Feb. 15, 2001
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The Ole Miss Rebels (20-4, 8-3 SEC) return to the road Saturday, Feb. 17
when they travel to Columbia, S.C., to meet the South Carolina Gamecocks
(13-9, 5-6 SEC). The game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. (CT). Ole Miss,
ranked No. 16 in the Associated Press poll and No. 19 in the ESPN/USA Today
poll, won its fifth straight game with a nail-biting 51-48 victory over
Mississippi State Feb. 14. After winning two straight SEC games over
Georgia and Vanderbilt, the Gamecocks fell at Alabama, 60-55 Wednesday.
16/19 Ole Miss (20-4, 8-3) vs. South Carolina (13-9, 5-6)
Saturday, February 17, 2001 ? 6:30 p.m. (CT) tip
Frank McGuire Arena ? Columbia, S.C.
Rebels on Television and Radio
Ole Miss Radio Network (David Kellum, play-by-play, Sean Tuohy,
color analyst, Stan Sandroni, pregame/halftime/postgame host)
BARNES IN THIRD SEASON AS REBEL MENTOR
Rod Barnes is in his third season at the helm of the Ole Miss Rebel
basketball program. He has an overall record of 59-31 (.656 winning
percentage). In his first two seasons, Barnes compiled a 39-27 record, and
the 39 victories are the most by a Rebel coach in his first two years in
Ole Miss history. Last year, Barnes guided Ole Miss to a 19-14 overall
record and a berth in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). The Rebels
advanced to the NIT quarterfinals for the second time in school history.
The winning season and postseason tournament both were the fourth straight
for the Ole Miss program.
In 1998-99, Barnes led Ole Miss to a 20-13 overall record and a
third-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. The Satartia, Miss., native was
the first head coach in the history of Rebel basketball to win 20 games in
his first season. Barnes also guided the Rebels to a 72-70 win over
Villanova in the NCAA Tournament first round, marking the program's
first-ever victory in NCAA play.
Barnes was hired as the Rebel head coach on April 9, 1998. A 1988
graduate of Ole Miss, Barnes served as an assistant under 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-SOUTH CAROLINA SERIES
Saturday's game will be the 14th time the two schools have faced each
other. South Carolina holds a 7-6 edge in the series. Last year, Ole Miss
posted an 83-75 victory in Oxford on Feb. 9, 2000 (see game recap and
boxscore on page 5). The Gamecocks hold a 4-0 series lead in games played
in Columbia, S.C. South Carolina won the last meeting in Columbia, a 67-66
victory on Jan. 27, 1999 (1998-99 season). The two schools met only one
time prior to South Carolina joining the Southeastern Conference in the
1991-92 season. The two teams played in the Gulf-South Tournament in the
1960-61 season, with the Gamecocks taking an 85-79 decision. Ole Miss head
coach Rod Barnes is 1-1 versus South Carolina and 0-1 against the Gamecocks
SCOUTING SOUTH CAROLINA
The Gamecocks enter Saturday's game with a 13-9 overall record and a 5-6
Southeastern Conference mark. South Carolina has a 3-2 record in its last
five games, with victories over LSU (68-56), Georgia (77-75) and Vanderbilt
(70-65). The Gamecocks dropped a 60-55 decision at Alabama Feb. 14. Of
its six league losses, four have been by eight points or less. The junior
backcourt tandem of Aaron Lucas and Jamel Bradley lead the Gamecock
offense. Lucas is the squad's top scorer at 11.3 ppg, while Bradley is
second at 11.0 ppg. Tony Kitchings and Antonio Grant, this week's SEC
Player of the Week, lead South Carolina on the boards with rebounding
averages of 6.8 and 6.2, respectively. Kitchings is the squad's top field
goal shooter at 51.9 percent, while Bradley is the top three-point threat,
hitting 33.5 percent from the arc. Lucas leads the team with 95 assists
and is ranked fourth in the SEC in that statistical category. South
Carolina is shooting 40 percent from the field, 28.3 percent from the
three-point line and 68.4 percent from the charity stripe. The Gamecock
defense is holding its opponents to 66.5 points per game, which is fifth
best in the SEC.
BACK ON THE ROAD
After a much-needed, three-game homestand, Ole Miss takes to the road
again for two straight league games at South Carolina Feb. 17 and at
Florida Feb. 21. The Rebels played five of their first eight conference
games on the road, and posted a 3-2 record in those contests. Ole Miss was
one of only two SEC squads to play five of their first eight league games
on the road. Vanderbilt was the other team. The Rebels will now close
regular-season play with three of their final five games on the road.
LOOK FOR A DEFENSIVE BATTLE
When the Rebels and Gamecocks meet Saturday, the game could be a defensive
struggle. Both teams rank among the top five in the league in scoring
defense, with Ole Miss first (62.7 ppg) and South Carolina fifth (66.5
A HOMECOURT SERIES
Talk about homecourt advantage in a series. Well, the Ole Miss-South
Carolina series is all about that. The Gamecocks have never lost to Ole
Miss in Columbia, holding a 4-0 series lead. On the other hand, the Rebels
have defeated the Gamecocks in all five meetings (5-0 record) in Oxford.
WELCOME TO THE CLUB
With his 15-point performance in the Rebels' victory over Mississippi
State Feb. 14, senior Rahim Lockhart (Mendenhall, Miss.) became the latest
member to join the Ole Miss 1,000-point club. The 6-foot-8 forward has
1,009 points and is No. 25 on the Rebel career scoring chart. Lockhart
needs 32 points to move past Denver Brackeen (1953-55, 1,040 points) into
the No. 24 spot on the career scoring chart.
MOVING ON UP THE CHARTS
With his 12-rebound performance versus Arkansas-Pine Bluff Nov. 18, senior
Rahim Lockhart became the 15th player in Rebel basketball history to grab
500 boards in a career. He now has 701 career rebounds, after grabbing
eight boards versus Mississippi State Feb. 14. Lockhart is in the No. 7
spot on the Ole Miss career rebounding list, and needs 29 more rebounds to
take over the No. 6 spot currently held by Fred Cox (1972-74, 729 career
rebounds). Lockhart entered the 1999-2000 season with 278 boards, and with
his 220 rebounds in 1999-2000, he had 498 rebounds coming into the 2000-01
LOCKHART IN ELITE COMPANY
When senior Rahim Lockhart reached the 1,000-point and 700-rebound
milestones, he became only the seventh player in Rebel basketball history
to do so. The other players (points, rebounds) are: Walter Actwood (1,216,
945), Coolidge Ball (1,072, 754), Fred Cox (1,105, 729), Joe Gibbon (1,601,
827), John Stroud (2,328, 826), and Elston Turner (1,805, 828).
The 2000-01 Rebels posted their 20th victory with a 51-48 win over
Mississippi State, marking the fastest any team in Ole Miss basketball
history has reached the 20-win plateau in a season. The 2000-01 team
recorded its 20th win in only 24 games. The previous quickest climb to 20
victories was by the 1936-37 and 1997-98 squads. Both teams reached 20
wins in their 25th games.
WIN NO. 20 IS IN THE BANK
The Rebels won their 20th game of the season with a 51-48 victory over
Mississippi State Feb. 14. It is the fourth time in the last five seasons
that Ole Miss has won 20 or more games. The 1996-97 (20-9 record), 1997-98
(22-7) and 1998-99 (20-13) also posted 20-win campaigns.
In its history, Ole Miss has had six 20-win teams. They were 1936-37
(20-6), 1937-38 (22-12), 1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99 and 2000-01.
REBELS FIRST TO 20 WINS
Ole Miss is the first team in the SEC to reach the 20-win plateau in the
2000-01 season. The Rebels are 20-4 and are the only 20-victory squad in
the Southeastern Conference.
This is the third time in the program's history that Ole Miss has been the
first SEC squad to reach 20 wins. The 1936-37 (20-6 record) and 1937-38
(22-12 record) teams also were first among SEC schools to reach the magic
number of 20 wins in a season. In fact, the 1936-37 and 1937-38 Ole Miss
teams were the only 20-win squads in the SEC those two seasons.
CLIMBING UP SEASON VICTORY CHART
The 2000-01 Rebels are sure making their mark in Ole Miss basketball
history, and they are continuing to climb up the single-season victory
chart. Ole Miss has a current record of 20-4, and the 20 wins are tied for
the third most in Rebel basketball history. The school record for most
victories in a season is 22 by the 1937-38 and 1997-98 teams.
BARNES CLOSING IN ON 60
No, Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes is not nearing his 60th birthday (not
even close for the 35-year-old, by the way). Barnes is closing in on 60
victories for his career. He has a current record of 59-31.
Earlier this season, Barnes won his 50th game as Ole Miss head coach with
the Rebels' 84-83 overtime victory over No. 13-ranked Southern Cal Dec. 22.
Barnes reached the 50-win plateau the third fastest of any coach in Rebel
history. George Bohler and Homer Hazel were the only two coaches in Ole
Miss history to reach the milestone faster.
The old saying is that defense wins championships. If that is the case,
Ole Miss may be in contention for a title in 2000-01, especially if the
Rebels can continue to hassle the opposition with their defensive pressure.
Ole Miss is holding its opponents to an average of 62.7 points per game,
which leads the SEC.
EVEN MORE DEFENSE
When Rob Evans took over the Rebel program in the 1992-93 season, he said
his squads were going to play defense?and they did. That emphasis on
defense has continued under Rod Barnes. This season, Ole Miss has held 10
opponents under 60 points, including four SEC teams. The Rebels held
Arkansas (53-48 Ole Miss win) Jan. 10, Kentucky (65-55 Ole Miss win) Jan.
20, LSU (50-33 Ole Miss win) Feb. 7 and Mississippi State (51-48 Ole Miss
win) Feb. 14 to under 60 points. Last year, Ole Miss held nine opponents
to under 60 points, but only one league team.
Since the 1992-93 season, the campaign in which the Rebels held the most
opponents under 60 points was 1996-97. That year Ole Miss held 10
opponents to under 60 points, including five SEC squads. The 1996-97
season was the Rebels' first SEC Western Division title.
GET IN THOSE PASSING LANES
Ole Miss has a reputation for playing tough, 'in-your-face' defense.
Lately, the Rebels have not only been in their opponents' faces but also
their passing lanes. In Ole Miss' last seven games (6-1 record), the
Rebels have forced their opponents into 150 turnovers (21.4 per game). In
its first four conference games, Ole Miss forced only 54 turnovers (13.5
On the offensive end of the floor, the Rebels have taken better care of
the ball the last four games with only 42 turnovers (10.5 per game).
THE MAGIC NUMBER IS...
Well, for the Rebels, it seems as if that number is 70. Since the 1996-97
season and including this campaign, Ole Miss has an incredible 83-9 record
(.902 winning percentage) when it scores 70 points or more. On the other
hand, the Rebels are 17-38 when they net less than 70 points during that
five-year period (including 2000-01). This season, Ole Miss has a 12-0
record when scoring 70 points or more.
...BUT SCORING 70 ISN'T NECESSARY IN 2000-01
As discussed in the previous note, the Rebels have been nearly unbeatable
when they score 70 points or more. However, the 2000-01 Rebels are proving
they can win games when they don't reach that magical number of 70. Ole
Miss is 8-4 this year when scoring less than 70 points.
AT THE HEAD OF THE CLASS(ES)
This year's senior class of Jason Flanigan (Little Rock, Ark.) and Rahim
Lockhart and junior redshirt John Engstrom (Paragould, Ark.) are now at the
head of all the classes in Ole Miss basketball history. With the Rebels'
victory over Mississippi State Feb. 14, the 2000-01 senior class has 81
wins, the most victories by a class in a four-year span. The 81 victories
surpass the previous mark of 74 wins by the 1998-99 class of Hunter
Carpenter, Keith Carter, Jason Smith and Michael White. The 2000-01 senior
class has also been a part of the 1998 SEC Western Division championship
squad and has been to three straight postseasons (2 NCAA, 1 NIT).
ANOTHER 'FIRST' IN REBEL HISTORY
The 2000-01 senior class set the record for most wins in a four-year span
earlier this year, breaking the previous record of 74 victories. Now, the
senior class has accomplished another first in Rebel history. With Ole
Miss' victory over Tennessee Feb. 10, this class posted its 80th victory
and is the first three or four-year senior class to average 20 victories
HITTING ?EM WHEN THEY COUNT
The Rebels haven't had a reputation for hitting a high percentage >from the
charity stripe the last couple of seasons, especially down the stretch in
games. However, that may be changing in 2000-01. Ole Miss is hitting 65.3
percent from the foul line for the season (11th in the SEC), but more
importantly, the Rebels are hitting their foul shots when they count. In
their wins over Sam Houston State, VCU, Oklahoma, Memphis, Southern
Illinois, Southern Cal, Vanderbilt, Arkansas (both games), Kentucky,
Auburn, Tennessee and Mississippi State (second game), the Rebels shot 74.1
percent from the line (109-of-147) in the final four minutes (and overtime)
of those games.
Call them 'Cardiac Kids' or maybe even 'Comeback Kids,' the Rebels have
proven they can be resilient when they are down in games this season. Ole
Miss pulled off another comeback Feb. 14 in its 51-48 victory Mississippi
State. Trailing 38-31 with 11:47 to go, the Rebels started the comeback.
A 9-2 run over the next five minutes tied the contest at 40-all. Freshman
Josh Hayes (Little Rock, Ark.) began the run with the Rebels' first
three-pointer of the game, and Jason Flanigan tied the contest with two
free throws at the 6:02 mark. After trading hoops over the next four
minutes, Jason Harrison (Little Rock, Ark.) put Ole Miss ahead for good,
49-47 on a layup with 1:09 left en route to the victory.
The Rebels did the same against Auburn Feb. 3. Down 52-43 with under 11
minutes to play, Ole Miss began its comeback. Over the next six minutes,
the Rebels outscored Auburn, 17-7 to take a 60-59 lead with 5:14 left in
the game. Ole Miss went on to win the contest, 74-70.
Three days earlier (Jan. 31), the Rebels put together another comeback
versus Arkansas. Down 48-41 with 13 minutes left, Ole Miss went on a 21-3
run to take a 62-51 lead en route to the 84-73 victory over the Razorbacks.
In their win over Southern Cal Dec. 22, the Rebels overcame a 77-71
deficit in the final 1:30 to tie the game at 78-all and send the contest
into overtime. Ole Miss won the game, 84-83.
HARRISON'S A 'BIG'-TIME PLAYER
It's ironic that the shortest player on the floor comes up 'big' in
crucial times for the Rebels, but that is the case when junior Jason
Harrison is on the floor late in games. In Ole Miss' Feb. 14 win over
Mississippi State, the 5-foot-5 guard hit a key trey to put the Rebels
ahead 47-46 with 2:12 left in the game. He then hit a layup with 1:09
remaining to give Ole Miss the lead for good at 49-47.
But, this wasn't the first time Harrison has played 'big' for Ole Miss.
He hit a career-high four three-pointers in the Rebels' 65-55 win over
Kentucky Jan. 20. Harrison also helped lead the Rebels to wins over
Southern Cal and Sam Houston State earlier this year.
As a freshman in 1998-99, Harrison sealed victories from the foul line
against Oklahoma (Dec. 22, 1998) and Arkansas (Jan. 9, 1999).
ANOTHER MAGIC NUMBER FOR THE REBELS
The last five seasons, 70 has been a special number for Ole Miss because
when the Rebels score 70 or more points, they usually win. Well, the
Rebels now have another magic number?five, as in five double figure scorers.
In their two wins over Arkansas (Jan. 31) and Auburn (Feb. 3), the Rebels
had five players net double figures. This season, the Rebels are 3-0 when
they have five or more players post double figures.
LOCKHART DOUBLES HIS PLEASURE
Senior Rahim Lockhart is picking up where he left off last year?doubling
his pleasure. Lockhart came into the 2000-01 season with 14 career
double-doubles, and he recorded his 21st double-double performance versus
Mississippi State Jan. 27 (10 points-11 rebounds). He also had
double-doubles versus Arkansas-Pine Bluff (17-12) Nov. 18,
Louisiana-Monroe (16-10) Nov. 28, Memphis (15-14) Dec. 9, Southeastern
Louisiana (21-14) Dec. 13, Southern Cal (16-13) Dec. 22 and Morris Brown
(10-10) Dec. 30. Last year, Lockhart had 13 double-doubles, which ranked
him in the top 10 in the nation in that statistical category. His first
career double-double came versus Tennessee (16-12) as a sophomore in the
HARPER ON FIRE
In the Rebels' Feb. 10 win over Tennessee, freshman Aaron Harper (Jackson,
Miss.) was en fuego?on fire. He torched the nets, scoring a career-high 23
points. The 6-foot-7 guard also posted career bests of seven field goals
and five three-pointers. He hit a three-pointer in the opening minute
versus the Volunteers to give Ole Miss a 7-0 lead, and then closed the
first half with an eight-point flurry to increase the Rebel advantage to
Harper had the hot-shooting hand for the Rebels in the four games (all Ole
Miss wins) prior to the Feb. 14 contest versus Mississippi State. He
scored in double figures in all four games and averaged 16.5 points during
THEY'RE FINALLY FALLING!
Shooters are known to lose and then regain their shot during a season.
But, in the case of freshman Aaron Harper, he never really lost his shot.
His shots just didn't seem to want to fall.
That, however, changed in the Rebels' four wins over Arkansas Jan. 31,
Auburn Feb. 3, LSU Feb. 7 and Tennessee Feb. 10. The 6-foot-7 guard hit
21-of-47 from the field (44.7 percent) and 14-of-32 from the three-point
arc (43.8 percent) in those four games.
Against the Razorbacks, Harper hit two key treys in a second-half run
which turned a 48-41 Arkansas lead into a 62-51 Rebel advantage. He
grabbed five boards in the win over Arkansas.
Harper also aided in the Rebels' comeback at Auburn Feb. 3. His
back-to-back three-pointers during a 17-7 second-half run tied the game at
56-all with 6:37 left. Harper's dunk with 1:09 left gave Ole Miss the lead
for good at 68-67, and he hit two free throws with :46 left to extend the
Rebels' lead to three points at 70-67.
Harper exploded for 16 points in Ole Miss' victory over LSU Feb. 7. He
also had four assists, one block and one steal. Harper followed the LSU
game with a career-high performance versus Tennessee (see previous note).
In the two games prior to Arkansas (Jan. 31), Harper was 1-of-10 from the
floor and 1-of-6 from the arc. But again, over half of his shots were on
target, but rattled in and out of the basket.
'BUCK' IS BACK!...
All players have their ups and downs during a season, and senior Jason
Flanigan is no different. Flanigan, who also goes by the nickname 'Buck,'
had his down spell from Jan. 10 through Jan. 20, but has returned to his
old form in the Rebels' last five games.
After scoring 14 points versus Vanderbilt Jan. 6, the 6-foot-1 guard went
into a shooting funk, hitting only 4-of-19 from the field (21.1 percent) in
the next four games. However, Flanigan has bounced back in the Rebels'
last six contests versus Mississippi State (both games), Arkansas, Auburn
LSU and Tennessee. In the last five games (all Ole Miss victories),
Flanigan averaged 6.8 points, 3.8 boards and 3.6 assists.
...AND SO IS KIRKLIN
After earning a start in the Rebels' victory at Vanderbilt Jan. 6,
sophomore Richard Kirklin (Pine Bluff, Ark.) had been heard from very
little the last month. Well, the 6-foot-9 forward broke out again in Ole
Miss' win over Tennessee Feb. 10. He scored six points on 2-of-2 shooting
>from the arc and grabbed two boards.
As in games past, Kirklin's three-pointers came at key moments for Ole
Miss against Tennessee. His first-half trey halted a 6-0 Volunteer run
(cut 13-6 Ole Miss lead to 13-12) and extended the Rebels' lead to 16-12.
Kirklin's second-half trey kept the momentun going for the Rebels,
increasing the Ole Miss advantage from 50-37 to 53-37.
HARRISON HEATING UP
Junior Jason Harrison has certainly found his range from the arc in
conference play. The 5-foot-5 guard hit a career-best four three-pointers
in the Rebels' victory over Kentucky Jan. 20. Harrison has been hot from
the three-point line since SEC play began Jan. 6. In 11 SEC games,
Harrison is hitting 47.1 percent from the arc (16-of-34).
HARRISON ON THE CHARTS
Junior Jason Harrison has put his name on the Ole Miss career
three-pointers made list. The 5-foot-5 guard jumped into the top five with
his two treys versus Troy State Dec. 18, and now is in the No. 4 spot with
104. Up next for Harrison is Joezon Darby (1996-98), who is No. 3 with 131
career treys. This season, Harrison is shooting 44.3 percent from the
Where Clark Kent uses a telephone booth to change into comic-book hero
'Superman,' Rebel freshman Justin Reed (Jackson, Miss.) used the halftime
break in Ole Miss' two games versus Arkansas (Jan. 31) and Auburn (Feb. 3)
to do the same.
Against the Razorbacks, the 6-foot-8 forward had no points and one board
in the first half, but exploded in the second half with 12 points and five
rebounds. Reed finished the Arkansas game with 12 points (4-of-5 FG,
4-of-5 FT) and six boards. Six of Reed's 12 points came in a second-half
stretch in which Ole Miss turned a 48-41 deficit into a 62-51 lead (21-3 run).
In the Rebels' win over Auburn, Reed had only three points and two
rebounds at the break, but posted 13 points, three boards and four steals
in the second half. Reed finished the contest with 16 points, five
rebounds and a career-high seven steals. He netted eight of his 16 points
during a second-half run that turned a 52-43 deficit into a 60-59 lead.
Reed also hit the game-clinching free throw with :05 left to seal the win.
Although he didn't put up the numbers in the scoring column versus LSU
Feb. 7, Reed had a solid all-around game in the second half. After the
intermission, Reed grabbed seven of his team-high nine boards and also had
three steals. He finished the LSU game with six points, nine rebounds, and
four steals (no turnovers).
MANNY'S DA MAN!
Sophomore Emmanuel Wade (Marianna, Ark.) has proven to be 'da man' for the
Rebels in the second half of three Southeastern Conference games this season.
His first big second-half performance came in the Rebels' victory over
Arkansas Jan. 10. The 6-foot-3 guard, who also goes by the nickname
'Manny,' was held scoreless and had no boards in the first half. However,
that changed after intermission. Wade scored six points and grabbed a
career-high tying five boards in the second half to help propel the Rebels
to the win. Wade netted the Rebels' first six points of the second half,
and then grabbed three huge rebounds in the closing minutes.
Wade also had another huge second half in the Rebels' win over Kentucky
Jan. 20. He netted five of his nine points in the second half versus the
Wildcats, including a hoop at the 3:57 mark to extend the Rebels' lead to
In the win at Auburn, Wade played inspired ball in the second half after
having no stats at halftime. He had seven points, four rebounds, three
assists and two steals in the second half versus Auburn. All of his seven
points against the Tigers came in the opening minutes of the second half,
keeping the Rebels within striking distance.
REED POSTS CAREER HIGH IN STEALS
Just call Justin Reed 'Mr. Swipe'?especially in the Rebels' victory at
Auburn Feb. 3. Reed recorded a career-high seven steals against the
Tigers. The seven steals are tied for the third most in a single game in
Ole Miss history. The Ole Miss record is eight steals by Gerald Glass (vs.
Christian Brothers, Nov. 2, 1988) and Eric Laird (vs. DePaul, Mar. 25,
1983) The 6-foot-8 forward has 32 steals for the season.
REED ENJOYING SEC ACTION
They say the big players step up in 'primetime.' Well, there's nothing
more 'primetime' than SEC play, and freshman Justin Reed is making his
presence known in the league. In 11 SEC games, Reed has netted double
figures in eight contests, including a career-high 21 points versus Georgia
Jan. 13. The 6-foot-8 forward is averaging 11.9 points (leads team) and
5.8 boards (second on team) in SEC games only.
The Rebels hit only two three-pointers versus Mississippi State Feb. 14.
The last time Ole Miss hit two or fewer treys was last year in a 77-65 win
at Alabama State (2-of-9, Dec. 1, 1999)...Rahim Lockhart is 10 steals away
>from 150 for his career. If he reaches 150 steals, he would be the only
player in Rebel history to have at least 1,000 points, 700 rebounds, 100
blocks and 150 steals.