GAMEDAY PREVIEW: Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State

By ALAN FERGUSON, STATS Writer

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) -- When this season began, Ole Miss was hopeful of moving into the Top 25 while Mississippi State already had a spot.

The roles are reversed heading into today's SEC opener with the 14th-ranked Rebels trying to at least maintain their position with a win over the visiting Bulldogs. The game will be televised on the SEC Network and available online at ESPN360.com.

Mississippi State was No. 18 in the preseason AP Top 25 with 393 votes while Ole Miss garnered only 15. Early season struggles pushed the Bulldogs out of the poll, while the Rebels have ascended to their highest ranking since finishing the 2000-01 season at No. 14.

Ole Miss (12-2) has beaten all 12 unranked teams it's faced this season and has rebounded from a 76-66 loss at then-No. 6 West Virginia with consecutive home wins.

The Rebels improved to 8-0 in Oxford this season with Tuesday night's 84-56 drubbing of Central Florida. Terrico White topped 20 points for the second straight game with a team-best 21, and Chris Warren had 14 to surpass 1,000 points in his 60th career game.

"I really didn't know I was close until just before the game today," Warren said. "My main focus was to get us off to a good start, and we did that."

Warren and fellow starting guard Eniel Polynice missed most of last season with knee injuries, and key reserve Trevor Gaskins didn't play at all because of one.

The Rebels have been helped this season by a healthier roster, including Warren averaging 16.9 points and Polynice adding 10.6 per game along with a team-high 4.6 assists. Terrico White, the conference's freshman of the year in 2008-09, tops the Rebels with 17.3 points per game.

White has averaged 19.5 points in two matchups with Mississippi State (12-3), including a 67-63 road win Jan. 31. That was Ole Miss' third victory in four meetings, but the Bulldogs won the most recent one and snapped a three-game skid in Oxford with an 82-80 victory March 7.

Ravern Johnson scored 20 points in that win and leads Mississippi State this season with 14.5 per game.

The Bulldogs, who received 26 votes in the latest AP poll, entered this season with optimism, especially with newcomer Renardo Sidney in the fold. The Bulldogs, who won last season's SEC tournament title, were picked to win the conference's West division.

Sidney remains ineligible as the NCAA continues to investigate his case.

The Bulldogs got off to a 3-2 start - both losses came to unranked foes from mid-major conferences. They rebounded with a nine-game win streak before Monday night's 55-52 defeat at Western Kentucky.

Jarvis Varnado had 17 points and 12 rebounds, but only five other players scored during a 36.2-percent shooting performance.

Varnado, a two-time SEC defensive player of the year, led the nation in blocks the last two seasons and is atop that list again with 74. He holds the SEC career record with 468 blocked shots.

The 6-foot-9 forward, who returned for his senior season and gave up his scholarship to help the Bulldogs sign Sidney, is averaging a career-best 14.3 points and 10.9 rebounds. However, he's had 6.8 points and 6.0 rebounds per game in six meetings with Ole Miss.


 

 

    • Game 3: Ole Miss 8, ECU 6

      Sunday, February 19, 2017 - Baseball

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 16.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; color: #333333; -webkit-text-stroke: #333333} span.s1 {font-kerning: none; background-color: #ffffff} span.s2 {font-kerning: none} For the second-consecutive game, ECU held a lead in the late stages of the game. ECU... read more

    • Game 2: Ole Miss 3, ECU 2

      Saturday, February 18, 2017 - Baseball

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; min-height: 17.0px} Ole Miss rallied from a two-run deficit in the late innings to knock off ECU 3-2 and clinch the... read more

    • Ole Miss 5, ECU 4

      Friday, February 17, 2017 - Baseball

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px} In a game that had the feel of an SEC Friday night showdown, baserunners were difficult to come by... read more

    • 2017 Ole Miss Baseball Walk Out Music

      Thursday, February 16, 2017 -

      With the 2017 Ole Miss Baseball season beginning tomorrow at Swayze Field (4 p.m. CT vs. No. 6 East Carolina), check out the always much-anticipated walk out music list. Which song is your favorite? Let us know on Twitter by... read more

    • Four Rebels Invited to the NFL Combine

      Monday, February 13, 2017 - Football

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; min-height: 17.0px} Four Rebels will head to Indianapolis to take part in the NFL Combine in hopes of bolstering their draft... read more

    • What They're Saying: Men's Golf Sophomore Braden Thornberry

      Monday, February 13, 2017 - Men's Golf

      The breakout college golfer of the fall is trying to prove it wasn't a fluke. (@OleMissMGolf) https://t.co/S1IgwNJxmJ pic.twitter.com/p0IezRH1ul-- Ryan Herrington (@GWcampusinsider) February 6, 2017 .@tberrygolf enters the mix for this September at LACC.#WalkerCup Watch List: https://t.co/UPkkcOD3lX pic.twitter.com/0Sprbl7Qv4-- Golfweek (@golfweek) February... read more

    • Rebels Focus on Defense on Signing Day

      Wednesday, February 1, 2017 - Football

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; min-height: 17.0px} Ole Miss' defense needed a shot in the arm after a 2016 season to forget. It began by retooling... read more

    • Engram Named a Top Performer by NFL Network's Mike Mayock

      Monday, January 30, 2017 - Football

      The Senior Bowl always offers players a chance to improve their draft stock by performing well against some of the best players in the nation. Evan Engram took advantage of that opportunity. NFL Network's draft expert Mike Mayock named Engram... read more

    • Know the Opponent: Texas A&M

      Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - Men's Basketball

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; min-height: 17.0px} Know the Opponent: Texas A&M (10-8, 2-5) KenPom ranking: 64 Best win: vs. No. 50 Virginia Tech Worst loss:... read more

    • Rebels Impressing at East-West Shrine Game

      Thursday, January 19, 2017 - Football

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; min-height: 17.0px} p.p3 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Arial; color: #222221; -webkit-text-stroke: #222221} span.s1 {font: 14.0px Helvetica; color: #000000;... read more

    • Former Rebel Coach Ron Aldy Honored at Kirk Academy

      Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - Women's Basketball

      Former Women's Basketball Head Coach Ron Aldy and his family at gym floor dedication at Kirk Academy today. pic.twitter.com/Ruyc9TFui5-- Holmes Athletics (@holmesathletics) January 14, 2017 p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px... read more

    • Tunsil Named AFC East Rookie of the Year by ESPN

      Monday, January 16, 2017 - Football

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; min-height: 17.0px} Miami Dolphins offensive lineman and Ole Miss' former blind side protector Laremy Tunsil was named AFC East rookie of... read more

    • Three Rebel Coaches Among Top-20 Recruiters Nationally

      Friday, January 13, 2017 - Football

      With the hiring of Jacob Peeler as wide receiver coach, #OleMiss now has three asst coaches ranked in @247Sports '16 Top 20 best recruiters.-- Brad Logan (@BradLoganCOTE) January 10, 2017 Ole Miss football bolstered its coaching staff by adding coaching... read more

    • Know the Opponent: Georgia

      Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - Men's Basketball

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; min-height: 17.0px} Georgia (10-5, 2-1) KenPom ranking: 61 Best win: at No. 103 Auburn Worst loss: at No. 79 Oakland Ole... read more

    • Know the Opponent: Auburn

      Saturday, January 7, 2017 -

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; min-height: 17.0px} Know the Opponent: Auburn (10-4) KenPom ranking: 105 Best win: No. 28 Texas Tech Worst loss: No. 172 Boston... read more

OFFICIAL STORE

GET SOCIAL

Twitter

  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago

Instagram

Facebook