Men's Basketball Game Notes
Jan. 13, 2002
Rebels on Television and Radio
Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network (David Kellum, play-by-play, Stan Sandroni, pregame/halftime/postgame host)
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REBEL GAME NOTES
OLE MISS TAKES TO THE ROAD AGAIN, AT KENTUCKY ON TUESDAY: The Ole Miss Rebels (13-3, 2-1 SEC) will begin a two-game road trip on Tuesday, Jan. 15, when they travel to Lexington, Ky., to meet the Kentucky Wildcats (10-4, 1-2 SEC) in a Southeastern Conference showdown. The game, which will be televised by ESPN, is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. (CT) at Rupp Arena. Ole Miss has won nine of its last 10, including two straight league victories over Auburn and No. 22-ranked Mississippi State. The Wildcats ended their two-game losing streak with a 51-50 win at South Carolina Jan. 12. In the Jan. 7 polls, Kentucky was ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press Top 25 and No. 9 in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25.
BARNES IN FOURTH SEASON AS REBEL MENTOR: Rod Barnes is in his fourth season at the helm of the Ole Miss Rebel basketball program. The 2001 Naismith and CollegeInsider.com National Coach of the Year, Barnes has compiled a 79-38 record. He has led Ole Miss to a 13-3 mark this season. Last year, Barnes, the 2001 Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year, guided Ole Miss to a school-record 27 wins (27-8 record) and the program's first trip to the NCAA Tournament "Sweet Sixteen." The winning season and postseason tournament berth both were the fifth-straight for Ole Miss.
Barnes was hired as the Rebel head coach on April 9, 1998. A 1988 graduate of Ole Miss, Barnes served as an assistant under Rob 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-KENTUCKY SERIES: Tuesday's game will be the 99th meeting between the two schools. The Wildcats hold an 87-11 lead in the series, which began in 1925. Kentucky has won four of the last five encounters in the series. The two teams split their meetings in 2000-01, with Ole Miss winning 65-55 in Oxford and Kentucky winning 77-55 in the SEC Tournament title contest in Nashville, Tenn. Kentucky holds a commanding 41-2 series advantage in games played in Lexington. The last Ole Miss victory in Lexington was a 73-64 win in the 1997-98 season (Feb. 14, 1998). Rebel head coach Rod Barnes is 1-4 versus Kentucky and 0-1 versus the Wildcats in Rupp Arena.
SCOUTING KENTUCKY: The Wildcats, ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press poll and No. 9 in the ESPN/USA Today poll, enter Tuesday's game with a 10-4 overall record and a 1-2 Southeastern Conference mark. Kentucky ended its two-game losing streak Jan. 12 with a 51-50 victory at South Carolina. The Tayshaun Prince-Keith Bogans tandem is pacing the Wildcat offense. Prince, a mid-season Wooden Award candidate, leads the squad with a 17.6 average, while Bogans has a 12.4 average. Prince is also the team's top rebounder with a 6.9 average. Cliff Hawkins leads the team in assists (62) and steals (21). Marquis Estill is Kentucky's top shooter from the field (66.7 percent), while Rashaad Carruth is the Wildcats' top three-point threat (48.1 percent). Kentucky, as a team, is hitting 47.4 percent from the floor, 31.7 percent from the three-point line, and 66.7 percent from the charity stripe. The Wildcats are out-rebounding their opponents by an average of 10 boards per game (43.7-33.7).
REBELS VERSUS RANKED TEAMS: Ole Miss will face its third nationally-ranked opponent of 2001-02 Tuesday when it meets Kentucky in Lexington. The Wildcats are ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press poll and No. 9 in the ESPN/USA Today poll. The Rebels are 2-0 against ranked opponents in 2001-02, defeating No. 22-ranked Memphis 71-67 Dec. 7 and No. 22-ranked Mississippi State 66-59 Jan. 12. Last year, the Rebels were 7-4 against ranked opponents. Under head coach Rod Barnes (since the 1998-99 season), Ole Miss has a 14-16 record versus ranked opponents.
SEC NO. 1 VERSUS SEC NO. 2: Tuesday's contest between Ole Miss and Kentucky will feature the Southeastern Conference's two most successful programs since the 1996-97 season. Kentucky is the winningest SEC program in the last six seasons (1996-97 to present), while Ole Miss is the conference's second-winningest program. The following is a "tale of the tape" of the two programs since 1996-97:
IN GOOD COMPANY: One saying is people judge you by the company you keep. If that is the case, Ole Miss must be considered among the Southeastern Conference's elite - especially since 1996-97. The Rebels are one of three SEC teams to advance to the postseason each of the previous five years (4 NCAA, 1 NIT). Kentucky (5 NCAA) and Arkansas (4 NCAA, 1 NIT) are the only two other SEC schools to see action in the last five postseason tournaments.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!: Tuesday's game at Kentucky will be the Rebels' third overall television appearance in 2001-02 and their first in Southeastern Conference play. Ole Miss, however, will play three of its next four contests on television (at Kentucky, Jan. 15, at Arkansas, Jan. 19, South Carolina, Jan. 26). Ole Miss is 2-0 in television games this year, defeating Kansas State 67-65 Nov. 24 and No. 22-ranked Memphis 71-67 Dec. 7 . The Ole Miss-Memphis contest was televised by ESPN.
OLE MISS SECOND MOST WINS SINCE 1996-97: The Rebels have, indeed, been one of the Southeastern Conference's most successful teams in recent years - especially since 1996-97. Ole Miss has won 121 games (overall games) since 1996-97, the most by any SEC Western Division team. The 121 victories are also second among all league teams, only trailing Kentucky's 155 wins. The following charts show the Rebels' success (including the 2001-02 season):
Most Overall/SEC Wins By SEC West Teams
Most Overall/SEC Wins By SEC Teams (Top 6)
BARNES CLOSING IN ON 80: Rod Barnes posted his 70th victory as head coach at Ole Miss earlier in 2001-02, and is now closing in on win No. 80. Barnes won his 70th game in the Rebels' 92-45 win over Morris Brown Nov. 28. He has a current record of 79-38, and reached the 70-win plateau the fastest of any coach in Rebel basketball history. His 79 victories are the fifth most by a head coach in Ole Miss basketball history. The following lists the winningest coaches in Rebel history:
BARNES LOOKING FOR ANOTHER "FIRST": As if he hasn't done enough in his short tenure as head coach of the Ole Miss basketball program, Rod Barnes would achieve another "first" when the Rebels win their next game. With another win, Barnes would have his 80th as head coach and would be the first Rebel mentor to average 20 victories per season in the program's history.
REBELS IN CLOSE CALLS: While the Ole Miss fans may not enjoy the nailbiters this season, the Rebels are proving they can be successful in games decided by single digits. Ole Miss is 5-3 in contests decided by less than 10 points, including narrow victories in its last two games versus Auburn (69-65) and No. 22-ranked Mississippi State (66-59). Last year, the Rebels had a 14-3 mark in games decided by single digits.
This year, Kentucky is 1-3 in close-call contests, including two overtime setbacks to Duke (95-92) and Mississippi State (74-69).
RESILIENT REBELS: Last season, Ole Miss proved when it was down, it wasn't necessarily out. The 2001-02 Rebels are proving they have the same character to comeback. The following chronicles Ole Miss' resiliency:
REED BACK ON TRACK: After a subpar performance at Tennessee Jan. 6 (2 points, 2 boards), sophomore All-America candidate Justin Reed (Jackson, Miss.) bounced back last week in the Rebels' victories over Auburn and No. 22-ranked Mississippi State. In the two games, Reed averaged 19 points and seven rebounds.
The 6-foot-8 forward had 21 points and eight rebounds versus Auburn and hit two key free throws with 27 seconds left to extend the Rebel advantage from 66-65 to 68-65. In the Mississippi State contest, Reed had 17 points and six boards. With Ole Miss holding a 38-36 lead with 11:46 left, Reed nailed a three-pointer to start a 10-2 run that gave the Rebels a lead they would not lose.
A CLASH OF THE WOODEN CANDIDATES: Tuesday's Ole Miss-Kentucky contest will feature a trio of 2001-02 preseason Wooden Award candidates in the Rebels' Justin Reed and the Wildcats' Tayshaun Prince and Keith Bogans. Prince was the only one of the three to make the Wooden midseason list, but all three are still eligible for the award. The following shows what the trio has done so far this year:
HARPER HITTING THE CLUTCH TREY: Sophomore Aaron Harper's (Jackson, Miss.) touch from the three-point arc may have been a little off in recent contests. The 6-foot-7 guard/forward, however, has been able to hit the three-pointer when the Rebels need it most.
In Ole Miss' win over Auburn Jan. 9, the contest was tied at 57-all with 3:05 left, but three seconds later Harper nailed a three-pointer to give the Rebels a 60-57 lead. Ole Miss would not lose the lead again en route to the victory.
Against Mississippi State Jan. 12, Harper did not hit a trey in the first half. His first three-pointer of the second half gave Ole Miss a 28-26 lead, and Harper's second long-range bomb came with only 2:11 left in the game, extending the Rebel lead from 55-52 to 58-52.
CALL HIM MR. HUSTLE: What he lacks in height, senior Jason Harrison (Little Rock, Ark.) makes up for it more than enough with his hustle, and it was evident once again in the Rebels' victory over No. 22-ranked Mississippi State Jan. 12. With Ole Miss ahead 60-54 with 1:11 left, Harrison came up with a key steal and called a timeout before going out of bounds. The 5-foot-5 guard also came up with a huge rebound down low with under a minute to play to preserve the victory. He had 12 points, four rebounds and three assists. Harrison hit 4-of-6 from the foul line in the final minute.
HARPER RECORDS A "FIRST": Sophomore Aaron Harper posted a "first" for his collegiate career Jan. 9 versus Auburn when he recorded his first double-double. The 6-foot-7 guard/forward scored 10 points and grabbed 10 boards. The 10 rebounds were also a career high. For the season, Harper is averaging 11.1 points and 3.8 boards per game.
DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE: The Rebels sure are doubling their pleasure in the scoring column in 2001-02, as five players are averaging double digits. Sophomore Justin Reed leads the team with a 15.1 average, followed by senior Jason Harrison at 11.2 ppg, sophomore Aaron Harper at 11.1 ppg, junior David Sanders (Jackson, Miss.) at 10.9 ppg and junior Derrick Allen (Gadsden, Ala.) at 10.4 ppg.
ALLEN HAS CAREER GAME VERSUS TENNESSEE: Talk about a "break-out" game. Well, junior Derrick Allen had one in the Rebels' 82-76 setback at Tennessee Jan. 6. The 6-foot-8 forward recorded career bests for points (22), field goals (6), free throws (10) and assists (5). He also grabbed nine boards in the game. His previous scoring high was 14 points in a 71-67 Ole Miss victory over Memphis Dec. 7. Allen is averaging 10.4 points and 6.6 boards and is shooting 59.3 percent frm the field and 77.1 percent from the charity stripe. He is ranked among the SEC leaders in free throw percentage (8th) and rebounding (15th).
NO. 11 LOOKING TO BECOME NO. 26, NETS CAREER HIGH 23 VERSUS TENNESSEE: Senior Jason Harrison, who wears jersey No. 11, entered the 2001-02 season with 766 career points and needed 234 to become the 26th player in Ole Miss history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. Harrison is on track to do so.
After 16 games, the 5-foot-5 guard has scored 179 points (11.2 average) and now has 945 career points.
In the Rebels' contest at Tennessee Jan. 6, the Little Rock, Ark., native scored a career-high 23 points, surpassing his previous best of 22 points against Arkansas in the 1998-99 campaign (freshman year). He also hit a career-best seven field goals versus the Volunteers.
HARRISON CLIMBING ASSISTS CHART: Senior Jason Harrison is looking to surpass the 100-assists plateau for the third straight year, and he is well on his way to that accomplishment. After 16 games in 2001-02, Harrison has 72 dishes for a 4.5 average. At his current pace, Harrison would hand out 135 assists this season.
Harrison dished out 115 assists as a sophomore in 1999-2000 and 104 as a junior in 2000-01. The 5-foot-5 guard entered the 2001-02 campaign with 305 career assists, and now has 377 assists. He is in the No. 4 spot on the career assists chart.
If Harrison reaches the 100-assists plateau this season, he would become only the third player in Rebel history to accomplish the feat three straight years. Rod Barnes and Sean Tuohy also did so. Harrison would also join Barnes and Tuohy as the only Rebels to pass out over 400 assists in a career. The following lists the Rebels' career assists leaders:
Rebel Career Assists Leaders
HITTING THE GLASS BY COMMITTEE: Entering the 2001-02 season, Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes knew his Rebels had to make up for its lack of inside presence. He challenged his off-guard trio of juniors David Sanders and Emmanuel Wade (Marianna, Ark.) and sophomore Aaron Harper to improve their numbers on the boards, and they have responded. All three players have increased their rebounding production from last year, and the following shows that:
THE REBELS' NEW SIXTH-MAN: The last three years, Jason Harrison was the Rebels' "super-sub," thriving in the role of Ole Miss' sixth-man. With Harrison moving into the starting lineup at the point in 2001-02, head coach Rod Barnes has been looking for someone to become the Rebels' sixth-man, and Emmanuel Wade may be taking over that role.
In Ole Miss' last nine games, the Marianna, Ark., native is averaging 8.3 points and 3.3 rebounds, while shooting 42.3 percent from the three-point line and 81.8 percent from the charity stripe. He also has come up big for the Rebels during the nine-game stretch, hitting the game-clinching free throws to seal the 71-67 victory over Memphis Dec. 7 and recording five steals in the SunClassic Tournament Dec. 21-22. In the Jan. 6 contest at Tennessee, Wade hit three big treys in the second half to help the Rebels get back in the game. He also scored five straight points (trey, 2 FTs) during a 10-2 second half run versus Mississippi State Jan. 12 that helped propel the Rebels to victory.
REED-ALLEN TANDEM ON A TEAR: The Ole Miss inside tandem of junior Derrick Allen and sophomore Justin Reed has been working well of late, and that is bad news for the opposition. In the Rebels' last 10 games, Allen has averaged 12.3 points and 7.3 boards, while Reed has posted averages of 15.2 points and 7.3 boards. Both are also shooting nearly 50 percent from the field (Reed, 46.9 percent, Allen, 57.4) and close to 75 percent from the charity stripe (Reed, 82 percent, Allen, 74.6 percent) in the last 10 games. In fact, the Rebels are 8-0 when Allen and Reed both notch double figures.
AT THE HEAD OF THE CLASS(ES): Well, Jason Harrison is only one player, but he is the 2002 Rebel senior class. And, he is closing in the record for most victories by a class in a four-year span. After the Rebels' victory over No. 22-ranked Mississippi State Jan. 12, this year's senior class has 79 victories, which is nine shy of the record of 88 wins set by the 2001 seniors (Jason Flanigan, Rahim Lockhart, Jason Holmes and John Engstrom). The 2001-02 senior class has also been a part of the 2001 SEC Western Division championship squad and has been to three straight postseasons (2 NCAA, 1 NIT). The following chart lists the most successful classes in Ole Miss history:
REBELS HOT FROM THE LINE: After a two-game slump (Jan. 2 vs. Lipscomb, Jan. 6 vs. Tennessee) from the foul line, Ole Miss rebounded with an 83.3 percent performance from the charity stripe against Auburn Jan. 9, and also hit 70.6 percent versus Mississippi State Jan. 12. The Rebels are hitting a league-leading 75.8 percent (301-of-397) from the charity stripe. In 14 of 16 games, Ole Miss has shot 70 percent or better from the foul line, including over 80 percent six times. The Rebels also have three players - Derrick Allen, Jason Harrison and Justin Reed - ranked among the SEC individual leaders in free throw shooting percentage.
If the Rebels are able to keep up this pace, they would break the single-season free throw percentage record of 75.2 percent set by the 1970-71 squad.
OLE MISS PICKED THIRD IN SEC WEST BY MEDIA: The Ole Miss Rebels were picked to finish in third place in the SEC Western Division in a vote by media members at the annual conference media day Nov. 1 in Birmingham, Ala. Alabama was picked to win the SEC Western Division championship, while Kentucky was selected to win both the SEC overall title and the Eastern Division crown. The following shows the media's picks for the 2001-02 campaign (first-place votes in parentheses):
BOMBS AWAY!, HARPER CLIMBING CHART: Sophomore Aaron Harper is the Rebels' primary three-point shooter, and so far in 2001-02, he is living up to that reputation. The 6-foot-7 guard/forward has hit 39 treys this year and is moving up the Ole Miss career three-pointers chart. The following shows the career leaders for the Rebels:
Rebel Career Three-Pointers
REED PASSES 600: Justin Reed is moving on up the chart - the scoring chart, that is. After his 21-point performance versus Auburn Jan. 9, the Jackson, Miss., native went over 600 points for his career. He now has 626 career points. Earlier this season, Reed eclipsed the 500-point plateau with his 17 points against Memphis. Last year, the 2001 Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year netted 385 points, and has 241 in 2001-02. He is leading the team in scoring (15.1 ppg) and rebounding (7.1 rpg).
Reed's 385 points last season were the third most by a freshman in Ole Miss history. Joe Harvell (395 points, 1990) and Tim Jumper (394 points, 1988) were the only two to score more than Reed in their freshmen campaigns.
DEFENSE IS GETTING THERE: Unlike past years, the Rebel defense - the staple of the Ole Miss basketball program - began 2001-02 a little behind the offense. But, the young Rebels are getting back to playing defense the Ole Miss way, and it is showing in the numbers. In the first six games, Ole Miss' opponents were shooting nearly 45 percent from the field and 40 percent from the three-point line, while scoring close to 65 points per game. Those statistics have dropped the last 10 contests to 38.6 percent from the floor, 29.2 percent from the arc and 61.8 points per game. The following shows the Rebels' progress:
Rebel Defense Clamping Down
DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE...AGAIN: Justin Reed doubled his pleasure when the Rebels closed up non-conference action in early January. In Ole Miss' two games versus Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Lipscomb, the 6-foot-8 forward posted double-doubles. Reed had 16 points and 10 boards versus Arkansas-Pine Bluff Dec. 29 and followed that with a 12-point, 10-rebound performance against Lipscomb Jan. 2. Reed now has three double-doubles this season (tied for fourth in the SEC) and six for his career. The following lists Reed's double-double performances:
DISHING IT OUT: One of Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes' favorite lines to his players is "take care of your business." Well, senior Jason Harrison is listening to his coach, as he has taken very good care of the ball in his point guard role. Harrison has dished out 72 assists compared to only 36 turnovers for a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. In three Rebel wins over Kansas State, Louisiana-Monroe and Lipscomb, Harrison had no turnovers.
A NEW REBEL IRONMAN: It took 18 seasons, but the Ole Miss Rebel basketball program crowned a new ironman in 2000-01 as Jason Flanigan set a school record for career games played with 127. Flanigan broke the previous mark of 121 games played set by Roger Stieg, who played from 1980-83.
Well, Flanigan's record may fall after only one season. Jason Harrison has played in 117 games, including all 16 in 2001-02, and could set a new Ole Miss record this season.
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