Jelan Kendrick (AP photo)
Feb. 10, 2012
Ole Miss Game Notes | Auburn Game Notes
GAME 24: Ole Miss (14-9, 4-5 SEC) vs. Auburn (13-11, 3-7 SEC)
Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 | 6:00 p.m. CT
Oxford, Miss. | Tad Smith Coliseum (9,061)
Television: FSN (Dave Neal, play-by-play; Larry Conley, analyst).
Live Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network (David Kellum, play-by-play; Keith Carter, analyst).
Satellite Radio: XM 200
Live Video: ESPN3.com
Live Audio: RebelVision
• The Rebels need six wins to reach 20 for the fifth time in the last six seasons.
• The Rebels are 81-16 (.835 win pct.) in games played at Tad Smith Coliseum during Kennedy’s tenure.
• Ole Miss boasts a 9-1 record at home this season.
• In league play, the Rebels lead all SEC teams in rebounding (41.1) and rebounding margin (+6.9).
• Ole Miss ranks third among SEC teams and 29th nationally in field-goal percentage defense (.398).
• Ole Miss is 11-3 when its opponent shoots below 40 percent from the field.
• The Rebels rank 17th in the most recent NCAA rankings with 5.3 blocks/game.
• Andy Kennedy has the most wins by a Rebel coach over a six-year span (119).
• Senior F Terrance Henry has 945 career points entering the Auburn game.
• Ole Miss is 13-6 this year when junior F Murphy Holloway plays the whole game. He ranks third in the league and 35th nationally in rebounding (9.1 rpg).
• Junior F Reginald Buckner leads all active SEC players with 211 career blocks (school record). He has swatted at least one shot in 20 of 21 games this year and 72 of 85 over his three-year career.
OLE MISS BEGINS HOME STAND WITH AUBURN
After a two-game road swing, Ole Miss returns to Oxford for consecutive home games, beginning with Auburn on Saturday. Vanderbilt will visit Oxford on Thursday of next week. The Rebels lost both road games since beating South Carolina at Tad Smith Coliseum on Jan. 28. Auburn won the first meeting between Saturday’s opponents by a 69-68 score in double overtime on Jan. 14.
IN THE RPI
Ole Miss is No. 53 in the nation in the RPI as of Friday, according to RealTimeRPI.com. Ole Miss has played the nation’s 42nd-toughest schedule and has a 3-8 record against teams with RPIs of 100 or better.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS
Auburn has a 13-11 overall record and 3-7 mark in league play. The Tigers are 12-2 at home and 1-7 on the road this year. They are 3-2 in SEC home games and 0-5 on the road in league play. The Tigers have a -0.7 point differential for the season, averaging 64.0 ppg to their opponents’ 64.7. A balanced offensive attack features four players averaging 9.0+ ppg. Frankie Sullivan leads the way with 12.5 ppg. Kenny Gabriel adds 12.1 ppg (and a team-high 7.8 rpg), Varez Ward 9.3 ppg and Chris Denson 9.1 ppg. Like Ole Miss, Auburn is one of the country’s top shot-blocking teams, averaging 5.2 blocks per outing. Gabriel ranks second in the SEC with 2.5 bpg.
OLE MISS-AUBURN SERIES
Saturday’s game will be the 124th meeting between the two schools in a series that dates back to 1928. The Tigers hold an all-time series lead of 73-50, but the Rebels have a 36-23 edge in games played in Oxford. Ole Miss had won three straight in the series before two straight wins by the Tigers, both at Auburn Arena. In their previous meeting this year, Ole Miss stormed back in regulation to force two overtimes before falling to the Tigers 69-68 after a last-second attempt didn’t go down. Andy Kennedy is 6-5 in his career against Auburn.
DEFENDING HOME COURT
Winning at home has been a trademark of Andy Kennedy’s squads since he took the reins in 2006-07. Ole Miss is 81-16 (.835 win pct.) in games played at Tad Smith Coliseum during Kennedy’s tenure, including a 9-1 record this season. Ole Miss has won 212 of its last 260 games (.815 win pct.) in Oxford dating back to the 1995-96 campaign. The Rebels have an all-time record of 445-195 (.695 win pct.) at Tad Smith Coliseum, which opened in 1965-66.
KENNEDY HAS MOST WINS IN A SIX-YEAR PERIOD
With the victory over Louisiana-Lafayette, Andy Kennedy surpassed Rod Barnes for the most wins (114) by an Ole Miss head coach over a six-year span. Now with 119 wins, Kennedy already ranks third in school history behind B.L. “Country” Graham (144 wins in 13 seasons) and Barnes (141 wins in 8 seasons). The most wins in any six-year span in Ole Miss history is 128 (1996-97 through 2001-02, two head coaches).
LOCKING DOWN ON “D”
Ole Miss has established itself as one of the better defensive teams in the SEC this year. The Rebels rank third in the SEC (and 29th in the latest NCAA rankings) in field goal percentage defense at 39.8. Ole Miss is 11-3 when its opponent shoots below 40 percent from the field. Six different times the Rebels have held their opponent below 60 points, including a pair of games under 40. In league play, only one team (LSU) has scored more than 70 points against the Rebel “D.”
Ole Miss, which rates as the ninth-tallest team in the country (according to KenPom.com), is taking advantage of its significant height and length advantage against most of its opponents this year. No scholarship player on the roster is listed shorter than 6-4, while seven Rebels who see significant minutes are listed at 6-7 or taller. Ole Miss ranks second among SEC teams with a rebounding average of 39.6 and second with a rebounding margin of +4.6 (44th in NCAA). In SEC play, Ole Miss leads all teams with 41.1 rebounds per game and a +6.9 rebounding margin. Individually, Murphy Holloway ranks third among SEC players and 35th in the nation in rebounding (9.1), while Reginald Buckner is fourth in the SEC (8.5). The Rebels also block 5.3 shots per game, ranking third in the league and 17th in the NCAA. They are led by Buckner’s 2.5 swats per game, which ranks him fourth in the SEC and 23rd nationally.
HOME VERSUS ROAD
Like most college teams, Ole Miss fares better at home (9-1) than on the road (3-6). Here are some other facts and figures about the Rebels in home and road games:
• Ole Miss has averaged slightly more points at home (66.1) than on the road (65.6).
• The Rebels allow just 55.3 ppg to opponents in Oxford as opposed to 70.9 ppg on the road.
• Ole Miss actually makes a higher percentage of its 3-point attempts on the road (33.6) than at home (29.2).
• Jarvis Summers is the Rebels’ top scorer in road games at 13.2 ppg. Terrance Henry is next at 11.8 ppg.
• Terrance Henry is the Rebels’ top scorer in home games at 12.2 ppg. Nick Williams is next at 11.2 ppg.
Ole Miss has an 8-2 record when it records the same or fewer turnovers than its opponent, while the Rebels are 6-7 when they lose the turnover battle.
When Ole Miss has needed a player to step up offensively, senior F Terrance Henry has answered the bell in recent games. The 6-foot-9 wing, who was named SEC Player of the Week after leading Ole Miss to wins over No. 15 Mississippi State and Georgia, is averaging 15.3 points and 6.2 rebounds over the last six games, including back-to-back 20-point efforts and double-doubles against Georgia (24 points, 10 boards) and No. 13 Florida (21 points, 10 boards). Henry leads Ole Miss with an 11.9 scoring average for the season.
HENRY APPROACHES 1,000 POINTS
Entering the Auburn game, senior F Terrance Henry has 945 career points. He needs 55 points to become the 33rd member of the 1,000-point club at Ole Miss. He already ranks seventh in school history in blocked shots (97) and needs two to tie former All-American Ansu Sesay for sixth place (99).
IN THE “NICK” OF TIME
Junior G Nick Williams has stepped up his game in SEC play and ranks second on the team with 12.3 ppg in league games (18th in SEC). The Mobile, Ala., native had tallied 12 or more points in seven straight games prior to being held scoreless at Mississippi State. He had a season-high 19 points to lead the Rebels in the double-overtime effort at Alabama. He’s also had big games in wins over Arkansas (18 points and career high-tying 8 rebounds) and 15th-ranked Mississippi State (17 points).
HOLLOWAY RETURNS WITH BIG NUMBERS
Junior F Murphy Holloway has posted some big numbers in his return to Ole Miss this year (following a one-year stint in South Carolina) and averages 10.2 ppg and 9.1 rpg (3rd in SEC, 35th in NCAA). He is third among SEC players with seven double-doubles this year and ranks second among active league players with 21 in his career. He was the SEC Player of the Week after helping Ole Miss to wins over TCU and Miami.
ALREADY WITH SCHOOL RECORD, BUCKNER MOVES UP IN SEC CAREER BLOCKS LIST
With four blocks at Southern Miss, junior F Reginald Buckner became the Rebels’ all-time career leader in blocked shots. In just 85 games, the Memphis native now has accumulated 211 blocks, which ranks 21st in SEC history. He needs two more blocks to pass Andre Riddick (Kentucky) and C.J. Black (Tennessee) into 19th place. The school record was previously held by Sean Murphy, who had 180 blocks in 117 games from 1988-91. Buckner’s 2.5 average this season ranks fourth among SEC players and 23rd in the most recent NCAA rankings. He now holds the school record for blocks in a career, season and game. He has blocked at least one shot in 20 of 21 games this year and 73 of 85 games over his three-year career.
SUMMERS NOT AFRAID OF CRUNCH TIME
Freshman PG Jarvis Summers has shown no fear in the face of critical situations this year. It was his 27 points and crunch-time heroics that gave the Rebels an early victory at Penn State and his late free throws to seal an overtime win over Miami. Against Auburn, he directed a comeback from 12 down in the final nine minutes to force overtime, hitting all four of his 3-pointers after the nine-minute mark. He scored 22 against the Tigers to become the first Rebel with multiple 20-point games this year. He leads all SEC freshmen in 3-point percentage (41.4), ranks seventh with 10.0 ppg and third with 3.3 assists per game.