Men's Basketball Game Notes
Feb. 11, 2002
Rebels on Television and Radio
Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network (David Kellum, play-by-play, Stan Sandroni, pregame/ halftime/postgame host, Derek Horne, guest color analyst)
PROBABLE STARTING LINE-UPS
- Auburn Probable Starters -
REBEL GAME NOTES
OLE MISS TO HIT THE ROAD AGAIN AT AUBURN WEDNESDAY: The Ole Miss Rebels (18-6, 7-4 SEC) return to the road Wednesday, Feb. 13 when they travel to Auburn, Ala., to meet the Auburn Tigers (10-11, 2-8 SEC) in a Southeastern Conference Western Division showdown. The game is slated for a 7:00 p.m. (CT). The Rebels got back on the winning track Feb. 9 with a 79-67 victory over Arkansas. Ole Miss has won 14 of its last 18 contests. Auburn ended a six-game skid with a 75-72 upset win over No. 17-ranked Georgia Feb. 9. Of their six losses prior to the Georgia win, four were by single digits.
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 84-41 record. He has led Ole Miss to an 18-6 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-AUBURN SERIES: Wednesday's game will be the 104th meeting between the two schools, with the Tigers holding an all-time series lead of 62-41. The series began in 1927. Earlier this season, the Rebels defeated Auburn 69-65 in Oxford. Last year, Ole Miss swept the season series, winning 74-70 in Auburn and 64-62 in Oxford. The Tigers hold a commanding 41-8 series lead in games played in Auburn. Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes is 4-3 versus Auburn and 1-2 against the Tigers on the Plains.
SCOUTING AUBURN: The Tigers enter Wednesday's game with a 10-11 overall record and a 2-8 Southeastern Conference mark. Auburn ended a six-game skid with a 75-72 upset victory over No. 17-ranked Georgia Feb. 9. In their victory over Georgia, the Tigers started four freshmen. Marquis Daniels, who did not start for the first time this season Feb. 9, still leads Auburn in scoring with a 12.0 average. Derrick Bird (11.5 ppg) and Brandon Robinson (10.2 ppg) are also scoring in double figures for Auburn. Robinson leads the Tigers on the boards with a 6.3 average, while Daniels is second with at 5.1 rpg. Marco Killingsworth is the team's top field goal shooter at 56.2 percent, and Adam Harrington is the Tigers' top three-point threat, hitting 35 percent of his long-range attempts. Auburn is shooting 42.3 percent from the field, 32.5 percent from the three-point line and 59.6 percent from the charity stripe. Opponents are out-rebounding the Tigers by an average 1.1 boards per contest (37.9-36.8).
A CLOSE SERIES OF LATE: Although both schools have in-state rivals (Ole Miss-Mississippi State, Auburn-Alabama), you would almost think the Rebels and Tigers have a rivalry going from all the tight games the two programs have had in recent seasons. In the 17 meetings between the two schools since the 1993-94 season, the average margin of victory has been only 7.7 points. In fact, the last five games have been decided by single digits. The following shows just how tight the recent series has been:
IT'S NOT OVER JUST YET: Yes, the Rebels lost to Southeastern Conference Western Division leader Alabama Feb. 6 to fall 2.5 games back in the race for the West crown. Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes has called the race a marathon, and it's not over just yet.
Ole Miss moved to within 1.5 games of Alabama after Feb. 9 action in the SEC. The Rebels defeated Arkansas 79-67, while the Tide fell to Mississippi State 76-62.
In the 1997-98 season, Ole Miss was a full three games back (5-4 SEC mark) behind Arkansas (8-1) in the race for the Western Division title after an early February setback to the Razorbacks (Feb. 5, 1998). The Rebels, though, bounced back to claim the title outright with an 12-4 league mark. Ole Miss won the crown on the final day of the regular season, defeating Auburn while Arkansas (11-5 final SEC record) fell at Alabama.
A GOOD SIGN?: It's never a good sign to have a two-game losing streak, but in the Rebels' case, it may be. Ole Miss entered its Feb. 9 game versus Arkansas having lost to nationally-ranked Georgia (79-72) and Alabama (79-59). Last season, the Rebels dropped back-to-back decisions to Georgia (70-66) and Alabama (82-63) and bounced back with seven victories in their next eight games. Ole Miss defeated Arkansas Feb. 9.
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.
BARNES GETS WIN NO. 80, MOVING UP CAREER WINS CHART: 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 84-41 (.672 winning percentage), and reached the 80-win plateau the fastest of any coach in Rebel basketball history. His 84 victories are the fourth most by a head coach in Ole Miss basketball history. The following lists the winningest coaches in Rebel history:
THE BATTLE OF THE (THREE-POINT) LINE: Wednesday's contest may come down to which team is more successful at the three-point line. The Rebels enter the game as the Southeastern Conference's second-best three-point field goal shooting squad, hitting 38.4 percent from the arc. Auburn, though, is the league's top team in three-point field goal percentage defense, holding its opponents to only 29 percent from the arc.
FOUR PLUS DOUBLE FIGURES EQUALS WINS: It's a rather odd equation, but it is adding up for Ole Miss in 2001-02. The Rebels have had 17 games this year where four players have scored in double figures. Ole Miss has a 14-3 record in those games.
REED TOUGH VERSUS THE TIGERS: For some players, they just seem to have good games against certain teams. For Ole Miss' Justin Reed (Jackson, Miss.), that opponent is Auburn. In three games versus the Tigers, the 6-foot-8 forward is averaging 19.3 points and 7.3 boards. Reed is hitting 54.8 percent from the field against Auburn in those three games.
In the Rebels' win at Auburn last year, Reed posted a career-best seven steals. Earlier this season, Reed hit two free throws with 27 seconds on the clock to extend a 66-65 Ole Miss lead to 68-65.
REED LEADS 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. 11, the Rebels' 6-foot-8 forward had made the nation's biggest improvement at the free throw line. Last season, Reed shot 54.9 percent from the charity stripe, but this year, he is hitting 79.1 percent from the foul line, a different of 24.3 percentage points. The following lists the top five players with biggest improvements from the foul line in the nation:
Best Improvement in FT Pct.
HARPER HAS CAREER DAY VERSUS THE RAZORBACKS: The feeling must be contagious. David Sanders (Jackson, Miss.) has had good games against the Razorbacks the last two years, and now fellow teammate Aaron Harper (Jackson, Miss.) is following suit.
After recording his second career double-double (17-10) against Arkansas in Fayetteville Jan. 19, the 6-foot-7 guard/forward had an even better performance against the Razorbacks Feb. 9. Harper posted career best for points (26) and field goals made (9) and tied a career high for three-pointers (5).
He also had eight boards and three steals in the contest. Earlier this season, Harper had a solid game against Auburn with his first career double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds.
COMMON OPPONENTS: The Rebels and Tigers have played eight common opponents (all SEC foes) this season. Ole Miss is 5-4 against those common opponents, while Auburn is 2-7. The following shows the results of those common opponents:
MORE ON REBEL FREE THROWS: Justin Reed isn't the only Rebel who has improved his percentage from the charity stripe. Several Ole Miss players have made the free throw line a priority this season, and it is paying dividends for the entire team. As of Feb. 11, Ole Miss is ranked ninth in the nation in team free throw shooting improvement. The following chart shows the leaders in free throw shooting improvement:
Best Team Improvement in FT Pct.
HE'S DONE IT!, HARRISON REACHES 1,000: Senior Jason Harrison (Little Rock, Ark.) is now No. 26. No, he hasn't changed his jersey number, as he still wears No. 11. With his nine points versus Alabama Feb. 6, the 5-foot-5 guard became the 26th Rebel in the program's history to reach the 1,000-point milestone for a career. He now has 1,013 career points.
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 JOINS ELITE REBEL CLUB: With his nine points and four assists against Alabama Feb. 6, Jason Harrison reached both the 1,000-point and 400-assists milestones. In doing so, the Little Rock, Ark., native is 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 24 games in 2001-02, Harrison has 97 dishes for a 4.0 average. At his current pace, Harrison would hand out 120 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 402 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 already has joined 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
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 an 18-6 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 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 741 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 356 in 2001-02. He is leading the team in scoring (14.8 ppg) and is second on the squad in rebounding (6.3 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.
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 six games, Ole Miss found its shooting stroke from the field again. 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 (11 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:
HARPER HITTING THE CLUTCH TREY: No matter if he has been "on" or "off" from the arc, sophomore Aaron Harper seems to hit the key three-pointer(s) when the Rebels need it most. The following illustrates Harper's key threes in recent games:
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 126 games (overall games) since 1996-97, the most by any SEC Western Division team. The 126 victories are also second among all league teams, only trailing Kentucky's 161 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
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
BOMBS AWAY!, HARPER CLIMBING CHART: Sophomore Aaron Harper is the Rebels' primary three-point shooter, and so far in 2001-02, he is living up to that reputation. The 6-foot-7 guard/forward has hit 62 treys this year and is moving up the Ole Miss career three-pointers chart. The following shows the career leaders for the Rebels:
Rebel Career Three-Pointers
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.
Auburn is 6-9 in games decided by less than 10 points this season.
REED DOUBLES HIS PLEASURE...AGAIN: Justin Reed doubled his pleasure for the fourth time this year when he posted 19 points and 12 boards against Alabama Feb. 6. The 6-foot-8 forward also recorded double-doubles versus Lipscomb (12-10), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (16-10) and Kansas State (15-11) this season. Reed now has seven double-doubles for his career. The following lists Reed's double-double performances:
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 Arkansas Feb. 9, this year's senior class has 84 victories, which is four 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:
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