Men's Basketball Game Notes
Feb. 4, 2002
Rebels on Television and Radio
PROBABLE STARTING LINE-UPS
- Alabama Probable Starters -
REBEL GAME NOTES
OLE MISS TO CLOSE TWO-GAME SEC ROAD SWING AT ALABAMA WEDNESDAY: The Ole Miss Rebels (17-5, 6-3 SEC) will close a two-game Southeastern Conference road trip Wednesday, Feb. 6 when they travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to take on the nationally-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (19-3, 7-1 SEC). The game, which will be televised by Jefferson-Pilot, is slated for 7:00 p.m. (CT) at Coleman Coliseum. The Rebels enter Wednesday's encounter having won 13 of their last 16 games. Ole Miss had won four straight SEC games, before falling at Georgia on Saturday. Alabama, ranked No. 7 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll (Jan. 28) and No. 6 in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 (Feb. 3) poll, is the league's hottest team, having won five straight.
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 83-40 record. He has led Ole Miss to a 17-5 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-ALABAMA SERIES: Wednesday's game will be the 148th meeting between the two schools. The Crimson Tide hold a commanding 104-43 lead in the series, which began in 1921. Last season, the two schools split their meetings, with Alabama winning 82-63 in Tuscaloosa and Ole Miss winning 105-71 in Oxford. The Crimson Tide also hold a 61-8 series lead in games played in Tuscaloosa, and have won the last three meetings in Coleman Coliseum. The last Ole Miss win in Tuscaloosa was a 74-63 victory in the 1997-98 season (Jan. 10, 1998). Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes is 3-3 versus Alabama and 0-3 against the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa.
SCOUTING ALABAMA: The Crimson Tide, ranked No. 7 in the Associated Press poll (Jan. 28) and No. 6 in the ESPN/USA Today poll (Feb. 3), enter Wednesday's contest as the Southeastern Conference's hottest team. Alabama has a 19-3 overall record and a 7-1 league mark, and also has won five straight. The Crimson Tide won at LSU 58-47 in their last outing Feb. 2. Rod Grizzard, a 2001-02 preseason Wooden Award candidate, leads four Alabama players in double figures with a 15.1 scoring average. Erwin Dudley (14.8 ppg), Terrance Meade (10.6 ppg) and Maurice Williams (10.2 ppg) are also averaging double digits. Dudley is the team's top rebounder with an 8.8 average, while Williams leads the team with 99 assists (4.5 average). Dudley is the squad's top field goal shooter at 58.4 percent, and Williams leads Alabama from the free throw line at 81.7 percent. Antoine Pettway is the team's top three-point threat, hitting 43.6 percent from the arc. Alabama, as a team, is shooting 45.5 percent from the floor, 32.3 percent from the three-point line and 71.2 percent from the charity stripe. The Crimson Tide are out-rebounding their opponents by an average of 5.2 boards per contest (40.8-35.6).
DID YOU KNOW?: Wednesday's match-up between Ole Miss and Alabama will feature head coaches at the helm of basketball programs where they also played. Rod Barnes played at Ole Miss from 1985-88, and is the first Rebel head coach to have played his collegiate basketball at Ole Miss since Cob Jarvis. Alabama head coach Mark Gottfried played at his alma mater from 1985-87 and helped lead the Crimson Tide to three consecutive NCAA Sweet 16 appearances.
During their playing careers, Barnes' and Gottfried's teams met six times from 1984-85 to 1986-87. Gottfried's squads won all six meetings in those match-ups.
TALK ABOUT HOMECOURT ADVANTAGE: The last three years, the Ole Miss-Alabama series has been about homecourt advantage - in a big way. The following shows just how much each team has defended its home territory the last three seasons:
BUT IT WASN'T ALWAYS LIKE THAT: While homecourt has been big the last three years, the previous two seasons (1996-97 and 1997-98) proved to be different. In the 1996-97 season, the Crimson Tide swept Ole Miss, winning 59-46 in Oxford and 57-54 in Tuscaloosa. The Alabama win in Oxford that year ended the Rebels' 15-game homecourt winning streak. The following campaign (1997-98), Ole Miss swept Alabama, posting a 74-63 win in Tuscaloosa and a 75-74 victory in Oxford.
A LITTLE IRONIC...DON'T YOU THINK?: The Rebels opened up February 2002 with a loss at Georgia Feb. 2 (79-72 Bulldog win). The last time Ole Miss opened the month of February with a setback was the 1997-98 season, falling at Arkansas 100-87 (Feb. 5, 1998). The Rebels, though, bounced back that year with a heart-stopping 75-74 victory over Alabama in Oxford (Feb. 7, 1998). Ole Miss followed that win with six more victories en route to the SEC Western Division title.
Up next for the Rebels after their Georgia loss is Alabama Feb. 6.
A BATTLE OF THREES: Wednesday's contest between Ole Miss and Alabama may depend on the three-point line. The Rebels are second in the Southeastern Conference in three-point shooting percentage at 38.5 percent, while Alabama is 10th at 32.3 percent. On the other hand, the Crimson Tide are second in the conference in three-point field goal percentage defense, holding their opponents to 29.7 percent from the arc. The Rebels are ranked eighth in the SEC in three-point field goal percentage defense at 32.2 percent.
REBELS VERSUS RANKED TEAMS: Ole Miss will face its fifth nationally-ranked opponent of 2001-02 Wednesday when it meets Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide are ranked No. 7 in the Associated Press poll (Jan. 28) and No. 6 in the ESPN/USA Today poll (Feb. 3). The Rebels are 2-2 against ranked opponents in 2001-02, defeating No. 22-ranked Memphis 71-67 Dec. 7 and No. 22-ranked Mississippi State 66-59 Jan. 12 and falling at No. 12-ranked Kentucky 87-64 Jan. 15 and at No. 16-ranked Georgia 79-72 Feb. 2. Last year, the Rebels were 7-4 against ranked opponents. Under head coach Rod Barnes (since the 1998-99 season), Ole Miss has a 14-18 record versus ranked opponents.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!: Wednesday's game at Alabama will be the Rebels' sixth overall television appearance in 2001-02 and their fourth in Southeastern Conference play. Ole Miss will also play three of its next four contests on television (at Alabama, Feb. 6, Arkansas, Feb. 9, Florida, Feb. 16). Ole Miss is 4-1 in television games this year, defeating Kansas State 67-65 Nov. 24, No. 22-ranked Memphis 71-67 Dec. 7, Arkansas 70-64 Jan. 19 and South Carolina 71-53 Jan. 26 and falling at No. 12-ranked Kentucky 87-64 Jan. 15.
COMMON OPPONENTS: The Rebels and the Crimson Tide have played eight common opponents this season. Ole Miss is 6-2 versus the common opponents, while Alabama is 8-1. The following shows the results of those common opponents:
FINDING THE (SHOOTING) FEELING AGAIN: Ole Miss started off the 2001-02 campaign with a hot-shooting hand from the field, hitting nearly 50 percent (49.4 percent, to be exact) from the floor heading into Southeastern Conference play. The Rebels, though, loss their touch and hit a slump.
In the last four games, Ole Miss found its shooting stroke from the field. The following shows the ups and downs of field goal shooting for the Rebels this year:
WE NEED YOU, COACH!: In all games, teams shoot at the opposite end of the floor (away from their bench) in the first half, and then shoot in front of their bench in the second half. For the Rebels, they must really love being close to their own bench and head coach Rod Barnes. In Southeastern Conference play (nine games), Ole Miss is shooting a considerably higher percentage in the second half than first in all of its SEC games - especially home contests - and the following chart shows that:
RESILIENT REBELS: Last season, Ole Miss proved when it was down, it wasn't necessarily out. The 2001-02 Rebels are proving they have the same character to never give up. Although their comeback attempt at Georgia fell short, the Rebels gave it an "all-out" effort in the closing minutes. The following chronicles Ole Miss' resiliency this season:
7 AND COUNTING DOWN: Senior Jason Harrison (Little Rock, Ark.) 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 22 games, the 5-foot-5 guard has scored 227 points (10.3 average) and now has 993 career points, needing seven to reach the milestone.
In the Rebels' contest at Tennessee Jan. 6, he 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.
HARRISON LOOKS TO JOIN ELITE REBEL CLUB: With seven more points and four more assists, Jason Harrison will reach both the 1,000-point and 400-assists milestones. When he does, the Little Rock, Ark., native will be only the second player in Rebel basketball history to reach the two plateaus and also record over 150 steals in a career. Rod Barnes, Ole Miss' current head coach, is the other. The following compares the two:
HARRISON CLIMBING ASSISTS CHART: Senior 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 22 games in 2001-02, Harrison has 91 dishes for a 4.1 average. At his current pace, Harrison would hand out 123 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 396 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
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 125 games (overall games) since 1996-97, the most by any SEC Western Division team. The 125 victories are also second among all league teams, only trailing Kentucky's 160 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
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.
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 17-5 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 1919-20 through 1927-28.
REED OVER 700 POINTS: Justin Reed (Jackson, Miss.) is moving on up the chart - the scoring chart, that is. After his 17-point performance versus Georgia Feb. 2, he went over 700 points for his career. Reed now has 709 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 324 in 2001-02. He is leading the team in scoring (14.7 ppg) and is second on the squad in rebounding (6.0 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.
REED AMONG FIRST TWO-YEAR SCORING LEADERS: With Justin Reed going over the 700-point plateau this year, the 6-foot-8 forward is also moving up the chart for points scored in the first two years in a Rebel uniform. The following chart shows the top first two-year scorers in Ole Miss history:
& played only 2 years
* did not play as freshmen because freshmen were not eligible to play varsity ball
# played only 1 year
$ played only 3 years
REED SECOND IN 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, he had to work on his free throw shooting after the 2000-01 season. And worked on it, he did.
As of Feb. 3, the Rebels' 6-foot-8 forward had made the nation's second biggest improvement at the free throw line. Last season, Reed shot 54.9 percent from the charity stripe, but this year, he is hitting 78.7 percent which is a difference of 23.8 percent. The following lists the top five players with biggest improvements from the foul line in the nation:
Best Improvement in FT Pct.
CALL HIM "MR. DO-IT-ALL": Junior David Sanders (Jackson, Miss.) has been doing a little of everything lately, and it is definitely showing in his numbers. In two games last week, the 6-foot-3 guard hit 81.8 percent from the floor (9-of-11) and 100 percent from the three-point line (3-of-3) and free throw line (7-of-7). Against Vanderbilt, Sanders had 15 points, seven boards, four assists and three steals and hit a key three-pointer late to stop a Commodore run. The following contest versus Georgia, he dished out a career-high eight assists, breaking his previous career best of seven against LSU Jan. 23.
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 83-40, and reached the 80-win plateau the fastest of any coach in Rebel basketball history. His 83 victories are tied for the fourth 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 6-4 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.
Alabama is 7-2 in games decided by less than 10 points this season.
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 Vanderbilt Jan. 30, this year's senior class has 83 victories, which is five 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:
HARPER HITTING THE CLUTCH TREY: Sophomore Aaron Harper's (Jackson, Miss.) touch from the three-point arc has been coming back in recent games, but no matter if he has been "on" or "off" from the arc, he seems to hit the key three-pointers when the Rebels need it most. The following illustrates Harper's key threes in recent games:
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