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TRANSCRIPT: The Ole Miss Spirit’s All-Day AMA (Ask Me Anything)

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TRANSCRIPT: The Ole Miss Spirit’s All-Day AMA (Ask Me Anything)

The Ole Miss Spirit held its weekly, message-board-exclusive AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Monday, with topics ranging from Jaxson Dart’s surge in the three-man Ole Miss quarterback race to The Super Mario Bros. Movie.

Any and all subscribers are welcome and encouraged to chime in throughout the day. Not a member? Join today! Our next question-and-answer session will be held next Monday.

But until then, and for the uninitiated, here are some highlights.

taylobl asked …

As of right now.. who’s your starting (Ole Miss defensive) line come game 1?

Spirit editor Ben Garrett answered …

Jared Ivey, JJ Pegues, Joshua Harris, Jameer Lewis.

Cedric Johnson starts when he’s healthy. I just need to see him healthy.

Rambling Rebel asked …

What’s the best movie you’ve seen in theaters recently, and what’s the most anticipated upcoming film for you?

The new Guardians of the Galaxy, right?

Ben Garrett answered …

Best in terms of pure entertainment value and joy is Mario.

Actual best for being a legit good movie? John Wick 4.

It’s basically all the best video game shooters you played growing up come to life and I can’t get enough. The art of pure action movies was lost … until those Russian fools dared to resurrect Baba Yaga.

Also, yes, Guardians of the Galaxy. Can. Not. Wait.

Jack Black cooks as Bowser in the thinly-plotted but abundantly joyful Super Mario Bros. Movie

bhamreb25 asked …

Got any tips for hitting on MLB the Show? I find myself always drifting the zone down, so I am vulnerable to high heat.

I am terrible at picking up pitch location.

Ben Garrett answered …

All depends on approach.

I absolutely tattoo off-speed hangers up in the zone. But you have to wait on them, and sometimes you don’t even get them, which is fine. Hit the ball where it’s pitched when you no longer have count leverage.

High-heat offerings are meant to get you to swing and miss in The Show. You have to force yourself to have the discipline to only swing at pitches where you can realistically do damage. It’s hard because, buddy, I, too, am impatient as (all get-out). My biggest problem early on learning the game was I was effectively taking a defensive approach from pitch one of a sequence. You’re just not going to do consistent damage that way.

As my favorite quote from The Wire goes: Don’t go giving a (hockey puck) until it’s your turn to give a (hockey puck). You’re not going to hit a heater low and away opposite field 450 feet. Wait for your pitch. It will drive you crazy. It will also make you feel like a god once you’ve jacked up your power and start hitting 50-plus bombs a season.

mojo8 asked …

Ben, can you give a quick rundown of how much success you expect Beard to have in the portal and are any announcements imminent?

Ben Garrett answered …

I think we’re about to see an Ole Miss heater in the portal the next two or three weeks, starting with Brandon Murray, who I wrote about Ole Miss trending for yesterday.

RELATED: Former LSU, Georgetown small forward Brandon Murray commits to Ole Miss

TracerRound asked …

Will (Now-former Texas guard Rowan) Brumbaugh visit this week?

Ben Garrett answered …

He’s definitely one we’re following closely and working background on. We’ve heard some things, but nothing concrete yet.

I’ll simply say he’s one to keep an eye on.

OleMissReb10 asked …

Ben, give us your 8-10 man rotation for Ole Miss Basketball next year.

Also, how many more portal players do you expect Yo to sign?

Ben Garrett answered …

Oh, man, there’s no way I could do that right now. It’s so early in the process still, and I only feel any real confidence projecting Brakefield, Murrell, Caldwell and Murray. NC State has entered the chat for El Ellis in a big way.

At least two more, but I am, admittedly, not plugged in much at all with Ole Miss women’s basketball. I freely admit that.

TRXRebel said …

Ben, time to get started. (Ole Miss head) Coach Yo(lett McPhee-McCuin) and her program deserve it.

And bringing a lot of National Pub and energy to Ole Miss!

Ben Garrett replied …

Oh, no doubt. Jake (team) and Zach (recruiting) cover the heck out of it, but with the way Yo is going, looks like we’re gonna have to start throwing the whole coverage kitchen sink.

RELATED: Ole Miss, Coach Yo add another SEC starter in Florida point guard KK Deans

Yolett McPhee-McCuin’s Ole Miss Rebels reached the Sweet Sixteen (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

TracerRound asked …

Will (Oklahoma State transfer Spencer) Sanders be on the roster in August if he is not QB1?

Ben Garrett answered …

I love this question. I really do, because there are so many layers to it when you attempt to sufficiently answer in just a few sentences.

However, I will do my best. Not all heroes wear capes.

Spencer Sanders was signed to start over Jaxson Dart. I know these everyone seems to be always be arguing about what is actually true, but, friends, I can tell you the unvarnished Ole Miss truth was Spencer Sanders was signed to start over Jaxson Dart.

But Jaxson Dart came to play this spring.

(Full discloser, too: I’m a huge Jaxson Dart guy. He’s a criminally-underrated competitor. He’s not the runner of Sanders, and maybe that matters more in a Kiffin offense than we originally expected, but he brings sneaky-elite value there, too, and his arm talent’s better, especially with Sanders operating with a half-cracked wing.)

I digress.

Spencer Sanders is making a lot of money at Ole Miss; he has the third-highest NIL deal on the team. He also has an injured throwing shoulder. His throwing shoulder is obviously his most valuable career commodity. Yes, he has been throwing more lately, but that’s in comparison to little or no throwing in the spring’s first two weeks. The staff strictly restricted him to intermediate throws. He attempted absolutely nothing downfield.

Ole Miss quarterback Spencer Sanders and teammates Jaxson Dart and Walker Howard are have all earned high praise from their teammates this spring (Photo by Bruce Newman)

Yes, he has been throwing more lately, even pushing his arm 20-plus yards.

Sanders is slowly and surely extending his shoulder back out and finding his form. But he’s going to need more time, too. We’re talking months before he gets anywhere close to whatever his new 100 percent is. Shoulder injuries for quarterbacks are scary.

He won’t be 100 percent come August. Where is he going to go where he’d have a better opportunity to start. Good as Dart has been (and everyone will eyes and basic math skills can deduce he’s taken the lion’s share of the first-team reps), Kiffin isn’t going to name a starter this spring.

Far as the team and public know, he’s every bit the QB1 contender as Dart. In the SEC. In a Kiffin offense. Making the third-highest amount of money on the team.

Had you asked me a month ago, Tracer, my answer would have been an unequivocal, emphatic, ‘NO.’

Now I see no better option for him. Yes, he could start somewhere else, but the money won’t be the same, and if he’s really trying to get to the NFL, the best-option stage is far and away Ole Miss.

So, just keep trying to beat out Jaxson Dart. Do your job. Pro mindset.

Grovecrew asked …

Ben, seems like we are recruiting a lot of guards and small forwards. Any insight on any big men we are recruiting and might have a shot with? Thanks

Ben Garrett answered …

Chris Beard wants the best players available.

He’s not trying to fill out a traditional starting five: PG, SG, SF, PF, C. He’s about position-less basketball and talent above all. If he can get Brandon Murray and El Ellis and Amaree Abram, etc., he’ll take them no questions asked. Talent above all, ’cause good coaches make the pieces work and win.

I’d argue he’s already gotten his biggest big-man commitment in the retention of Jaemyn Brakefield. Ole Miss was awful last season, but Brakefield wasn’t. Actually, after disappointing in his debut Rebel season, he had a breakout and undoubtedly regained some next-level momentum he’d lost.

I myself am oftentimes guilty of forgetting he was a former four-star and Top 100 recruit that signed with Duke out of high school. If any other player with that resume signed with Ole Miss out of the portal I’d probably build a whole, stand-alone podcast around it. We’d blow the top off the place.

Brakefield barely got throw-away story from national. And that’s a shame. I shame myself. He’s a really good player with All-SEC and NBA potential going into next year — so long as he keeps building on his progress and continues to develop.

He’s a stud.

But also, Beard is definitely going to land some size (6-8 or higher) with rim-protection. I’d set the over/under at 2.5.

They want Ke’el Ware, but I’m pretty sure that’s not happening.

We’re working it, for sure.

RELATED: Oregon transfer Kel’el Ware, former 5-star, commits to Indiana

Rebelfan18 asked …

Ben, given how the baseball season is going and the real chance we do not make the NCAA tournament, do you think Bianco shuts down Elliott for the season and let him get extra rest?

Ben Garrett said …

I definitely think that’s a possibility. Elliott is probably pitching in some capacity this weekend, but if he doesn’t look right (if he has decreased velocity, what have you) and the losses keep piling up, there’s absolutely no reason to keep running him out there in a lost season.

Get him right for next season, when, despite what’s happened in 2023, there will be national championship expectations. Because that is now an every-year (and every-person) expectation for Ole Miss baseball.

The post TRANSCRIPT: The Ole Miss Spirit’s All-Day AMA (Ask Me Anything) appeared first on On3.

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