Jan. 8, 2001
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The Ole Miss Rebels (13-1, 1-0 SEC) continue their two-game Southeastern
Conference road trip when they travel to Fayetteville, Ark., Wednesday,
Jan. 10 to meet the Arkansas Razorbacks (9-4, 0-1 SEC). Game time is 7:05
p.m. (CT) at Bud Walton Arena. Ole Miss, ranked No. 20 in the Associated
Press Top 25 Poll and No. 21 in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Poll, won its
league opener at Vanderbilt, 81-68 Jan. 6, while Arkansas lost at
Mississippi State, 87-73 in its SEC opener.
#22/#21 Ole Miss (13-1, 1-0) vs. Arkansas (9-4, 0-1)
Wednesday, January 10, 2001 -- 7:05 p.m. (CT)
Bud Walton Arena -- Fayetteville, Ark.
Rebels on Television and Radio
Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network (David Kellum, play-by-play, Sean Tuohy,
color analyst, Stan Sandroni, pregame/halftime/postgame host)
BARNES IN THIRD SEASON AS REBEL MENTOR
Rod Barnes is in his third season at the helm of the Ole Miss Rebel
basketball program. He has an overall record of 52-28 (.650 winning
percentage). In his first two seasons, Barnes compiled a 39-27 record, and
the 39 victories are the most by a Rebel coach in his first two years in
Ole Miss history. Last year, Barnes guided Ole Miss to a 19-14 overall
record and a berth in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). The Rebels
advanced to the NIT quarterfinals for the second time in school history.
The winning season and postseason tournament both were the fourth straight
for the Ole Miss program.
In 1998-99, Barnes led Ole Miss to a 20-13 overall record and a
third-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. The Satartia, Miss., native was
the first head coach in the history of Rebel basketball to win 20 games in
his first season. Barnes also guided the Rebels to a 72-70 win over
Villanova in the NCAA Tournament first round, marking the program's
first-ever victory in NCAA play.
Barnes was hired as the Rebel head coach on April 9, 1998. A 1988
graduate of Ole Miss, Barnes served as an assistant under Evans from
1993-98. During his time as an assistant coach, the Rebels compiled a
record of 76-63 and won back-to-back Southeastern Conference Western
Division titles and received consecutive NCAA Tournament berths in 1997 and
1998. Barnes played at Ole Miss from 1984-88 and was named All-SEC his
senior season. He still ranks on the Ole Miss career charts in scoring
(17th, 1,201 points), assists (2nd, 456) and steals (6th, 154).
OLE MISS-ARKANSAS SERIES
Wednesday's game will the 47th meeting between the two schools, with the
Razorbacks holding an all-time series lead of 34-12. The series began in
1937. Since it joined the Southeastern Conference in the 1991-92 season,
Arkansas holds an 11-7 series lead over the Rebels. Last year, the teams
split the two meetings, with Arkansas winning 71-64 in Fayetteville and Ole
Miss winning 87-82 in Oxford. The Rebels have won four of the last five
meetings versus the Razorbacks, but Arkansas holds a 7-3 series advantage
in games played in Fayetteville. Ole Miss' last win in Fayetteville was a
76-65 victory on Jan. 9, 1999 (1998-99 season). The win was head coach Rod
Barnes' first SEC road victory of his career.
The Razorbacks enter Wednesday's contest with a 9-4 overall record and a
0-1 Southeastern Conference mark. Arkansas dropped an 87-73 decision at
Mississippi State in its SEC opener Jan. 6. Sophomore Joe Johnson, the
league's preseason player of the year pick, leads the team in scoring with
a 14.3 average. Johnson is also the squad's top rebounder with a 6.4
average. Junior college transfer Jannero Pargo (11.4 ppg) and Brandon Dean
(11.3 ppg) are also averaging double figures for the Razorbacks. Johnson
is the squad's top field goal shooter at 51.8 percent, while Pargo is the
top three-point threat at 48.5 percent. T.J. Cleveland leads the
Razorbacks in assists (47) and steals (27). Arkansas is shooting 46.9
percent from the field and 36.4 percent from the three-point arc. The
Razorback defense has recorded 184 steals and forced 324 turnovers.
REBELS REMAIN RANKED
Ole Miss jumped into the Associated Press (AP) Top 25 Poll Dec. 11, coming
in at No. 23. It was the first time the Rebels had been in the poll since
they were ranked No. 13 in the final AP poll of the 1997-98. Ole Miss also
finished the 1997-98 season ranked No. 20 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
This week, the Rebels are ranked No. 20 in the AP poll and No. 21 in the
ESPN/USA Today poll. This is the fifth straight week Ole Miss has been in
the AP poll and the fourth week in the coaches poll. Ole Miss is one of
four Southeastern Conference teams ranked in this week's polls, as
Tennessee is No. 4/No. 4, Florida No. 8/No. 7, and Alabama No. 16/No. 14.
The Rebels and the Razorbacks have played three common
opponents--Louisiana-Monroe, Memphis and Oklahoma--this season. Ole Miss
has a 3-0 record versus those common opponents, while Arkansas is 2-1.
PLAY THEM IN JANUARY
Since Arkansas joined the Southeastern Conference in 1991-92, the Rebels
have had some success versus the Razorbacks?especially when the contests
are played in January. When the two teams have met in the month of January
since the 1991-92 season, Ole Miss holds a narrow 5-4 edge in those
meetings. The Rebels have won five of the last seven January meetings,
including sweeps of the Razorbacks in the 1996-97 and 1998-99 seasons. In
1996-97, Ole Miss defeated Arkansas, 91-74 on Jan. 2 and 71-52 on Jan. 29.
In the 1998-99 campaign, Ole Miss swept the Razorbacks, defeating Arkansas
76-65 in Fayetteville on Jan. 9 and 89-81 in Oxford on Jan. 30. During
this seven-game span, Arkansas' two wins were a 63-62 victory on Jan. 10,
1996 (1995-96 season) and a 71-64 win on Jan. 5, 2000 (1999-2000 season).
ON THE ROAD AGAIN...PART I
Ole Miss is one of three Southeastern Conference teams to play its first
two games in the league on the road. The Rebels played at Vanderbilt Jan.
6 (an 81-68 Ole Miss victory) and is at Arkansas Wednesday (Jan. 10).
Alabama (at LSU, at Tennessee) and Florida (at South Carolina, at
Mississippi State) are the other two SEC teams to play their first two
league games on the road.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN...PART II
The Rebels are also one of two Southeastern Conference teams to play three
of its first four league games on the road. Ole Miss played at Vanderbilt
(an 81-68 Rebel win) Jan. 6 and travels to Arkansas Jan. 10 and to Alabama
Jan. 17. The Rebels host Georgia Jan. 13 in Oxford. Georgia is the other
SEC school to open its SEC schedule with three of its first four on the
road. The Bulldogs lost at Kentucky, 67-63 Jan. 6, and travels to Ole Miss
Jan. 13 and to Florida Jan. 17. Georgia hosts Auburn Jan. 10.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN...PART III
For the third consecutive year, the Ole Miss Rebel basketball opened its
Southeastern Confer-ence schedule on the road at Vanderbilt Jan. 6. Ole
Miss defeated the Commodores, 81-68. The Rebels are one of four league
teams to play its SEC opener on the road the last three years (including
2000-01). The other three SEC teams to do so are Florida, Georgia and
ON THE ROAD AGAIN...PART IV
Since the 1990-91 season (and including the 2000-01 campaign), the Rebels
have opened the Southeastern Conference portion of their schedule on the
road eight times compared to only three league openers in Oxford.
KIRKLIN'S THE KEY THREE
In the years from 1996-99, Ole Miss fans got an early sense the Rebels
would win the game when guard Michael White would hit a couple of
three-pointers in the game's opening minutes. Well, that mantle has been
passed to sophomore Richard Kirklin (Pine Bluff, Ark.). The 6-foot-9
forward hit the first five points, including a three-pointer, for the
Rebels versus Vanderbilt Jan. 6. Ole Miss went on to win the game, 81-68.
Kirklin, who received his first start of the season versus the Commodores,
finished the contest with eight points and four boards.
It must have been deja vu for Vanderbilt because Kirklin also hit the
game-opening basket?a three-pointer?last year versus the Commodores. Ole
Miss won that contest, 75-67.
However, Kirklin has also hit key three-pointers for the Rebels other than
those at the beginning of the games. He had two crucial treys in the first
half of Ole Miss' 84-83 overtime win over Southern Cal Dec. 22. Kirklin
also nailed a clutch second-half three-pointer in the Rebels' 60-55 victory
over Oklahoma Dec. 2.
REBELS OFF TO BEST START SINCE THE 1925-26 SEASON
With its victory over Vanderbilt Jan. 6, Ole Miss improved its record to
13-1. The 13-1 start is the best in the program's history since the
1925-26 team started its season 15-1. The 1925-26 team finished with a
16-2 record. The 1997-98 and 1999-2000 Rebel squads began their seasons
with 12-1 records.
A HAPPY 50 FOR COACH BARNES
No, Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes is not celebrating his 50th birthday
(not even close for the 35-year-old, by the way). With the Rebels'
overtime victory over No. 13-ranked Southern Cal Dec. 22, Barnes won his
50th game as the Ole Miss head coach. He has a current record of 52-28.
Barnes reached the 50-win plateau the third fastest of any coach in Rebel
history. George Bohler and Homer Hazel are the only two coaches in Ole
Miss history to reach the milestone faster.
TIED AT THE HEAD OF THE CLASS(ES)
This year's senior class of Jason Flanigan (Little Rock, Ark.) and Rahim
Lockhart (Mendenhall, Miss.) and junior redshirt John Engstrom (Paragould,
Ark.) tied the record of most victories by a class in four-year span with
the Rebels' 81-68 win over Vanderbilt Jan. 6. This year's class has 74
wins, which ties the number of victories by the 1998-99 class of Hunter
Carpenter, Keith Carter, Jason Smith and Michael White. The 2000-01 senior
class has also been a part of the 1998 SEC Western Division championship
squad and has been to three straight postseasons (2 NCAA, 1 NIT).
REED HAS CAREER SCORING NIGHT VS. VANDERBILT
Maybe freshman Justin Reed (Jackson, Miss.) should be ?under the weather?
more often. No, we're just kidding. But, after missing most of practice
last week due to illness, Reed came off the bench versus the Commodores to
net a career-high 19 points in leading the Rebels to the 81-68 victory. It
was the first time this season that Reed did not start. Reed also hit a
career-best five free throws and tied a career high with seven field goals.
The 6-foot-8 forward also grabbed seven boards and had one assist and two
steals. For the season, Reed is the squad's second-leading scorer (10.6
ppg) and second-leading rebounder (5.5 rpg).
AN EARLY BIRTHDAY PRESENT FOR COACH BARNES
Early or late, presents are always welcome. In the case of Ole Miss head
coach Rod Barnes, he got an early birthday present when the Rebels won at
Vanderbilt (81-68) Jan. 6. Coach Barnes celebrated his 35th birthday Jan. 8.
BARNES STILL AMONG YOUNGEST DIVISION I-A HEAD COACHES
Although he celebrated his 35th birthday Jan. 8, Ole Miss head coach Rod
Barnes is still among the youngest Division I-A head coaches in the
country. According to research compiled by the NCAA prior to the 2000-01
season, Barnes was the 19th youngest head coach (in terms of birthdate) and
was tied for the 10th-youngest (in terms of age) in the nation with 10 others.
TAYLOR TO FOCUS ON FOOTBALL
Rebel sophomore guard Syniker Taylor (Gulfport, Miss.), who also played
basketball at Ole Miss last year, has decided to pass on joining the
basketball team for the 2000-01 season and concentrate on football. This
fall, Taylor started all 11 games at free safety for the Ole Miss football
squad and recorded 67 tackles (43 solo), three interceptions, 19 passes
defensed and two fumble recoveries. He was second on the squad in tackles
and interceptions. Taylor also returned one interception 65 yards for a
touchdown versus Georgia (Nov. 18, 2000).
Last year, Taylor played in 18 games for the Ole Miss basketball team. He
averaged 2.2 points and 2.3 rebounds, while posting 10 assists and 18 steals.
REBELS WERE IN THE FINAL TWO
Forget the Final Four for now. Ole Miss was among the ?Final Two? prior
to the Rebels' loss to Iowa State Dec. 23. Before the setback to Iowa
State, Ole Miss was one of the last two NCAA Division I schools to have
both its men's and women's basketball teams undefeated. The Lady Rebels
have an 11-2 record. Baylor is now the lone school to have both its men's
and women's team undefeated.
FLANIGAN HOT FROM THE ARC
After tying his career high for three-pointers made (three) seven previous
imes, Jason Flanigan finally got ?over the hump,? hitting a career-best
five treys in the Rebels' victory over Morris Brown Dec. 30. The 6-foot-1
senior guard hit 5-of-6 from the arc and was 7-of-8 from the field versus
the Wolverines. Flanigan scored 19 points in the victory, just one point
shy of tying his career high.
FLANIGAN FINDING HIS TOUCH
Senior Jason Flanigan has definitely found his range from the three-point
arc in recent games. In the Rebels' last five games, the 6-foot-1 guard is
shooting 59.1 percent (13-of-22) from the arc. Flanigan leads the SEC in
three-point field goal percentage at 51.1 percent.
HEATING UP FROM LONG DISTANCE
After a slow start at dialing from long distance this year, the Rebels are
getting hot from the three-point line. Prior to the Dec. 18 game versus
Troy State, Ole Miss was ranked last in the SEC in three-point field goals
made per game at 4.63. However, that has changed in Ole Miss' last six
contests. The Rebels hit a school-record 14 treys versus Troy State, nine
versus Southern Illinois and Southern Cal, seven versus Iowa State and 10
versus Morris Brown and Vanderbilt. Over those six games, the Rebels have
hit 9.83 treys per contest. Ole Miss is also hitting 44 percent from the
arc in those six games.
HARRISON ON THE CHARTS
Junior Jason Harrison (Little Rock, Ark.) has put his name on the Ole Miss
career three-pointers made list. The 5-foot-5 guard jumped into the top
five with his two treys versus Troy State Dec. 18, and now is in the No. 4
spot with 91. Up next for Harrison is Joezon Darby (1996-98), who is No. 3
with 131 career treys. This season, Harrison is shooting 45.2 percent from
the three-point line.
'PROVINE POSSE' STEPS UP AGAIN
The 'Provine Posse' of sophomore David Sanders (Jackson, Miss.) and
freshmen Aaron Harper (Jackson, Miss.) and Justin Reed came up big again
for the Rebels in the win over Vanderbilt Jan. 6. Reed led the team with
19 points, while Sanders hit 6-of-7 from the foul line, including four
straight in the final four minutes. Harper added five points, four
rebounds and four assists in the win.
It was the third game this year that the 'Posse' shined. The trio, led by
Reed's double-double of 16 points and 13 rebounds, helped Ole Miss to an
88-84 overtime win at VCU Nov. 25. One week later (Dec. 2), the trio
combined to score 38 of the Rebels' 60 points in a win over Oklahoma
(60-55). Harper led the way with 18 points versus the Sooners.
OLE MISS PICKED SIXTH IN WEST BY MEDIA
The Ole Miss Rebels were picked to finish in sixth place in the SEC
Western Division in a vote by media members at the annual conference media
days Nov. 1-2 in Birmingham, Ala. Arkansas was picked to win the SEC
Western Division championship, while Tennessee was selected to win both the
SEC overall title and the Eastern Division crown.
HITTING 'EM WHEN THEY COUNT
The Rebels haven't had a reputation for hitting a high percentage >from the
charity stripe the last couple of seasons, especially down the stretch in
games. However, that may be changing in 2000-01. Ole Miss is hitting 67.4
percent from the foul line for the season, but more importantly, the Rebels
are hitting their foul shots down the stretch. In their wins over Sam
Houston State, VCU, Oklahoma, Memphis, Southern Illinois, Southern Cal and
Vanderbilt, the Rebels shot 75.6 percent from the line (62-of-82) in the
final four minutes (and overtime) of those games.
REBELS VERSUS THE SEC WESTERN DIVISION
The Rebels have a 41-49 regular-season record versus teams from the SEC
Western Division. Ole Miss is 41-50 versus the SEC Western Division teams,
including tournament play.
THE MAGIC NUMBER IS...
Well, for the Rebels, it seems as if that number is 70. Since the 1996-97
season and including this campaign, Ole Miss has an incredible 80-9 record
(.899 winning percentage) when it scores 70 points or more. On the other
hand, the Rebels are 13-35 when they net less than 70 points during that
five-year period (including 2000-01). This season, Ole Miss has a 9-0
record when scoring 70 points or more.
...BUT SCORING 70 ISN'T NECESSARY IN 2000-01
As discussed in the previous note, the Rebels have been nearly unbeatable
when they score 70 points or more. However, the 2000-01 Rebels are proving
they can win games when they don't reach that magical number of 70. Ole
Miss is 4-1 this year when scoring less than 70 points, with the lone
setback being a 73-68 loss to Iowa State in the championship game of the
Yahoo! Sports Invitational.
The old saying is that defense wins championships. If that is the case,
Ole Miss may be in contention for a title in 2000-01, especially if the
Rebels can continue to hassle the opposition with their defensive pressure.
Ole Miss is holding its opponents to an average of 62.5 points per game,
which is tied with Alabama for the top spot in the Southeastern Conference.
MOVING ON UP THE CHARTS
With his 12-rebound performance versus Arkansas-Pine Bluff Nov. 18, senior
Rahim Lockhart became the 15th player in Rebel basketball history to grab
500 boards in a career. He now has 632 career rebounds, after grabbing
seven boards versus Vanderbilt Jan. 6. Lockhart is in the No. 11 spot on
the Ole Miss career rebounding list, and needs five more rebounds to take
over the No. 10 spot currently held by Joe Harvell (1990-93, 636 career
rebounds). Lockhart entered the 1999-2000 season with 278 boards, and with
his 220 rebounds in 1999-2000, he had 498 rebounds coming into the 2000-01
'GET THAT SHOT OUTTA HERE!!!'
Senior Rahim Lockhart recorded a career-best five blocked shots versus
Memphis Dec. 9. After his two blocks versus Vanderbilt Jan. 6, he now has
111 for his career and is in third place on the Ole Miss career blocked
shots chart. Up next for Lockhart is Johnnie Rogers (1996-99), who is
second with 114 career blocked shots. The 6-foot-8 forward entered the
2000-01 season with 83 career blocks. Lockhart led the Rebels in blocked
shots the previous two seasons with 44 and 46 blocks, respectively.
REBELS FINISH SECOND IN HAWAII TOURNAMENT
Ole Miss placed second in the Yahoo! Sports Invitational played in Laie,
Hawaii, Dec. 21-23. The Rebels fell to Iowa State, 73-68 in the
invitational's championship game. Ole Miss advanced to the title game with
victories over Southern Illinois (70-66) and No. 13-ranked Southern Cal
(84-83) in overtime.
Before their loss to Iowa State Dec. 23, the Rebels had won 11 straight
games, tying the school record for consecutive victories. The 1936-37 and
1937-38 teams also posted 11-game win streaks.
LOCKHART NAMED TO YAHOO! ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Senior Rahim Lockhart was selected to the Yahoo! Sports Invitational
All-Tournament Team the weekend of Dec. 21-23. The 6-foot-8 forward
averaged 12.7 points and 9.0 rebounds in the tournament's three games. He
recorded his 19th career double-double (16 points, 13 rebounds) in the
Rebels' victory over No. 13-ranked Southern Cal Dec. 22. It was the second
straight season that Lockhart received tournament honors. Last year, he
earned All-Tournament Team accolades at the SoCon Holiday Hoops Tournament
(Nov. 26-28, 1999).
HOLMES HAS SOLID TOURNAMENT SHOWING
Senior Jason Holmes (Tylertown, Miss.) played big for the Rebels in the
Yahoo! Sports Invitational Dec. 21-23. The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 8.3
points in the tournament, but scored in double figures versus No. 13-ranked
Southern Cal and Iowa State.
In the Rebels' win over the Trojans, Holmes netted 10 points, but none as
key as his four free throws in the contest. His first two free throws
pulled the Rebels to within two points at 78-76 with 31 seconds left in
regulation, setting up Aaron Harper's game-tying hoop. Then, Holmes' two
free throws in overtime gave Ole Miss the lead for good at 82-80 with 2:49
Holmes followed that performance with 12 points versus Iowa State in the
title game. He shot 3-of-4 from the three-point line and 3-of-3 from the
free throw line in the contest.
LOCKHART DOUBLES HIS PLEASURE
Senior Rahim Lockhart is picking up where he left off last year?doubling
his pleasure. Lockhart came into the 2000-01 season with 14 career
double-doubles, and he recorded his 20th double-double performance in Ole
Miss' win over Morris Brown (10 points-10 rebounds). He also had
double-doubles versus Arkansas-Pine Bluff (17-12) Nov. 18,
Louisiana-Monroe (16-10) Nov. 28, Memphis (15-14) Dec. 9, Southeastern
Louisiana (21-14) Dec. 13 and Southern Cal (16-13) Dec. 22. Last year,
Lockhart had 13 double-doubles, which ranked him in the top 10 in the
nation in that statistical category. His first career double-double came
versus Tennessee (16-12) as a sophomore in the 1998-99 season.
DARE WE SAY IT...
Yes, we must. The Rebels were en fuego?on fire?from the three-point arc
in their victory over Troy State Dec. 18. Ole Miss hit a school-record 14
treys, breaking the previous mark of 13 three-pointers versus Arkansas in
the 1991-92 season (Jan. 18, 1992, 114-93 Arkansas win). The Rebels shot
41.2 percent from the arc in the win over the Trojans, led by redshirt
freshman Josh Hayes' (Little Rock, Ark.) 6-of-7 shooting performance from
the arc. This season, Ole Miss is hitting 37.9 percent from the arc.
Wednesday's game will be a matchup between the top two three-point
shooters in the SEC. Ole Miss' Jason Flanigan leads the league from the
arc at 51.1 percent, while Arkansas' Jannero Pargo is second at 48.5
percent... Wednesday's game will be a reunion of All-State high school
players from Mississippi. Arkansas' Alonzo Lane was an All-State pick from
Canton High School, while Aaron Harper, Justin Reed and David Sanders were
All-State selections from Provine High School...A Parkview High School
reunion could also take place Wednesday night. The Rebels have three
players from Parkview in Jason Flanigan, Jason Harrison, Josh Hayes, and
Arkansas freshman Michael Jones is also from Parkview...Ole Miss has moved
up in the SEC in three-point field goals made per game. Prior to their
Dec. 18 game, the Rebels were 12th in the SEC, making 4.63 treys per game.
In the current SEC rankings, Ole Miss is sixth at 6.86 treys per
contest...The Rebels' win at Vanderbilt Jan. 6 ended an 11-game road losing
streak in the SEC. Prior to the Jan. 6 win over the Commodores, Ole Miss'
last SEC road victory was a 79-68 win at Florida Feb. 6, 1999 (1998-99