Ole Miss Hosts LSU

February 25, 1999

  • Game #29
  • LSU (12-13, 4-11) vs. Ole Miss (17-11, 7-8)
  • Saturday, February 27 - 2:00 p.m. (CT)
  • Tad Smith Coliseum - Oxford, Miss.


    Television: None

    Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network (David Kellum, play-by-play; Sean Tuohy, analyst; Stan Sandroni, pregame/halftime/postgame host)

    The Ole Miss Rebels (17-11, 7-8 SEC) will close their 1998-99 regular season on Saturday, Feb. 27 when they host the LSU Tigers (12-13, 4-11 SEC) in a Southeastern Conference Western Division clash. The game is scheduled for a 2:00 p.m. (CT) start. The Rebels enter the contest having dropped four consecutive games to Auburn (95-66), Tennessee (69-67), Mississippi State (72-69) and Alabama (78-74). Three of those four games were on the road. Prior to the recent skid, Ole Miss had won five of six games with victories over Mississippi State (81-68), Georgia, (85-76), No. 21 Arkansas (89-81), LSU (82-66) and Florida (79-68) and a loss at South Carolina (67-66). The Tigers are 2-2 in their last four contests. LSU defeated Mississippi State (74-63) and South Carolina (60-56), but lost at Georgia (59-57) and at nationally-ranked Arizona (78-71).


    No. Player         (Yr.) Pos. Ht.  Wt.  PPG/RPG   Hometown  
     4  Jason Smith    (Sr.)  F   6-6  220  12.0/5.2  Wheatley, Ark.  
    24  Marcus Hicks   (Jr.)  F   6-6  200  11.5/5.5  Jackson, Tenn.  
     3  Jason Flanigan (So.)  G   6-1  175  5.2/2.6   Little Rock, Ark.  
    22  Michael White  (Sr.)  G   6-1  180  5.7/2.0   Tempe, Ariz.  
    33  Keith Carter   (Sr.)  G   6-4  195  16.6/4.5  Perryville, Ark. 
    No. Player           (Yr.) Pos. Ht.  Wt.  PPG/RPG  Hometown  
    11  Hunter Carpenter (Sr.)  G   6-0  180  4.5/0.5  Little Rock, Ark.  
    12  Jason Harrison   (Fr.)  G   5-5  150  5.9/1.8  Little Rock, Ark.  
    20  Matt Pruitt      (Fr.)  G   6-4  185  2.5/1.1  Jonesboro, Ark.  
    21  Darrian Brown    (Fr.)  F   6-6  200  4.8/2.3  West Memphis, Ark.  
    23  Syniker Taylor   (Fr.)  G   6-2  195  -        Gulfport, Miss.#  
    25  Lataryl Williams (Jr.)  G   6-6  200  3.3/1.6  Oxford, Miss.  
    44  Rahim Lockhart   (So.)  F   6-8  250  8.2/5.1  Mendenhall, Miss.  
    54  John Engstrom    (Fr.)  C   7-0  245  1.0/2.1  Paragould, Ark.% 

    # - will miss the 1998-99 season as a result of a broken left fibula and dislocated ankle suffered in football practice Nov. 4 % - redshirted in 1997-98

    Rod Barnes is in his first season at the helm of the Ole Miss Rebel basketball program. He posted his first victory as head coach on Nov. 13 when the Rebels defeated Alabama State, 87-45. He now has a 17-11 record after the Rebels lost at Alabama, 78-74 on Feb. 24. Barnes was hired as the Rebel head coach on April 9, 1998, after Rob Evans left to take the head coaching position at Arizona State on April 6. 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 (16th; 1,201 points), assists (2nd; 456) and steals (6th; 154).

    The Tigers enter Saturday's game with a 12-13 overall record and a 4-11 Southeastern Conference mark. LSU is 2-2 in its last four games, having defeated Mississippi State and South Carolina and losing on the road at Georgia and nationally-ranked Arizona. The trio of Maurice Carter, Jabari Smith and Brian Beshara leads the Tiger offense. Carter is tops on the team with a 17.2 scoring average, while Smith (12.6 ppg) and Beshara (11.0 ppg) are also averaging in double figures. Smith leads the squad on the boards with a 9.7 rebounding average. Carter is LSU's top three-point threat with 64 treys made, while Jamaal Wolfe is the team's assists leader with 56. The Tigers, as a team, are averaging 66.4 points and 39.9 boards per game. LSU is shooting 42.8 percent from the field, 34.1 percent from the three-point line and 64 percent from the charity stripe. The Tigers are holding opponents to 39.6 percent shooting from the field, which is fourth best in the league. LSU is out-rebounding its opponents by an average of 4.7 boards per game (39.9-35.2).


    No. Player          (Yr.) Pos. Ht.  Wt.  PPG/RPG   Hometown  
     4  Stromile Swift  (Fr.)  F   6-9  210  7.6/4.4   Shreveport, La.  
    21  Brian Beshara   (So.)  F   6-8  220  11.0/5.4  Dallas, Texas  
    52  Jabari Smith    (Jr.)  C   7-0  255  12.6/9.7  Atlanta, Ga.  
    00  Omar-Seli Mance (Fr.)  G   6-3  180  3.2/1.9   Lithonia, Ga.  
    22  Maurice Carter  (Sr.)  G   6-4  205  17.2/5.9  Jackson, Miss. 
    No. Player            (Yr.) Pos. Ht.  Wt.  PPG/RPG  Hometown  
    31  Jermaine Williams (Fr.)  F   6-7  180  5.2/3.0  Baton Rouge, La.  
    12  Darryl Cooper     (Fr.)  G   6-3  180  3.0/1.1  Stone Mtn., Ga.  
    54  Brad Bridgewater  (Fr.)  F   6-8  240  2.1/1.9  Baton Rouge, La.  
     3  Jamaal Wolfe      (Jr.)  G   6-0  180  1.5/1.6  Baton Rouge, La. 
    Saturday's game will be the 175th meeting between the two schools. The series with the Tigers, which began in 1909, is the second longest in Ole Miss basketball history. LSU leads the all-time series, 102-72, but the Rebels have won six straight and eight of the last 10 in the series. Earlier this season, the Rebels defeated LSU, 82-66 in Baton Rouge on Feb. 3. Ole Miss posted victories in last season's two meetings, an 80-58 win in Oxford and an 83-57 win in Baton Rouge. The Rebels' current six-game winning streak against LSU is the longest since Ole Miss won eight straight over the Tigers from 1936-38. The Rebels hold a 43-32 lead in games played in Oxford, and have won the last six games played in Tad Smith Coliseum. The last LSU win in Oxford was an 83-73 victory on Jan. 25, 1992.

    Entering play on Saturday, Ole Miss is battling with Mississippi State for the Western Division No. 3 seed. The Bulldogs currently hold the No. 3 spot with an 8-7 record, while Ole Miss is No. 4 at 7-8. Of course, there may be more at stake than the No. 3 seed, as it is likely that the team which claims the No. 3 seed will also receive an NCAA Tournament bid. The following chart shows the race for the No. 3 spot and a possible NCAA Tournament berth:

    Western Division Battle for the No. 3 seed

    Team        Record    Games Left
    Miss. State   8-7     Auburn
    Ole Miss      7-8     LSU
    The Ole Miss senior class - Hunter Carpenter (Little Rock, Ark.), Keith Carter (Perryville, Ark.), Jason Smith (Wheatley, Ark.) and Michael White (Tempe, Ariz.) - will play its final regular-season game at Tad Smith Coliseum on Saturday versus LSU. The 1999 senior class has possibly had the most successful four-year period in Ole Miss Rebel basketball history. The four seniors have been a part of back-to-back Southeastern Conference Western Division titles in 1997 and 1998 and consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances in 1997 and 1998. The senior class has also won more games (71) in a four-year span than any other class in Ole Miss basketball history.

    The 1999 senior class will go down in Ole Miss basketball history as helping produce one of the most successful runs for the Rebels. The four seniors have helped the Rebels to win consecutive Southeastern Conference Western Division titles, the first regular season championships of any kind for the Ole Miss basketball program. They also helped Ole Miss earn back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths. Well, this senior class has done is again. With the Rebels' win over Florida on Feb. 6, the 1999 senior class has posted 71 victories, which is the most wins during a four-year span in Rebel basketball history. The following charts lists the most successful (in terms of number of victories) in Ole Miss history:

    Four-Year Span      No. of Wins
    1995-96 to present      71
    1979-80 to 1982-83      70
    1935-36 to 1938-39      63
    1994-95 to 1997-98      62
    1978-79 to 1981-82      62
    1923-24 to 1926-27      62
    1980-81 to 1983-84      61
    1936-37 to 1939-40      61
    1934-35 to 1937-38      61
    Well, for the Rebels, it seems as if that number is 70. In the past three seasons (1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99), Ole Miss has an incredible 53-5 record (.914 winning percentage) when it scores 70 points or more in a game. On the other hand, the Rebels are 6-22 when they net less than 70 points in a game. This season, Ole Miss has a 16-2 record when it eclipses the 70-point plateau.

    Senior All-SEC candidate Jason Smith has taken his game to another level - especially in Ole Miss' last three contests. In the Rebels' last three games, Smith is averaging 18.7 points and 6.3 rebounds. Smith exploded for a career-high tying 24 points in the Rebels' game versus Alabama on Feb. 24. He also recorded a career-best tying 10 field goals, and is shooting 68.8 percent (22-of-32) from the field in those three games. Smith last netted 24 points and recorded 10 field goals in Ole Miss' victory over Mississippi State (Jan. 24, 1997) during the 1996-97 season. For the season, Smith is averaging 12.0 points.

    Senior Jason Smith knows high-flying dunks. Smith knows tough defense and steals. But, Smith knows assists? Well, believe it! Don't look at the stat sheet now, but Smith leads the Rebels in assists with 83. If Smith ends the season as the team's assists leader, he would become the first Ole Miss forward to do so since Gerald Glass in 1989-90 (121 assists). The 6-foot-6 forward dished out a career-high tying seven assists versus South Carolina on Jan. 27. He also recorded seven assists in the Rebels' victory over Prairie View A&M on Dec. 29. In the Rebels' last 11 games, Smith is averaging 3.7 assists per contest.

    Yes, the homecourt winning streak is over, but Tad Smith Coliseum (a.k.a. the "Tad Pad") is still one of the toughest arenas in the nation for opposing teams to play. Despite dropping three games at home this season, Ole Miss has still won 47 of its last 51 games (.921 winning percentage) at home, including homecourt winning streaks of 15 and 29 games. The 29-game homecourt was the third longest in the nation at the time (behind Murray State and Duke). The Rebels are 12-3 at Tad Smith Coliseum this season. The Rebels' other loss during this time of success was a 59-46 setback to Alabama on Jan. 8, 1997. The homecourt winning period (47 of 51) began on Jan. 24, 1996, with an 82-69 win over Auburn. In the past seven seasons (1992-present), Ole Miss has an overall home record of 75-25 (.750 winning percentage).

    The last time that Ole Miss lost five consecutive games was the 1995-96 season when the Rebels began Southeastern Conference play with a 0-5 mark. That season was the 1999 senior class' first year in SEC competition. After that 0-5 start in the SEC, Ole Miss finished the year 6-5 for a final conference record of 6-10.

    After scoring 14 points versus Alabama on Feb. 24, senior All-America candidate Keith Carter moved into the No. 5 spot on the Ole Miss career scoring chart. Carter now has 1,606 career points. He moved past former Rebel All-America Joe Gibbon (1954-57), who scored 1,601 points in his career. In the Rebels' victory over Alabama A&M on Nov. 23, Carter passed his head coach, Rod Barnes, on the Ole Miss career scoring chart. Barnes scored 1,201 points in his career from 1985-88.

    Earlier this season, senior All-SEC candidate Jason Smith broke 500, and now he has surpassed the 600 mark - in rebounds. With his nine boards in the Rebels' win at Florida, Smith broke the 600-board plateau with 605 career rebounds, and became only the 11th player in Ole Miss basketball history to record 600 rebounds in a career. Smith, who now has 632 rebounds for his career, is averaging 5.2 rebounds this season.

    Senior Keith Carter is a 1998-99 All-America candidate, and if you can earn the honor by the company you keep, then Carter should receive that honor by what he has done the past three weeks. Since the end of January, Carter has been moving up the Ole Miss Rebel career scoring chart, and he's been by-passing some great names in Rebel basketball history. In the last three weeks, Carter has jumped Ansu Sesay (1995-98), Don Kessinger (1962-64), Gerald Glass (1989-90) and Joe Gibbon (1954-57) - all of whom received All-America accolades.

    February is the month the Rebels have been waiting for, and it's finally here. The past three seasons (1995-96, 1996-97, 1997-98), Ole Miss has played well in the month of February, posting a 17-5 mark. Despite the four straight setbacks to No. 3 Auburn, Tennessee, Mississippi State and Alabama, Ole Miss' record in the month of February since the 1995-96 campaign is now 19-9. The following chart shows the Rebels' success in the month of February over the past three seasons:

    Year    Record Heading Into Feb.    Feb. Record     Record After Feb. 
    1998-99          15-7                   2-4                  --
    1997-98          14-4                   7-1                21-5
    1996-97          13-6                   5-1                18-7
    1995-96          7-10                   5-3               12-13

    Cumulative Feb. Record: 19-9

    Senior All-SEC candidate Jason Smith reached the 1,000-point milestone for his career during the Rebels' trip to the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic Dec. 21-23. Smith netted 36 points in the tournament's three games. After scoring a career-high tying 24 points versus Alabama on Feb. 24, he now has 1,196 career points and is in the No. 17 spot on the Rebel career scoring chart. Up next for Smith is his head coach Rod Barnes (1985-88), who is in the No. 16 spot with 1,201 points.

    Senior All-SEC candidate Jason Smith has done it. In the Jan. 30 win over Arkansas, the 6-foot-6 forward placed his name at the top of the Ole Miss career steals chart. Smith entered the Arkansas game with 177 and needed three steals to move past Eric Laird (1982-85), who recorded 179 swipes in his career. He tied Laird for the top spot at the 4:22 mark of the first half, and then with only 32 seconds left before halftime, Smith recorded his third steal of the contest and took over sole possession of the record.

    After his two swipes versus Alabama, Smith now has 193 for his career. This season, Smith leads the team in steals with 55.

    Sophomore forward Rahim Lockhart (Mendenhall, Miss.) has provided a big boost for the Rebels in the last three games. Lockhart is averaging 12.0 points and 8.7 rebounds in Ole Miss' contests versus Tennessee, Mississippi State and Alabama. He also shot 13-of-22 from the field (59.1 percent) and 10-of-15 from the charity stripe (66.7 percent) in the three games. After his double-double performance versus the Volunteers on Feb. 17, Lockhart scored four points and pulled down 10 boards against Mississippi State on Feb. 20. He then followed those two performances with a 16-point, four-rebound effort versus Alabama on Feb. 24. For the season, Lockhart is averaging 8.2 points and 5.1 rebounds (third on the team).

    Senior All-America candidate Keith Carter is in an elite group in Ole Miss basketball history. That is, if you can count one as a group. Carter currently has 571 career rebounds, and is the only guard in Rebel basketball history to record over 500 boards in a career. Overall, Carter's 571 rebounds are the 12th most in Rebel basketball history. The following chart shows the top rebounders in Ole Miss history:

    Player/Position      Rebs   Player/Position      Rebs  
    1. Walter Actwood/F   945   8. Sean Murphy/C      697  
    2. Elston Turner/F    828   9. Duaine Boucher/F   681  
    3. Joe Gibbon/F       827   10. Joe Harvell/F     636  
    4. John Stroud/F      826   11. Jason Smith/F     632  
    5. Coolidge Ball/F    754   12. Keith Carter/G    571  
    6. Fred Cox/C         729   13. Roger Steig/C     555  
    7. Ansu Sesay/F       699   14. Ivan Richmann/C   537 
    If there wasn't already enough to say about Ole Miss' senior All-America candidate Keith Carter, there is more. With his one assist and two rebounds in Ole Miss' win at Florida on Feb. 6, Carter became one of only three players in Rebel basketball history to have at least 1,000 points, 550 rebounds and 200 assists in a career. The other two players are former Rebel standout Elston Turner (1978-81) and 1998 SEC Player of the Year and All-America Ansu Sesay (1995-98). Turner is currently an assistant coach on the Portland Trailblazers staff, while Sesay is a member of the Dallas Mavericks. The following chart compares the three players:
    Player/Years             Points  Rebounds  Assists
    Keith Carter/1996-pres.   1,601     571      204
    Ansu Sesay/1995-98        1,428     699      227
    Elston Turner/1978-81     1,805     828      238

    Sophomore Rahim Lockhart doubled his pleasure versus Tennessee on Feb. 17. Lockhart posted the first double-double of his career with 16 points and 12 rebounds versus the Volunteers. He scored his 16 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field, and his 12 boards tied a career best. Lockhart also grabbed 12 rebounds in the Rebels' 81-68 win over Mississippi State on Jan. 20. Earlier this season, Lockhart scored a career-best 21 points in Ole Miss' victory over Alabama on Jan. 6.

    Senior All-America candidate Keith Carter has his name throughout the Ole Miss record book, and on the Rebel career three-pointers made chart, Carter's name is at the top. With his five treys in Ole Miss' win over Georgia on Jan. 23, Carter set the career record with 218 three-pointers, passing the former record of 214 held by Joe Harvell (1990-93). Carter enters Wednesday's game versus Tennessee with 236 career treys. Carter went into the Georgia game with 213 three-pointers, and hit the record-breaking 215th trey at the 9:53 mark of the first half. This season, Carter has hit 67 treys and is shooting 36 percent from beyond the arc. Carter's 239 career three-pointers also rank him No. 14 among the SEC's career three-point shooters.

    The Rebels have a 37-42 regular-season record versus teams from the SEC Western Division (includes 5-4 mark this year). Ole Miss is 37-43 versus the SEC Western Division teams, including tournament play (includes 5-4 mark this year). The Rebels, however, have been successful versus their SEC Western Division foes the last three years (1996-97, 1997-98 and 1998-99), posting a 20-9 record. The following charts show the Rebels' year-by-year record versus the SEC Western Division and their mark against each school from the Western Division (includes tournament games):

    Year-By-Year Versus Record Against The SEC

    The SEC Western Division           Western Division Teams  
     (Regular Season Only)            (Includes Tourney Games)  
    1991-92   2-8                           Alabama 7-9
    1992-93   4-6                         Arkansas 6-10
    1993-94   4-6                            Auburn 7-9
    1994-95   3-7                               LSU 9-7
    1995-96   4-6                       Miss. State 8-8
    1996-97   7-3                           Total 37-43
    1997-98   8-2
    1998-99   5-4
    Total   37-42
    Senior Keith Carter was named as one of 20 preseason candidates for the 1999 Naismith College Player of the Year, as announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club in early October. Carter was one of four players from the Southeastern Conference to be named among the preseason candidates. Georgia's Jumaine Jones, South Carolina's BJ McKie and Kentucky's Scott Padgett were also among the 20 preseason candidates for the player of the year honor.

    This past summer, Carter played an integral role in helping lead the USA Goodwill Games Team to a 4-1 record and the gold medal. It was the first time that a USA amateur team had won gold in international play since 1986. In the five games, Carter averaged 7.8 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists, while shooting 48.1 percent from the field and 40 percent from the three-point arc.

    Following the 1997-98 season, the Perryville, Ark., native was named to the Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference second team. This season, Carter is averaging 16.6 points (leads the team) and 4.5 rebounds per game.

    Well, the preseason prognosticators may be proven right after all. In the Southeastern Conference media day voting in early November, Ole Miss was picked to finished third in the SEC Western Division. With a win over LSU coupled with a Mississippi State loss versus Auburn on Saturday, the Rebels would finish third in the SEC Western Division. The preseason pollsters also picked Arkansas to win the Western Division, with Auburn to finish second. Mississippi State was fourth followed by Alabama and LSU. In the SEC Eastern Division, Kentucky was picked to finish first followed by Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Vanderbilt. The Wildcats were also selected to win the overall SEC championship.

    With Rod Barnes in his first season at the helm of the Rebel program, one would expect a lot of "firsts," and there have been. The following are the "firsts" for Barnes:

    First win Alabama St. (87-45), Nov. 13
    First win away from home St. Joseph's (66-61), Dec. 21
    First win vs. a ranked opponent Oklahoma (75-72), Dec. 22
    First SEC win Alabama (78-60), Jan. 6
    First SEC road win Arkansas (76-65), Jan. 9
    First road win vs. a ranked opponent Arkansas (76-65), Jan. 9
    First home win vs. a ranked opp. Arkansas (89-81), Jan. 30
    First SEC season sweep Arkansas (76-65), Jan. 9 and Arkansas (89-81), Jan. 30
    First road win vs. SEC East opp. at Florida (79-68), Feb. 6

    With seven more steals, Jason Smith would become only the 12th player in SEC history to record 200 or more steals in a career. Smith is currently No. 17 on the SEC career steals chart...The 1999 senior class has never lost a final regular-season home game (3-0 record)...With 10 more assists, Jason Smith will join Keith Carter, Elston Turner and Ansu Sesay in the 1,000-point, 550-rebound, 200-assist club...Ole Miss is under the .500 mark in SEC play since the end of the 1995-96 season.



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