Men's Hoops Returns Home to Host Alabama
Jan. 22, 2018

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Matchup: Alabama (13-6, 5-2 SEC) at Ole Miss (10-9, 3-4 SEC)
Date: Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Time: 7:30 p.m. CT
Location: Oxford, Miss.
Arena: The Pavilion at Ole Miss (9,500)
Television: SEC Network
    Dave Neal, play-by-play
    Daymeon Fishback, analyst
Radio: Ole Miss IMG Sports Network (Sirius-137, XM-190)
    David Kellum, play-by-play
    Keith Carter, analyst
Series: Alabama leads 120-57
Last Meeting: March 1, 2017
    Alabama won 70-55
    Tuscaloosa, Ala.

- Meet the Ole Miss softball team, the 2017 SEC Tournament champions

- The Rebels have won the last six games versus Alabama in Oxford, dating back to the 2010 season.  
- Ole Miss defeated Alabama in the first ever game at The Pavilion 74-66 (Jan. 7, 2016), the last time the two teams faced off in Oxford.
- The Rebels are 43-38 all-time at home against the Crimson Tide, including 7-1 under Andy Kennedy.
- Ole Miss is coming off back-to-back road losses to Texas A&M (71-69) and Arkansas (97-93).
- The 93 points were the most Ole Miss has scored in a road game since 2009.
- The Rebels rank second in the SEC and 23rd nationally in assist/turnover ratio (1.4).
- Ole Miss is 3-0 in SEC home games this season.
- Nine of the Rebels’ 12 remaining regular season games are against teams in the RPI top 50.
- The Rebels are 9-2 when shooting over 30 percent from beyond the arc.
- Senior Deandre Burnett is four points away from reaching 1,000 for his career (801 at Ole Miss, 195 at Miami).
- Burnett is averaging 19.7 ppg in the Rebels’ three SEC wins.
- Sophomore Breein Tyree is averaging 13.4 ppg in SEC play.
- When he starts, junior Bruce Stevens averages 15.8 ppg; he is averaging 19.0 ppg over the last three contests.
- Guards are accounting for 70.6 percent of the Rebels’ scoring.
- Junior guard Terence Davis scored 30 points in Saturday’s game at Arkansas, his third career 30-point game and the most recorded by a Rebel this season.
- 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 244 victories. With 101 SEC wins, he is one of only 23 coaches all-time with 100 SEC victories.
- The Rebels are one of two SEC teams to have a .500-or-better SEC record in each of the last six seasons.
- 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.
- Senior Marcanvis Hymon ranks 10th in school history with 91 career blocks.
- Ole Miss is one of eight teams nationwide to have at least 11 different starting lineups this season. 

Playing their 108th season of college basketball, the Rebels are 1,291-1,291 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.

Alabama enters Tuesday’s matchup with a 13-6 record and a 5-2 mark in SEC play. After starting off 1-2 in conference play, the Crimson Tide have rattled off four straight wins, including home victories over Auburn (Jan. 17) and Mississippi State (Jan. 20) last week. Averaging 6.3 blocks per game, Alabama leads the SEC and ranks seventh nationally. Freshman guard Collin Sexton leads Alabama in scoring at 19.3 ppg (second in the SEC), but he has missed the previous two games due to injury. Fellow freshman John Petty averages 12.4 ppg and stepped up in the absence of Sexton with 27 points in the win over Auburn last week. Dazon Ingram (11.2 ppg) and Donta Hall (10.8 ppg) also average in double figures. Hall leads the Crimson Tide with 41 blocks, ranking second in the conference. Avery Johnson is in his third season as Alabama’s head coach, making the transition to college hoops after seven seasons as a head coach in the NBA.

Tuesday’s game will be the 178th meeting between the two schools. The Crimson Tide hold a 120-57 lead in the series, which began in 1921, but the Rebels have won three of the last five against Alabama as well as the last six games played in Oxford. Ole Miss leads the series 43-38 in Oxford with its six-game home winning streak in the series dating back to 2010. Ole Miss and Alabama have only met once in The Pavilion, and it was the first ever game in the arena (Jan. 7, 2016). The Rebels opened their new home with a 74-66 victory. Head coach Andy Kennedy has a 10-9 career record versus the Crimson Tide, including a 8-1 mark in Oxford.

The last time the Rebels and Crimson Tide met, Alabama protected its home floor with a 70-55 victory (March 1, 2017). Breein Tyree led Ole Miss with 14 points. Terence Davis had 10 of his 12 points in the second half. Sebastian Saiz had 10 points on 4-of-12 shooting and also collected nine rebounds. The Rebels struggled from the field, going 19 of 61 (31.1 percent), including 4 of 21 (19.0 percent) from long distance.

Winning at home has been a trademark of Andy Kennedy’s squads since he took the reins in 2006-07. Ole Miss is 142-37 (.793 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 29-11 (.725) advantage against the opposition. Ole Miss has won 267 of its last 336 games (.795 win pct.) in Oxford dating back to the 1996-97 campaign.

With 12 regular season games remaining, the Rebels still have a plethora of opportunities in front of them to build their résumé. Nine of the 12 games left come against teams in the top 50 of the RPI, including four on the road. Ole Miss still has to play four games against RPI top 25 teams. The gauntlet starts Tuesday against Alabama, who is 27th in the RPI.

Playing back-to-back road games for the first time this season, the Rebels fought hard against two top-35 RPI teams before falling by a combined six points. First, Breein Tyree’s three-pointer at the buzzer spun around the hoop twice and was halfway down before it rolled off the rim, giving Ole Miss a heartbreaking 71-69 loss at Texas A&M Tuesday. Trailing by seven with less than three minutes remaining, the Rebels tied the game courtesy of a Terence Davis three with only 49 seconds left. However, an offensive putback by Tyler Davis proved to be the winning bucket for the Aggies. Junior Bruce Stevens scored 14 of his team-high 20 points in the second half and fell one rebound shy of his first career double-double, reaching the 20-point plateau for the second consecutive game. Looking to rebound Saturday, Ole Miss turned a 12-point halftime deficit into a one-possession game in the final seconds. However, the Razorbacks emerged with a 97-93 decision. Davis tallied 30 points, the most scored by a Rebel this season, while Tyree added 16. Stevens and Deandre Burnett had 15 points apiece. Shooting better than 30 percent from beyond the arc (11 of 29) and making 24 of 29 free throws usually serves as a winning formula, but Arkansas’ offensive output (29 of 53 from the field, 11 of 22 from beyond the arc and 28 of 35 at the line) proved to be just enough to hold off Ole Miss.

Despite coming up short in a 97-93 high-scoring affair at Arkansas, the Rebels were able to stick with the Razorbacks by scoring their most points in a road game since March 4, 2009. Coincidentally, that contest nine years ago was a 98-91 overtime win at Arkansas. The 93 points were the most scored on the road in regulation in 27 years; Ole Miss won 93-88 at Tennessee, Feb. 27, 1991. The last time the Rebels scored at least 93 points on the road and lost was the 104-102 setback to MSU in 4OT (Jan. 25, 1990), the longest game in program history. A 130-112 loss at Vanderbilt (Dec. 22, 1970) was the last time the Rebels scored at least 93 points on the road and fell in regulation.

When the Rebels get to the line often and convert their free throws, they usually come out on top. Ole Miss is 4-2 when making at least 20 free throws in a game. The two losses occurred versus Illinois State (Dec. 16), when the Rebels sank 28 free throws, and at Arkansas (24 of 29). In the win versus Florida (Jan. 13), Ole Miss went 22 of 26 (84.6 percent) from the line to help knock off the Gators.

Ole Miss has relied on the long ball this season, making 8.5 threes per game (fourth in the SEC). The Rebels are 9-2 when they shoot over 30 percent from beyond the arc. The only times Ole Miss lost while shooting over 30 percent from three-point land was against Utah (Nov. 20) and Arkansas (Jan. 20); the Rebels went 8 of 24 (33.3 percent) from long distance versus the Utes before knocking down 11 of 19 (37.9 percent) against the Razorbacks.

Sophomore Breein Tyree enjoys playing SEC opponents. As a freshman last year, he averaged 7.3 ppg throughout the season but increased his scoring output to 9.3 ppg in conference play. This year has been no different. Tyree scored 8.6 ppg in non-conference play before bumping the scoring average to 13.4 ppg in the first seven SEC games. 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. 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.     

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 70.6 percent of the Rebels’ points. Five of the top six scorers on the team are guards led by Deandre Burnett (14.3 ppg), Terence Davis (14.0 ppg), Breein Tyree (10.4 ppg) and Markel Crawford (9.8 ppg). Freshman Devontae Shuler adds 7.8 ppg (sixth on team).

Ole Miss has taken care of the basketball this season. The Rebels have coughed up the rock only 218 times, ranking 27th nationally in fewest turnovers surrendered. Averaging only 11.5 turnovers per game, Ole Miss is 34th in the nation. Also, the Rebels’ 1.4 assist/turnover ratio sits second in the SEC and 23rd in the country. Senior guard Deandre Burnett holds the second-best individual assist/turnover ratio in the SEC at 2.8, which ranks 35th 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 19 games, the Rebels have sent out 11 different starting lineups. Ole Miss is one of eight teams nationally that has had at least 11 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.  

A first team preseason all-conference selection, senior Deandre Burnett is embracing his role as a leader. Burnett is averaging a team-high 14.3 ppg, while also leading the Rebels with 4.8 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 second in the SEC in assist/turnover ratio (2.8). In the Rebels’ conference wins, he is averaging 19.7 ppg. 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. After missing the previous game at Auburn with the flu, Burnett returned to the court and recorded 20 points versus Florida (Jan. 13). 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). A transfer from Miami, where he scored 195 points, Burnett is nearing 1,000 points for his career. He has 996 career points (801 at Ole Miss) and will look to go over 1,000 Tuesday night versus Alabama.

Senior guard Deandre Burnett ranks second in the SEC in assist/turnover ratio (2.8) and fourth in assists per game (4.8). He also is sixth in free throws made (86). He sits top 100 nationally in all of those categories, including 35th in assist/turnover ratio.  

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 eight starts, he is averaging 15.8 ppg. Over the last three games, he has increased that average to 19.0 ppg. Last week at Texas A&M, Stevens made a career-high nine field goals on his way to a 20-point output to go along with nine rebounds, another mark that tied his personal best. In the win over Florida (Jan. 13), the Louin, Mississippi, native tallied a team-high 22 points on 8 of 13 shooting. 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. Over the last 10 games, Stevens has made 39 of 48 free throws (81.3 percent) to increase his season percentage to .740.

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 28 of the last 34 games dating back to last season. Averaging 14.0 ppg, Davis has already reached the 20-point plateau five times, including Saturday’s game at Arkansas (Jan. 20) in which he poured in 30 on 10 of 15 shooting. Against the Razorbacks, Davis scored at least 30 points for the third time in his career, and it was the most points scored by a Rebel this season. 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 tallied 25 versus Bradley (Dec. 22). He has also showcased his skills on the defensive end, ranking second in blocks (19) and third in steals (17). 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.  

As a graduate transfer, Markel Crawford is making his mark in his only season with the Rebels. The Memphis product has started a team-high 15 games and leads the Rebels in minutes per game (30.3), which ranks 17th in the SEC. He also is second on the team in steals (21) and averages 9.8 ppg. Crawford tallied 17 points in two of the Rebels’ three SEC wins, victories over South Carolina (Dec. 31) and Florida (Jan. 13). Against South Dakota State (Nov. 28), Crawford scored 19 points, his most as a Rebel, on 7 of 11 shooting.  

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 has made an immediate impact by averaging 7.8 ppg in 20.7 minutes per game and swiping a team-high 27 steals (sixth in the SEC). 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).

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 part 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 19 games, Hymon leads the Rebels in blocks (20) and ranks second in rebounds (5.8 per game). Through 93 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 led the Rebels in rebounding nine times this season, 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.

Averaging 4.9 blocks per game, Ole Miss ranks 35th 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 has 19 blocks, while senior forward Justas Furmanavicius has 17. With 12 blocks in the last nine games, seven-footer Dominik Olejniczak reached double figures with 14 rejections. In his first season as a Rebel, Bruce Stevens has 12 blocks.

Ole Miss has been active with their hands on the defensive end of the floor, averaging 6.6 steals per game to rank seventh in the SEC. Through 19 games, six Rebels have recorded double figures in steals. Devontae Shuler leads the way with 27 steals, ranking sixth in the SEC. Markel Crawford follows with 21 steals, while Terence Davis and Breein Tyree have 17 and 16 steals, respectively. Justas Furmanavicius and Dominik Olejniczak have 10 steals apiece. Against Utah in Last Vegas (Nov. 20), the Rebels tallied 14 steals throughout the night, a season high for the Red and Blue.

Ole Miss is 6-3 in games decided by double digits. When the margin is less than 10, the Rebels are 4-6. 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 27.3 points per game. In five different 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).

With the 12th season led by Mississippi native Andy Kennedy underway, Ole Miss has a 244-149 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.

With a win versus Mississippi State (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 23rd all-time in winning percentage for SEC regular season games at .523 (101-92). He joined Kentucky head coach John Calipari as the only active SEC coaches with 100 SEC victories.

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 244 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) - 262
17. Nolan Richardson (Arkansas) - 249
18. Andy Kennedy (Ole Miss) - 244
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) – 244
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

After the midweek matchup with the Crimson Tide, Ole Miss will take a break from SEC play and hit the road once again. The Rebels will face off against Texas in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, Jan. 27, at 1 p.m. on ESPN2. The next time Ole Miss will play a conference contest, Auburn makes its way to The Pavilion (Jan. 30).






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