Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy was upbeat about the health of senior wing Nick Willliams during the weekly Southeastern Conference men’s basketball teleconference this morning.The 6-foot-5 Williams did not play this past Saturday at No. 4 Florida after suffering a torn ligament in his foot last Tuesday against Kentucky. Williams, who is averaging a little over 25 minutes per game, was suffering from plantar fasciitis heading into the Kentucky game. Williams underwent treatment to deal with the injury late last week and Kennedy said the cast that was placed on Williams just came off.
“We got a good report this morning. He went and had his cast removed and the procedure that was performed, the results have been good,” Kennedy said. “So now he’s out of the cast and he will begin extensive rehab as we speak. We’ll see how quickly he responds to that.”
If Williams is able to deal with the pain associated with his plantar fasciitis, he could be back for Wednesday’s home game against Mississippi State. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.
Ole Miss is 6-2 in the Southeastern Conference heading into the matchup with the Bulldogs, who are coming off a tough 69-68 loss to LSU at home this past Saturday. Kennedy was asked about MSU and his thoughts on why the Bulldogs have had trouble closing out teams.
“I think (MSU coach) Rick (Ray) is doing a good job. Those kids are playing really hard and they’re giving themselves a chance to win. They’re obviously dealing with some inexperienced players and with that sometimes the other team is just happen to make a play that could have given them the win,” Kennedy said. “I have seen some of their last two games and they have led throughout the course of the game and they lose in overtime to Texas A&M. In their last outing, they were up 17 points and playing as well as I have seen them play all year. Then LSU made some plays down the stretch to get them. I think Mississippi State has made a lot of improvements and I think that’s a credit to Rick and his staff.”
Ole Miss is coming off a 14-point loss to Florida and Kennedy was asked by two different reporters just how good the Gators are.
“I think Florida is playing as well as any team in the country. I think (UF coach) Billy (Donovan) has them playing at a very, very high level. They’re good on both sides of the ball,” Kennedy said. “Their passing, I watch a lot of college basketball, and I don’t know if I have seen any other team in the country pass the ball as efficiently as they do.
“When you have Erik Murphy playing at the level that he is, and I honestly think as we get to the midway point and there will be a lot of conversation about Player of the Year, Erik Murphy is a guy that I think garners some consideration for Player of the Year in this league. That’s how good he’s playing.” (February 4, 2013)