Men's Basketball Game Notes
Feb. 14, 2002
Rebels on Television and Radio
Television: Jefferson-Pilot (David Steele, play-by-play, Barry Booker, color analyst, Scott Snyder, producer, Jimmy Moore, director)
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
- Florida Probable Starters -
REBEL GAME NOTES
OLE MISS TO HOST NATIONALLY-RANKED FLORIDA SATURDAY: The Ole Miss Rebels (18-7, 7-5 SEC) return to the friendly confines of Tad Smith Coliseum Saturday, Feb. 16 when they host Florida (19-4, 8-3) in a Southeastern Conference encounter. The game, which will be televised by Jefferson-Pilot, is scheduled for a 2:08 p.m. (CT) tip. The Rebels enter Saturday's contest having split their last two games. Ole Miss lost at Auburn Feb. 13 (65-62) and defeated Arkansas Feb. 9 (79-67). The Gators, ranked No. 6 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Top 25 polls, bring a four-game winning streak into Saturday's game, having defeated Mississippi State, South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Georgia.
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 84-42 record. He has led Ole Miss to an 18-7 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-FLORIDA SERIES: Saturday's game will be the 91st meeting between the two schools. Florida holds a 50-40 lead in the series, which began in 1940. Last season, the Rebels and Gators split their two meetings, with Florida winning 75-55 in Gainesville and Ole Miss winning 74-69 in the SEC Tournament in Nashville. The Rebels hold a 26-17 series lead in games played in Oxford, but Florida took the last meeting in Tad Smith Coliseum, a narrow 75-71 victory in the 1999-2000 campaign (Jan. 8, 2000). The last time Ole Miss defeated the Gators in Oxford was the 1997-98 season, a 90-79 win on Jan. 7, 1998. Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes is 2-2 versus Florida and 0-1 against the Gators in Oxford.
SCOUTING FLORIDA: The Gators, ranked No. 6 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Top 25 polls, enter Saturday's contest with a 19-4 overall record and an 8-3 league mark. Florida has won four straight with victories over Mississippi State (76-48), South Carolina (72-63), Vanderbilt (80-54) and Georgia (85-70). Udonis Haslem leads a trio of double-figure scorers with a 16.6 average. Matt Bonner (16.3 ppg) and Brett Nelson (15.4 ppg) also average double digits for the Gators. Haslem leads his team and the SEC in rebounding with an 8.9 average, while Bonner grabs 7.3 boards per game. Nelson is Florida's top shooter from the arc, hitting 38.5 percent. The Gators, as a team, are shooting 48.5 percent from the field, 35.3 percent from the three-point line and 71.2 percent from the foul line. Florida is out-rebounding its opponents by an average of 5.2 boards per game, and is forcing the opposition into nearly 20 turnovers per game (19.5 tpg).
REED NAMED TO NABC ALL-DISTRICT SIX SQUAD: Sophomore Justin Reed (Jackson, Miss.) was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District 6 second team, the organization announced Feb. 12. Reed, who leads the Rebels in scoring with a 14.9 average, was joined on the second team by Alabama's Erwin Dudley, South Florida's Altron Jackson, Mississippi State's Mario Austin and Miami's Johnny Salmons. This is the second straight year that an Ole Miss player has been named to the NABC district squad, as Rahim Lockhart earned first team accolades last season.
This year, Reed has earned BP Top of the World Classic All-Tournament Team, SEC Player of the Week and Sierra Providence SunClassic MVP accolades. He was also a 2001-02 preseason Wooden Award candidate.
REBELS VERSUS RANKED OPPONENTS AT HOME: Ole Miss has a 15-5 record (.750 winning percentage) versus ranked opponents at Tad Smith Coliseum since the beginning of the 1994-95 season. Florida (#6 AP, #6 ESPN/USA Today) will be the third ranked opponent that Ole Miss will face at home this year, as the Rebels defeated No. 22 Memphis 71-67 on Dec. 7, 2001, and No. 22 Mississippi State 66-59 on Jan. 12, 2002. Last year, the Rebels were 3-0 versus ranked opponents at home, defeating No. 14 Oklahoma 60-55 (Dec. 2, 2000), No. 10 Tennessee 87-71 (Feb. 10, 2001) and No. 20 Alabama 105-71 (Mar. 3, 2001).
Prior to the 1999 Auburn loss (1998-99 season), Ole Miss had won six straight versus ranked opponents at the "Tad Pad." During that streak, the Rebels defeated Temple (#18), South Carolina (#11) and Arkansas (#12) in 1997-98, Kentucky (#3) in 1996-97, and Auburn (#21) and Mississippi State (#25) in 1995-96. Ole Miss' first win over a ranked opponent since the 1994-95 season was a 76-71 win over No. 3 Arkansas on Jan. 4, 1995. (NOTE: Ole Miss lost to No. 5 Kentucky in the 1994-95 season, but that home game was played at The Pyramid in Memphis.)
REBELS VERSUS RANKED TEAMS: Ole Miss will face its sixth nationally-ranked opponent of 2001-02 Saturday when it meets Florida in Tad Smith Coliseum. The Gators are ranked No. 6 in the Associated Press poll and No. 6 in the ESPN/USA Today poll. The Rebels are 2-3 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, at No. 16-ranked Georgia 79-72 Feb. 2 and at No. 5-ranked Alabama 79-59 Feb. 6. Last year, the Rebels were 7-4 against ranked opponents. Under head coach Rod Barnes (since the 1998-99 season), Ole Miss has a 14-19 record versus ranked opponents.
THE RACES ARE HEATING UP: The races for the Southeastern Conference overall and divisional titles are going down to the wire, and Saturday's action will play a large part in which teams take home the crowns. The following shows the races and what's on tap:
DEFENSES BEWARE!: The Rebels and Gators both are known for playing tough defense, but Saturday's game may be the biggest challenge for both on the defensive end of the floor. Florida is the conference's second-best field goal shooting squad at 48.5 percent, while Ole Miss is third at 46.8 percent. Both squads also shoot the ball well from the arc, with the Rebels second in the SEC in three-point field goal percentage at 37.9 percent and Florida sixth at 35.3 percent.
A BATTLE OF THE SEC'S BEST: Saturday's game between Ole Miss and Florida will be a showdown between two of the league's best in recent years. The following shows how successful both programs have been since 1996-97:
HARRISON TOUGH VERSUS FLORIDA: Saturday's game will be the last time the Gators will see Rebel senior Jason Harrison (Little Rock, Ark.) in regular-season action, and they may be glad for him go. In the three regular-season meetings (1999-2001), Harrison has played well against Florida, averaging 14.3 points while hitting 66.7 percent from the three-point arc and 100 percent from the foul line. The following shows how successful Harrison has been in regular-season action versus Florida:
# career high
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!: Saturday's game against Florida will be the Rebels' eighth overall television appearance in 2001-02 and their sixth in Southeastern Conference play. Saturday's game will end a stretch in which Ole Miss will have played three of its last four contests on television (at Alabama, Feb. 6, Arkansas, Feb. 9, Florida, Feb. 16). Ole Miss is 5-2 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, South Carolina 71-53 Jan. 26 and Arkansas 79-67 Feb. 9 and falling at No. 12-ranked Kentucky 87-64 Jan. 15 and at No. 5-ranked Alabama 79-59.
"TAD PAD" SWEET "TAD PAD": Yes, all the home win streaks are over, but Tad Smith Coliseum (a.k.a. the "Tad Pad") is still one of the toughest arenas in the nation for opposing teams to play. Ole Miss has won 89 of its last 98 games (.908 winning percentage) at home, including homecourt winning streaks of 15 and 29 games. Ole Miss is 11-1 at the "Tad Pad" in 2001-02. In the past 10 seasons (1992-93 through 2001-02), Ole Miss has an overall home record of 117-30 (.796 winning percentage).
REBELS ALL-TIME AT THE "TAD PAD": With their victory over No. 14-ranked Oklahoma in 2000-01, the Rebels posted their 300th victory in Tad Smith Coliseum. Ole Miss has an all-time record of 322-156 (.674 winning percentage) at the "Tad Pad." Tad Smith Coliseum opened in the 1965-66 season.
"TAD PAD" RENOVATIONS COMPLETE: Renovations began on C.M. "Tad" Smith Coliseum (a.k.a. "Tad Pad") this summer, and the second wave of upgrades were completed before the Rebels' two exhibition games. The first change had new upholstered, chair-back seats, all in blue replace the old seats. As a result of the new seating, capacity jumped from 8,135 to approximately 8,700. Other new additions for the 2001-02 season included a Pro Star Video Board, two full display scoreboards and a state-of-the-art sound system.
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 84-42 (.667 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:
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.
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 18-7 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 DOUBLES HIS PLEASURE...AGAIN: Justin Reed doubled his pleasure for the fifth time this year when he posted 17 points and 10 boards against Auburn Feb. 13. The 6-foot-8 forward also recorded double-doubles versus Alabama (19-12), Lipscomb (12-10), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (16-10) and Kansas State (15-11) this season. Reed now has eight double-doubles for his career. The following lists Reed's double-double performances:
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. He is now hitting 78.7 percent from the charity stripe. The following lists the top five players with biggest improvements from the foul line in the nation:
Best Improvement in FT Pct.
SANDERS NOT TO BE OUTDONE: Justin Reed may be ranked among the nation's leaders in free throw shooting percentage, but David Sanders (Jackson, Miss.) is not doing too bad from the free throw line himself. In the Rebels' last seven games, the 6-foot-3 guard is hitting 82.9 percent from the foul line (29-of-35). He has also improved his free throw shooting percentage from the last season, hitting 70.1 percent in 2001-02 compared to 66.9 percent in 2000-01 (3.2 percent difference).
MORE ON REBEL FREE THROWS: Justin Reed and David Sanders aren't the only Rebels who have improved their percentages 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 Rebels are currently shooting 73.9 percent from the charity stripe. The following chart shows the leaders in free throw shooting improvement:
Best Team Improvement in FT Pct.
HE'S DONE IT...PART I: With his six assists versus Auburn Feb. 13, senior Jason Harrison went over the 100-assists plateau for a third straight year. After 25 games in 2001-02, Harrison has 103 dishes for a 4.1 average. At his current pace, Harrison would hand out 124 assists this season.
By reaching the 100-assists plateau this season, he became only the third player in Rebel history to accomplish the feat three straight years. Rod Barnes and Sean Tuohy also did so.
On Feb. 6, Harrison joined Barnes and Tuohy as the only Rebels to pass out over 400 assists in a career. 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 408 assists. He is in the No. 3 spot on the career assists chart. The following lists the Rebels' career assists leaders:
Rebel Career Assists Leaders
HE'S DONE IT!...PART II, HARRISON GOES OVER 1,000 POINTS: Senior Jason Harrison 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 1,019 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:
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 758 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 373 in 2001-02. He is leading the team in scoring (14.9 ppg) and is second on the squad in rebounding (6.4 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 seven 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 (Jackson, Miss.) seems to hit the key three-pointer(s) when the Rebels need it most. The following illustrates Harper's key threes in SEC action:
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 162 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)
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
TIP-INS... Aaron Harper has 64 treys this year, which is No. 3 on the single-season chart...Since 1996-97, Ole Miss is 101-14 (.886 winning percentage) when scoring 70 points or more, including a 4-1 record against Florida when reaching that magical number.
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