show you how it works:

Pretty simple, right?

The #DriveByDunkChallenge isn’t raising money or awareness for ALS like the #IceBucketChallenge did three years ago, but it’s something harmless and fun to do to pass the time during the dog days of summer.

Sensing an opportunity to join an Internet craze, while also following in the footsteps of his former player Kentucky star, Wildcats head coach John Calipari got involved with his own dunk late Friday night.

And his video is much funnier than I thought it would be.

While most #DriveByDunkChallenge videos are done by healthy and spry teenagers who are cruising neighborhoods during the day, Calipari, and his hip replacement, got in on the fun with a late-night dunk.

I love that Calipari ditched the ball behind his back while running back to the car after the dunk.

Most people who participate in the challenge usually have their own ball and keep it with them through completion. But Calipari either picked up a random ball in the driveway or just he lost the handle with his own ball and had a turnover.

The next time Calipari goes hard on one of his point guards for losing control and playing too fast, remember this moment.

Creighton’s Khyri Thomas posterizes defender

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Creighton rising junior wing Khyri Thomas, like several of his teammates, are taking part in the Omaha Summer League this offseason.

On Thursday night, the 6-foot-3, 205-lb. Thomas eviscerated a defender with a one-handed posterization.

Thomas is coming off a breakout sophomore campaign for the Bluejays. He started all 35 games, averaging 12.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Aside from the increase in offensive production, Thomas served as one of the top defenders in the Big East. He shared the Big East Defensive Player of the Year Award with Villanova’s Josh Hart and Mikal Bridges.

Zion Williamson throws down 360 windmill dunk

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Zion Williamson added another jaw-dropping dunk in the layup lines on the first night of the second live evaluation period.

Williamson and his SC Supreme team took on Each 1 Teach 1 at the Hoopseen Best of the South at the LakePoint Sporting Community in greater Atlanta.

The 6-foot-7 power forward threw down a 360 windmill dunk during his pregame routines.

Each 1 Teach 1 would pick up a 70-67 victory over SC Supreme. Williamson would end with a monster stat line of 37 points and seven rebounds.