• Andy Kennedy has the most wins by a Rebel coach in his first six years (116). • Three SEC teams are undefeated at home this season - Kentucky, Florida and Ole Miss (7-0). • Ole Miss is 79-15 in games played at Tad Smith Coliseum during Kennedy’s tenure. • MSU is Ole Miss’ second ranked foe this year. The Rebels are 5-16 against top-25 opponents under Kennedy. • Under Kennedy, the Rebels have a perfect 14-0 record in SEC home games on Wednesdays. • As a team, Ole Miss ranks 12th in the most recent NCAA rankings with 5.9 blocks/game. • In league play, the Rebels lead all SEC teams in rebounding (45.7) and rebounding margin (+9.0). • The Rebels are 7-1 when they win the turnover battle and 4-5 when they have more turnovers than the opponent. • Junior F Murphy Holloway returned from a 3-game absence (sprained ankle) with a monster game against Arkansas (19 points, 14 rebounds). Ole Miss is 10-3 this year when Holloway plays the whole game. • Junior F Reginald Buckner broke the school’s all-time career blocks record at Southern Miss. He now leads all active SEC players with 199 career blocks. He ranks 4th in the SEC and 20th nationally with 2.7 blocks/game. • Jarvis Summers ranks 7th among SEC freshmen in scoring, 3rd in assists and 2nd in free-throw attempts.
REBELS HOST BULLDOGS ON WEDNESDAY Ole Miss hosts Mississippi State on Wednesday in the first of two games against the Bulldogs this season. The Rebels will defend their perfect 7-0 home record, while they look to bounce back from a heartbreaking 69-68 double-overtime loss at Auburn on Saturday.
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 79-15 (.840 win pct.) in games played at Tad Smith Coliseum during Kennedy’s tenure, including a 7-0 record this season. Only three SEC teams are undefeated at home this season - Kentucky, Florida and Ole Miss. Ole Miss has won 210 of its last 257 games (.817 win pct.) in Oxford dating back to the 1995-96 campaign. The Rebels have an all-time record of 443-194 (.695 win pct.) at Tad Smith Coliseum, which opened in 1965-66.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS Mississippi State comes into the week ranked No. 15 in the coaches poll and No. 18 in the AP poll. The Bulldogs have racked up 15 wins to only three losses, while they are 2-1 so far in league play (home wins over Tennessee and Alabama, loss at Arkansas). Rick Stansbury’s club is 11-1 at home and 1-1 in true road games. A balanced mix of veterans and newcomers is headlined by junior UTEP transfer Arnett Moultrie and senior point guard Dee Bost. Moultrie averages 16.5 ppg (4th SEC) and 10.9 rpg (1st SEC), while Bost scores 16.1 ppg (5th SEC) and dishes out 4.3 apg (4th SEC). Freshman Rodney Hood adds 11.6 ppg, and junior Renardo Sidney chips in 10.1 ppg.
OLE MISS-MISSISSIPPI STATE SERIES Wednesday’s game will be the 244th meeting between the two schools, with the Bulldogs holding an all-time series lead of 138-105 in the SEC’s most-played rivalry. Mississippi State has won the last five meetings. The most recent matchup resulted in a 71-58 Bulldog win in Starkville. The last Rebel win was a 67-63 win in Starkville on Jan. 31, 2009. Ole Miss holds a 77-43 advantage in Oxford but has not won at home since 2008. Andy Kennedy is 3-7 against the Bulldogs.
MAGNOLIA STATE WELL REPRESENTED ON OLE MISS, MSU ROSTERS Some of the top basketball talent from the state of Mississippi will be on display as the Rebels and Bulldogs meet. Four Rebels and seven Bulldogs are playing college ball in their home state. Many of them were teammates and rivals in high school and on the AAU circuit. Ole Miss players from the Magnolia State are Demarco Cox (Yazoo City), Aaron Jones (Gautier), Jarvis Summers (Jackson) and LaDarius White (McComb). From the MSU side are Reed Clayton (Tupelo), Tyson Cunningham (Columbus), Rodney Hood (Meridian), Baxter Price (Brandon), Renardo Sidney (Jackson), Deville Smith (Jackson) and Shaun Smith (Brooksville).
REBELS HAVE SEEN MOULTRIE BEFORE Wednesday will not be the first time Ole Miss has faced Arnett Moultrie. Ole Miss beat UTEP 91-81 in overtime on Dec. 16, 2009, when Moultrie was a sophomore for the Miners. Moultrie scored 10 points with eight rebounds in that contest.
REBELS VERSUS RANKED FOES This is the second game Ole Miss has played against a ranked team this season (lost to No. 19 Marquette at the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam). The Rebels are 5-16 against top-25 opponents under head coach Andy Kennedy. They went 1-2 in such games last season, including a 71-69 win over No. 10 Kentucky on Feb. 1 in Oxford.
IN THE RPI Entering this week, Ole Miss ranks No. 55 in the nation in RPI. Ole Miss has played the nation’s No. 47th ranked schedule and has faced 11 teams with RPIs of 150 or better (5-6 in those games).
HUMP DAY NUGGET Here’s an interesting little fact: Under Andy Kennedy, Ole Miss is a perfect 14-0 in SEC home games on Wednesdays entering this week’s matchup with Mississippi State. In fact, the Rebels have lost only one home game on a Wednesday in Kennedy’s tenure (West Virginia in 2008).
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 116 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).
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 Rebels limited Arkansas to 63 points, which was one point from their season low of 62. The defense also came through in a 50-48 win over SMU on Jan. 3. The Rebels rank fourth in the SEC (and 43rd in the NCAA) in field goal percentage defense at 39.4. Ole Miss is 9-2 when the opponent shoots below 40 percent from the field.
SIZE ADVANTAGE 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 second among SEC teams in rebounding average (39.8) and third in rebounding margin (+4.1). The Rebels block 5.9 shots per game, ranking third in the league and 12th in the NCAA. In SEC play, Ole Miss leads all teams with 45.7 rebounds per game and a +9.0 rebounding margin.
TURNOVERS MATTER Ole Miss has a 7-1 record when it records the same or fewer turnovers than its opponent, while the Rebels are 4-5 when they lose the turnover battle.
BALANCED ATTACK Seven different players have led Ole Miss in scoring at least once this year, topped by Terrance Henry’s total of five times. Ten different players are averaging 8+ minutes per game at this juncture, while nine players average 10+ minutes per outing.
THE HOLLOWAY FACTOR Ole Miss really missed the presence of junior F Murphy Holloway after he sprained his ankle in the second half against Middle Tennessee (Dec. 21). The Rebels went on to drop that contest and two of the next three without him. He returned against Arkansas to score 19 points, grab 14 rebounds and effectively energize his teammates in leading the Rebels to victory. Ole Miss is 10-3 this year when Holloway plays the whole game.
HOLLOWAY RETURNS WITH BIG NUMBERS Junior F Murphy Holloway has posted some big numbers in his return to Ole Miss this year (following a one-year stint in South Carolina) and averages 10.6 ppg and 10.0 rpg (3rd in SEC, 23rd in NCAA). He is third among SEC players with six double-doubles this year and ranks second among active league players with 20 in his career. He was the SEC Player of the Week after helping Ole Miss to wins over TCU and Miami.
BUCKNER SETS OLE MISS RECORD, MOVES UP IN SEC CAREER BLOCKS LIST With four blocks at Southern Miss, junior F Reginald Buckner surpassed Sean Murphy as the Rebels’ all-time career leader in blocked shots. In just 79 games, the Memphis native now has accumulated 199 blocks. The school record was previously held by Murphy, who had 180 blocks in 117 games from 1988-91. Buckner’s 2.7 blocks average this season ranks fourth among SEC players and 20th in the most recent NCAA rankings. His 199 career blocks are most among active SEC players and 21st most all-time. With one more, he will be the 21st player in league history with 200. He already holds the school record for blocks in a season and game.
IN THE “NICK” OF TIME Junior G Nick Williams brought his A-game against Arkansas, tallying a season-high 18 points and tying a career high with 8 rebounds to help the Rebels to victory. Coming off the bench for the first time this season, his tenacity was evident in each of his successful drives to the hoop, and the Rebels’ top free-throw shooter knocked down 4 of 5 from the line, as well. In the next game at Auburn, he came up big with a game-tying 3-pointer to help erase a 12-point second half deficit and force overtime.
SUMMERS NOT AFRAID OF CRUNCH TIME Freshman PG Jarvis Summers has shown no fear in the face of critical situations this year. It was his 27 points and crunch-time heroics that gave the Rebels an early victory at Penn State and his late free throws to seal an overtime win over Miami. Against Auburn, he directed a comeback from 12 down in the final nine minutes to force overtime, hitting all four of his 3-pointers after the nine-minute mark. He scored 22 against the Tigers to become the first Rebel with multiple 20-point games this year. He leads the team with 10.8 ppg. Among SEC freshmen, he ranks seventh in scoring and third in assists.
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