Tag:Andy Kennedy
Posted on: December 22, 2011 10:36 am
Edited on: December 22, 2011 10:42 am

Kendrick at PG might work for Ole Miss

By Gary Parrish

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. -- Ole Miss freshman Jelan Kendrick scored his first collegiate points late Wednesday.

They came in a 68-56 loss to Middle Tennessee State.

So that's not good.

But the reality is that Kendrick -- the former McDonald's All-American best known for being removed from the team at Memphis last year before ever playing a game -- looked surprisingly comfortable on the court in just his second game since becoming eligible. He played 29 minutes and mostly at point guard, which is something coach Andy Kennedy said he decided to try out of necessity.

"I'm just looking for somebody that doesn't throw it to the other team," Kennedy said. "I don't mean that flippantly, but that's the truth."

Here's some more truth: Kendrick's natural gifts were obvious against MTSU. He finished with eight points, three assists, three rebounds and four steals, and he turned the ball over just once. The 6-foot-7 playmaker operated under control, didn't force much and rarely hurt the Rebels on the defensive end of the court. More important, Kendrick finally provided a tangible reason to believe the possible reward of enrolling the talented but troubled prospect might out-weigh the obvious risks that've plagued his college career to date.

"If he can just do what Andy asks him to do all the time, he's gonna be a really good player," said MTSU coach Kermit Davis. "He's long and athletic, and I didn't think he settled for jumpshots. He kept trying to get to the rim. I thought he played well."
Posted on: December 15, 2011 11:17 am
Edited on: December 15, 2011 11:18 am

Meet the new Kendrick, same as the old Kendrick

By Gary Parrish

Jelan Kendrick was supposed to make his debut at Ole Miss on Wednesday night.

He's finally eligible.

But he didn't play a single minute.

Because he didn't even dress out for the game.

Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy called it a "coach's decision" and left it at that. But what if I told you I heard Kendrick was late for a team meeting on Tuesday night and then 30 minutes late for a one-hour shoot-around on Wednesday? Would it surprise you? It didn't surprise me given Kendrick's past because you have to be a special kind of knucklehead to get dismissed from a college basketball team before you ever play a game -- especially if you're a McDonald's All-American. But that's precisely what happened to Kendrick last year at Memphis, and, best I can tell, he hasn't changed much since he moved 80 miles south to Oxford.

He fought a teammate and seriously threatened another while at Memphis.

His entire time on campus was a mess.

But Kendrick is so talented that Ole Miss decided to give him a second chance, and I don't blame Kennedy at all. You don't turn down McDonald's All-Americans at Ole Miss. I don't care how crazy they are. You always make that gamble. But sometimes gambles in basketball -- and in life -- become losing propositions, and when that happens what once seemed worth it no longer does. Kendrick is getting closer and closer to falling into that category. He's killing his college career for the second time at a second school.

How are you late to a team meeting the night before your first game?

And what kind of person backs that tardiness with more tardiness the following day?

It's impossible to make sense of it without simply writing Kendrick off as hopeless, and that just might be the case. He's extremely talented on the court but terribly flawed off of it. People have been trying to help him for years. But now it's time for him to help himself or find something else to do besides be a headache for the latest coach who so badly wants to believe in him.
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