Men's Hoops Hosts No. 19 Tennessee Saturday
Feb. 23, 2018

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Matchup: No. 19 Tennessee (20-7, 10-5 SEC) at Ole Miss (12-16, 5-10 SEC)
Date: Saturday, February 24, 2018
Time: 12 p.m. CT
Location: Oxford, Miss.
Arena: The Pavilion at Ole Miss (9,500)
Television: SEC Network
    Richard Cross, play-by-play
    Dino Gaudio analyst
Radio: Ole Miss IMG Sports Network (Sirius-137, XM-190)
    David Kellum, play-by-play
    Keith Carter, analyst
Series: Tennessee leads 72-44
Last Meeting: Feb. 3, 2018
    Tennessee won 94-61
    Knoxville, Tenn.

- The Rebels are playing a weekend home game for the first time in six weeks.
- Ole Miss and Tennessee are playing one another twice in a season for the fourth time in the last six years.
- The Rebels have won six of the past nine matchups against the Volunteers.
- Terence Davis averages 15.7 ppg and 9.3 rpg over the last three games versus Tennessee.
- Ole Miss is coming off a 90-87 overtime victory at Missouri, snapping its longest losing skid since the 2005-06 season (seven games); it was the fourth straight win in Columbia and ninth over Mizzou in the past 10 matchups.
- Breein Tyree scored a career-high 25 points in the win over the Tigers.
- Ole Miss knocked down 15 of 16 free throws (93.8 percent) Tuesday, its best free throw percentage since shooting 95.7 percent (22 of 23) versus then-No. 5 Baylor (Jan. 28, 2017).
- The Rebels have played in four overtime games this season, the most since playing in five during the 2011-12 season.
- Tony Madlock is 1-0 as Ole Miss’ acting 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.
- The Rebels rank second in the SEC with 12.9 offensive rebounds per game in conference play.
- Four Rebels are averaging double figures in SEC play (Deandre Burnett-13.8 ppg, Breein Tyree-12.0 ppg, Bruce Stevens-11.3 ppg, Terence Davis-11.3 ppg).
- Ole Miss has seven wins versus RPI top 100 teams, including three against the top 50; the Rebels had three wins versus the top 100 all of last season.  
- The Rebels are 11-6 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 70.5 percent of the Rebels’ scoring.
- Ole Miss is one of two SEC teams to have a .500-or-better SEC record in each of the last six seasons.
- The Rebels are the only team in the SEC without back-to-back home games at least once during conference play.

So far this season, Ole Miss has earned seven victories over RPI top 100 teams, including three over opponents ranked in the top 50 (Alabama-30, Missouri-40, Louisiana-41). Comparing to last year’s run to the NIT Quarterfinals, Ole Miss had only three top 100 wins. With three regular season games remaining, the Rebels still have tough games in front of them. Two of the three games left come against teams in the top 20 of the RPI (Tennessee-11, Kentucky-16).

No. 19 Tennessee enters Saturday’s matchup with a 20-7 record, including 10-5 in SEC play to sit second in the conference standings. The Volunteers have won eight of their past 10 games, including a 62-57 victory versus Florida Wednesday night. Tennessee tops the conference in scoring defense, allowing only 67.0 ppg. UT also leads the SEC with 14.8 assists in conference games. Grant Williams (16.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg) and Admiral Schofield (12.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg) pace the Volunteers in scoring and rebounding, while Lamonte Turner adds 10.5 ppg off the bench and shoots 90.3 percent (56 of 62) from the FT line. Jordan Bone ranks second in the SEC and 21st nationally in assist/turnover ratio (2.9). Rick Barnes is in his third season as Tennessee head coach after spending 18 seasons as the head coach of Texas. With 655 career wins, Barnes has 31 years of head coaching experience at the Division I level.

Ole Miss and Tennessee have met 116 times, with the Volunteers holding a 72-44 lead in a series that began in 1924. Ole Miss has won six of the last nine meetings, including three of the last five. In Oxford, the series is tied 25-25. The two teams will play twice for the fourth time in the last six years and second in as many seasons. Two of those series were split (2012, 2017), while the Rebels swept the 2013 series. The home team has won 14 of the last 17 regular season meetings dating back to 2004. Ole Miss has won six of the past seven games played in Oxford, including three straight. In the only game played at The Pavilion between the two programs, the Rebels emerged with an 80-69 victory (Jan. 17, 2017).

Tennessee got the better of Ole Miss in the first matchup of the season, handing the Rebels their worst loss since 2006. Five Volunteers reached double figures as No. 18 Tennessee downed Ole Miss 94-61. After trailing 35-25 at halftime, Ole Miss cut Tennessee’s lead to 35-32 by scoring the first seven points of the second half on a pair of putbacks by Bruce Stevens and Terence Davis’ 3-pointer, but Tennessee answered with a 9-0 run and stayed comfortably ahead the rest of the way. In the second half, Tennessee scored 59 points while shooting 71.4 percent overall (20 of 28) and from 3-point range (10 of 14). Tennessee had 17 assists and just one turnover in the second half. Stevens scored 16 points and Davis added 13 to pace the Rebels.

Over the past three matchups against the Volunteers, Terence Davis has nearly averaged a double-double. The Southaven, Mississippi, native is averaging 15.7 ppg and 9.3 rebounds per game versus Tennessee over the past two seasons. The last time the two teams met at The Pavilion (Jan. 17, 2017), Davis produced a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds in an 80-69 victory. In the other two games, both in Knoxville, he led the Rebels in scoring. Last season at Tennessee, he scored a team-high 14 points (Feb. 8, 2017). This year (Feb. 3), David tallied 13 points to go along with nine rebounds to pace the Rebels.

Winning at home has been a trademark at Ole Miss. Over the past 12 seasons, the Rebels are 143-39 (.790 win pct.) in home games. In two seasons playing in the $96.5 million Pavilion at Ole Miss, the Rebels hold a 30-13 (.698) advantage against the opposition. Ole Miss has won 268 of its last 339 games (.791 win pct.) in Oxford dating back to the 1996-97 campaign.  

In the first game with Tony Madlock as acting head coach, Breein Tyree scored a career-high 25 points, including the game-tying bucket with three seconds remaining in regulation, to lead Ole Miss to an exciting 90-87 overtime win at Missouri (Feb. 20). The Rebels used clutch free throw shooting, a fast-paced offense and lockdown defense down the stretch to earn the win. Ole Miss went 15 of 16 (.938) at the line, all in the second half and overtime, while outscoring the Tigers 12-0 in fastbreak points. The Rebels forced 21 turnovers with the help of 13 steals and did not allow Missouri to make a bucket (0 of 8) in overtime. The last time Ole Miss held an opponent without a made field goal in overtime was in an 89-79 win over Vanderbilt (Jan. 15, 2013). Terence Davis added 19 points and a career-high four steals, while Bruce Stevens scored all 13 of his points in the second half to go along with a team-high eight rebounds. Markel Crawford also reached double figures with 11 points.

In the overtime win at Missouri Tuesday, Ole Miss was clutch at the charity stripe. After not making it to the free throw line in the first half, the Rebels knocked down 15 of 16 attempts for the remainder of the contest. Moreover, Ole Miss went 7 for 7 within the last three minutes of regulation before sinking all four free throws in overtime. The 93.8 percent clip for the game was the best free throw percentage by the Rebels since they made 22 of 23 (.957) vs. No. 5 Baylor in the Big 12/SEC Challenge last season (Jan. 28, 2017). Coincidentally, the last time Ole Miss made over 90 percent of its free throws came against Missouri last year (Feb. 25, 2017), when the Rebels knocked down 27 of their 29 attempts (.931).

Against Missouri Tuesday night, the Rebels needed overtime to pull off a thrilling victory over a team in the hunt to make the NCAA Tournament. While it was the fourth OT game of the season for Ole Miss, the most overtime contests in a season since the 2011-12 campaign (5), the Rebels earned their first victory in such games. In non-conference action, Ole Miss suffered heartbreaking overtime losses to South Dakota State (Nov. 28), Virginia Tech (Dec. 2) and Illinois State (Dec. 16) at home. On the complete other end of the spectrum, going on the road and into SEC play, the Rebels were able to go into a hostile environment and earn a win.

After 12 years of leading Ole Miss Hoops, Andy Kennedy stepped down as head coach, effective immediately, it was announced Sunday, Feb. 18. 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 stepped in 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 at 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. Madlock served as acting head coach once during his time at UTEP, while then-head coach Tony Barbee attended a funeral. In his first game as acting head coach at Ole Miss, Madlock led the Rebels to a thrilling 90-87 overtime victory at Missouri (Feb. 20).

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 four games under .500 in a season for the first time since the 1995-96 campaign.

In the second half at Mississippi State last weekend, 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 (14.3 ppg), Terence Davis (13.2 ppg) and Bruce Stevens (10.2 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.

Ole Miss has relied on the long ball this season, making 8.1 threes per game (fifth in the SEC). The Rebels are 11-6 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 70.5 percent of the Rebels’ points. Five of the top six scorers on the team are guards led by Deandre Burnett (14.3 ppg), Terence Davis (13.2 ppg), Breein Tyree (10.2 ppg) and Markel Crawford (9.8 ppg). Freshman Devontae Shuler adds 6.4 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 28 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 14.3 ppg, while also leading the Rebels with 4.1 assists per game (sixth in the SEC). Not only does he pace Ole Miss in assists, but Burnett takes care of the ball by ranking ninth in the SEC in assist/turnover ratio (2.0). In the Rebels’ conference wins, he is averaging 17.2 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 has increased his total to 1,125 (930 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 33 of the last 43 games dating back to last season. Averaging 13.2 ppg, Davis has already reached the 20-point plateau six times, including 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 (27) and ranking third in steals (26); he picked up a career-high four steals Tuesday at Missouri. 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 12.0 ppg through the first 15 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 recorded a game-best 24 points, knocked down a career-high four three-pointers and went 6 of 6 at the free throw line. On Tuesday at Missouri, he scored a career-high 25 points and made a key runner in the lane with three seconds to go in regulation, forcing overtime.  
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 16 starts, he is averaging 12.2 ppg. Tuesday night at Missouri, Stevens scored all 13 of his points in the second half, including sinking all five of his free throws, to help the Rebels earn the road win. 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 57 of his last 71 free throws (80.3 percent) to increase his season percentage to .750.

As a graduate transfer, Markel Crawford is making his mark in his only season as a Rebel. The Memphis product has started 21 games and leads the team in minutes per game (30.2). He also leads the team in steals (32) and averages 9.8 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 274 points this season, he has 1,035 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 28 games, averaging 6.4 ppg in 18.9 minutes per game and swiping 31 steals (second on team). 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 28 games, Hymon ranks second in blocks (22) and rebounds (5.2 per game). Through 102 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 320 times, ranking 51st nationally in fewest turnovers surrendered. Averaging only 11.4 turnovers per game, Ole Miss is 40th in the nation. Also, the Rebels’ 1.3 assist/turnover ratio ranks third in the SEC and 53rd in the country. Against 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 5-8. 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 75th in the country. Five Rebels have recorded at least 15 blocks, led by 27 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 19. 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 6.3 steals per game to rank eighth in the SEC. Through 28 games, six Rebels have recorded at least 14 steals which averages out to 0.5 per game. Markel Crawford leads the way with 32 steals, including seven in a pair of games against Missouri over the past two weeks. Devontae Shuler follows with 31 steals. Terence Davis and Breein Tyree have 26 and 19 steals, respectively, with Davis earning a career-high four steals Tuesday night at Missouri. Deandre Burnett has 16 steals, and Justas Furmanavicius has 14 of his own. In Tuesday’s overtime win versus Mizzou, Ole Miss recorded 13 steals, the most it has had in a SEC game this season. 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 25.1 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).

Next week, Ole Miss wraps up the regular season with one road game and one home contest. First, the Rebels head north to face Kentucky (Feb. 28), playing on the road for the third time over the last four games. Tipoff from Rupp Arena is slated for 6 p.m. CT on ESPN2. Then, Ole Miss hosts Vanderbilt on senior night to conclude the 2017-18 regular season. Five Rebel seniors will be recognized before the 7:30 p.m. tipoff.






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