Feb. 19, 2001
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12/13 Ole Miss (21-4, 9-3) vs. 7/7 Florida (18-5, 8-4)
Wednesday, February 21, 2001 - 6:00 p.m. (CT)
Stephen C. O'Connell Center - Gainesville, Fla.
Rebels on Television and Radio
Ole Miss Radio Network (David Kellum, play-by-play, Sean Tuohy,
color analyst, Stan Sandroni, pregame/halftime/postgame host)
OLE MISS CLOSES TWO-GAME ROAD TRIP AT FLORIDA WEDNESDAY
The Ole Miss Rebels (21-4, 9-3 SEC) will finish their two-game road swing
Wednesday, Feb. 21 when they travel to Gainesville, Fla., to meet the
Florida Gators (18-5, 8-4 SEC). The game is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. (CT).
Ole Miss, ranked No. 12 in the Associated Press poll and No. 13 in the
ESPN/USA Today poll, won its sixth straight game with a come-from-behind
67-61 victory over South Carolina Feb. 17. The Gators have won three
straight and seven of their last eight games.
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 60-31 (.659 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-FLORIDA SERIES
Wednesday's game will be the 89th meeting between the two schools.
Florida holds a 49-39 lead in the series, which began in 1940. Last
season, the Gators swept Ole Miss, winning 75-71 in Oxford and 89-67 in the
Southeastern Conference Tournament first round. Prior to last year's two
losses, Ole Miss had won three straight in the series, including a 79-68
victory in Gainesville in the 1998-99 season (Feb. 6, 1999). In fact, Ole
Miss has posted victories in its last two trips to Gainesville in 1998-99
and 1996-97 (67-65 Rebel win). The Gators hold a 29-11 series lead in
games played in Gainesville. Florida's last victory over Ole Miss in
Gainesville came in the 1994-95 campaign, a 72-57 win on Jan. 28, 1995.
Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes is 1-2 versus Florida and 1-0 against the
Gators in Gainesville.
The Gators, ranked No. 7 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today
Top 25 polls, enter Wednesday's game with an 18-5 overall record and an 8-4
Southeastern Conference mark. Florida has won three straight and seven of
its last eight contests, including an 88-82 win at Tennessee Feb. 18. The
Gators' lone setback during their last eight games was a narrow 71-70 loss
at Kentucky. Junior center Udonis Haslem leads five Gators averaging in
double figures at 16.2 ppg. Brett Nelson (15.3 ppg), Teddy Dupay (14.3
ppg), Brent Wright (13.7 ppg) and Matt Bonner (13.0 ppg) are also averaging
double digits in the scoring column. Nelson is the team's leading scorer
in SEC games only (18.8 ppg), while Dupay is averaging 14.5 points since
his return from back surgery Jan. 30. Haslem and Bonner lead the Gators on
the boards, each with 7.3 rebounding averages. Haslem is leading the team
and SEC in field goal percentage, hitting 58.1 percent from the field.
Nelson is the Gators' top three-point threat at 47 percent from the arc.
Florida is hitting 48.3 percent from the floor, 39.4 percent from the
three-point line and 74.4 percent from the charity stripe. The Gators lead
the SEC in scoring offense (83.4 ppg), field goal percentage, three-point
field goal percentage and free throw percentage.
A BATTLE OF WILLS
When the Rebels and Gators take the floor Wednesday, the contest may prove
to be a battle of wills. Florida is the league's top scoring offense at
83.4 points per game, while Ole Miss is the conference's top scoring
defense at 62.7 points per contest.
Everyone may need to take cover Wednesday when Ole Miss and Florida meet,
as both teams shoot well from the three-point arc. Florida is the
Southeastern Conference's top three-point shooting squad at 39.4 percent,
while Ole Miss is second at 36.1 percent. The Gators are also second in
the league, hitting 8.74 treys per contest. The Rebels are sixth in the
conference, averaging 6.72 three-pointers made per game.
BACK ON THE ROAD
After a much-needed, three-game homestand Feb. 7-14, Ole Miss is on the
road again. Wednesday's contest will wrap the Rebels' two-game road trip.
Ole Miss posted a 67-61 victory at South Carolina Feb. 17.
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 close regular-season play
with three of their final five games on the road.
BARNES REACHES 60
No, Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes did reach his 60th birthday (not even
close for the 35-year-old, by the way). Barnes posted his 60th victory as
head coach at Ole Miss with the Rebels' 67-61 win over South Carolina Feb.
17. He has a current record of 60-31, and reached the 60-win plateau the
fastest of any coach in Rebel basketball history.
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.
SIX STRAIGHT AND COUNTING?
The 2000-01 Ole Miss has won six straight Southeastern Conference games,
the most since the 1997-98 team won seven consecutive league games to close
out the regular season. That 1997-98 team won seven straight en route to
claiming the program's second consecutive SEC Western Division title.
This current six-game win streak began with the Rebels' 84-73 victory over
Arkansas Jan. 31. Ole Miss' other five wins in the streak have come
against Auburn (74-70), LSU (50-33), Tennessee (87-71), Mississippi State
(51-48) and South Carolina (67-61).
A GOOD OMEN?...PART I
With their 67-61 win at South Carolina Feb. 17, the Rebels posted their
fourth SEC road victory of the season. Ole Miss won at Vanderbilt,
Arkansas, Auburn and South Carolina. The last time the Rebels won four
league road games was the 1997-98 campaign, the year Ole Miss claimed its
second straight SEC Western Division crown. The Rebels also won four SEC
road games in the 1996-97 season, which was Ole Miss' first SEC Western
A GOOD OMEN?...PART II
With their 67-61 win at South Carolina Feb. 17, the Rebels have a 4-1
record versus the SEC Eastern Division. The last time the Rebels won four
games against teams from the SEC Eastern Division was the 1997-98 campaign,
the year Ole Miss claimed its second straight SEC Western Division crown.
The Rebels also won four contests versus the SEC Eastern Division in the
1996-97 season, which was Ole Miss' first SEC Western Division title. The
Rebels have never won five games against the SEC Eastern Division since the
league went to the two-division format in the 1991-92 season.
REED DOUBLES HIS PLEASURE
Freshman Justin Reed (Jackson, Miss.) doubled his pleasure for a third
time this season versus South Carolina Feb. 17. The 6-foot-8 forward
scored 18 points and had 11 boards in the 67-61 victory over the Gamecocks.
Reed's first double-double in SEC play came against Georgia Jan. 13, when
he scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed 12 boards in the 70-66
setback to the Bulldogs. His first collegiate double-double was a 16
point-13 rebound performance in the Rebels' 88-84 overtime victory over VCU
Nov. 25. The 21 points against the Bulldogs bested Reed's previous high of
19 points a week earlier versus Vanderbilt. Reed also hit a career-high
nine field goals versus Georgia. For the season, he is averaging 11.1
points and 5.8 rebounds.
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 12 SEC games, Reed has netted double
figures in nine contests, including a career-high 21 points versus Georgia
Jan. 13. The 6-foot-8 forward is averaging 12.4 points (leads team) and
6.3 boards (second on team) in SEC games only.
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 now has
1,017 points after scoring eight points versus South Carolina Feb. 17, and
is No. 25 on the Rebel career scoring chart. Lockhart needs 24 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 707 career rebounds, after grabbing
six boards versus South Carolina Feb. 17. Lockhart is in the No. 7 spot on
the Ole Miss career rebounding list, and needs 23 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).
A PERFECT ENDING TO A PERFECT NIGHT
Perfection is a rare achievement, but it's something sophomore David
Sanders (Jackson, Miss.) accomplished in the Rebels' win at South Carolina
Feb. 17. The 6-foot-3 guard was perfect from the field and foul line,
going 4-of-4 from the floor, 1-of-1 from the arc and 4-of-4 from the
charity stripe in scoring 13 points. He also had no turnovers in 23
minutes of action.
His three-pointer with only :28 on the game clock was an off-balance trey
with the shot clock winding down, increasing the Rebel lead to 65-59.
Sanders then added two free throws with :13 left for a 67-61 Ole Miss
advantage, and stole the ball on Gamecocks' final possession to seal the
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. Ole Miss now has a 21-4 record after its 67-61
victory over South Carolina Feb. 17. 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 iss the first team in the SEC to reach the 20-win plateau in the
2000-01 season. The Rebels are 21-4 and are one of only two 20-victory
squads in the Southeastern Conference (Alabama is the other).
This iss 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 21-4, and the 21 wins are 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.
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 62.6 points per game,
which leads the SEC.
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 eight games (7-1 record), the
Rebels have forced their opponents into 167 turnovers (20.9 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 five games with 57 turnovers (11.4 per game).
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.
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.) is at the head
of all the classes in Ole Miss basketball history. With the Rebels'
victory over South Carolina Feb. 17, the 2000-01 senior class has 82 wins,
the most victories by a class in a four-year span. The 82 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 65.4
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, Mississippi State (second game) and South Carolina, the
Rebels shot 74 percent from the line (111-of-150) in the final four minutes
(and overtime) of those games.
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 18-38 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 9-4 this year when scoring less than 70 points.
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 (Little Rock, Ark.) 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.
Three days later (Feb. 17) at South Carolina, Harrison did it again. The
Rebels were down 46-34, but came back to tie the game at 53-all with 8:56
to play. Harrison then stepped up, hitting a crucial trey to give Ole Miss
its first lead of the second half at 56-53 at the 8:22 mark.
But, last week wasn't the first time Harrison 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).
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) from Jan. 31 through Feb. 10. He scored in double figures in
all four games and averaged 16.5 points during that span.
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
106. Up next for Harrison is Joezon Darby (1996-98), who is No. 3 with 131
career treys. This season, Harrison is shooting 43.3 percent from the