Men's Basketball Prepares to Take on Kentucky

January 14, 1999

The Ole Miss Rebels (12-5, 2-2 SEC) continues their four-game homestand versus the Kentucky Wildcats (14-4, 3-1 SEC) on Saturday, Jan. 16. The Southeastern Conference game, which will be televised by ABC Sports, is scheduled for a 2:02 tip. Kentucky enters the game ranked No. 6 in both the Associated Press poll and the USA Today/ESPN poll. Ole Miss enters Saturday's game having lost to No. 8 Auburn, 74-59 on Wednesday. The loss snapped the Rebels' 29-game homecourt winning streak, which was the third longest in the nation at the time. Prior to the Auburn loss, Ole Miss had won its two previous SEC games with victories over Alabama (78-60) and No. 19 Arkansas (76-65). Kentucky also enters Saturday's game after a home loss. The Wildcats fell to Tennessee, 47-46 in Rupp Arena on Tuesday.

#6/#6 Kentucky (14-4, 3-1) vs. Ole Miss (12-5, 2-2)
Game #18 (ABC-TV)
Saturday, January 16 * 2:00 p.m. (CT)
Tad Smith Coliseum * Oxford, Miss.


    No. Player (Yr.)         Pos. Ht.  Wt.  PPG/RPG     Hometown
    4   Jason Smith (Sr.)    F    6-6  220  11.6/4.8    Wheatley, Ark.
    13  Johnnie Rogers (Sr.) F    6-9  220  4.8/3.3     Laurel, Miss.
    3   Jason Flanigan (So.) G    6-1  175  4.9/2.8     Little Rock, Ark.
    22  Michael White (Sr.)  G    6-1  180  3.3/2.1     Tempe, Ariz.
    33  Keith Carter (Sr.)   G    6-4  195  15.2/4.5    Perryville, Ark.
    No. Player (Yr.)            Pos. Ht. Wt.  PPG/RPG  Hometown
    11  Hunter Carpenter (Sr.)  G   6-0  180  5.0/0.7  Little Rock, Ark.
    12  Jason Harrison (Fr.)    G   5-5  150  5.9/2.0  Little Rock, Ark.
    20  Matt Pruitt (Fr.)       G   6-4  185  2.9/1.2  Jonesboro, Ark.
    21  Darrian Brown (Fr.)     F   6-6  200  5.1/2.2  West Memphis, Ark.
    23  Syniker Taylor (Fr.)    G   6-2  195          Gulfport, Miss.#
    24  Marcus Hicks (Jr.)      F   6-6  200  12.3/5.4 Jackson, Tenn.
    25  Lataryl Williams (Jr.)  G   6-6  200  4.8/1.8  Oxford, Miss.
    44  Rahim Lockhart (So.)    F   6-8  250  8.6/4.6  Mendenhall, Miss.
    54  John Engstrom (Fr.)     C   7-0  245  1.1/2.1  Paragould, Ark.%
#  will miss the 1998-99 season as a result of a broken left fibula and
dislocated ankle suffered in football practice Nov. 4
%  redshirted in 1997-98


Television: ABC Sports (Mark Jones, play-by-play; Terry Gannon, analyst)
Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network (David Kellum, play-by-play; Sean Tuohy, analyst; Stan Sandroni, pregame/halftime/postgame host)
Rod Barnes is in his first season at the helm of the Ole Miss Rebel basketball program. He posted his first victory as head coach on Nov. 13 when the Rebels defeated Alabama State, 87-45. He now has an 12-5 record after the Rebels loss to No. 8 Auburn, 74-59 on Jan. 13. Barnes was hired as the Rebel head coach on April 9, 1998, after Rob Evans left to take the head coaching position at Arizona State on April 6. A 1988 graduate of Ole Miss, Barnes served as an assistant under 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 (16th; 1,201 points), assists (2nd; 456) and steals (6th; 154).

The Wildcats, ranked No. 6 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls, enter Saturday's game with a 14-4 overall record and a 3-1 Southeastern Conference mark. Prior to its loss to Tennessee on Jan. 12, Kentucky had won four straight over Tennessee State (97-47), Florida (93-58), South Carolina (68-61) and Vanderbilt (73-57). The Wildcats have a balanced scoring attack with four players averaging in double figures. Scott Padgett leads the team with a 12.2 scoring average, followed by Michael Bradley (11.8 ppg), Heshimu Evans (11.7 ppg) and Wayne Turner (10.3 ppg). Padgett also leads Kentucky on the boards with a 6.5 rebounding average. Turner leads the squad in assists with 64, while Jamaal Magloire is the team's top shot blocker with 32. The Wildcats are shooting 47.6 percent from the field, 30.3 percent from the three-point arc and 64.6 percent from the charity stripe. Kentucky is out-rebounding its opponents by an average of 7.8 boards per game (41.3-33.5).


    No. Player (Yr.)            Pos. Ht.  Wt.  PPG/RPG     Hometown
    33  Michael Bradley (Fr.)   F   6-10  235  11.8/5.8    Worcester, Mass.
    34  Scott Padgett (Sr.)     F   6-9   240  12.2/6.5    Louisville, Ky.
    42  Jamaal Magloire (Jr.)   C   6-10  260  5.9/4.0     Toronto, Ontario
    5   Wayne Turner (Sr.)      G   6-2   190  10.3/2.9    Boston, Mass.
    14  Heshimu Evans (Sr.)     G   6-6   215  11.7/5.7    Bronx, N.Y.
    No. Player (Yr.)            Pos.Ht.  Wt.  PPG/RPG  Hometown
    21  Tayshaun Prince (Fr.)   F   6-8  206  6.1/3.9  Compton, Calif.
    40  Souleymane Camara (Fr.) F   6-11 213  5.2/3.4  Dakar, Senegal
    22  Ryan Hogan (So.)        G   6-3  185  4.7/1.2  Deerfield, Ill.
    11  Saul Smith (So.)        G   6-2  175  4.6/2.2  Athens, Ga.
Saturday's game will be the 94th meeting between the two schools. The Wildcats hold an 83-10 lead in the series which began in 1925. Ole Miss won the 1997-98 meeting, a 73-64 victory in Lexington. Last year's win was the first by the Rebels in Lexington since 1927. In 1996-97, the teams split their two meetings, with Ole Miss taking a 73-69 win in Oxford and Kentucky winning 88-70 in the Southeastern Conference Tournament semifinals in Memphis The Wildcats hold a 21-7 lead in the series in games played in Oxford. The last time Kentucky won in Oxford was the 1992-93 season, a 98-66 victory on Mar. 3, 1993. Ole Miss hosted the Wildcats in a Rebel home game in Memphis in the 1994-95 season, with Kentucky winning 82-65.

1997-98 MEETING
February 14, 1998 *Lexington, Ky.
#18 Ole Miss 73, #7 Kentucky 64

In what will go down as one of the top victories in Rebel basketball history, Keith Carter scored a game-high 21 points and All-America Ansu Sesay recorded a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead No. 18 Ole Miss to an upset 73-64 win over No. 7 Kentucky on Feb. 14. The win was the Rebels' first in Lexington since 1927 and the program's first-ever victory in Rupp Arena. Michael White also scored in double figures for Ole Miss with a career-high tying 16 points. Jeff Sheppard led Kentucky with 15 points, while Nazr Mohammed scored 12 points and Heshimu Evans added 10 points. Mohammed led the Wildcats on the boards with eight rebounds. Kentucky held a 34-23 halftime lead, but Ole Miss opened the second half with a 16-4 run to take a 39-38 lead at the 14:53 mark. Sesay led the Rebels with six straight points in the spurt. After the teams traded baskets, a Rahim Lockhart hoop gave the Rebels the lead for good at 45-44. The Wildcats, however, remained within striking distance when Sheppard buried a trey to cut the Rebel lead to 62-59 with 2:02 left. Carter responded for the Rebels with a clutch four-point play (trey plus a free throw) to push the Ole Miss advantage to seven points at 66-59 with 1:35 left. From that point, the Rebels sealed the victory at the free throw line.

Ole Miss    FG-A 3P-A  FT-A   Reb Pts Ast Blk Stl
Smith       4-6  0-0   1-3    2   9   3   0   3
Sesay       5-11 0-1   6-6    10  16  2   1   0
Boone, A.   1-5  0-0   2-5    3   4   0   1   0
White       3-4  2-3   8-12   2   16  6   0   1
Carter      7-13 3-5   4-7    4   21  1   0   3
Darby       1-7  0-5   0-1    3   2   0   0   0
Flanigan    0-2  0-1   0-0    0   0   2   0   0
Cantrell    0-0  0-0   1-2    1   1   0   0   0
Rogers      0-0  0-0   0-0    2   0   0   1   0
Lockhart    2-3  0-0   0-0    2   4   0   0   0
TEAM                          2
Totals     23-51 5-15  22-36  31  73  14  3   7

Kentucky FG-A 3P-A FT-A Reb Pts Ast Blk Stl Edwards 2-3 0-0 0-0 3 4 1 0 1 Padgett 2-6 1-3 2-4 7 7 4 1 0 Mohammed 6-10 0-0 0-0 8 12 0 2 2 Turner 3-8 1-2 2-3 2 9 3 0 5 Sheppard 6-17 1-6 2-2 4 15 2 0 2 Mills 2-3 1-1 0-0 4 5 2 0 1 Evans 4-8 0-0 2-2 4 10 0 0 0 Smith 0-1 0-1 0-0 2 0 4 0 1 Magloire 1-2 0-0 0-2 1 2 0 1 0 Anthony 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 TEAM 4 Totals 26-58 4-13 8-13 39 64 16 4 12

Ole Miss 23 50 73 Kentucky 34 30 64 Officials: Don Rutledge, Bob Donato, R.T. Day Attendance: 23,842

Yes, the homecourt winning streak is over, but Tad Smith Coliseum (a.k.a. the "Tad Pad") is still one of the toughest arenas in the nation for opposing teams to play. Despite the loss to No. 8 Auburn on Jan. 13, Ole Miss has won 44 of its last 46 games at home, including homecourt winning streaks of 15 and 29 games. The 29-game homecourt was the third longest in the nation at the time (behind Murray State and Duke). The Rebels are 9-1 at Tad Smith Coliseum (a.k.a. the "Tad Pad") this season. The Rebels' other loss during this time of success was a 59-46 setback to Alabama on Jan. 8, 1997. The homecourt winning period (44 of 46) began on Jan. 24, 1996, with an 82-69 win over Auburn. In the past seven seasons (1992-present), Ole Miss has an overall home record of 72-23 (.757 winning percentage). The following charts the Rebels' 29-game homecourt win streak, which was broken on Wednesday:

Date        Opponent              Result
1-6-99      Alabama               78-60
12-29-98    Prairie View A&M      111-50
12-7-98     West Alabama          101-68
12-5-98     Louisville            88-69
12-2-98     Northeast Louisiana   95-62
11-28-98    Austin Peay State     105-62
11-23-98    Alabama A&M           89-45
11-16-98    Belmont               91-42
11-13-98    Alabama State         87-45
2-28-98     Auburn                74-67 *
2-25-98     Arkansas              81-65
2-11-98     Vanderbilt            87-76
2-7-98      Alabama               75-74
1-24-98     Mississippi State     81-77 (2ot)
1-21-98     LSU                   80-58
1-7-98      Florida               90-79
1-3-98      South Carolina        73-54
12-30-97    Northwestern State    99-52
12-20-97    Prairie View          106-59
12-17-97    Belmont               100-59
11-24-97    Arkansas-Pine Bluff   81-36
11-22-97    Temple                87-74
11-19-97    Louisiana Tech        88-56
2-26-97     LSU                   74-68 #
2-19-97     Mississippi State     84-61
2-1-97      Auburn                57-46
1-29-97     Arkansas              71-52
1-22-97     Tennessee             70-48
1-11-97     Kentucky              73-69
*  clinched 1998 SEC Western Division title
#  clinched 1997 SEC Western Division title

The last time Ole Miss lost back-to-back games at Tad Smith Coliseum was the start of the 1995-96 Southeastern Conference season. The Rebels dropped games to Arkansas (63-62) on Jan. 10, 1996, and Florida (59-55) on Jan. 20, 1996. Ole Miss' next home game versus Auburn (an 82-69 Rebel win) began the Rebels' 15-game homecourt winning streak.

With Rod Barnes in his first season at the helm of the Rebel program, one would expect a lot of "firsts," and there have been. The following are the "firsts" for Barnes:

First Win Alabama State (87-45), Nov. 13
First Win Away from home St. Joseph's (66-61), Dec. 21
First Win vs. a ranked opponent Oklahoma (75-72), Dec. 22
First SEC Win Alabama (78-60), Jan. 6
First SEC Road Win Arkansas (76-65), Jan. 9
First Road Win vs. a ranked opponent Arkansas (76-65), Jan. 9

Senior Hunter Carpenter (Little Rock, Ark.), redshirt freshman John Engstrom (Paragould, Ark.) and freshman Matt Pruitt (Jonesboro, Ark.) earned Ole Miss academic honor roll accolades for the first semester. Carpenter earned Chancellor's Honor Roll (3.75-4.00 gpa) distinction, while Engstrom and Pruitt were named to the UMAA Honor Roll (3.00-3.49 gpa).

Ole Miss will be playing its fifth ranked opponent on Saturday when the Kentucky Wildcats visit Tad Smith Coliseum. The Rebels have a 2-2 record versus nationally-ranked opponents so far this season. Ole Miss have defeated No. 23 Oklahoma, 75-72 in the second round of the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic on Dec. 22, and No. 19 Arkansas, 76-65 on Jan. 9. The Rebel losses have come to No. 7 Temple, 68-52 and No. 8 Auburn, 74-59.

Despite the setback to No. 8 Auburn at home on Wednesday, Ole Miss has a 7-2 record versus ranked opponents at Tad Smith Coliseum since the beginning of the 1994-95 season. Prior to the Auburn loss, Ole Miss had won its last six games versus ranked opponents at home. The Rebels defeated Temple (#18), South Carolina (#11) and Arkansas (#12) in 1997-98, Kentucky (#3) in 1996-97, and Auburn (#21) and Mississippi State (#25) in 1995-96. Ole Miss' first win over a ranked opponent since 1994 was a 76-71 win over No. 3 Arkansas on Jan. 4, 1995. (NOTE: Ole Miss also lost to No. 5 Kentucky, 82-65 in the 1994-95 season, but that game was played at The Pyramid in Memphis.)

When defending NCAA champions come to the Tad Smith Coliseum, they had better beware. The last two defending NCAA champions to play the Rebels in Oxford have left the "Tad Pad" with a loss. Arkansas won the 1994 NCAA title, but the following season dropped a 76-71 decision to Ole Miss on Jan. 4, 1995. In 1996, Kentucky took home the NCAA championship, but the next season (1996-97), the Rebels defeated the champs, 73-69 at Tad Smith Coliseum on Jan. 11, 1997. The Wildcats won the 1998 NCAA title.

The Rebels have a 15-28 regular-season record versus teams from the SEC Eastern Division since the conference began divisional play in the 1991-92 season (includes 0-1 mark in 1998-99). Ole Miss is 18-34 versus the SEC Eastern Division teams, including tournament play (includes 0-1 mark in 1998-99). The Rebels, however, have posted an 8-4 record (regular season only) versus their Eastern Division foes over the past two seasons (1996-97 and 1997-98).

The following charts show the Rebels' year-by-year record versus the SEC Eastern Division and their mark against each school from the Eastern Division (includes tournament games):

    Year-By-Year Versus Record Against The SEC
        The SEC Eastern Division    Eastern Division Teams
        (Regular Season Only)      (Includes Tourney Games)
    1991-92       2-4    Florida         3-7
    1992-93       0-6    Georgia         3-6
    1993-94       3-3    Kentucky        2-6
    1994-95       0-6    South Carolina  4-5
    1995-96       2-4    Tennessee       1-6
    1996-97       4-2    Vanderbilt      5-4
    1997-98       4-2    Total           18-34
    1998-99       0-1
    Total         15-28
The 1999 senior class will go down in Ole Miss basketball history as helping produce one of the most successful runs for the Rebels. The five seniors have helped the Rebels to win consecutive Southeastern Conference Western Division titles, the first regular season championships of any kind for the Ole Miss basketball program. They also helped Ole Miss earn back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths. Well, the senior class seems to be on track for another first in Rebel basketball history. The 1999 senior class has posted 66 victories, which is the second most for a four-year span in Rebel basketball history. The following charts lists the most successful (in terms of number of victories) in Ole Miss history:
Four-Year Span       No. of Wins
1979-80 to 1982-83    70
1995-96 to present    66
1935-36 to 1938-39    63
1994-95 to 1997-98    62
1978-79 to 1981-82    62
1923-24 to 1926-27    62
1980-81 to 1983-84    61
1936-37 to 1939-40    61
1934-35 to 1937-38    61
Senior Keith Carter was named as one of 20 preseason candidates for the 1999 Naismith College Player of the Year, as announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club in early October. Carter is one of four players from the Southeastern Conference to be named among the preseason candidates. Georgia's Jumaine Jones, South Carolina's BJ McKie and Kentucky's Scott Padgett were also among the 20 preseason candidates for the player of the year honor.

This past summer, Carter played an integral role in helping lead the USA Goodwill Games Team to a 4-1 record and the gold medal. It was the first time that a USA amateur team had won gold in international play since 1986. In the five games, Carter averaged 7.8 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists, while shooting 48.1 percent from the field and 40 percent from the three-point arc.

Following the 1997-98 season, the Perryville, Ark., native was named to the Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference second team. This season, Carter is averaging 15.2 points (leads the team) and 4.5 rebounds per game.

A LITTLE DEJA VU It seems a little eerie, but Saturday's game has several similarities to the Ole Miss-Kentucky match-up of two seasons ago. The following lists those similarities:

1997 Game                        1999 Game
* Rebels lose to an Ala. team    * Rebels lose to an Ala.
team (Ala.) before Ky game       team (Aub.) before Ky game
* Loss to Ala. ends 15-game      * Loss to Auburn ends 29-
homecourt win streak             game homecourt win streak
* Host Ky. at home in next game  * Host Ky. at home in next
after loss                       game after loss
* Ole Miss defeats Ky., 73-69    * Jan. 16 result??

Senior All-America candidate Keith Carter moved into the No. 10 spot on Ole Miss career scoring chart after scoring 13 points in Ole Miss' 76-65 win at Arkansas on Jan. 9. Carter now has 1,399 career points after netting 14 points versus Auburn on Jan. 13. Up next for Carter is Eric Laird (1982-85), who scored 1,421 points in his career. On his current pace of averaging 15.3 points per game, Carter could climb as high as No. 6 on the Ole Miss career scoring chart by the end of the regular season. In the Rebels' victory over Alabama A&M on Nov. 23, Carter passed his head coach, Rod Barnes, on the Ole Miss career scoring chart. Barnes scored 1,201 points in his career from 1985-88.

Senior guard Michael White (Tempe, Ariz.) suffered a severely sprained right ankle in the first half of the Auburn game on Jan. 13, and is doubtful for Saturday's game. If he is unable to start on Saturday, it would be the first time since Dec. 21, 1995, that White would not start for the Rebels. He has started every game since the Rebels' Dec. 28, 1995, game versus Nicholls State a streak of 95 consecutive games.

Earlier this season, White reached a milestone in his career when he recorded the 300th assist in the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic Dec. 21-23. White recorded his 300th assist in the Rebels' first-round victory over St. Joseph's on Dec. 21, and now has 324 assists for his career. Last year, White scored a career-high tying 16 points in the Rebels' win over Kentucky en route to winning SEC Player of the Week accolades.

Senior Jason Smith (Wheatley, Ark.) jumped up to the No. 2 spot on the Rebel career steals chart after recording eight swipes in the three-game Puerto Rico Holiday Classic Dec. 21-23. He now has 172 career steals and is second only to Eric Laird (1982-85), who had 179 steals in his career. This season, Smith leads the team in steals with 34.

Senior All-SEC candidate Jason Smith reached the 1,000-point milestone for his career during the Rebels' trip to the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic Dec. 21-23. Smith netted 36 points in the tournament's three games. After scoring 12 points versus Auburn on Jan. 13, he now has 1,059 career points and has moved up to the No. 22 spot on the Rebel career scoring chart.

Ole Miss is the only Southeastern Conference school to defeat Kentucky the last two seasons (1996-97 and 1997-98)...In the Rebels' last two regular-season wins over Kentucky, Ole Miss netted 73 points in both victories 73-69 in 1996-97 and 73-64 in 1997-98...Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes has a 2-1 record versus three of the nation's winningest active coaches this season. Barnes lost to Temple's John Chaney, but has defeated Louisville's Denny Crum and Arkansas' Nolan Richardson... Saturday's game will feature a match-up of Naismith preseason Player of the Year candidates in Ole Miss' Keith Carter and Kentucky's Scott Padgett...Keith Carter and Scott Padgett also have won gold medals as members of USA Basketball during their collegiate careers. Carter earned his gold medal at the 1998 Goodwill Games, while Padgett won gold at the 1997 World University Games...After hitting two treys versus Arkansas, Keith Carter now has 211 career treys. Carter is only three three-pointers shy of tying Joe Harvell (1990-93), who holds the school career record with 214 three-pointers...Keith Carter recorded his first double-double of the season with his 13-point, 10-rebound performance in the Rebels' win at Arkansas.



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