Men's Hoops Continues Life on the Road with Trip to Missouri
Feb. 19, 2018

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Matchup: Ole Miss (11-16, 4-10 SEC) at Missouri (18-9, 8-6 SEC)
Date: Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Time: 8 p.m. CT
Location: Columbia, Mo.
Arena: Mizzou Arena (15,061)
Television: ESPN2
    Tom Hart, play-by-play
    Dalen Cuff, analyst
Radio: Ole Miss IMG Sports Network
    David Kellum, play-by-play
    Marc Dukes, analyst
Series: Ole Miss leads 9-2
Last Meeting: February 6, 2018
    Missouri won 75-69
    Oxford, Miss.

- Ole Miss has won eight of the last nine games against Missouri.
- The Rebels beat the Tigers three times last year, including in the second round of the SEC Tournament, Ole Miss’ first three-game sweep in a single season since the 1988-89 campaign.
- Deandre Burnett (17.5 ppg) and Terence Davis (16.8 ppg) averaged a combined 34.3 ppg over the last four games against Missouri.
- Tony Madlock will make his debut as acting head coach, his first game ever as a head coach.
- Madlock has 21 years of coaching experience at the Division I level, including four seasons at Ole Miss.
- Andy Kennedy, the winningest coach in program history, stepped down as head coach Sunday, effective immediately.
- The Rebels shot 60.9 percent in the second half against Mississippi State on Saturday, the fourth time this season they have shot over 60 percent in the second half of a game.
- Ole Miss is one of two SEC teams to have a .500-or-better SEC record in each of the last six seasons.
- Deandre Burnett averages 20.8 ppg in the Rebels’ SEC wins.
- Four Rebels are averaging double figures in conference play (Deandre Burnett-14.6 ppg, Bruce Stevens-11.1 ppg, Breein Tyree-11.1 ppg, Terence Davis-10.8 ppg).
- Ole Miss has five wins versus RPI top 100 teams; the Rebels had three during all of last season.  
- The Rebels are 10-6 when shooting over 30 percent from beyond the arc.
- Ole Miss is one of seven teams nationwide to have at least 15 different starting lineups this season.
- Guards are accounting for 70.6 percent of the Rebels’ scoring.
- The Rebels posted conference records over .500 in each of the last three seasons, the first time they have done that since 1936-1938.
- Ole Miss is five games under .500 for the first time since the end of the 1994-95 season.
- The Rebels are the only team in the SEC without back-to-back home games at least once during conference play.
- Ten different players have started games this year for Ole Miss, one of six schools nationally to have done that.

So far this season, Ole Miss has earned five victories over RPI top 100 teams, including two over opponents ranked in the  top 50. Comparing to last year’s run to the NIT Quarterfinals, Ole Miss had only three top 100 wins. With four regular season games remaining, the Rebels still have tough games in front of them. Three of the four games left come against teams in the top 25 of the RPI, including two on the road.

Missouri enters Tuesday’s matchup with a 18-9 record following a loss at LSU that snapped a five-game winning streak. The Tigers sit at 8-6 in SEC play with four games remaining. Senior guard Kassius Robertson paces the team in scoring (16.5 ppg) and steals (28). He leads the SEC in playing time, averaging 35.6 minutes per game, and ranks second in the conference with 3.0 made threes per game. Fellow senior Jordan Barnett adds 13.9 ppg. Freshman Jontay Porter leads Mizzou in blocks (51) and averages 8.9 pph. As a team, the Tigers top the conference in rebounding defense during SEC games, allowing only 32.4 boards per contest. The Tigers also rank second in the SEC in shooting from beyond the arc (.383) and three-point field goal percentage defense (.310). Cuonzo Martin is in his first season as Missouri’s head coach after spending three years at California. Prior to heading out west, Martin coached in the SEC by guiding Tennessee for three seasons (2012-14). He began his head coaching career at Missouri State (2009-11).

Ole Miss and Missouri have met just 11 times with all 11 meetings coming since the Tigers joined the SEC in 2012-13. The Rebels lead the all-time series 9-2 and have won eight straight of the last nine, including a three-game sweep of Missouri last season. Ole Miss and Mizzou have squared off four times in Columbia, with the Rebels holding a 3-1 advantage and claiming the last three contests. Missouri’s lone victory over Ole Miss in Columbia occurred Feb. 9, 2013. The Tigers also took the first game of a home-and-home series this season, winning 75-69 for their first ever victory in Oxford.

Ole Miss yet again put itself in a position to win the game --  fighting back from a nine-point halftime deficit -- but came up short down the stretch in a 75-69 loss to Missouri (Feb. 6). Ole Miss jumped on Missouri 11-0 in the first four and a half minutes of the game, largely thanks to some transition buckets from Terence Davis. The Tigers settled in and pieced together a 30-9 run over the next 12 minutes of the opening half. Davis had 12 first half points, but Ole Miss struggled to find consistent scoring in its halfcourt offense behind him. The junior finished with 20 on the night. Bruce Stevens finished with 15 points and seven rebounds. Markel Crawford had 11 points and six assists, without a turnover, as well as a career-high five steals. The loss snapped the Rebels’ eight-game winning streak over the Tigers in the all-time series.  

Deandre Burnett and Terence Davis look to continue their success against the Tigers. Burnett and Davis have averaged 34.3 ppg throughout the past four games versus Mizzou; Burnett averages 17.5 ppg, while Davis adds 16.8 ppg. Burnett’s best game in the series occurred in an 80-77 win last year at The Pavilion, pouring in 28 points. Davis had his biggest scoring output against the Tigers just two weeks ago when we tallied 20 points at home.

Last year, Ole Miss won three games over Missouri, taking both regular season contests before knocking out the Tigers in the second round of the SEC Tournament. The sweep was the first time the Rebels won three games against a team in a single season since 1988-89 (three wins over Auburn). It started with a 75-71 road win (Jan. 21, 2017) as Sebastian Saiz (19 points and 10 rebounds) and Terence Davis (18 points and 11 rebounds) produced double-doubles to lead Ole Miss to victory. Deandre Burnett added 14 points, shooting 3 for 6 from 3-point range. Burnett doubled that output in game two with his 28 points helping hold off the Tigers 80-77 at The Pavilion (Feb. 25, 2017). He found most of his success from the foul line, going 13 of 14 from the charity stripe. As a team, the Rebels made 27 of 29 free throws for a 93.1 percent clip. Breein Tyree added 15 points, and Ole Miss prevented a comeback despite Missouri shooting 57.1 percent (20 of 35) in the second half. After the Tigers upset Auburn in the first round of the conference tournament, Ole Miss and Mizzou met for a third time. Just like the previous two matchups, the Rebels emerged victorious. Burnett scored a game-high 23 points, and Davis chipped in 19 to help Ole Miss advance to the quarterfinals with an 86-74 win.

After 12 years of leading Ole Miss Hoops, Andy Kennedy stepped down as head coach, effective immediately, it was announced Sunday. In his 12 seasons in Oxford, Kennedy held a 245-156 record as coach of the Rebels. With 11 postseason wins, eight postseason berths, nine 20-win seasons, two NCAA Tournament appearances, two NIT Final Fours, two SEC West titles and an SEC Tournament Championship, the two-time SEC Coach of the Year leaves Ole Miss as the winningest coach in program history. Averaging more than 20 wins per season, Kennedy ranks 18th in SEC history with 245 victories. The Louisville, Mississippi, native had the fifth-most wins in 12 years at one school in the conference. Kennedy was one of five SEC coaches to post at least nine 20-win seasons in his first 11 years in the league, joining the likes of Billy Donovan (Florida), Joe B. Hall (Kentucky), Nolan Richardson (Arkansas) and Tubby Smith (Kentucky). In a win over Mississippi State earlier this season (Jan. 6), he became the 23rd SEC coach to earn 100 victories in conference play. Kennedy turned around the Ole Miss basketball program. He is the only coach in SEC history to post 11 consecutive seasons after taking over a program coming off four straight losing seasons. In his first season, he guided the Rebels to 21 wins and an SEC West Division title on his way to becoming SEC Coach of the Year. Since then, the Rebels are one of only 14 teams nationwide to have 11 straight winning seasons. Ole Miss ranks third in the conference with nine 20-win seasons during those 11 years.

Following the exit of Andy Kennedy, Tony Madlock will serve as acting head coach for the remainder of the 2017-18 season. Madlock is in his fourth season at Ole Miss and has 21 years of experience coaching at the collegiate level. Prior to arriving in Oxford, the Memphis, Tennessee, native had coaching stops in Auburn (2011-14), UTEP (2007-10) and Arkansas State (1998-2006). He was an assistant coach at Auburn and UTEP, while serving as the assistant head coach at Arkansas State.

Ole Miss is multiple games under .500 for the first time since the conclusion of the 2005-06 season, right before Andy Kennedy arrived in Oxford. The Rebels are five games under .500 for the first time since the conclusion of the 1994-95 when they finished with an 8-19 record.

In the second half at Mississippi State on Saturday, Ole Miss shot 60.9 percent (14 of 23) from the field. It was the fourth time the Rebels shot over 60 percent in a half, with all of them happening in the final 20 minutes of play. The Rebels posted a .655 field goal percentage (19 of 29), the best in a half this season, versus South Dakota State (Nov. 28). Ole Miss shot 17 of 27 (63.0 percent) in a win over Sam Houston State (Dec. 13) before using a 60.0 percent (15 of 25) second half performance to knock off Florida one month later (Jan. 13).

For just the second time in the last 10 meetings, Ole Miss fell to rival MSU. The Bulldogs used 12 threes and shot 56.4 percent from the floor to take down the Rebels 79-62 Saturday night (Feb. 17) at Humphrey Coliseum. Breein Tyree scored 13 of his team-high 15 points in the final 20 minutes, and Ole Miss shot 60.9 percent (14 of 23) as a team in the second half. However, it wasn’t enough to erase a 21-point halftime deficit. Deandre Burnett added 13 points with the help of going 6 of 6 from the free throw line, while Bruce Stevens chipped in 11 points.

Three Rebels are being considered for the Howell Trophy, awarded to the most outstanding college basketball player in the state of Mississippi. Deandre Burnett (14.8 ppg), Terence Davis (13.0 ppg) and Bruce Stevens (10.1 ppg) are Ole Miss players to watch for the annual trophy given out by the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. An Ole Miss Rebel has won the Howell Trophy each of the past five seasons, beginning with Marshall Henderson in 2013. Jarvis Summers took home the award in 2014 before Stefan Moody earned the honor in back-to-back seasons. Last year, double-double machine Sebastian Saiz won the Howell Trophy. The award is named in honor of the legendary Bailey Howell who spent 12 seasons in the NBA and is in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

A rough night shooting the basketball wrote another chapter in a frustrating season for Ole Miss as it fell to Arkansas 75-64 Tuesday night (Feb. 13) at The Pavilion. Ole Miss jumped out to an early 18-13 lead behind nine early points from Deandre Burnett. The senior guard finished with 24 points on 6 of 15 shooting, tying a season high. Markel Crawford added 17 points, and Terence Davis had a career-high 13 rebounds for the Rebels. Arkansas began to defend better over the course of the last eight minutes of the half and took a 34-23 lead into halftime. The deficit was trimmed in the early minutes of the second half. A 6-0 spurt from Burnett cut it to two at 36-34, despite the Rebels being just 9 of 37 from the field at the time. A Devontae Shuler triple cut the game to one point at 53-52 with just under nine minutes left, but Arkansas sealed the game with a 20-1 run over the next five minutes.

Ole Miss has relied on the long ball this season, making 8.1 threes per game (fifth in the SEC). The Rebels are 10-6 when they shoot over 30 percent from beyond the arc. When Ole Miss shoots under 30 percent from long distance, its record is 1-10.   

Ole Miss has proven to develop guards over the past 11 seasons as 12 guards have earned All-SEC accolades to rank third among conference teams during that period. This season, the depth at guard shows in terms of scoring. Ole Miss guards have accounted for 70.6 percent of the Rebels’ points. Five of the top six scorers on the team are guards led by Deandre Burnett (14.8 ppg), Terence Davis (13.0 ppg), Markel Crawford (9.7 ppg) and Breein Tyree (9.7 ppg). Freshman Devontae Shuler adds 6.5 ppg (sixth on team).

With more depth than last year’s squad, Ole Miss has experimented with starting lineups to try to find the best starting five. Through 27 games, the Rebels have sent out 15 different starting lineups. Ole Miss is one of seven teams nationally that has had at least 15 different starting lineups this season. Ten Rebels have started at least one game this season, and only six teams nationwide have had at least 10 different players start at any point of the year.

A first team preseason all-conference selection, senior Deandre Burnett is embracing his role as a leader. Burnett is averaging a team-high 14.8 ppg, while also leading the Rebels with 4.2 assists per game (fifth in the SEC). Not only does he pace Ole Miss in assists, but Burnett takes care of the ball by ranking seventh in the SEC in assist/turnover ratio (2.0). In the Rebels’ conference wins, he is averaging 20.8 ppg. The Miami Gardens, Florida, native tallied team highs in points (18) and assists (6) in a victorious SEC opener versus South Carolina (Dec. 31). Against Mississippi State (Jan. 6), Burnett scored 13 in the first half to keep Ole Miss in the game before he finished with 21 to help his squad rally to victory. After missing the previous game at Auburn with the flu, Burnett returned to the court and recorded 20 points versus Florida (Jan. 13). He tallied a season-high 24 points to lead the Rebels to a win over Alabama (Jan. 23) before matching that output versus Arkansas last week (Feb. 13). As an 85.2 percent shooter at the line for his career, Burnett is on pace to finish as the fifth-best free throw shooter in Ole Miss history. Last season, his first as a Rebel, Burnett averaged a team-high 16.5 ppg and finished fifth in the SEC in both free throw percentage (.881) and three-point percentage (.376). Finishing eighth in the league in scoring, Burnett reached double figures in 26 of 33 games, including 10 20-plus performances and a career-high 41-point output (Nov. 18, 2016 vs. Oral Roberts). He also shared the rock, providing 104 assists throughout the season (3.2 apg). A transfer from Miami, where he scored 195 points, Burnett went over 1,000 points for his career versus Alabama (Jan. 23). He scored the first five points of the game, all in the first minute, to reach the historic mark. Since then, Burnett increased his total to 1,122 (927 at Ole Miss).

After a breakout sophomore season last year, averaging 14.9 points per game after only providing 1.8 points per game as a freshman (largest increase in scoring among any returning player in the conference), Terence Davis has become a go-to scorer for Ole Miss. The Southaven, Mississippi, native has scored in double figures in 32 of the last 42 games dating back to last season. Averaging 13.0 ppg, Davis has already reached the 20-point plateau six times, including the last matchup versus Missouri (Feb. 6). At Arkansas (Jan. 20), he poured in 30 points on 10 of 15 shooting, scoring at least 30 points for the third time in his career; it was the most points scored by a Rebel this season. Davis recorded 21 in the season opener versus Louisiana (Nov. 10) before putting up 24 in a win over Georgia State one week later (Nov. 17). Against South Dakota State (Nov. 28), Davis scored 20 of his team-high 22 points in the second half. He tallied 25 versus Bradley (Dec. 22). He has also showcased his skills on the defensive end, leading the team in blocks (25) and ranking third in steals (22). As a sophomore last year, Davis ranked fourth in the league in field goal percentage (.482) and recorded 20+ points in six different games. He became a playmaker on both sides of the floor, leading the Rebels with 50 steals as well.  

Sophomore Breein Tyree enjoys playing SEC opponents. As a freshman last year, he averaged 7.3 ppg throughout the season but increased his scoring output to 9.3 ppg in conference play. This year has been no different. Tyree scored 8.3 ppg in non-conference play before bumping the scoring average to 11.1 ppg through the first 14 games of the SEC slate. On the road versus Georgia (Jan. 3), Tyree came off the bench and scored a team-high 17 points with the help of making 3 of 4 from long distance. Versus Mississippi State (Jan. 6), Tyree led the Rebels’ comeback by scoring all 16 of his points in the second half. Trailing by as many as 11 in the second half, Ole Miss ended the game on a 20-5 run. Tyree scored seven of the team’s final 11 points, including two buckets in the final minute to help the Rebels maintain the lead. At No. 22 Auburn (Jan. 9), Tyree tied his career high with a game-best 24 points. He knocked down a career-high four three-pointers and went 6 of 6 at the free throw line. On Saturday in Starkville, Tyree scored 13 of his game-high 15 points in the second half.
When he’s inserted into the starting lineup, junior college transfer Bruce Stevens puts together his best performances as a Rebel. Coming off the bench in 12 games, Stevens has scored a total of 91 points (7.6 ppg). In 15 starts, he is averaging 12.1 ppg. At Texas A&M (Jan. 16), Stevens made a career-high nine field goals on his way to a 20-point output to go along with nine rebounds, another mark that tied his personal best. In the win over Florida (Jan. 13), the Louin, Mississippi, native tallied a team-high 22 points on 8 of 13 shooting. Stevens was unstoppable versus Illinois State (Dec. 16), posting a career-high 27 points that included going 7 of 9 from the floor and 13 of 16 from the free throw line. Stevens has made 52 of his last 66 free throws (78.8 percent) to increase his season percentage to .737.

As a graduate transfer, Markel Crawford is making his mark in his only season as a Rebel. The Memphis product has started 20 games and leads the team in minutes per game (29.9). He is second on the team in steals (30) and averages 9.7 ppg. In the first contest against Missouri (Feb. 6), the guard has tallied 11 points to go along with career highs in assists (6) without committing a turnover. He also matched his career high with five steals, putting together a five-steal game for the second time this season. Crawford tallied 17 points in three SEC games, including victories over South Carolina (Dec. 31) and Florida (Jan. 13). He added 15 points to help Ole Miss take down Alabama (Jan. 23). Against South Dakota State (Nov. 28), Crawford scored 19 points, his most as a Rebel, on 7 of 11 shooting.  Scoring 761 points at Memphis to go along with 263 points this season, he has 1,024 for his career. Crawford went 4 for 4 at the charity stripe against LSU (Feb. 10) to reach 1,000.

A 4-star guard out of perennial powerhouse Oak Hill Academy, there was a lot of hype surrounding Devontae Shuler entering the season. The freshman has made an immediate impact by playing in all 27 games, averaging 6.5 ppg in 19.4 minutes per game and swiping a team-high 31 steals. Against South Dakota State (Nov. 28), he recorded a career-high 19 points on 8 of 14 shooting to go along with a team-high three steals. In his debut, Shuler recorded 14 points in 16 minutes off the bench; the Irmo, South Carolina, native knocked down four shots from beyond the arc versus Louisiana (Nov. 10), and his offensive output was the most points by a freshman in a season opener since Trevor Gaskins recorded 21 versus Mississippi Valley State, exactly 10 years ago (Nov. 10, 2007).

Heading into the season, a big question mark for Ole Miss was who would fill the void left by Sebastian Saiz. With the help of a school-record 409 rebounds, Saiz recorded 23 double-doubles a season ago. Senior Marcanvis Hymon has been part of the front court that has replaced Saiz. In his fourth year at Ole Miss, the Memphis, Tennessee, native is the only active player to spend all four seasons in Oxford. Through 27 games, Hymon ranks second in blocks (22) and rebounds (5.1 per game). Through 101 career games, Hymon is moving up the school’s career blocks chart. He ranks 10th with 93 career rejections following a team-high 40 last season. He has led the Rebels in rebounding nine times this season, including a 12-point, 13-rebound performance in the season opener versus Louisiana (Nov. 10). The big opening game marked the third double-double of Hymon’s career.

Ole Miss has taken care of the basketball this season. The Rebels have coughed up the rock only 309 times, ranking 39th nationally in fewest turnovers surrendered. Averaging only 11.4 turnovers per game, Ole Miss is 41st in the nation. Also, the Rebels’ 1.3 assist/turnover ratio ranks fourth in the SEC and 60th in the country. In the last matchup with Missouri (Feb. 6), Ole Miss only turned the ball over four times. It was the fewest turnovers in a game by the Rebels since only making four against George Mason in the Charleston Classic (Nov. 19, 2015).  

Ole Miss has won seven games decided by double digits. When the margin is less than 10, the Rebels are 4-8. Three of those single-digit setbacks occurred in overtime, and the close encounters have hindered a better record. In three of their wins, the Rebels have never had to face a deficit. Ole Miss led throughout in victories over Eastern Kentucky (Nov. 13), Sam Houston State (Dec. 13) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Dec. 19).

Averaging 4.1 blocks per game, Ole Miss ranks 71st in the country. Five Rebels have recorded at least 15 blocks, led by 25 from junior guard Terence Davis. Senior Marcanvis Hymon, who ranks 10th all-time in program history with 93 career rejections, is close behind with 22 blocks. Senior forward Justas Furmanavicius has 18. Dominik Olejniczak and Bruce Stevens have 16 and 15 blocks, respectively.   

Ole Miss has been active with their hands on the defensive end of the floor, averaging 6.0 steals per game to rank eighth in the SEC. Through 27 games, six Rebels have recorded at least 14 steals which averages out to 0.5 per game. Devontae Shuler leads the way with 31 steals. Markel Crawford follows with 30 steals, coming off a five-steal game against Missouri (Feb. 6). Terence Davis and Breein Tyree have 22 and 18 steals, respectively. Deandre Burnett has 15 steals after a season-high three at LSU (Feb. 10) and Justas Furmanavicius has 14 of his own. Against Utah in Last Vegas (Nov. 20), the Rebels tallied 14 steals throughout the night, a season high for the Red and Blue.

The Ole Miss bench has played a prominent role in scoring, averaging 25.3 points per game. In five different games, the bench has scored at least 40 points. The season high for bench points occurred against Utah (Nov. 20) in Las Vegas, as the reserves tallied 46 of the team’s 74 points. During a win over Bradley (Dec. 22), the Ole Miss bench accounted for 50 percent of the scoring (41 of 82).

Four Rebels earned spots on the Ole Miss Honor Roll for the fall semester: D.C. Davis (3.20 GPA), Terence Davis (3.00 GPA), Marcanvis Hymon (3.25 GPA) and Ilya Tyrtyshnik (3.31 GPA).

Following back-to-back road contests, Ole Miss returns to The Pavilion on Saturday (Feb. 24), hosting Tennessee to complete a home-and-home series with the Volunteers. That contest will begin at noon on SEC Network. Then, the Rebels return to the road by heading north to face Kentucky (Feb. 28). Tipoff from Rupp Arena is slated for 6 p.m. CT on ESPN2.



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