Rebels Head Down to the Bayou to Battle LSU
Feb. 8, 2018

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Matchup: Ole Miss (11-13, 4-7 SEC) at LSU (13-10, 4-7 SEC)
Date: Saturday, February 10, 2018
Time: 3 p.m. CT
Location: Baton Rouge, La.
Arena: Pete Maravich Center (13,215)
Television: ESPNU
    Taylor Zarzour, play-by-play
    Kyle Macy, analyst
Radio: Ole Miss IMG Sports Network
    David Kellum, play-by-play
    Marc Dukes, analyst
Series: LSU leads 120-88
Last Meeting: Feb. 14, 2017
    Ole Miss won 96-76
    Oxford, Miss.

- Ole Miss will be playing on the road for the fourth consecutive weekend.
- The Rebels are the only team in the SEC without back-to-back home games at least once during conference play.
- Ole Miss one of two SEC teams to have a .500-or-better SEC record in each of the last six seasons.
- The Rebels coming off a 75-69 setback to Missouri at home Tuesday night.
- Against Mizzou, Terence Davis posted his sixth 20-point game of the season to match the number of 20-point games he had during his breakout season last year.
- Along with 11 points to inch four away from 1,000 for his career, Markel Crawford dished out a career-high six assists without turning the ball over; Crawford also recorded five steals, the second time this season he's had five steals in a game.
- Terence Davis scored a career-high 33 points the last time Ole Miss played LSU.
- The 96-76 win over the Tigers last season was the largest margin of victory in the series since the Rebels won by 24, 72-48, in 2012.
- Deandre Burnett averages 20.8 ppg in the Rebels' four SEC wins.
- Four Rebels are averaging double figures in conference play (Deandre Burnett-13.7 ppg, Terence Davis-12.0 ppg, Breein Tyree-11.4 ppg, Bruce Stevens-11.3 ppg).
- Ole Miss has five wins versus RPI top 100 teams; the Rebels had three during all of last season.  
- The Rebels are 10-4 when shooting over 30 percent from beyond the arc.
- Ole Miss is one of six teams nationwide to have at least 14 different starting lineups this season.
- Guards are accounting for 70.5 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.
- Will Wade will be the 39th different SEC head coach that Andy Kennedy has faced since taking over in Oxford.
- Ole Miss is two games under .500 for the first time since the end of the 2005-06 season, right before Andy Kennedy became head coach.

So far this season, Ole Miss has five 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 seven regular season games remaining, the Rebels still have a plethora of opportunities in front of them to build their résumé. Four of the seven games left come against teams in the top 50 of the RPI, including two at home. Ole Miss still has to play two games against RPI top 25 teams.

LSU enters Saturday's matchup with a 13-10 record, including a 4-7 mark in SEC play. After beginning the season 11-4, the Tigers have lost six of their past eight games. Florida took down LSU 73-64 Wednesday night in Gainesville, the fourth straight road loss for the Tigers. Freshman guard Tremont Waters leads  the Bayou Bengals with 15.0 ppg. Waters paces the conference with 50 steals on the defensive end, ranking 25th nationally, to go along with 5.9 assists per game (third in the SEC). Senior forward Duop Reath adds 13.7 ppg and a team-high 23 blocks, while sophomore guard Skylar Mays is the only other Tiger to average double figures (10.7 ppg). Will Wade is in his first season as LSU's head coach after serving as VCU's head coach for the last two years. Wade began his head coaching career at Chattanooga, leading the Mocs for two seasons before accepting the job at VCU.

The series with the Tigers, which began in 1909, is the second-longest in Ole Miss Basketball history. LSU leads the all-time series 120-88. The Rebels have won eight of the last 12 meetings over the Bayou Bengals, including a 96-76 thumping last year. LSU holds a 79-29 advantage in Baton Rouge, winning the previous two meetings at home as Ole Miss will be looking for its first win there since 2013. Andy Kennedy owns an 12-8 record against LSU in his career. He is 11-8 with Ole Miss and faced the Tigers once as the Cincinnati head coach in 2005-06, earning a 75-72 victory at the Las Vegas Holiday Classic.

The Rebels loved the last time they faced LSU, putting together a huge comeback to blow out the Tigers on Valentine's Day (Feb. 14, 2017). Using Terence Davis' career-high 33 points, 22 of which coming in the second half, Ole Miss erased a double-digit second half deficit and stormed past LSU 96-76. When the Rebels needed a bucket after LSU extended the lead to 11 with 16 minutes to play, Davis took over. The Rebels closed the game on a 17-0 run to end the game, hitting 10 of their last 11 shots. Ole Miss ended the contest on a 42-12 streak to blow past the Tigers. The offense was able to score throughout the night, and the Ole Miss defense got stops in the second half. In the first half, LSU was able to hit over 50 percent of its shots. The Rebels clamped down in the second half, holding LSU to only 29 points on just 28 percent shooting. Deandre Burnett and Sebastian Saiz added 15 points apiece behind Davis' big night. The 20-point win was the largest margin in the series since the Rebels claimed a 72-48 victory in Oxford (Feb. 25, 2012).

The Rebels will see a familiar face on the opposing sideline Saturday in Baton Rouge. LSU assistant coach Bill Armstrong spent 11 seasons at Ole Miss alongside Andy Kennedy. He spent five seasons as coordinator of basketball operations before being promoted to assistant coach for the past six years. The two met each other during the turn of the century. Armstrong played for Kennedy at UAB (1998-2001) with Armstrong serving as a team captain and Kennedy as an assistant coach.

During the Andy Kennedy era, expectations for Ole Miss Basketball have been raised due to the success under the Louisville, Mississippi native. The Rebels have averaged more than 21 wins per season under Kennedy's watch, posting nine 20-win seasons after the program recorded only seven 20-win seasons in the 96 years prior to his arrival. Kennedy has led Ole Miss to two of the program's five NCAA Tournament victories. With eight of the school's 20 postseason appearances under Kennedy's guidance, winning has become the norm which is why the Rebels are in unfamiliar waters at this point of the season. Ole Miss is two games under .500 for the first time since the conclusion of the 2005-06 season, right before Kennedy arrived in Oxford.

Three Rebels are being considered for the Howell Trophy, awarded to the most outstanding college basketball player in the state of Mississippi. Deandre Burnett (14.4 ppg), Terence Davis (13.8 ppg) and Bruce Stevens (10.1 ppg) are Ole Miss players to watch for the annual trophy given out by the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. An Ole Miss Rebel has won the Howell Trophy each of the past five seasons, beginning with Marshall Henderson in 2013. Jarvis Summers took home the award in 2014 before Stefan Moody earned the honor in back-to-back seasons. Last year, double-double machine Sebastian Saiz won the Howell Trophy. The award is named in honor of the legendary Bailey Howell who spent 12 seasons in the NBA and is in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Ole Miss yet again put itself in a position to win the game, fighting back from a nine-point halftime deficit, but came up short down the stretch in a 75-69 loss to Missouri Tuesday night at The Pavilion. The Rebels jumped on the Tigers 11-0 in the first four and a half minutes of the game, largely thanks to some transition buckets from Terence Davis. The Tigers settled in and pieced together a 30-9 run over the next 12 minutes of the opening half. Jontay Porter had 12 points and seven rebounds at the intermission for Mizzou, and Kassius Robertson scored a game-high 27 to lead the Tigers to victory. Davis had 12 first half points and finished with 20 on the night. Bruce Stevens finished with 15 points and seven rebounds. Markel Crawford had 11 points and a career-high six assists, while recording five steals for the second time this season.

No. 18 Tennessee protected its home floor, shooting 71.4 percent from the field (20 of 28) and from long distance (10 of 14) in the second half, in a 94-61 victory over Ole Miss (Feb. 3). Bruce Stevens scored a team-high 16 points, going 2 of 2 from beyond the arc as part of the Rebels' 11 three-pointers throughout the contest. Terence Davis added 13 points and nine rebounds, falling one board shy of a double-double. Facing a 10-point halftime deficit, Ole Miss went on a 7-0 run to begin the second half and make it a one-possession ballgame. The Volunteers outscored the Rebels by 19 points over the final 11 minutes, handing Ole Miss its worst loss (in terms of point differential) during the Andy Kennedy era.

Ole Miss has relied on the long ball this season, making 8.3 threes per game (sixth in the SEC). The Rebels are 10-4 when they shoot over 30 percent from beyond the arc. When Ole Miss shoots under 30 percent from long distance, its record is 1-9.   

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 70.5 percent of the Rebels' points. Five of the top six scorers on the team are guards led by Deandre Burnett (14.4 ppg), Terence Davis (13.8 ppg), Markel Crawford (9.8 ppg) and Breein Tyree (9.7 ppg). Freshman Devontae Shuler adds 7.0 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 24 games, the Rebels have sent out 14 different starting lineups. Ole Miss is one of six teams nationally that has had at least 14 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 14.4 ppg, while also leading the Rebels with 4.4 assists per game (fifth in the SEC). Not only does he pace Ole Miss in assists, but Burnett takes care of the ball by ranking sixth in the SEC in assist/turnover ratio (2.2). 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). He tallied a season-high 24 points to lead the Rebels to a win over Alabama (Jan. 23). As an 85.8 percent shooter at the line for his career, Burnett is on pace to finish as the third-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 1,069 (874 at Ole Miss).

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 32 of the last 39 games dating back to last season. Averaging 13.8 ppg, Davis has already reached the 20-point plateau six times, including Tuesday night's matchup versus Missouri (Feb. 6). At Arkansas (Jan. 20), he poured in 30 points on 10 of 15 shooting, scoring at least 30 points for the third time in his career; 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 (25) 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 11.3 ppg through the first 11 games 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 12 games, Stevens has scored a total of 91 points (7.6 ppg). In 12 starts, he is averaging 12.6 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 46 of his last 57 free throws (80.1 percent) to increase his season percentage to .744.

As a graduate transfer, Markel Crawford is making his mark in his only season as a Rebel. The Memphis product has started 17 games and leads the Rebels in minutes per game (29.8), ranking 20th in the SEC. He is second on the team in steals (29) and averages 9.8 ppg. Against Missouri on Tuesday, the guard tallied 11 points to go along with career highs in assists (6) without committing a turnover. He also matched his career high with five steals, putting together a five-steal game for the second time this season. Crawford tallied 17 points in two of the Rebels' four SEC wins, victories over South Carolina (Dec. 31) and Florida (Jan. 13). He added 15 points to help Ole Miss take down Alabama (Jan. 23). Against South Dakota State (Nov. 28), Crawford scored 19 points, his most as a Rebel, on 7 of 11 shooting.  Scoring 761 points at Memphis to go along with 235 points this season, he is four points shy of 1,000 for his career.

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 7.0 ppg in 19.9 minutes per game and swiping a team-high 30 steals. 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 24 games, Hymon ranks second in blocks (21) and rebounds (5.3 per game). Through 98 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 of Hymon's career.

Ole Miss has taken care of the basketball this season. The Rebels have coughed up the rock only 276 times, ranking 49th nationally in fewest turnovers surrendered. Averaging only 11.8 turnovers per game, Ole Miss is 40th in the nation. Also, the Rebels' 1.3 assist/turnover ratio ranks third in the SEC and 42nd in the country. On Tuesday night against Missouri, Ole Miss only turned the ball over four times. It was the fewest turnovers in a game by the Rebels since only making four against George Mason in the Charleston Classic (Nov. 19, 2015).  

Ole Miss is 7-5 in games decided by double digits. When the margin is less than 10, the Rebels are 4-8. 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).

Averaging 4.5 blocks per game, Ole Miss ranks 47th in the country. Five Rebels have reached double digits in blocks, led by 25 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 18. With 13 blocks in the last 13 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 been active with their hands on the defensive end of the floor, averaging 6.2 steals per game to rank eighth in the SEC. Through 24 games, seven Rebels have recorded double figures in steals. Devontae Shuler leads the way with 30 steals. Markel Crawford follows with 29 steals, coming off a five-steal game against Missouri on Tuesday. Terence Davis and Breein Tyree have 19 and 17 steals, respectively, while Deandre Burnett, Justas Furmanavicius and Dominik Olejniczak have 11 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.

The Ole Miss bench has played a prominent role in scoring, averaging 26.5 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 245-153 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 25th all-time in winning percentage for SEC regular season games at .518 (102-95). 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, and LSU head coach Will Wade will bring that number to 39 on Saturday. 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 weekend matchup at LSU, Ole Miss returns to The Pavilion on Tuesday (Feb. 13) to finish out a home-and-home series with Arkansas. The Rebels will look to avenge a 97-93 loss to the Razorbacks earlier this season in Fayetteville (Jan. 20). The contest will be broadcast on SEC Network with a 6 p.m CT tip. The week will conclude with a primetime battle against in-state rival Mississippi State in Starkville (Feb. 17). Ole Miss will look to sweep the Bulldogs for the fourth time in the last five seasons. Tipoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. on SEC Network.






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