Maurice Aniefiok (photo by Robert Jordan)
Jan. 5, 2012
Ole Miss Game Notes | LSU Game Notes
SEC OPENER: Ole Miss (10-4) at LSU (10-4)
Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012 | 12:30 p.m. CT
Baton Rouge, La. | Pete Maravich Assembly Center (13,215)
Television: SEC Network (Dave Lamont, play-by-play; Will Perdue, analyst).
Live Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network (David Kellum, play-by-play; Keith Carter, analyst).
Satellite Radio: SIRIUS 218, XM 200
Live Video: ESPN3.com
Live Audio: RebelVision
• Ole Miss and LSU open Southeastern Conference play, which no longer is divided into East and West divisions.
• The Rebels are 26-52 all-time in SEC openers.
• Ole Miss has started league play on the road 11 of the last 14 years.
• Andy Kennedy has the most wins by a Rebel coach in his first six years (115).
• Ole Miss has played the nation’s No. 66 ranked schedule, according to RealTimeRPI.com.
• LSU owns a 76-28 lead in the all-time series, but Ole Miss has won four straight over the Tigers.
• As a team, Ole Miss ranks 12th in the most recent NCAA rankings with 5.9 blocks/game.
• The Rebels are 7-1 when they win the turnover battle and 3-3 when they have more turnovers than the opponent.
• 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 190 career blocks. He ranks 3rd in the SEC and 23rd 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.
SEC PLAY BEGINS AT LSU
Ole Miss opens up Southeastern Conference play with a visit to LSU on Saturday in a matchup of 10-4 teams. The Rebels had a three-game losing skid snapped with Tuesday’s win over SMU, while LSU recently had a seven-game win streak snapped with a loss to Virginia. This is the first SEC basketball schedule since the league decided to drop the East and West divisions.
REBELS IN SEC OPENERS
The Rebels have an overall record of 26-52 in Southeastern Conference openers in their previous 78 years of play in the league. The Rebels are looking for their first league-opening win under head coach Andy Kennedy. Ole Miss dropped a 77-71 decision at Florida a year ago. The Rebels are opening SEC play on the road for the 11th time in the last 14 years. The last SEC opening win came in 2005-06 when the Rebels beat Alabama 71-61 in Tuscaloosa. The last time Ole Miss opened league play with LSU was Jan. 5, 1987 (Ole Miss won 73-63 in Oxford).
Ole Miss has played the nation’s No. 66 ranked schedule, according to RealTimeRPI.com. According to the first RPI report published by the NCAA on Monday, seven previous Rebel opponents have a current RPI of better than 100. Ole Miss is 3-4 in those game thus far. The Rebels have an RPI rank of 53.
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. Now with 115 wins, Kennedy already ranks third in school history behind B.L. “Country” Graham (144 wins in 13 seasons) and Barnes (141 wins in 8 seasons).
SCOUTING THE BAYOU BENGALS
LSU enters SEC play with a 10-4 record and had a seven-game win streak prior to a 57-52 loss to No. 23 Virginia in its most recent outing. The Tigers have a 5-2 record at the PMAC, which includes an upset of No. 10 Marquette (67-59). Trent Johnson’s club has been winning with defense, as LSU allows just 60.1 ppg to opponents, which ranks third-best among SEC teams. The team’s field goal percentage defense of .388 ranks fourth among league teams and top 30 in the nation. Two players average double-figure points - Iowa State transfer Justin Hamilton (12.3) and Andre Stringer (11.7). Hamilton also leads the team in rebounding at 6.9 rpg. LSU is also one of the better rebounding teams in the SEC, ranking third in total rebounds (39.1/game) and fifth in rebounding margin (+3.1).
OLE MISS-LSU SERIES
The series with the Tigers, which began in 1909, is the second-longest in Ole Miss basketball history. LSU leads the all-time series 116-84, although Ole Miss holds an 18-14 edge in the last 32 meetings and has won four straight. Last year, the Rebels swept the Tigers with a 78-51 road win and 66-60 victory in Oxford. LSU holds a 76-28 advantage in games played in Baton Rouge.
Andy Kennedy owns an 8-4 record against LSU in his career. He is 7-4 with Ole Miss and faced the Bayou Bengals once as the Cincinnati head coach in 2005-06, earning a 75-72 victory at the Las Vegas Holiday Classic.
In addition to the teams being familiar opponents, there are several connections among the Ole Miss and LSU players. Tiger forward Malcolm White is playing his senior season in Baton Rouge after transferring from Ole Miss following the 2008-09 season. The Baton Rouge native averaged 7.2 points and 5.7 rebounds in 27 starts as a sophomore with the Rebels in 2008-09. There is also a common player connection from Monroe, La. (Ole Miss’ Terrance Henry, LSU’s Storm Warren).
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 76 games, the Memphis native has accumulated 190 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 third among SEC players and 23rd in the most recent NCAA rankings. His 190 career blocks are most among active SEC players. He already holds the school record for blocks in a season and game.
Ole Miss is taking advantage of its significant height and length advantage against the majority of its opponents this year. No scholarship player on the roster is listed shorter than 6-4, while six Rebels who see significant minutes are listed at 6-7 or taller. Ole Miss ranks fifth among SEC teams in rebounding average (38.6) and sixth in rebounding margin (+3.1). The Rebels block 5.9 shots per game, ranking fourth in the league and 12th in the most recent NCAA rankings.
Ole Miss has a 7-1 record when it records the same or fewer turnovers than its opponent, while the Rebels are 3-3 when they lose the turnover battle.
Four Rebels are averaging 9.9 or more points through the first 14 games, led by Dundrecous Nelson and Terrance Henry, who both have an 11.6 average. Following them are Jarvis Summers (10.2) and Murphy Holloway (9.9). Six different players have led the team in scoring at least once, including the four previously mentioned, as well as Nick Williams and LaDarius White, who are averaging 8.4 and 5.2 ppg, respectively.
Ole Miss has missed the presence of junior F Murphy Holloway in the last three games. Against Middle Tennessee, he suffered a high ankle sprain in the middle of the second half, and Ole Miss went on to drop that contest. The Rebels also lost at Dayton without him and struggled to a 50-48 win over SMU with Holloway still watching from the sideline. He is day-to-day and will be a gameday decision on whether he plays in Baton Rouge.