Ole Miss dispenses of North Alabama in exhibition win
Devontae Shuler started in his first games as a Rebel and quickly proved why.
The freshman out of Irmo, South Carolina scored a game-high 18 points in Ole Miss’ 94-53 win over North Alabama in exhibition play at the Pavilion at Ole Miss on Sunday afternoon.
It was the first time head coach Andy Kennedy — entering his 12th season at Ole Miss — got to unveil his new roster to the public. They’re performance was promising to the Rebels’ NCAA Tournament prospects come March.
“Got a lot of guys minutes. Pleased with it. Mission accomplished,” Kennedy said after the game.
Shuler finished with three rebounds and two assists in 23 minutes of play.
Keeping his play-calling ‘vanilla’ heading into Friday’s season opener against Louisiana (7 p.m.) Kennedy played nearly everyone off the bench. 10 players had double-digit minutes with Shuler staying on the court the longest. He finished with three rebounds, two assists and two steals.
“He’s as talented as we’ve ever signed here, guard wise,” Kennedy said of Shuler. “He can do it all. Guard you. Dribble, pass, shoot. He’s got great instincts. …once he learns the place he’s going to be something. He’s going to really help us.”
Terence Davis scored 13 points and grabbed four rebounds while Deandre Burnett added 11 points and two steals. Marcanvis Hymon pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds and scored eight points.
Of the newcomers to the team, center Dominik Olejniczak finished with eight points, four rebounds and two blocks.
“I’m kind of a master of it, actually,” Kennedy joked of getting a number of players minutes. “I just try to get all these guys some minutes. They all deserve to play and we’re still trying to figure our rotations and we’re still trying to figure out who does what, when, where.”
Of the hustle numbers Ole Miss out-rebounded North Alabama 54-45 and had a 10-8 edge in steals.
The word athleticism has been used to describe the Rebels and they showed their speed with 18 fast break points. North Alabama did not record any points in transition. The Rebels also out-scored the Lions 52-32 on the bench.
The only negative was the 19 turnovers committed by the Rebels, but Kennedy accounted those to the lopsided score and rotating so many players throughout the game.
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