Another Ranked Opponent Awaits Rebels with Trip to Tennessee
Feb. 1, 2018

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Matchup: Ole Miss (11-11, 4-5 SEC) at No. 18 Tennessee (16-5, 6-3 SEC)
Date: Saturday, February 3, 2018
Time: 5 p.m. CT
Location: Knoxville, Tenn.
Arena: Thompson-Boling Arena (21,678)
Television: SEC Network
    Mike Morgan, play-by-play
    Dane Bradshaw, analyst
Radio: Ole Miss IMG Sports Network
    David Kellum, play-by-play
    Marc Dukes, analyst
Series: Tennessee leads 71-44
Last Meeting: Feb. 8, 2017
    Tennessee won 75-66
    Knoxville, Tenn.

- Ole Miss and Tennessee are playing a home-and-home series for the second straight season and for the third time in the last six seasons.
- The Rebels have won six of the past eight matchups against the Volunteers.
- No. 18 Tennessee is Ole Miss’ second ranked opponent in as many games; the Rebels are coming off a 79-70 setback to No. 11 Auburn Tuesday night, their first SEC loss at home this season.
- Terence Davis averaged 17.5 ppg and 9.5 rpg against Tennessee last year.
- The Rebels are one of two SEC teams to have a .500-or-better SEC record in each of the last six seasons.
- Senior Deandre Burnett is one of two players in the SEC to rank top 10 in the conference in assists, assist/turnover ratio, three-point field goal percentage and free throw percentage.
- Burnett celebrated his 24th birthday on Monday.
- Burnett averages 20.8 ppg in the Rebels’ four SEC wins.
- Sophomore Breein Tyree is averaging 12.1 ppg in SEC play; Tyree scored in double figures in both games versus Tennessee last season.
- The Rebels are 85th in the RPI; Ole Miss has finished in the top 100 of the RPI in all 11 seasons under Andy Kennedy, one of only 20 programs to do that.
- Ole Miss has six wins versus RPI top 100 teams; the Rebels had three during all of last season.  
- Six of the Rebels’ nine remaining regular season games are against teams in the RPI top 50.
- Ole Miss’ worst loss, in terms of RPI, is against Illinois State (No. 86 in RPI).
- The Rebels are 10-3 when shooting over 30 percent from beyond the arc.
- Guards are accounting for 71.8 percent of the Rebels’ scoring.
- 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 245 victories. With 102 SEC wins, he is one of only 23 coaches all-time with 100 SEC victories.
- Ole Miss is one of seven teams nationwide to have at least 12 different starting lineups this season.  
- Seniors Markel Crawford and Marcanvis Hymon hail from the state of Tennessee (Memphis natives).

So far this season, Ole Miss has six victories over RPI top 100 teams, including two over opponents ranked in the top 50. Comparing to last year’s run to the NIT Quarterfinals, Ole Miss had only three top 100 wins. With nine regular season games remaining, the Rebels still have a plethora of opportunities in front of them to build their résumé. Six of the nine games left come against teams in the top 50 of the RPI, including three at home. Tennessee enters Saturday’s contest ranked No. 12 in the RPI, which is a Quadrant 1 opportunity for the Rebels. Ole Miss still has to play three games against RPI top 25 teams.

Tennessee enters Saturday’s matchup with a 16-5 record, including 6-3 in SEC play. Winners of four straight, including an 84-61 thumping of LSU on Wednesday night, the Volunteers jumped into the top 25 of the national polls (AP-18, Coaches-19). After dropping its first two SEC games, Tennessee has won six of the past seven conference contests. UT leads the SEC in assists, 16.7 per game, and ranks 33rd nationally.  Grant Williams (16.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg) and Admiral Schofield (12.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg) pace the Volunteers in scoring and rebounding, while Lamonte Turner adds 10.4 ppg off the bench and shoots 91.1 percent (52 of 57) from the FT line. Rick Barnes is in his third season as Tennessee head coach after spending 18 seasons as the head coach of Texas. With 651 career wins, Barnes has 31 years of head coaching experience at the Division I level.

Ole Miss and Tennessee have met 115 times, with the Volunteers holding a 71-44 lead in a series that began in 1924. Ole Miss has won six of the last eight meetings, including three of the last four. UT owns a 41-12 record against Ole Miss in Knoxville, while the Rebels hold a 7-5 advantage in neutral site games. In Oxford, the series is tied 25-25. The two teams will play a home-and-home series for the third time in the last six years and second in as many seasons. Head coach Andy Kennedy is 8-7 against the Volunteers in his career, but has won six the of last eight games. The home team has won 13 of the last 16 regular season meetings dating back to 2004.

The Rebels and Volunteers split last season’s series with each team protecting its home floor. First, Sebastian Saiz and Terence Davis each recorded double-doubles to help Ole Miss claim an 80-69 victory at The Pavilion (Jan. 17, 2017). Saiz tallied 17 points and 10 rebounds to become the sixth player in Ole Miss history to record 1,000 points and 800 rebounds for his career. Davis added game highs with 20 points and 11 rebounds of his own, while Justas Furmanavicius and Breein Tyree chipped in 15 points apiece to help the Rebels erase a 13-point second half deficit. Tyree also added a career-high six assists. Three weeks later (Feb. 8, 2017), Tennessee got revenge and earned the season split with a 75-66 decision in Knoxville. The Rebels held a four-point halftime lead, 38-34, but the Vols surged ahead in the final three minutes of the contest. Saiz posted another double-double (13 points, 15 rebounds), while Davis scored a team-high 14 points. Tyree reached double figures again with 12 points of his own.

During last season’s series, Terence Davis nearly averaged a double-double against the Volunteers. The Southaven, Mississippi, native tallied 17.0 ppg and 9.5 rebounds per game. As a freshman, Breein Tyree averaged 13.5 ppg when facing Tennessee. Marcanvis Hymon recorded 6.0 ppg, an increase compared to his career average of 4.6 ppg, to go along with 10.0 rebounds per game. The Rebels’ leading scorer, Deandre Burnett, only played versus Tennessee once last season and recorded eight points. He missed the win in Oxford due to injury.

Two Rebels will be playing in their home state this weekend. Seniors Markel Crawford and Marcanvis Hymon both hail from Memphis, just 85 miles up the road from Oxford.

Ole Miss fell to Auburn for just the second time in the last 12 meetings and the first time in Oxford since 2008 as the No. 11 Tigers claimed a 79-70 victory Tuesday night at The Pavilion. The Rebels saw their season-high six-game home winning streak come to an end, and it was also the first SEC loss in The Pavilion this season (five games). Early foul trouble hurt Ole Miss as seven Rebels picked up two fouls in the first half. Deandre Burnett led Ole Miss with 16, the third straight game he’s paced the Rebels in points and a team-high eight for the season. Terence Davis, Markel Crawford and Devontae Shuler each had 11 points on the night. Despite holding the nation’s No. 11-ranked team to a 38.8 percent (26 of 67) field goal percentage, Ole Miss suffered its first loss of the year when limiting opponents to under 40 percent from the field. The Rebels were previously 6-0 when accomplishing that task.

Despite impressive performances by Dominik Olejniczak and Deandre Burnett, Ole Miss could not slow down Texas giant Mohamed Bamba in an 85-72 road loss to the Longhorns in the Big 12/SEC Challenge (Jan. 27). Matched up with UT’s heralded freshman, Olejniczak answered the challenge early, connecting on his first five shots, and finished the game with a career-high 16 points. Burnett notched his second-straight 20-point outing with 21 to lead Ole Miss, who lost to Texas for just the second time in seven all-time meetings and first encounter since 1937. Bamba paced Texas with 25 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks. His pressure on the Rebel frontcourt forced Bruce Stevens and Justas Furmanavicius into foul trouble, and both fouled out with more than six minutes left in the game.

Ole Miss has relied on the long ball this season, making 8.3 threes per game (fourth in the SEC). The Rebels are 10-3 when they shoot over 30 percent from beyond the arc. When Ole Miss shoots under 30 percent from long distance, its record is 1-8.   

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 71.8 percent of the Rebels’ points. Five of the top six scorers on the team are guards led by Deandre Burnett (15.2 ppg), Terence Davis (13.6 ppg), Markel Crawford (10.0 ppg) and Breein Tyree (9.9 ppg). Freshman Devontae Shuler adds 7.5 ppg (sixth on team).

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 22 games, the Rebels have sent out 12 different starting lineups. Ole Miss is one of seven teams nationally that has had at least 12 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 15.2 ppg, while also leading the Rebels with 4.5 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 fifth in the SEC in assist/turnover ratio (2.3). In the Rebels’ conference wins, he is averaging 20.8 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). Last week, he tallied a season-high 24 points to lead the Rebels to a win over Alabama. As an 86.5 percent shooter at the line for his career, Burnett 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 went over 1,000 points for his career versus Alabama (Jan. 23). He scored the first five points of the game, all in the first minute, to reach the historic mark. Since then, Burnett increased his total to 1,057 (862 at Ole Miss).

Deandre Burnett ranks fourth in the top 10 of the SEC in four categories. The senior guard is fourth in assists per game (4.5) and fifth in assist/turnover ratio (2.3). He also knocks down his free throws at a rate of 83.7 percent (ninth in the SEC). From beyond the arc, Burnett is shooting at a 40.0 percent clip to sit 10th in the SEC. Burnett joins Arkansas guard Daryl Macon as the only players to rank top 10 in all four of those categories.

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 30 of the last 37 games dating back to last season. Averaging 13.6 ppg, Davis has already reached the 20-point plateau five times, including 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, leading the team in blocks (22) and ranking third in steals (19). 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.  

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 8.3 ppg in non-conference play before bumping the scoring average to 12.1 ppg through the first half of the SEC slate. 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.   

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 11 starts, he is averaging 12.4 ppg. At Texas A&M (Jan. 16), 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. Stevens has made 41 of his last 52 free throws (78.8 percent) to increase his season percentage to .728.

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 (30.0), which ranks 19th in the SEC. He also is second on the team in steals (23) and averages 10.0 ppg. Crawford tallied 17 points in two of the Rebels’ three SEC wins, victories over South Carolina (Dec. 31) and Florida (Jan. 13). He added 15 points to help Ole Miss take down Alabama last week (Jan. 23). 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 7.5 ppg in 20.7 minutes per game and swiping a team-high 30 steals (seventh 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 22 games, Hymon ranks second in blocks (22) and rebounds (5.3 per game). Through 96 career games, Hymon is moving up the school’s career blocks chart. He ranks 10th with 92 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 4.7 blocks per game, Ole Miss ranks 38th in the country. Five Rebels have reached double digits in blocks, led by 22 from junior guard Terence Davis. Senior Marcanvis Hymon, who ranks 10th all-time in program history with 92 career rejections, is close behind with 21 blocks. Senior forward Justas Furmanavicius has 17. With 13 blocks in the last 12 games, seven-footer Dominik Olejniczak reached double figures with 15 rejections. In his first season as a Rebel, Bruce Stevens has 14 blocks.

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 taken care of the basketball this season. The Rebels have coughed up the rock only 255 times, ranking 50th nationally in fewest turnovers surrendered. Averaging only 11.6 turnovers per game, Ole Miss is 40th in the nation. Also, the Rebels’ 1.3 assist/turnover ratio ranks third in the SEC and 41st in the country. Senior guard Deandre Burnett holds the fifth-best individual assist/turnover ratio in the SEC at 2.3.

Ole Miss is 7-4 in games decided by double digits. When the margin is less than 10, the Rebels are 4-7. Three of those single-digit setbacks occurred in overtime, and the close encounters have hindered a better record. In three 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).  

Ole Miss has been active with their hands on the defensive end of the floor, averaging 6.3 steals per game to rank eighth in the SEC. Through 22 games, seven Rebels have recorded double figures in steals. Devontae Shuler leads the way with 30 steals, ranking seventh in the SEC. Markel Crawford follows with 23 steals, while Terence Davis and Breein Tyree have 19 and 16 steals, respectively. Dominik Olejniczak and Justas Furmanavicius has 11 steals apiece, and Deandre Burnett adds 10. Against Utah in Last Vegas (Nov. 20), the Rebels tallied 14 steals throughout the night, a season high for the Red and Blue.

The Ole Miss bench has played a prominent role in scoring, averaging 27.0 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).

Four Rebels earned spots on the Ole Miss Honor Roll for the fall semester: D.C. Davis (3.20 GPA), Terence Davis (3.00 GPA), Marcanvis Hymon (3.25 GPA) and Ilya Tyrtyshnik (3.31 GPA).

With the 12th season led by Mississippi native Andy Kennedy underway, Ole Miss has a 245-151 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 24th all-time in winning percentage for SEC regular season games at .523 (102-93). 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 245 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 Durham (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) - 265
17. Nolan Richardson (Arkansas) - 249
18. Andy Kennedy (Ole Miss) - 245
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) – 245
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

Following the matchup in Knoxville, the Rebels prepare for a week against Tigers. First, Ole Miss returns The Pavilion Feb. 6 to host Missouri, beginning a home-and-home series with the Tigers. That contest will be broadcast on SEC Network at 8 p.m. CT. Then, the Rebels head south to face LSU in a weekend battle (Feb. 10). Tipoff against those Tigers is slated for 3 p.m. on ESPNU.






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