Ole Miss Hits The Road Again, Play Georgia On Saturday

Jelan Kendrick (AP photo)

Jan. 19, 2012

Ole Miss Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

GAME 19: Ole Miss (12-6, 2-2 SEC) at Georgia (10-8, 1-3 SEC)
Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012 | 4:00 p.m. ET
Athens, Ga. | Stegeman Coliseum (10,523)

Television: SEC Network (Clay Matvick, play-by-play; Joe Dean Jr., analyst).
Live Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network (David Kellum, play-by-play; Keith Carter, analyst).
Satellite Radio: SIRIUS 217, XM 200
Live Video: ESPN3.com
Live Audio: RebelVision


Andy Kennedy has the most wins by a Rebel coach in his first six years (117).
• The Rebels have been victorious in each of their last two visits to Athens (2008, 2010).
• Ole Miss is 2-4 in road games this year (0-2 in league play).
• 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 (43.8) and rebounding margin (+7.5).
• The Rebels are 8-1 when they win the turnover battle and 4-5 when they have more turnovers than the opponent.
• Ole Miss is 10-2 when its opponent shoots below 40 percent from the field.
• 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 11-3 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 202 career blocks. He ranks 3rd 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.
• Three SEC teams are undefeated at home this season - Kentucky, Florida and Ole Miss (8-0).

Ole Miss is on the road for the fourth straight weekend as a Saturday matchup with the Georgia Bulldogs is next on the docket. The Rebels are coming off a 75-68 win over No. 15 Mississippi State on Wednesday in which junior F Reginald Buckner dominated with a career-high 19 points to go with 15 rebounds and three blocks. Ole Miss is 2-0 in SEC home games and 0-2 in league road games so far this year.

Georgia is 10-8 overall with a 1-3 record in league play. The Bulldogs earned their first SEC win on Wednesday against Tennessee, beating the Vols 57-53 in overtime. Two of UGA’s three conference losses have come on the road. Mark Fox’s team is 8-3 at home this year with losses to Cincinnati, Georgia Tech and Alabama. Georgia has relied on defense this season, as it ranks fourth among SEC teams in allowing opponents just 63.0 ppg. The Dogs’ offense, however, puts up only 61.9 ppg. Freshman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is the leading scorer at 14.2 ppg, followed by senior Gerald Robinson at 13.5 ppg.

Saturday’s game is the 106th meeting between the two schools, with Georgia holding a 66-39 lead in the series (UGA lists its lead as 64-39, with wins in 2002 and 2003 vacated due to NCAA sanctions). Ole Miss has prevailed in five of the last eight encounters, but Georgia won last year, 98-76, in a nearly flawless performance in Oxford. The Bulldogs lead 37-11 in games played in Athens, but Ole Miss has prevailed in each of the last two meetings at Stegeman Coliseum (76-62 in 2008, 80-76 in 2010). Andy Kennedy owns a 4-2 record against UGA.

Redshirt freshman G Jelan Kendrick (Atlanta) is the lone Ole Miss player who hails from the state of Georgia. He was a teammate of UGA sophomore Marcus Thornton at Westlake High School prior to Kendrick transferring to Wheeler for his senior season.

Following the win over No. 15 Mississippi State, Ole Miss has moved up to No. 42 in the nation in RPI, according to RealTimeRPI.com. Ole Miss has played the nation’s No. 38th ranked schedule and has faced nine teams with RPIs of 100 or better (4-5 in those games).

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 117 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).

Ole Miss will be looking to match the intensity and enthusiasm it used to defeat in-state rival and No. 15-ranked Mississippi State on Wednesday. Behind Reginald Buckner’s career-high 19 points and his 15 rebounds and three blocks, Ole Miss put on a show in front of a rowdy Tad Pad crowd. Nick Williams added 17 points, and the Rebels piled up 14 assists with a season-low five turnovers (had committed no less than 10 in any previous game). Ole Miss shot 50 percent from the field (27-54) and held the Bulldogs to 38 percent (23-61) on the night.

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 39.3. Ole Miss is 10-2 when the opponent shoots below 40 percent from the field.

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 (39.7) 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 43.8 rebounds per game and a +7.5 rebounding margin. Through four league games, Reginald Buckner and Murphy Holloway rank 1-2 in rebounding at 11.3 rpg and 10.7 rpg, respectively.

Ole Miss has an 8-1 record when it records the same or fewer turnovers than its opponent, while the Rebels are 4-5 when they lose the turnover battle.

Eight different players have led Ole Miss in scoring at least once this year, topped by Terrance Henry’s total of five times. Four current Rebels average between 9 and 11 points per outing - Jarvis Summers (10.8), Henry (10.8), Murphy Holloway (10.3) and Nick Williams (9.6). Ten different players are averaging 8+ minutes per game at this juncture, while eight players average 10+ minutes per outing.

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 10.3 ppg and 9.8 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.

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 11-3 this year when Holloway plays the whole game.

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 80 games, the Memphis native now has accumulated 202 blocks, making him the 21st player in SEC history with 200 or more. 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 third among SEC players and 20th in the most recent NCAA rankings. He now holds the school record for blocks in a career, season and game.

Junior G Nick Williams has stepped up his game in SEC play, averaging a team-best 13.5 ppg in league games. The Mobile, Ala., native has dropped in 13 or more points in each of the last three contests. He tallied a season-high 18 points and tied a career high with 8 rebounds to help the Rebels to a victory over Arkansas. 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. At Auburn, he came up big with a game-tying 3-pointer to help erase a 12-point second half deficit and force overtime. He poured in 17 points (7-9 FTs) in the win over 15th-ranked Mississippi State.

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 in league play, he ranks fifth in scoring and third in assists.

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