GAME 14: Ole Miss (9-4) vs. SMU (8-5) Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012 | 8 p.m. CT Oxford, Miss. | C.M. Tad Smith Coliseum (9,061)
MEDIA Television: FSN (Rich Waltz, play-by-play; Daymeon Fishback, analyst). Live Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network (David Kellum, play-by-play; Keith Carter, analyst). Satellite Radio: SIRIUS 219, XM 199 Live Video: ESPN3.com Live Audio: RebelVision
• With a win over SMU, Ole Miss would achieve at least 10 non-league wins for the fifth time in the last six seasons. • With the win over UL-Lafayette, Andy Kennedy has the most wins by a Rebel coach in his first six years (114). • Ole Miss has played the nation’s No. 63 ranked schedule, according to RealTimeRPI.com. • The Rebels are 74-21 in non-conference games under Kennedy. • Ole Miss has a 17-7 record versus current Conference USA teams since the league was formed in the spring of 1995. • The Rebels are 77-15 in home games under Kennedy, including a 50-2 record against non-league foes. • As a team, Ole Miss ranks third in the SEC and 17th nationally with 6.2 blocks/game. • Four Rebels average 9.9+ points, and six players have led the team in scoring at least once this year. • Junior F Murphy Holloway is day-to-day with a high ankle sprain. • Junior F Reginald Buckner broke the school’s all-time career blocks record at Southern Miss. He now has 188 career blocks. He ranks 2nd in the SEC and 24th nationally with 2.6 blocks/game this year. • Freshman G LaDarius White and redshirt-freshman G Jelan Kendrick have both made their highly anticipated debuts since the fall semester ended.
REBELS HOST SMU IN FINAL NON-LEAGUE GAME Ole Miss will bring in the 2012 calendar year by hosting the SMU Mustangs in the Rebels’ final tune-up for Southeastern Conference play, which begins Saturday at LSU. Andy Kennedy’s team will try to halt a three-game losing streak in its first game back in Oxford since a Dec. 14 win over Louisiana-Lafayette.
STRONG SCHEDULE Ole Miss has played the nation’s No. 63 ranked schedule, according to RealTimeRPI.com. Six previous Rebel opponents have a current RPI of better than 100. Ole Miss is 2-4 in those game thus far. The Rebels have an RPI rank of 42 according to the website.
MOST WINS IN FIRST SIX SEASONS With the victory over Louisiana-Lafayette, Andy Kennedy surpassed Rod Barnes for the most wins (114) in the first six seasons as Ole Miss head coach. Kennedy’s 114 wins already rank third in school history behind B.L. “Country” Graham (144 wins in 13 seasons) and Barnes (141 wins in 8 seasons).
BUCKNER SETS ALL-TIME SCHOOL BLOCKS RECORD With four blocks at Southern Miss, junior F Reginald Buckner surpassed Sean Murphy as the Rebels’ all-time career leader in blocked shots. In just 75 games, the Memphis native has accumulated 188 blocks. The school record was previously held by Murphy, who had 180 blocks in 117 games from 1988-91. Buckner’s 2.6 blocks average this season ranks second among SEC players and 24th in the most recent NCAA rankings. His 188 career blocks are tied for the most among active SEC players (with Alabama’s JaMychal Green). He already holds the school record for blocks in a season and game.
SCOUTING THE MUSTANGS SMU comes to Oxford with an 8-5 overall record and a 73-65 win in its most recent outing against a Louisiana Tech team coached by former Ole Miss player and assistant coach Michael White. The Mustangs are 2-1 in true road games this year with victories over UALR and Southeast Missouri State and a loss at Oral Roberts. Matt Doherty’s team is led by Robert Nyakundi’s 16.0 ppg and 5.9 rpg. London Giles adds 12.1 ppg. A staunch defense has held opponents to just a 59.2 scoring average, while the Mustangs average 65.0.
OLE MISS-SMU SERIES The Rebels and Mustangs are meeting for the third time. The series is tied 1-1 with both previous meetings occuring in Dallas. SMU claimed a 94-70 victory on Dec. 27, 1968. Ole Miss prevailed 75-57 on the Mustangs’ home court behind Chris Warren’s 19 points and Zach Graham’s 13 (see full box score on page 8).
OLE MISS VERSUS CONFERENCE USA FOES In non-SEC play, Conference-USA is Ole Miss’ most faced league. SMU is the second C-USA foe on this year’s schedule (lost 86-82 at Southern Miss on Dec. 17). The Rebels have an all-time record of 82-99 (.453 winning percentage) against current members of Conference USA. Ole Miss has a 17-7 record versus current C-USA teams since the league was formed in the spring of 1995.
NON-CONFERENCE SUCCESS The Rebels boast a 74-21 record (.779 win pct.) against teams outside the SEC since Andy Kennedy took over in 2006-07, including a 50-2 mark at home. The Rebels are 9-4 against non-league teams this year.
DEFENDING HOME COURT Winning at home has been a trademark of Andy Kennedy’s squads since he took the reins in 2006-07. Ole Miss is 77-15 (.837 win pct.) in games played at Tad Smith Coliseum during Kennedy’s tenure, including a 5-0 record this season. Ole Miss has won 208 of its last 255 games (.816 win pct.) in Oxford dating back to the 1995-96 campaign. The Rebels have an all-time record of 441-194 (.694 win pct.) at Tad Smith Coliseum, which opened in 1965-66.
SIZE ADVANTAGE Ole Miss is taking advantage of its significant height and length advantage against the majority of its opponents this year. Only one scholarship player on the roster is listed at shorter than 6-4 (Dundrecous Nelson, 5-11), while six Rebels who see significant minutes are listed at 6-7 or taller. Ole Miss ranks fifth among SEC teams in rebounding average (38.9) and sixth in rebounding margin (+3.0). The Rebels block 6.2 shots per game, which ranks third in the league and 17th in the most recent NCAA rankings.
TURNOVERS MATTER Ole Miss has a 7-1 record when it records the same or fewer turnovers than its opponent, while the Rebels are 2-3 when they lose the turnover battle.
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