Ole Miss men’s basketball coach Andy Kennedy knows if his Rebels are going to sustain the momentum they garnered this past Saturday with a 33-point win over Auburn, they are going to have to slow down if not stop Texas A&M’s Elston Turner.Turner, the son of former Ole Miss standout Elston Turner, scored 37 points against the Rebels in the first meeting, a game the Aggies won 69-67. Turner, who entered the weekend ranked third in the SEC in scoring with a 16.5 points per game average.
“We need to guard Elston Turner a lot better. He scored 37 in the first meeting. We allowed him to get in an unbelievable rhythm. He’s a scorer. I know he’s coming off another 30-point game against Tennessee and I know Tennessee does a great job of defending,” Kennedy said. “We just have to do a great job of making sure that we get him out of the spots that he likes to score the most readily in. We’ve got to do a better job on the backboard. They dominated us in a segment of the second half which ended up being the time the game got away from us. We’ve got to be a lot more efficient offensively. We were not very good offensively in College Station.”
Kennedy went on to call Turner a “tremendous player” who continues to succeed despite team’s throwing every defense they can at him.
“I think (A&M coach) Billy (Kennedy) does a great job of getting him the ball in areas where he’s very efficient. He’s got size and the ability to shoot it from 3 and he’s very good with 1-2 dribble pull ups and able to score in the mid-range which is kind of a lost art in this day of college basketball,” Kennedy said. “He’s got an old-school game in his ability to score in that mid-range.”
Kennedy was also asked how different this year’s 18-game schedule has been compared to prior years when SEC teams were playing 16 prior to the start of the SEC Tournament.
“It’s just part of the grind. I haven’t really thought about the difference between 16 and 18 other than you’re going to have additional challenges. It extends your league play by a week,” Kennedy said. “For us, not having the off week during the course of the year, you really don’t think much about it until you don’t have it and the games come very, very quickly. For us, we’re just trying to stay locked into the grind and try to finish this thing strong.”
Here is a video of Kennedy talking about Turner and Texas A&M during his weekly press conference with the local media held at the Basketball Indoor Practice Facility.
(February 25, 2013)