Ole Miss Hosts Florida in SEC Play Saturday
Jan. 11, 2018

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Matchup: Florida (12-4, 4-0 SEC) vs. Ole Miss (9-7, 2-2 SEC)
Date: Saturday, January 13, 2018
Time: 12 p.m. CT
Location: Oxford, Miss.
Arena: The Pavilion at Ole Miss
Television: CBS
    Kevin Harlan, play-by-play
    Bill Raftery, analyst
Radio: Ole Miss IMG Sports Network
    David Kellum, play-by-play
    Keith Carter, analyst
Series: Florida leads 65-45
Last Meeting: Jan. 3, 2017
    Florida won 77-72
    Gainesville, Fla.

- First 1,000 fans receive Mt. Rushmore collectable (2 of 4) featuring Gerald Glass

- Eight of the Rebels’ nine wins this season have occurred at home.
- For the second time this week, Ole Miss faces a team undefeated in conference play.
- The Rebels are coming off an 85-70 setback on the road to No. 22 Auburn on Tuesday (Jan. 9), snapping a 10-game winning streak against the Tigers.
- Florida is Ole Miss’ fifth opponent that has either been ranked or receiving votes in the national polls.
- Ole Miss ranks second in the SEC in turnover margin (+4.5) in conference games.
- Freshman Devontae Shuler leads the SEC with eight steals (2.0 per game) in conference games.
- Deandre Burnett has led the Rebels in scoring in both of their SEC wins, averaging 19.5 ppg in those games.
- Sophomore Breein Tyree is averaging 19.0 ppg over the last three games.
- Tyree tied his career high with 24 points versus Auburn and also recorded a personal best with four threes made.
- Junior Terence Davis (13 points, 10 rebounds) and sophomore Dominik Olejniczak (10 points, 10 rebounds) recorded double-doubles at Auburn, the first time Ole Miss had two players earn double-doubles in the same game since March 4, 2017 (vs. South Carolina).
- Senior Marcanvis Hymon ranks 10th in school history with 91 career blocks.
- When he starts, Bruce Stevens averages 13.8 ppg.
- The Rebels rank 26th nationally in blocks per game (5.4).
- Ole Miss is one of eight teams nationwide to have at least nine different starting lineups this season.
- Guards are accounting for 71.9 percent of the Rebels’ scoring.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 1,290-1,289 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.

Florida enters Saturday’s contest with a 12-4 record, including a perfect 4-0 mark in SEC play. The Gators won their first five games of the season before dropping four of five contests; however, they got back to their early season form and are currently riding a six-game winning streak. Florida takes care of the basketball, leading the SEC in turnover margin (+5.1) and turnovers per game (10.1) with both ranking top 10 nationally. The Gators also pace the conference in steals per game (7.6) and 3-pointers made per game (9.6). Jalen Hudson, in his first year as a Gator after transferring from Virginia Tech, leads Florida in scoring at 16.6 ppg. Egor Koulechov, the SEC’s best free throw shooter at 93.9 percent (46 of 49), averages 15.5 ppg to go along with a team-high 6.8 rebounds per game. Chris Chiozza (12.9 ppg) is one of the conference leaders in assists (5.8 per game) and steals (1.9 per game), ranking second and third, respectively. Florida is coached by Mike White, who is in his third season at the helm of the program after serving as the head coach at Louisiana Tech for four seasons. White is a Rebel, having played at Ole Miss (1996-99) before serving as an assistant coach for seven seasons (2005-11).

Saturday’s game will be the 111th meeting between the Rebels and the Gators. Florida holds a 65-45 lead in the series, which began in 1940, including a win in Gainesville last year. The Gators have won three in a row since the Rebels earned a home-and-home sweep of Florida in 2015, which was their first season sweep of UF since 1990. Ole Miss owns a 29-23 edge in games played in Oxford. Ten of the last 13 games in the series have been decided by seven points or less.

The last time Ole Miss and Florida met (Jan. 3, 2017), the Gators protected their home floor and emerged with a 70-63 win. Sebastian Saiz posted his fifth straight double-double with 15 points and 13 boards, but it wasn’t enough in the SEC road contest. The Gators built a 19-point lead that the Rebels only managed to get to single digits twice in the second half. Deandre Burnett’s 3-pointer cut Florida’s big lead to 42-34 with 14:18 remaining, but the Gators responded with an 11-0 spurt that essentially put the game away. Burnett led the Rebels with 18 points.

The Gators are led by third-year head coach and former Ole Miss letterwinner Mike White. A point guard for the Rebels from 1996-99, White helped Ole Miss to 74 wins, two SEC West titles and three NCAA Tournament appearances in his four years in Oxford. A co-captain as a senior, White ranks seventh in Ole Miss history with 370 career assists. After his playing career, White served as an Ole Miss assistant coach for seven seasons, including five under head coach Andy Kennedy.

With Ole Miss and Florida playing on CBS, this game will serve as a reunion of sorts in Oxford. On Jan. 30, 1999, Bill Raftery called a game for CBS between Ole Miss and No. 21 Arkansas at Tad Smith Coliseum. Behind 33 points from Keith Carter, currently Ole Miss’ Senior Associate A.D. for Development/Athletics Foundation Executive Director, the Rebels emerged with an 89-81 win. Also dishing out a team-high four assists and scoring seven points that game was Mike White. Nineteen years later, Raftery returns to Oxford to call the Ole Miss-Florida contest in The Pavilion with Carter serving as the analyst on the Ole Miss IMG Sports Network and White coaching the visiting Gators.

Winning at home has been a trademark of Andy Kennedy’s squads since he took the reins in 2006-07. Ole Miss is 141-37 (.792 win pct.) in home games during Kennedy’s tenure. In two seasons playing in the $96.5 million Pavilion at Ole Miss, the Rebels hold a 28-11 (.718) advantage against the opposition. Ole Miss has won 266 of its last 335 games (.794 win pct.) in Oxford dating back to the 1996-97 campaign.

Ole Miss saw its 10-game winning streak against No. 22 Auburn come to an end Tuesday night. The Rebels jumped out to a 45-35 lead at the half, but the Tigers exploded for 50 points in the final 20 minutes to win 85-70. Breein Tyree continued his strong play with a game-high 24 points, matching his career high. Terence Davis (13 points, 10 rebounds) and Dominik Olejniczak (10 points, 10 rebounds) recorded double-doubles, the first time Ole Miss had two players with double-doubles since March 4, 2017 (vs. South Carolina). Bruce Stevens added 12 points as well, knocking down a pair of threes after entering the game with only two three-pointers made all year.  

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 last week (Jan. 6), 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 24th all-time in winning percentage for SEC regular season games at .526 (100-90). He joined Kentucky head coach John Calipari as the only active SEC coaches with 100 SEC victories.

Sophomore Breein Tyree had been on fire over the last three games, averaging 19.0 ppg and shooting 44.4 percent from the field. The Somerset, New Jersey, native has gone 9 of 18 from three-point range during the stretch as well. On the road versus Georgia (Jan. 3), 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 (Jan. 6), 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. During Tuesday night’s game at No. 22 Auburn (Jan. 9), Tyree tied his career high with a game-best 24 points. He knocked down a career-high four three-pointers and went 6 of 6 at the free throw line.     

Averaging 5.4 blocks per game, Ole Miss ranks 26th in the country. Five Rebels have reached double digits in blocks, led by 20 from senior Marcanvis Hymon, who ranks 10th all-time in program history with 91 career rejections. Junior guard Terence Davis and senior forward Justas Furmanavicius have 16 apiece. In his first season as a Rebel, Bruce Stevens has 12 blocks. With nine blocks in the last six games, seven-footer Dominik Olejniczak reached double figures with 11 rejections.

Ole Miss is 6-3 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, averaging 29.2 points per game. In five of the Rebels’ 16 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 71.9 percent of the Rebels’ points. The top four scorers on the team are guards led by Deandre Burnett (14.4 ppg), Terence Davis (13.5 ppg) Breein Tyree (10.4 ppg) and Markel Crawford (10.3 ppg). Freshman Devontae Shuler adds 8.8 ppg (sixth on team).

Ole Miss has taken care of the basketball this season. The Rebels have coughed up the rock only 185 times, ranking 37th nationally in fewest turnovers surrendered. Averaging only 11.6 turnovers per game, Ole Miss is 36th in the nation. Also the Rebels’ 1.4 assist/turnover ratio sits third in the SEC and 33rd in the country. Senior guard Deandre Burnett holds the fourth-best individual assist/turnover ratio in the SEC at 2.7, which ranks 48th 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 16 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 26 of the last 31 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 (16) 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 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 throws made (72). He sits top 100 nationally in all of those categories, including 48th 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 a focal point of the front court that has replaced 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 16 games, Hymon leads the Rebels in blocks (20) and ranks second in rebounds (5.8 per game). Through 90 career games, Hymon is moving up the school’s career blocks chart. He ranks 10th with 91 career rejections following a team-high 40 last season. 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.  

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 8.8 ppg in 21.6 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’ 16 games and leads the team in minutes per game (30.3), which ranks 14th in the SEC. He also is second on the team in steals (17) and averages 10.3 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 five starts, he is averaging 13.8 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 seven games, Stevens has made 28 of 34 free throws (82.3 percent) to increase his season percentage to .730.

Ole Miss has been active with their hands on the defensive end of the floor, averaging 6.9 steals per game to rank fifth in the SEC. Through 16 games, five 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 14 steals, and seven-footer Dominik Olejniczak has 10 of his own. Olejniczak swiped a career-high three steals Tuesday night at Auburn (Jan. 9). 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 243-147 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.

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) - 261
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

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

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 return to life on the road. It will be part of a stretch in which the Rebels play three of four games away from home and also mark the first time this season that Ole Miss will play back-to-back road games.






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