Rebels Look to Continue Streak Versus Auburn Tuesday
Jan. 8, 2018

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Matchup: Ole Miss (9-6, 2-1 SEC) at #22/24 Auburn (14-1, 2-0 SEC)
Date: Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Time: 8 p.m. CT
Location: Auburn, Ala.
Arena: Auburn Arena (9,121)
Television: ESPNU
    Rich Hollenberg, play-by-play
    Debbie Antonelli, analyst
Radio: Ole Miss IMG Sports Network
    David Kellum, play-by-play
    Marc Dukes, analyst
Series: Auburn leads 75-58
Last Meeting: February 11, 2017
    Ole Miss won 90-84
    Oxford, Miss.

- Ole Miss has won 10 straight over Auburn and 13 out of the last 15 matchups.
- The Rebels won two of their first three SEC games for the fourth time in the past six seasons.
- Ole Miss ranks second in the SEC in scoring defense (66.0 ppg) and turnover margin (+5.0) in conference games.
- With 100 victories in regular season conference games, Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy is the 23rd coach in SEC history to record 100 SEC wins.
- The Rebels are 15-5 versus Auburn under Kennedy.
- In the two games against Auburn last season, Ole Miss converted 51 of 59 free throws (86.4 percent); the Rebels also averaged 59.0 ppg, outscoring the Tigers 118-81, in the second half of those comeback victories.
- Deandre Burnett (18.0 ppg), Terence Davis (12.0 ppg) and Marvancis Hymon (10.3 ppg) average double figures versus Auburn throughout their careers as Rebels.  
- Ole Miss is coming off a 64-58 win over Mississippi State, its eighth win in the last nine matchups versus its rival.
- Freshman Devontae Shuler leads the SEC with eight steals (2.7 per game) in conference games.
- Sophomore Breein Tyree averaged 16.5 ppg in SEC games last week.
- The Rebels rank 24th nationally in fewest turnovers (173), 25th in blocks per game (5.5) and 27th in assist/turnover ratio (1.4).
- Ole Miss is one of eight teams nationwide to have at least nine different starting lineups this season.
- Ten different players have started games this year for Ole Miss, one of six schools nationally to have done that.
- Guards are accounting for 72.1 percent of the Rebels’ scoring.
- Deandre Burnett has led the Rebels in scoring in both of their SEC wins, averaging 19.5 ppg in those games.
- Ole Miss is in the 12th season of the Andy Kennedy era; Kennedy, the Dean of the SEC, is the winningest coach in school history with 243 victories.
- Senior Marcanvis Hymon ranks 10th in school history with 90 career blocks.
- Ole Miss has posted conference records over .500 in each of the last three seasons, the first time they have done that since 1936-1938. 

Playing their 108th season of college basketball, the Rebels are 1,290-1,288 all-time. After a win over Eastern Kentucky (Nov. 13) earlier this season, Ole Miss moved its all-time winning percentage over .500 for the first time since Jan. 12, 1959 when they were 441-440 overall. To put that in perspective, a gallon of gas cost 25 cents, while 1959 was also the year that Alaska and Hawaii became states. As a program, Ole Miss was 95 games under .500 when Andy Kennedy took over in Oxford prior to the 2006-07 season.

Auburn enters Tuesday’s matchup with a 14-1 record, winners of 12 straight games. The Tigers took down Tennessee and Arkansas to begin SEC play last week. Auburn leads the SEC in multiple categories, including scoring margin (+14.3), blocks per game (6.4) and free throw percentage (.778). The Tigers rank top 25 nationally in all three categories, their highest being seventh in blocks per game. Individually, Anfernee McLemore is ninth in the country as the SEC’s leader in blocks (3.2 per game). Auburn averages 87.3 ppg to rank 12th nationally led by Mustapha Heron (15.9 ppg) and Bryce Brown (15.7 ppg). Bruce Pearl is in his fourth season guiding the Auburn program. He is in his 23rd season as a head coach with stops at Southern Indiana (1992-2001), Milwaukee (2001-05) and Tennessee (2005-11) before arriving at Auburn in 2014.

Auburn leads the all-time series 75-58, but the Rebels have won 10 straight over the Tigers and 13 of the last 15. Ole Miss’ current 10-game winning streak over Auburn is the longest in school history against an SEC foe, bettering a pair of eight game streaks against LSU and Mississippi State. During the winning streak, five of the Rebels’ victories occurred in Oxford, four in Auburn and one at the SEC Tournament (2012). Head coach Andy Kennedy is 15-5 in his career against the Tigers including the 10 straight wins.

With two victories over Auburn last year, Ole Miss beat the Tigers multiple times in a season for the forth time in the last six seasons. First, the Rebels stormed back to take down Auburn on its own floor (Jan. 7, 2017). Facing an eight-point halftime deficit, Ole Miss outscored Auburn 55-44 in the final 20 minutes to earn an 88-85 victory. Six Rebels scored in double figures led by Deandre Burnett (18 points) and Terence Davis (16 points). Sebastian Saiz recorded another double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Justas Furmanavicius added 11 points. Along with making 12 threes, Ole Miss knocked down 24 of 28 (85.7 percent) from the line. To keep the winning streak versus Auburn going, the Rebels had to orchestrate one of the biggest comebacks in school history in the second matchup of the season (Feb. 11, 2017). With 18:53 left in the second half, Auburn hit a 3-pointer that increased the Tigers lead to 23 points at 52-29. From that point forward, Davis and Cullen Neal saw to the Rebels’ rapid comeback in the second half to knock off Auburn 90-84. Davis hit 11 of 13 shots for 26 points in the final 20 minutes of the game. He and Neal combined for 41 of the Rebels 63 second half points to finish the game with 26 and 20 points, respectively. Ole Miss overcame a 20-point halftime deficit for just the second time in school history. The 23-point comeback tied the largest in school history, when the Rebels erased the same 23-point deficit to knock off Alabama in 2010. Much like the first contest, the Rebels were very good at the free throw line, hitting 27 of 31 (87.1 percent) from the charity stripe.

Three Rebels are averaging double figures versus Auburn throughout their careers in an Ole Miss uniform. In his first season as a Rebel, last year, Deandre Burnett scored 18.0 ppg in a pair of victories over the Tigers. Terence Davis averages 12.0 ppg in four games against Auburn. He only played 10 minutes total versus the SEC foe as a freshman but he tallied 21.0 ppg in last season’s contests. Also facing the Tigers four times, Marcanvis Hymon tallies 10.3 ppg against them over his career. As a sophomore during the 2015-16 campaign, Hymon averaged 15.5 points and 8.0 rebounds in the Auburn games.

Prior to joining Andy Kennedy’s staff, Ole Miss assistant coach Tony Madlock spent four seasons (2010-13) as an assistant coach at Auburn under Tony Barbee. While coaching the Tigers, Madlock recruited three top-100 players. He also coached Chris Denson, who earned second team All-SEC honors following the 2013-14 campaign. Since arriving at Ole Miss, Madlock is 5-0 against his former team.

Behind a stifling 1-3-1 zone defense and 16 second-half points from Breein Tyree, Ole Miss erased a nine-point deficit in the final eight minutes to continue its winning ways against Mississippi State. The Rebels outscored the Bulldogs 20-5 over the final 7:40 to claim a 64-58 victory Saturday afternoon (Jan. 6) at The Pavilion. The win was the Ole Miss’ eighth over MSU in the past nine meetings of the in-state rivalry, and it also gave head coach Andy Kennedy his 100th SEC victory. This game was no work of art as the Rebels trailed by as many as 13 points. Deandre Burnett led all scorers with 21 points. Ole Miss shot 21 of 62 (33.9 percent) from the field, its lowest field goal percentage in a victory since March 8, 2014 versus Vanderbilt (33.3 percent).

With a win versus Mississippi State on Saturday, head coach Andy Kennedy earned his 100th win in SEC regular season games to become the 23rd coach in conference history to accomplish the feat. Kennedy, the winningest coach in Ole Miss history, is also ranked 23rd all-time in winning percentage for SEC regular season games at .529 (100-89). He joined Kentucky head coach John Calipari as the only active SEC coaches with 100 SEC victories.

Sophomore Breein Tyree had a big week for the Rebels, averaging 16.5 ppg with a .481 shooting percentage from the field and going 5 of 8 from beyond the arc. On the road versus Georgia, Tyree came off the bench and scored a team-high 17 points with the help of making 3 of 4 from long distance. Versus Mississippi State, Tyree led the Rebels’ comeback by scoring all 16 of his points in the second half. Trailing by as many as 11 in the second half, Ole Miss ended the game on a 20-5 run. Tyree scored seven of the team’s final 11 points, including two buckets in the final minute to help the Rebels maintain the lead.    

Averaging 5.5 blocks per game, Ole Miss ranks 25th in the country. Five Rebels have reached double digits in blocks, led by 19 from senior Marcanvis Hymon. With two rejections in the win over South Carolina on Sunday, Hymon reached 90 blocks for his career to move to 10th all-time in program history. Junior guard Terence Davis and senior forward Justas Furmanavicius have 15 apiece. In his first season as a Rebel, Bruce Stevens has 12 blocks. With eight blocks in the last five games, seven-footer Dominik Olejniczak reached double figures with 10 rejections.

Ole Miss is 6-2 in games decided by double digits. When the margin is less than 10, the Rebels are only 3-4. Three of those single-digit setbacks occurred in overtime, and the close encounters have hindered a better record. In half of their wins, the Rebels have never had to face a deficit. Ole Miss led throughout in victories over Eastern Kentucky (Nov. 13), Sam Houston State (Dec. 13) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Dec. 19). 

The Ole Miss bench has played a prominent role in scoring through the early part of the 2017-18 campaign, averaging 30.1 points per game. In five of the Rebels’ 15 games, the bench has scored at least 40 points. The season high for bench points occurred against Utah (Nov. 20) in Las Vegas, as the reserves tallied 46 of the team’s 74 points. During a win over Bradley (Dec. 22), the Ole Miss bench accounted for 50 percent of the scoring (41 of 82).

Andy Kennedy has proven to develop guards during his time at Ole Miss. Over Kennedy’s 11 seasons in Oxford, 12 guards have earned All-SEC accolades to rank third among conference teams. This season, the depth at guard shows in terms of scoring. Ole Miss guards have accounted for 72.1 percent of the Rebels’ points. The top five scorers on the team are guards led by Deandre Burnett (14.4 ppg), Terence Davis (13.5 ppg) and Markel Crawford (10.5 ppg). Breein Tyree contributes 9.5 ppg, while freshman Devontae Shuler adds 9.0 ppg.

Ole Miss has taken care of the basketball this season. The Rebels have coughed up the rock only 173 times, ranking 24th nationally in fewest turnovers surrendered. Averaging only 11.5 turnovers per game, Ole Miss is 33rd in the nation. Also by dishing out 16.3 assists per game (54th nationally), the Rebels’ 1.4 assist/turnover ratio sits third in the SEC and 27th in the country. Senior guard Deandre Burnett holds the fourth-best individual assist/turnover ratio in the SEC at 2.7, which ranks 45th nationwide.

With more depth than last year’s squad, head coach Andy Kennedy has experimented with starting lineups to try to find the best starting five. Through 15 games, the Rebels have sent out nine different starting lineups. Ole Miss is one of eight teams nationally that has had at least nine different starting lineups this season. Ten Rebels have started at least one game this season, and only six teams nationwide have had at least 10 different players start at any point of the year.  

After a breakout sophomore season last year, averaging 14.9 points per game after only providing 1.8 points per game as a freshman (largest increase in scoring among any returning player in the conference), Terence Davis has become a go-to scorer for Ole Miss. The Southaven, Mississippi, native has scored in double figures in 25 of the last 30 games dating back to last season. Averaging 13.5 ppg, Davis has already reached the 20-point plateau four times, including a 25-point performance versus Bradley (Dec. 22). Davis recorded 21 in the season opener versus Louisiana (Nov. 10) before putting up 24 in a win over Georgia State one week later (Nov. 17). Against South Dakota State (Nov. 28), Davis scored 20 of his team-high 22 points in the second half. He has also showcased his skills on the defensive end, ranking second in blocks (15) and third in steals (15). As a sophomore last year, Davis ranked fourth in the league in field goal percentage (.482) and recorded 20+ points in six different games. He became a playmaker on both sides of the floor, leading the Rebels with 50 steals as well.

A first team preseason all-conference selection, senior Deandre Burnett is embracing his role as a leader. Burnett is averaging a team-high 14.4 ppg, while also leading the Rebels with 4.7 assists per game (fourth in the SEC). Not only does he pace Ole Miss in assists, but Burnett takes care of the ball by ranking fourth in the SEC in assist/turnover ratio (2.7). In both of the Rebels’ conference wins, he led the team in scoring. The Miami Gardens, Florida, native tallied team highs in points (18) and assists (6) in a victorious SEC opener versus South Carolina (Dec. 31). Against Mississippi State (Jan. 6), Burnett scored 13 in the first half to keep Ole Miss in the game before he finished with 21 to help his squad rally to victory. As an 86.3 percent shooter at the line for his career, he is on pace to finish as the second-best free throw shooter in Ole Miss history. Last season, his first as a Rebel, Burnett averaged a team-high 16.5 ppg and finished fifth in the SEC in both free throw percentage (.881) and three-point percentage (.376). Finishing eighth in the league in scoring, Burnett reached double figures in 26 of 33 games, including 10 20-plus performances and a career-high 41-point output (Nov. 18, 2016 vs. Oral Roberts). He also shared the rock, providing 104 assists throughout the season (3.2 apg).

Despite coming off the bench in eight of the team’s 15 games, senior guard Deandre Burnett ranks fourth in the SEC in assist/turnover ratio (2.7), assists per game (4.7). He also is fifth in free throw attempts (88) and free throws made (72). He sits top 100 nationally in all of those categories, including 45th in assist/turnover ratio.  

Heading into the season, a big question mark for Ole Miss was who would fill the void left by Sebastian Saiz. With the help of a school-record 409 rebounds, Saiz recorded 23 double-doubles a season ago. Senior Marcanvis Hymon has been the focal point of the front court that needs to replace Saiz. In his fourth year at Ole Miss, the Memphis, Tennessee, native is the only active player to spend all four seasons in Oxford. Through 15 games, Hymon leads the Rebels with 6.1 rpg. He has reached double digits in rebounds three times this year, including a 12-point, 13-rebound performance in the season opener versus Louisiana (Nov. 10). The big opening game marked the third double-double in Hymon’s career. Through 89 career games, Hymon is moving up the school’s career blocks chart. With a team-high 19 already this year, he ranks 10th with 90 career rejections following a team-high 40 last season.

A 4-star guard out of perennial powerhouse Oak Hill Academy, there was a lot of hype surrounding Devontae Shuler entering the season. The freshman is averaging 9.0 ppg in 21.1 minutes per game and swiping a team-high 25 steals (fourth in the SEC). Eight of his 25 steals have occurred in conference games, a number that leads the SEC. In two SEC games last week, Shuler recorded game highs in steals with four at Georgia (Jan. 3) and three versus Mississippi State (Jan. 6). Against South Dakota State (Nov. 28), he recorded a career-high 19 points on 8 of 14 shooting to go along with a team-high three steals. In his debut, Shuler recorded 14 points in 16 minutes off the bench. The Irmo, South Carolina, native knocked down four shots from beyond the arc versus Louisiana (Nov. 10), and his offensive output was the most points by a freshman in a season opener since Trevor Gaskins recorded 21 versus Mississippi Valley State, exactly 10 years ago (Nov. 10, 2007).

As a graduate transfer, Markel Crawford is making his mark in his only season with the Rebels. The Memphis product has started 13 of the Rebels’ 15 games and leads the team in minutes per game (30.3), which ranks 15th in the SEC. He also is second on the team in steals (17) and averages 10.5 points per game. In his first career SEC game, Crawford tallied 17 points to go along with a team-high three steals to help the Rebels secure a victory over South Carolina (Dec. 31). Against South Dakota State (Nov. 28), Crawford scored 19 points, his most as a Rebel, on 7 of 11 shooting.  

When he’s inserted into the starting lineup, junior college transfer Bruce Stevens puts together his best performances as a Rebel. Coming off the bench in 11 games, Stevens has scored a total of 75 points (6.8 ppg). In four starts, he is averaging 14.3 ppg. In his first start, at Middle Tennessee (Dec. 9), he recorded 10 points on 5 of 8 shooting in 25 minutes for his first double-digit scoring game of the season. Stevens followed that game with a 13-point night in a win over Sam Houston State (Dec. 13), going 6 of 7 from the floor. Stevens was unstoppable versus Illinois State (Dec. 16), posting a career-high 27 points that included going 7 of 9 from the floor and 13 of 16 from the free throw line. It was the most points scored this season by a Rebel. Over the last six games, Stevens has made 24 of 30 free throws (80.0 percent) to increase his season percentage to .712.

Ole Miss has been active with their hands on the defensive end of the floor, averaging 7.0 steals per game to rank fifth in the SEC. Through 15 games, four Rebels have recorded double figures in steals. Devontae Shuler leads the way with 25 steals, ranking fourth in the SEC. Shuler has tallied eight steals in conference play, which tops the SEC. Markel Crawford and Terence Davis are closely behind with 17 and 15 steals, respectively, this season. Breein Tyree has 12 steals. Against the Utes (Nov. 20), the Rebels tallied 14 steals throughout the night, a season high for the Red and Blue.

With the 12th season led by Mississippi native Andy Kennedy underway, Ole Miss has a 243-146 record, one SEC Tournament championship, two SEC West championships, nine 20-win campaigns and eight postseason berths, which includes two NCAA Tournament appearances and pair of trips to the NIT Final Four, throughout Kennedy’s watch. The all-time winningest coach in school history, Kennedy has averaged more than 21 wins per season in his 11 years in Oxford after the Rebels posted just three 21-win seasons in the 96 years before his arrival.

In his 12th season in the league, Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy is the Dean of SEC basketball coaches. Kennedy has faced 38 different head coaches in the SEC during his time in Oxford. He is also the longest tenured head coach in the league in both basketball and football having entered the league prior to Alabama football coach Nick Saban.

Andy Kennedy is also fifth on the list for most wins by a coach in their first 12 years in the league after taking over an SEC program. See the list below:

1. Bill Donovan (Florida) – 285
2. Joe B. Hall (Kentucky) – 279
3. Wimp Sanderson (Alabama) – 265
4. Rick Stansbury (Mississippi State) – 255
5. Andy Kennedy (Ole Miss) – 243
6. Kevin Stallings (Vanderbilt) – 236
7. Hugh Durham (Georgia) – 219
8. Ray Mears (Tennessee) – 218
9. Dale Brown (LSU) – 212
10. C.M. Newton (Alabama) – 211
11. Roy Skinner (Vanderbilt) – 204
11. Adolph Rupp (Kentucky) – 204

Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy is climbing the SEC coaching wins chart, ranking 18th with 243 career victories. See complete list below:

1. Adolph Rupp (Kentucky) - 875
2. Billy Donovan (Florida) - 467
3. Dale Brown (LSU) - 448
4. C.M. Newtown (UA/VU) - 340
    Harry Rabenhorst (LSU) - 340
6. Kevin Stallings (Vanderbilt) - 332
7. Tubby Smith (UGA/UK) - 308
8. Joe B. Hall (Kentucky) - 297
    Hugh Durhman (Georgia) - 297
10. Rick Stansbury (MSU) - 293
11. Ray Mears (Tennessee) - 278
    Roy Skinner (Vanderbilt) - 278
13. Wimp Sanderson (Alabama) - 265
    John Mauer (UK/UT/UF) - 265
15. Hank Crisp (Alabama) - 264
16. John Calipari (Kentucky) - 260
17. Nolan Richardson (Arkansas) - 249
18. Andy Kennedy (Ole Miss) - 243
19. Norm Sloan (Florida) - 232
20. Rick Pitino (Kentucky) - 219
21. Joel Eaves (Auburn) - 214

After the quick trip to Auburn, Ole Miss hosts Florida for a Saturday afternoon affair on CBS (Jan. 13). Tipoff is scheduled for noon. Following a matchup with the Gators, back-to-back contests at Texas A&M (Jan. 16) and Arkansas (Jan. 20) await the Rebels as they continue life on the road.






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