Jelan Kendrick (AP photo)
Jan. 9, 2012
Ole Miss Game Notes
SEC HOME OPENER: Ole Miss (10-5, 0-1 SEC) vs. Arkansas (12-3, 1-0 SEC)
Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012 | 7:00 p.m. CT
Oxford, Miss. | Tad Smith Coliseum (9,061)
Television: SEC Network (Dave Baker, play-by-play; Kyle Macy, analyst).
Live Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network (David Kellum, play-by-play; Keith Carter, analyst).
Satellite Radio: SIRIUS 219, XM 201
Live Video: ESPN3.com
Live Audio: RebelVision
• Ole Miss will defend its 6-0 home record when it entertains Arkansas in the team’s SEC home opener.
• The Rebels are 37-41 all-time in SEC home openers.
• Andy Kennedy has the most wins by a Rebel coach in his first six years (115).
• Ole Miss has played the nation’s No. 46 toughest schedule according to the NCAA RPI report.
• The Rebels have won 19 of the last 27 meetings and six of the last seven against Arkansas.
• The Rebels have won 13 of the last 15 bouts with the Razorbacks in Oxford.
• Ole Miss is 78-15 in games played at Tad Smith Coliseum during Kennedy’s tenure.
• As a team, Ole Miss ranks 14th in the most recent NCAA rankings with 5.9 blocks/game.
• The Rebels are 7-1 when they win the turnover battle and 3-4 when they have more turnovers than the opponent.
• Junior F Murphy Holloway has missed the last three games and 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 193 career blocks. He ranks 3rd in the SEC and 26th nationally with 2.6 blocks/game this year.
• Jarvis Summers ranks third among SEC freshmen in assists and second in free-throw attempts.
REBELS LOOK TO BOUNCE BACK AGAINST HOGS
Ole Miss returns to Tad Smith Coliseum for its first SEC home game of the year against the Arkansas Razorbacks. The Rebels fell 81-55 at LSU in the league opener on Saturday. Leading rebounder Murphy Holloway missed his third straight game and is day-to-day coming into this week. Andy Kennedy’s team will be back on the road this Saturday to face the Auburn Tigers.
REBELS IN SEC HOME OPENERS
The Rebels have an overall record of 37-41 in their first SEC home game of the year. Ole Miss has gone 2-2 in its last four league home openers. Before losing to Mississippi State each of the last two seasons, Ole Miss beat LSU in 2008 and Arkansas in 2009.
Ole Miss has played the nation’s No. 46 ranked schedule, according to the most recent NCAA RPI report. Six previous Rebel opponents have a current RPI of better than 120, and Ole Miss is 3-5 in those game thus far. The Rebels have an RPI rank of 50.
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 RAZORBACKS
Arkansas comes to Oxford with a 12-3 overall record and an upset win over No. 15 Mississippi State (98-88) in the league opener Saturday in Fayetteville. First-year head coach Mike Anderson has the Razorbacks rolling with seven straight wins (all at home). The team is 0-2 in road games so far (losses at Connecticut and Oklahoma). Arkansas has the third-ranked offense in the SEC (78.3 ppg), while the Hogs lead the league in turnover margin (+4.7) and steals (8.9/game) and rank second in assists (15.7/game) and blocked shots (6.5/game). Freshman BJ Young tops the squad with 14.8 ppg, while Mardracus Wade adds 11.3 ppg and Rickey Scott chips in 10.3 ppg. Devonta Abron leads the team in rebounding with 5.0 rpg.
OLE MISS-ARKANSAS SERIES
Wednesday’s game will be the 69th meeting between the two schools, with the Razorbacks holding an all-time series lead of 41-27. The series began in 1937. Ole Miss has won 19 of the last 27 meetings and six of the last seven. The Rebels have won three straight, including a season sweep last year with a 69-60 win in Fayetteville and 84-74 victory in Oxford behind Chris Warren’s 24 points. Ole Miss holds a 16-5 series lead in games played in Oxford and has won 13 of the last 15 bouts in Tad Smith Coliseum.
BUCKNER SHINES AGAINST HOGS
Some of junior F Reginald Buckner’s greatest performances have come against the Razorbacks. Last year, he totaled 15 blocked shots in two games against Arkansas, including a school record-tying eight blocks in Fayetteville. He also posted 12 points and 11 boards in the road win, then followed it up with 9 points, 8 boards and 7 blocks in the home win a month later.
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 78-15 (.839 win pct.) in games played at Tad Smith Coliseum during Kennedy’s tenure, including a 6-0 record this season. Ole Miss has won 209 of its last 256 games (.816 win pct.) in Oxford dating back to the 1995-96 campaign. The Rebels have an all-time record of 442-194 (.695 win pct.) at Tad Smith Coliseum, which opened in 1965-66.
LOCKING DOWN ON “D”
Ole Miss has played some impressive defensive games this season. Six different times the Rebels have held their opponent below 60 points, including a pair of games under 40. Most recently, the defense came through big in a 50-48 win over SMU on Jan. 3. The Rebels rank fifth in the SEC in field goal percentage defense at 39.5.
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 (38.7). The Rebels block 5.9 shots per game, ranking third in the league and 14th 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 3-4 when they lose the turnover battle.
Seven different players have led Ole Miss in scoring at least once this year, topped by Terrance Henry’s total of five times. Eleven different players are averaging 8+ minutes per game at this juncture, while nine players average 11+ minutes per outing.
Ole Miss has missed the presence of junior F Murphy Holloway in the last four 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 and LSU without him and struggled to a 50-48 win over SMU with Holloway watching from the sideline. He is day-to-day and will be a gameday decision on whether he plays against Arkansas.