Ole Miss Preps For Border War

Jan. 31, 2000

Game #21 - Jefferson Pilot TV
Arkansas (11-8, 3-3) at Ole Miss (13-7, 1-6)
Wednesday, February 2 - 7:06 p.m. (CT)
Tad Smith Coliseum - Oxford, Miss.

Rebels on Television and Radio

Television: Jefferson Pilot TV (Tom Hammond, play-by-play, Larry Conley, color analyst, Roger Roebuck, producer, Dave Burchett, director)

Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network (David Kellum, play-by-play, Sean Tuohy, color analyst, Stan Sandroni, pregame/halftime/postgame host)


The Ole Miss Rebels (13-7, 1-6 SEC) return home to Tad Smith Coliseum on Wednesday, Feb. 2 when they host the Arkansas Razorbacks (11-8, 3-3 SEC) in a Southeastern Conference Western Division clash. The contest is scheduled for a 7:06 p.m. (CT) tip-off. Wednesday's game will be the third straight for Ole Miss versus an SEC Western Division foe. The Rebels enter Wednesday's contest after a 96-67 loss at Alabama on Jan. 29. The Razorbacks also enter Wednesday's contest after a loss, falling at LSU, 96-75 last Wednesday (Jan. 26).


Wednesday's game will the 45th meeting between the two schools, with the Razorbacks holding an all-time series lead of 34-11. The series began in 1937. Since it joined the Southeastern Conference in the 1991-92 season, Arkansas holds an 11-6 series lead over the Rebels. Earlier this year, Arkansas defeated the Rebels, 71-64 in Fayetteville on Jan. 5. Prior to the setback, Ole Miss had won three straight in the series. Last season, Ole Miss swept the Razorbacks, defeating Arkansas 76-65 in Fayetteville and 89-81 in Oxford. The Rebels have won five of the last seven meetings versus the Razorbacks, and hold a 6-3 lead in games played in Oxford. Arkansas' last win in Oxford came in the 1995-96 season, a narrow 63-62 victory.

Game #14 - January 5, 2000
Arkansas 71, Ole Miss 64

Arkansas freshman Joe Johnson scored a game-high 17 points and grabbed nine boards to lift the Razorbacks to a 71-64 victory over Ole Miss in Fayetteville. The game was the Southeastern Conference season opener for both teams.

Jason Gilbert (12 points) and Teddy Gipson (10) also scored in double figures for Arkansas. Junior forward Rahim Lockhart led Ole Miss with his 10th double-double performance of the season, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Senior Marcus Hicks (11 points), junior Jason Flanigan (11) and junior Jason Holmes (10) also scored in double figures for the Rebels.

The Rebels led 59-55 with 6:34 left in the game, but a T.J. Cleveland three-point play at the 5:34 mark pulled the Razorbacks to within one at 59-58 and gave them the momentum. From that point, Arkansas outscored the Rebels, 13-5 the rest of the way en route to the win. In the game-ending spurt, Johnson stepped up, as he scored six (2 baskets, 2 FT) of his 17 points.

In the first half, Arkansas jumped out to an early 14-4 lead on the strength of two Gilbert three-pointers. The Rebels, however, stormed back with an 18-7 run to take a 22-21 lead on a Lockhart dunk at the 8:28 mark of the first half. Arkansas held a 39-34 halftime lead.

Ole Miss shot 35.4 percent from the field and out-rebounded Arkansas, 44-29. The Razorbacks hit 43.6 percent from the floor.


Arkansas brings an 11-8 overall record and a 3-3 Southeastern Conference mark into Wednesday's game. The Razorbacks have split their last eight games, going 4-4 in that stretch. The tandem of freshman forward Joe Johnson and senior guard Chris Walker leads the Razorback offense. Johnson is tops on the team with a 14.1 scoring average, while Walker is second at 13.2 points per game. Walker also leads Arkansas on boards with a 5.4 rebounding average. Freshman forward Alonzo Lane is Arkansas' top shooter from the field, hitting 60.7 percent. Johnson is the team's top shooter from the three-point arc (44 percent) and charity stripe (81.8 percent). Sophomore guard T.J. Cleveland leads the team with 60 assists. The Razorbacks are shooting 42.7 percent from the floor, 34.8 percent from the three-point arc and 57.3 percent from the foul line. Arkansas is averaging 76.4 points and 36.6 rebounds. The Razorbacks' opponents are winning the battle on the boards, out-rebounding Arkansas by an average of 5.5 boards per game (42.1-36.6).

* Based on last game's starters

No.Player (Yr.)Pos.Ht.Wt.PPG/RPGHometown
11Jason Harrison (So.)G5-51507.5/2.7Little Rock, Ark.
21Darrian Brown (So.)G/F6-62007.0/3.4West Memphis, Ark.
22Jason Flanigan (Jr.)G6-11758.0/2.6Little Rock, Ark.
24Marcus Hicks (Sr.)F6-620014.9/5.7Jackson, Tenn.
44Rahim Lockhart (Jr.)F6-825012.6/8.8Mendenhall, Miss.


No.Player (Yr.)Pos.Ht.Wt.PPG/RPGHometown
15Ray Waddell (Jr.)G5-91651.0/0.6Philadelphia, Miss.
20Jason Holmes (Jr.)G6-52004.1/1.9Tylertown, Miss.
23Syniker Taylor (Fr.)G6-01952.0/1.5Gulfport, Miss.
25Lataryl Williams (Sr.)F6-72009.5/3.0Oxford, Miss.
30Josh Hayes (Fr.)G6-71905.0/2.0Little Rock, Ark.#
31John Gunn (Fr.)F/C6-102453.4/2.0Oxford, Miss.
32Emmanuel Wade (Fr.)G6-31854.8/1.6Marianna, Ark.
45Richard Kirklin (Fr.)F6-92002.1/1.9Pine Bluff, Ark.
54John Engstrom (So.)C7-02450.7/1.1Paragould, Ark.

# - will seek a medical redshirt at the end of the season

* Based on last game's starters

No.Player (Yr.)Pos.Ht.Wt.PPG/RPGHometown
24Joe Johnson (Fr.)F6-822514.1/5.3Little Rock, Ark.
33Dionisio Gomez (Fr.)F6-82151.8/2.7Fayetteville, Ark.
5T.J. Cleveland (So.)G6-11689.7/2.5Birmingham, Ala.
20Brandon Davis (So.)G6-41983.9/2.1Camden, Ark.
41Chris Walker (Sr.)G6-522013.2/5.4Pine Bluff, Ark.


No.Player (Yr.)Pos.Ht.Wt.PPG/RPGHometown
31Alonzo Lane (Fr.)F6-72408.4/4.1Canton, Miss.
13Brandon Dean (So.)G6-11908.1/2.3Monroe, La.
23Teddy Gipson (So.)G6-31706.5/2.9Farmerville, La.
4Jason Gilbert (So.)G5-111756.2/0.8Mtn. View, Ark.


Rod Barnes is in his second season at the helm of the Ole Miss Rebel basketball program. With the Rebels' loss at Alabama on Jan. 29, Barnes' overall coaching record now stands at 33-20. In his first season in 1998-99, Barnes guided Ole Miss to a 20-13 overall record and a third straight NCAA Tournament appearance. The Satartia, Miss., native became the first head coach in the history of Rebel basketball to win 20 games in his first season. Last season, Barnes also guided the Rebels to a 72-70 win over Villanova in the NCAA Tournament first round, marking the program's first-ever victory in NCAA play. Barnes was hired as the Rebel head coach on April 9, 1998, after Rob Evans left to take the h ead 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 (17th, 1,201 points), assists (2nd, 456) and steals (6th, 154).


Yes, the school-record 29-game homecourt winning streak came to an end last year, 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 dropping two conference games at home this season, Ole Miss has still won 57 of its last 63 games (.905 winning percentage) at home, including homecourt winning streaks of 15 and 29 games. The Rebels are 9-2 at Tad Smith Coliseum this season. Ole Miss also owns the third longest homecourt winning streak versus non-conference opponents in the nation at 33 (Maryland is first at 70 straight). In the past eight seasons (1992-present), Ole Miss has an overall home record of 85-27 (.759 winning percentage).


February is the month the Rebels have been waiting for, and it's finally here. The past four seasons (1995-96, 1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99), Ole Miss has played well in the month of February, posting a 20-9 mark (.690 winning percentage). The following chart shows the Rebels' success in the month of February over the past four seasons:

YearRecord Heading Into Feb.Feb. RecordRecord After Feb.
Cumulative Feb. Record20-9

* team received NCAA Tournament bid


Wednesday's contest will be an all-star reunion-of sorts. Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes, Rebel senior forward Marcus Hicks (Jackson, Tenn.) and Arkansas sophomore guard Brandon Dean were all members of the Southeastern Conference All-Stars that traveled to Japan last August. Barnes, who served as the team's co-head coach with LSU's John Brady, guided the SEC All-Stars to a 4-1 record versus the Japan National Team. Hicks averaged 10 points and 6.2 boards, and led the team in rebounding, blocked shots and field goal percentage. Dean played in all five games and averaged 5.2 points and 1.4 rebounds.


Senior Marcus Hicks enters Wednesday's game versus Arkansas within reach of another milestone in his career-the 700-point plateau. After his 20-point performance versus Alabama on Jan. 29, the 6-foot-6 senior now has scored 684 points in 53 career games. On Jan. 8, Hicks passed the 600-point plateau, scoring point No. 600 on a free throw at the 16:53 mark of the first half versus the Gators. Earlier this season, Hicks reached the 500-point plateau in the Rebels' game at Oklahoma on Dec. 4. Hicks entered the game with 492 points, and scored his 500th point on a free throw at the 3:10 mark of the first half versus the Sooners.


Another milestone is within Marcus Hicks' reach. The 6-foot-6 forward has 292 career boards and needs eight more to reach the 300-rebound plateau. This season, Hicks is the Rebels' second-leading rebounder with a 5.7 average. He was also the team's second-leading rebounder in 1998-99 with a 5.4 average. Hicks came to Ole Miss from Northwest Mississippi C.C., where he compiled 624 rebounds in two seasons from 1996-98.


Well, for the Rebels, it seems as if that number is 70. In the past four seasons (1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-2000), Ole Miss has an incredible 67-8 record (.893 winning percentage) when it scores 70 points or more in a game. On the other hand, the Rebels are 7-28 when they net less than 70 points in a game. This year, the Rebels are 12-2 when scoring 70 points or more. In SEC action the last four seasons (1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-2000), Ole Miss has a 31-5 record (.861 winning percentage) when scoring 70 or more points.


One would think that, after a successful first season as head coach in 1998-99, Rebel mentor Rod Barnes had already done it all. Close, but not quite. Barnes recorded another coaching first in his career with the Rebels' win over Auburn on Jan. 22. With that 79-77 overtime win over the then-No. 4 ranked Tigers, Barnes posted his first coaching victory over a top-10 team. Last season, Barnes recorded three wins over top-25 teams (#19, #21 Arkansas twice, #23 Oklahoma).


And it did on Jan. 22 when the Rebels upset then-No.4 Auburn, 79-77 in overtime. Although the Rebels are only 1-6 in Southeastern Conference play, the Ole Miss basketball program has proven resilient in recent years after losing streaks. The following charts that:

YearLosing StreakFollowing Streak
1995-96Begin SEC 0-5Close SEC with 6-5 run to finish conference at 6-10, team was base for two SEC West titles in 1997 and 1998
1997-98Three-game losing streak in early Feb.Made up three-game deficit to claim 2nd SEC West title, (0-3) 2nd NCAA berth
1998-99Four-game skid in late February (0-4)Won 2 of 3 down stretch to earn third straight NCAA bid, won program's first NCAA game and advanced to second round
1999-2000Begin SEC 0-5Has 1-1 record


Freshman Emmanuel Wade (Marianna, Ark.) had a career game versus Alabama on Jan. 29. The 6-foot-3 guard netted a career-best 19 points and also recorded career highs of seven field goals and four three-pointers. Wade tied a career high with four rebounds. His previous career bests of points (14), field goals (6) and treys (2) came versus Birmingham-Southern on Jan. 2.

Wade has come on strong of late for the Rebels. In the last three games, Wade is averaging 12 points and three rebounds. He is also shooting 52 percent (13-of-25) from the field and 45.5 percent (5-of-11) from the three-point arc during that three-game stretch.


Freshman John Gunn (Oxford, Miss.) has been on fire of late for the Rebels-especially in the Rebels' three games from Jan. 15-22. The 6-foot-10 forward averaged 10.3 points and 4.7 rebounds during the Rebels' "Ranked Row" week versus No. 12 Tennessee, No. 18 Kentucky and No. 4 Auburn. Gunn also shot 77.8 percent (14-of-18) from the field in those three contests. For the season, Gunn is averaging 3.4 points and 2.0 boards, while shooting 57.1 percent from the floor. In SEC play, Gunn's numbers have improved to 5.5 points, 2.8 boards and 58.3 field goal shooting.

Gunn posted career-highs of 14 points and six rebounds versus Tennessee on Jan. 15. After a four-point, five-board performance versus Kentucky, he came off the bench to spark Ole Miss to the win over Auburn. In that victory over the Tigers, Gunn scored 13 points, grabbed three rebounds and blocked two shots.


Senior Lataryl Williams (Oxford, Miss.) tied a career high with seven rebounds in the Rebels' victory over Auburn on Jan. 22. He also grabbed seven boards in Ole Miss' victory over Oregon State on Nov. 27. The 6-foot-7 forward's biggest rebound of the game came with 38 seconds left in overtime when he grabbed an offensive board off a Darrian Brown missed trey and laid it in, giving the Rebels the lead for good at 76-75. Williams is averaging 3.0 boards per game.


Sophomore Jason Harrison (Little Rock, Ark.) recorded the 150th assist of his career in the Rebels' game versus Mississippi State on Jan. 12. With his five assists versus Alabama on Jan. 29, Harrison now has 169 for his career. The 5-foot-5 guard leads the team with 83 assists this season, and is ranked eighth in the SEC in assists. Harrison is also on pace to become the first Rebel since Cedric Brim in 1994-95 to have 100 assists or more in a season.


While teammate Jason Harrison recently passed the 150-assist plateau, junior guard Jason Flanigan (Little Rock, Ark.) is closing in on 200 assists for his career. After his six-assist performance versus Auburn on Jan. 22, Flanigan now has 190 for his career, needing 10 more to reach 200. This season, the 6-foot-1 guard has 61assists (second on team).


Senior Marcus Hicks, who had been averaging just under seven shot attempts in the Rebels' first four conference games, got plenty of opportunities to score in his career-high game versus Kentucky on Jan. 19. The 6-foot-6 forward scored a career-best 27 points on 12-of-22 shooting (54.5 percent) from the field and 3-of-4 from the three-point arc. The 12 field goals and three treys were also career highs. Hicks' previous career bests were 26 points and 11 field goals versus McNeese State (Nov. 23, 1999) and two treys versus Southeastern Louisiana (Dec. 15, 1999) and Louisiana-Monroe (Dec. 19, 1999).


Senior Marcus Hicks recorded his first double-double of the 1999-2000 season versus Kentucky on Jan. 19. The 6-foot-6 forward scored a career-high 27 points and grabbed a season-best 10 boards against the Wildcats. It was Hicks' third double-double of his career, as he also had double-double performances versus Alabama A&M (17-13, Nov. 23, 1998) and Florida (20-10, Feb. 6, 1999) last season.


Everybody has seen Rebel senior Marcus Hicks' rim-rattling dunks and acrobatic moves to the hoop. But, Hicks shooting beyond the arc? Don't look now, but the 6-foot-6 forward is feeling rather comfortable beyond the three-point line. Hicks nailed a career-best three treys (3-of-4) versus Kentucky on Jan. 19. He is shooting 50 percent (9-of-18) from the three-point line and has hit eight of his last 12 attempts from the arc.


Freshman Emmanuel Wade got his first starting nod in Southeastern Conference play versus Kentucky on Jan. 19, and he made the most of it. In 21 minutes of action, the 6-foot-3 guard scored 11 points (5-of-12 FG, 1-of-4 3-pt.) and grabbed two boards. Wade received the first start of his collegiate career versus Prairie View A&M on Dec. 29.


The Rebels have a 39-45 regular-season record versus teams from the SEC Western Division. Ole Miss is 39-46 versus the SEC Western Division teams, including tournament play. The Rebels, however, have been successful versus their SEC Western Division foes the last three years (1996-97, 1997-98 and 1998-99), posting a 21-9 record. The following charts show the Rebels' year-by-year record versus the SEC Western Division and their mark against each school from the Western Division (includes tournament games):

Year-By-Year Versus

Record Against The SEC

The SEC Western DivisionWestern Division Teams
(Regular Season Only)(Includes Tourney Games)
1995-964-6Miss. State8-9


Junior Rahim Lockhart has certainly doubled his pleasure for the Rebels in 1999-2000, as he has recorded 10 double-doubles. Lockhart is currently averaging 12.6 points (16th in SEC) and 8.8 rebounds (2nd in SEC). The following charts Lockhart's double-doubles this season:

Jacksonville St.2911career high pts
McNeese St.1316career high rebs
Furman1514tied car-high blks (4)
Oregon St.1112
Alabama St.1210

The junior forward now has 11 career double-doubles, as his first came last season against Tennessee (Feb. 17, 16 pts-12 rebs). Lockhart is five boards shy of 400 for his career.



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