Men's Basketball Game Notes
Jan. 29, 2002
Rebels on Television and Radio
PROBABLE STARTING LINE-UPS
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REBEL GAME NOTES
OLE MISS TO CLOSE THREE-GAME HOMESTAND VERSUS VANDERBILT WEDNESDAY: The Ole Miss Rebels (16-4, 5-2 SEC) close their three-game Southeastern Conference home-stand against the Vanderbilt Commodores (13-6, 3-3 SEC) Wednesday, Jan. 30. The game is slated for 7:00 p.m. (CT) at Tad Smith Coliseum. Ole Miss enters Wednesday's encounter having won 12 of its last 14 games. The Rebels have won three straight in the league, defeating Arkansas Jan. 19, LSU Jan. 23 and South Carolina Jan. 26. The Commodores also bring a three-game win streak into the Jan. 30 encounter, posting victories over Auburn Jan. 16, South Carolina Jan. 19 and No. 15-ranked Georgia Jan. 26 in its win streak.
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 an 82-39 record. He has led Ole Miss to a 16-4 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-VANDERBILT SERIES: Wednesday's game will be the 101st meeting between Ole Miss and Vanderbilt on the hardwood. The Commodores lead the all-time series 63-37, but Ole Miss holds a 26-17 advantage in games played in Oxford. Vanderbilt's last win in Oxford came in the 1987-88 season, a 60-57 victory on Jan. 13, 1988. The Rebels have won two straight over the Commodores, including last season's 81-68 victory in Nashville. Vanderbilt's last win in the series was a 79-64 victory in the 1998-99 season. Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes is 2-1 versus Vanderbilt and 1-0 against the Commodores in Oxford.
SCOUTING VANDERBILT: The Commodores enter Wednesday's game with a 13-6 overall mark and a 3-3 Southeastern Conference record. Vanderbilt has won three straight league games with victories over Auburn, South Carolina and No. 15-ranked Georgia. The Commodores have four players averaging in double figures with Matt Freije leading the way with a 16.4 average. Chuck Moore (13.2 ppg), Sam Howard (11.8 ppg) and Brendan Plavich (11.3 ppg) are also averaging double digits. Freije is the team's top rebounder with a 4.9 average and the squad's top field goal shooter at 51.4 percent. Plavich is the team's and SEC's top three-pointer shooter, hitting 47.6 percent of his attempts from the arc. Vanderbilt, as a team, is shooting 47.7 percent from the field, 39.3 percent from the three-point line and 74.4 percent from the foul line. Opponents are out-rebounding the Commodores by an average of 1.5 boards per game (32.4-33.9).
A RUN THROUGH THE EAST: The Rebels' game Wednesday versus Vanderbilt will be the second of three straight contests against members of the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division. Ole Miss defeated South Carolina 71-53 Jan 26, and after Wednesday's game against the Commodores, will travel to Athens to meet the nationally-ranked Georgia Bulldogs (No. 16 in Associated Press poll, No. 17 in ESPN/USA Today poll) Feb. 2.
DE-FENSE, DE-FENSE!: That's been the staple of the Rebel basketball program since the early 1990s, and the 2001-02 Ole Miss squad has been playing stellar defense of late. In the last three contests, the Rebels have held their opponents to an average of 57.3 points per game. Ole Miss has also forced the opposition into 52 turnovers (18.0 average) and has 28 steals (9.3 average) in those three contests.
NO RANKINGS THIS TIME: For the first time in three seasons, the Ole Miss-Vanderbilt game will be played when neither team is in the national rankings. Last year, the Rebels were ranked No. 22 when they entered the game against the Commodores in Nashville. In 1999-2000, Vanderbilt carried a national ranking of No. 24 when it came to Oxford. Ole Miss won both meetings.
COMMON OPPONENTS: The Rebels and the Commodores have played two common opponents this season. Both teams are 2-0 against the common opponents. The following shows the results of those common opponents:
Ole Miss Opponent Vanderbilt 69-65 (H), W Auburn 73-67 (H), W 71-53 (H), W South Carolina 60-51 (A), W
REBELS GUARANTEE WINNING SEASON: With their victory over South Carolina Jan. 26, the Rebels guaranteed themselves a sixth straight winning campaign. Ole Miss currently has a 16-4 record. The six consecutive winning seasons are the most in the program's 92-year history since the Rebels had nine straight winning ledgers from 1919-19 through 1927-28.
IN GOOD COMPANY: Coming into the 2001-02 season, Ole Miss had put together a string of five consecutive winning seasons. The Rebels are one of four schools in the SEC to post winning records in each of the previous five years. Kentucky, Arkansas and Auburn are the other three league schools to do so.
A BATTLE OF THREES AND FREES: Wednesday's contest between Ole Miss and Vanderbilt could come down to which team is hot from the three-point arc and the free throw line. The Commodores lead the Southeastern Conference in free throw percentage at 74.4 percent, while the Rebels are second in the league at 73.6 percent. Beyond the arc, Vanderbilt is the conference's second-best three-point shooting team at 39.3 percent, while Ole Miss is third at 38.9 percent.
SPREADING THE WEALTH: Ole Miss and Vanderbilt enter Wednesday's game sharing the basketball well on the offensive end. The Rebels have five players averaging double figures, while the Commodores have four players in double digits.
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 124 games (overall games) since 1996-97, the most by any SEC Western Division team. The 124 victories are also second among all league teams, only trailing Kentucky's 158 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)
REBELS SECOND ON WEST TITLES LIST: The Rebels clinched the Southeastern Conference Western Division title outright in 2000-01, and it was the program's third SEC Western Division championship in the last five years. Since the league went to the two-division format in 1991-92, the Rebels have won the second-most SEC West titles. The following chart shows the SEC Western Division champions (outright and shared titles):
SEC Western Division Team Titles Years Arkansas 4 1992-93-94-95 Ole Miss 3 1997-98-2001 Mississippi State 2 1995-96 Auburn 1 1999 LSU 1 2000
REED LEADS NATION IN FREE THROW SHOOTING IMPROVEMENT: It's the goal of every player to improve his game throughout his career. In the case of sophomore Justin Reed (Jackson, Miss.), he had to work on his free throw shooting after the 2000-01 season. And worked on it, he did.
As of Jan. 28, the Rebels' 6-foot-8 forward had made the nation's biggest improvement at the free throw line. Last season, Reed shot 54.9 percent from the charity stripe, but this year, he is hitting 79.4 percent which is a difference of 24.5 percent. The following lists the top five players with biggest improvements from the foul line in the nation:
Player/School 00-01 Pct 01-02 Pct 1. Justin Reed/Ole Miss 54.9 79.4 2. James Thomas/Texas 45.7 65.6 3. Dan Lytle/Evansville 55.9 74.1 4. Mike Sweetney/G'town 61.9 78.7 5. Greg Harrington/Tulsa 73.3 89.6
"TAD PAD" SWEET "TAD PAD": Yes, all the home win streaks are 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. Ole Miss has won 87 of its last 96 games (.906 winning percentage) at home, including homecourt winning streaks of 15 and 29 games. Ole Miss is 9-1 at the "Tad Pad" in 2001-02. In the past 10 seasons (1992-93 throught 2001-02), Ole Miss has an overall home record of 115-30 (.793 winning percentage).
REBELS ALL-TIME AT THE "TAD PAD": With their victory over No. 14-ranked Oklahoma in 2000-01, the Rebels posted their 300th victory in Tad Smith Coliseum. Ole Miss has an all-time record of 320-156 (.672 winning percentage) at the "Tad Pad." Tad Smith Coliseum opened in the 1965-66 season.
"TAD PAD" RENOVATIONS COMPLETE: Renovations began on C.M. "Tad" Smith Coliseum (a.k.a. "Tad Pad") this summer, and the second wave of upgrades were completed before the Rebels' two exhibition games. The first change had new upholstered, chair-back seats, all in blue replace the old seats. As a result of the new seating, capacity jumped from 8,135 to approximately 8,700. Other new additions for the 2001-02 season included a Pro Star Video Board, two full display scoreboards and a state-of-the-art sound system.
BARNES GETS ANOTHER "FIRST": As if he hasn't done enough in his short tenure as head coach of the Ole Miss basketball program, Rod Barnes achieved another "first" with the Rebels' 70-64 victory at Arkansas Jan. 19. With that win, Barnes earned his 80th as head coach and is the first Rebel mentor to average 20 victories per season in the program's history.
BARNES GETS WIN NO. 80: Rod Barnes posted his 80th victory as head coach at Ole Miss with the Rebels' 70-64 victory at Arkansas Jan. 19. He has a current record of 82-39, and reached the 80-win plateau the fastest of any coach in Rebel basketball history. His 82 victories are the fifth most by a head coach in Ole Miss basketball history. The following lists the winningest coaches in Rebel 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 6-3 in contests decided by less than 10 points this year, including victories over versus Auburn (69-65), No. 22-ranked Mississippi State (66-59) and Arkansas (70-64). Last year, the Rebels had a 14-3 mark in games decided by single digits.
Vanderbilt is 8-0 in games decided by less than 10 points this season, including its last three conferecne victories over Auburn (73-67), South Carolina (60-51) and Georgia (86-84).
"TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS" OFF THE COURT: One of Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes' favorite lines is "take care of your business." Well, the Rebels did it once again in the classroom. Three Rebels - sophomores Aaron Harper (Jackson, Miss.) and Justin Reed and freshman Spence Shutt (Savannah, Tenn.) - made the University of Mississippi Athletic Association (UMAA) Honor Roll (3.00-3.49 gpa) for the fall semester. In the spring of 2001, seven Ole Miss players made one of the University's three honor rolls (Chancellor's, Dean's, UMAA).
REBELS HAVE BALANCED ATTACK: In 2001-02, the Rebels are showing their opponents they have a multi-offensive attack. Ole Miss has five players averaging double figures with Justin Reed at 14.5 ppg, Aaron Harper (Jackson, Miss.) at 11.5 ppg, David Sanders (Jackson, Miss.) at 11.4 ppg, Jason Harrison (Little Rock, Ark.) at 10.6 ppg, and Derrick Allen (Gadsden, Ala.) at 10.0 ppg.
In 15 of their 19 games this year, the Rebels have had at least four players score in double figures. Ole Miss has a 12-3 record in those games.
NO. 23 PLUS 19 EQUALS 17: The math doesn't look correct, but it added up for sophomore Justin Reed in the Rebels' two victories over LSU Jan. 23 and South Carolina Jan. 26. In the two games prior to the LSU contest, the 6-foot-8 forward, who wears No. 23, had a couple of subpar performances against Kentucky and Arkansas. Before the LSU contest, head coach Rod Barnes told Reed to enjoy himself and have fun like a 19-year-old should (Reed turned 20 on Jan. 16).
Reed took his coach's advice and bounced back against LSU and South Carolina, averaging 17 points and shooting 50 percent from the field and 100 percent from the charity stripe in those two contests. He had 18 points off the bench against the Tigers Jan. 23 and followed that with a 16-point performance versus the Gamecocks.
MAYBE WE SHOULD START HIM: Coaches often have tough decisions when making the starting lineup, but this one may not be that difficult. Junior forward Richard Kirklin (Pine Bluff, Ark.) made his first Southeastern Conference start of the season in the Rebels' victory over LSU Jan. 23. The 6-foot-9 forward has started seven games in his Ole Miss career, and the Rebels are 7-0 in those contests, including 5-0 in SEC games. Among those seven starts are the last two regular-season games versus Vanderbilt.
HARPER'S IN THE GROOVE: If the Rebels have one player who is hot when he gets going, that player is Aaron Harper. And, in Ole Miss' last three games, the 6-foot-7 guard/forward has been "on fire." He is averaging 16.0 points and 7.3 boards while shooting 58.6 percent from the field, 50 percent from the three-point line and 80 percent from the free throw line in the three wins over Arkansas, LSU and South Carolina. Against the Razorbacks Jan. 19, Harper had his second double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 boards. He followed with 16 points, seven rebounds and a career-high six steals versus LSU Jan. 23. Harper had 15 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals in the win over South Carolina Jan. 26.
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:
2000-01 2001-02 Avg. Avg. Diff. Sanders 2.7 4.5 +1.8 Wade 1.8 3.6 +1.8 Harper 2.9 4.2 +1.3
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, 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 13 games, the Marianna, Ark., native is averaging 8.5 points and 4.0 rebounds, while shooting 84.4 percent from the charity stripe (27-of-32). He also has 17 assists, 17 steals and three blocks in the last 13 contests.
He also has come up big for the Rebels during the 13-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. 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. In Ole Miss' 70-64 victory at Arkansas, Wade came alive in the second half, scoring all eight of his points and grabbing four rebounds after the intermission. Against LSU Jan. 23, he grabbed a career-high tying six rebounds.
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 South Carolina Jan. 26, this year's senior class has 82 victories, which is six 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:
22 AND COUNTING DOWN: Senior Jason Harrison 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 20 games, the 5-foot-5 guard has scored 212 points (10.5 average) and now has 978 career points, needing 22 to reach the milestone.
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.
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 675 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 290 in 2001-02. He is leading the team in scoring (14.5 ppg) and is second on the squad in rebounding (6.2 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.
HARRISON CLIMBING ASSISTS CHART: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 20 games in 2001-02, Harrison has 85 dishes for a 4.3 average. At his current pace, Harrison would hand out 129 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 390 assists. He is in the No. 3 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
HARPER HITTING THE CLUTCH TREY: Sophomore Aaron Harper's touch from the three-point arc has been coming back in recent games, and he has also hit the three-pointer when the Rebels need it most.
In the win over South Carolina Jan. 26, Harper's three-point assault came in the first half. With Ole Miss holding an 18-10 lead, the Rebels went on a 14-5 run to take a 32-15 lead and control of the game. During that run, Harper hit two treys.
Harper did it again against Arkansas Jan. 19. Down 35-34 after an 8-2 run by the Razorbacks, Harper nailed a trey to regain the lead (37-35) for Ole Miss. The three-pointer began a run of eight straight points by Harper. He hit another trey in the spurt to extend the Rebel advantage to 42-35.
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.
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.
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 50 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
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 121 games, including all 20 in 2001-02, and could set a new Ole Miss record this season. The following shows the Rebel career games played leaders:
Rebel Career Games Played
TIP-INS... Derrick Allen recorded his third double-double of the season versus South
Carolina with 11 points and 10 boards...Ole Miss has had some success in the month of February in recent seasons, but with a win over Vanderbilt Wednesday, the Rebels would finish January with a 7-2 record. That would be Ole Miss' best mark in the month since the 1951-52 team also posted a 7-2 January record.
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