Rebel Basketball Game Notes
Feb. 27, 2006
Home Finale: Ole Miss (14-13, 4-10) vs. Vanderbilt (15-10, 6-8)
REBELS HOST VANDERBILT ON SENIOR NIGHT: The Rebels look to secure a .500 season with a win over Vanderbilt Wednesday in the 2005-06 home finale. Ole Miss will be celebrating Senior Night and will honor its lone senior Londrick Nolen in a pregame ceremony. The Rebels dropped a heart-breaking 58-54 loss to Auburn Wednesday. After missing the Kentucky game with a death in the family, sophomore center Dwayne Curtis returned to hang 18 points and 10 rebounds on his former team in notching his sixth double-double of the year. Nolen narrowly missed his second career double-double with 12 points and 9 boards, while Bam Doyne added 10 points. The Rebels have already equaled their highest win total since 2001-02.
BARNES APPROACHES COACHING RECORD: Rod Barnes is in his eighth season at the helm of the Ole Miss Rebel basketball program and is four victories away from reaching B.L. "Country" Graham's school record for coaching wins (145). The 2001 Naismith and CollegeInsider.com National Coach of the Year, Barnes has a 141-106 record. Barnes' 141 coaching victories in his first 247 games is the most of any Ole Miss coach over that span. His .571 winning percentage is the highest of any Rebel coach of eight years or more. In 2000-01, Barnes was the SEC Coach of the Year, and guided Ole Miss to a school-record 27 wins and the program's first NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 berth. Another winning season and postseason tournament followed in 2001-02 -- both were the sixth straight for the Ole Miss program. Barnes was hired as the Rebel head coach on April 9, 1998. A 1988 graduate of Ole Miss, Barnes served as an assistant under Rob 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 an All-American honorable mention his senior season. He is the only person in SEC history to earn both All-SEC and SEC Coach of the Year honors.
SCOUTING THE COMMODORES: Vanderbilt has won three of its last five games and is fresh off a 57-56 road win at South Carolina Saturday. Kevin Stallings' Commodores posted a 9-2 non-conference record with the two losses coming at the hands of Cincinnati and Georgia Tech. Vanderbilt is 6-8 in league play with three defeats by 3 points or less, including two in overtime. The Commodores are led by sophomore swingman Shan Foster, who ranks top-5 in the SEC in scoring (16.3), 3-point percentage (.412) and 3s per game (3.00). Foster is one of four Dores scoring double-figures along with junior swingman Derrick Byars (11.7), sophomore forward DeMarre Carroll (11.0) and senior forward Julian Terrell (10.4). Terrell is also sixth in the conference in rebounding at 7.6 per game. In league play, Vanderbilt tops the SEC in 3-point percentage (.403) and ranks second in 3-pointers made (8.14), assists (15.21) and assist/turnover ratio (1.21).
OLE MISS-VANDERBILT SERIES: Wednesday's game will be the 105th meeting between Ole Miss and Vanderbilt on the hardwood. The Commodores hold a 67-38 lead in the series, which began in 1925. Vanderbilt has taken four straight in the series, including last year's 73-51 encounter in Nashville. Ole Miss enjoys a 27-20 advantage in games played in Oxford. The Dores had dropped eight straight at Tad Smith Coliseum before a 77-65 victory in 2003-04 in the last battle at the Tad Pad. Rebel head coach Rod Barnes is 3-5 versus Vanderbilt and 2-1 in Oxford.
GAME TIME CHANGE: Ole Miss' regular season finale at LSU on March 4 has been picked up JP Sports, and the game time has been changed to 3 p.m. CT. The original tip was 7 p.m.
HOLDING COURT: The Ole Miss-Vanderbilt series has been all about location in recent years. In fact, the home team has prevailed in 17 of the last 19 meetings. From 1989 through 2000, the home team held court in 14 straight games.
FINISHING STRONG: Londrick Nolen is wrapping his two-year Rebel career in fine fashion, as the senior forward has topped the team in scoring three of the last four games and is averaging 13.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 51.2-percent shooting over that stretch. Notching his fourth career 20-point game, Nolen totaled a season-high 20 points, on 8-of-11 shooting, with 8 rebounds and 3 assists in guiding Ole Miss to victory over Arkansas. He followed up with a team-high 14 points at Mississippi State. On Saturday, Nolen narrowly missed his second career double-double with 12 points and 9 boards against Auburn. It marked the 25th time in his Rebel tenure to score double-figures and 10th instance this season. Nolen sparked the Rebels with pressure defense and a season-high 15 points in the victory at Alabama. The Memphis native tallied 9 points, 4 assists and 3 steals at Georgia and 10 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals against LSU.
D.C. PRESIDES OVER REBEL CHARGE: In his first season in the Red and Blue, Curtis has been a force for the Rebels this year. Curtis has scored in double-figures in 18 games with six 20-point outings and six double-doubles, including his effort against Auburn last time out. After missing a week of practice and the Kentucky game after the death of his brother, Curtis returned Saturday to collect 18 points, 10 rebounds and 2 steals against the team he played for as a freshman. Curtis tops Ole Miss in scoring (13.6), rebounding (7.6), steals (1.5), blocks (0.7) and field goal percentage (.567, which ranks second in the SEC). In non-conference play, the Chicago native scorched Centenary for 21 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks and 3 steals and returned home to Chicago to hang 20 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 blocked shots on UIC. He provided 18 points and 12 rebounds against South Carolina State. At one point this season, Curtis reeled off four straight 20-point games. The 6-foot-8, 290-pound center lit up Southeastern Louisiana for 23 points and 9 rebounds. He followed up with a career-high 25 points with 9 rebounds and 2 steals against Alcorn State, and totaled 21 points, 6 boards and 3 steals vs. Western Carolina. Curtis capped the streak with 21 points, a career-high 14 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks in directing the Rebels to their first win at Alabama since 1997-98. The performance earned him SEC Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career. He also punched in with 19 points and 13 rebounds in the home win over Arkansas.
CAPTAIN TODD: A career 39.3-percent 3-point shooter, two-year team captain Todd Abernethy has been particular accurate from behind the arc this year, boasting season percentages of .434 (46-of-106) and .415 (22-of-53) in SEC play. The junior guard was 4-of-7 from behind the arc against Mississippi State, 4-of-6 against Centenary and 3-of-4 vs. Nicholls and Southern Utah. The Carmel, Ind., native clocked in with 6 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists against Auburn Saturday, and is averaging 3.9 dimes over his last seven games. Abernethy notched his 12th and most recent double-digit scoring game of the year in the Arkansas win with 11 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists. He posted 14 points and 4 assists at Tennessee and 10 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists at Auburn. Abernethy notched a team-high 4 assists at Mississippi State and was 2-of-4 in 3s in dropping in 8 points at Kentucky. After being winless in his first four career games against Mississippi State, Abernethy took charge in leading the Rebels past the rival Bulldogs on Jan. 14. He turned in his first career 20-point game with a career-high 22 along with 5 assists. Abernethy pumped in 17 in the second half and 7 in the final three minutes. His fourth 3-pointer of the game with 39 seconds left squashed MSU's final rallying efforts and ended the eight-game skid to the Dogs.
VIVA LA BAM: After two years in a lesser role, Bam Doyne has moved into the forefront as a key cog in the Rebel attack this season. The junior swingman is one of the club's top defenders but is also punching in the offense. After scoring 10 or more points only three times in his first two seasons, Doyne has notched double-figures 11 times this year and topped Ole Miss in scoring in five games including his 20-point effort against LSU. He was 6-of-7 shooting, 3-for-3 from the arc and 5-for-6 from the stripe in notching his third 20-point game of the year. Doyne led Ole Miss past South Carolina with 23 points, a career-high 9 rebounds and 5 assists and hit 2 key free throws with 9 ticks left. Doyne reached the 20-point plateau for the first time in his career earlier this season against Arkansas State, striking for 24 with 6 rebounds, 4 assists and drilling 4-of-4 free throws in the final 41 seconds to seal the win. He followed up that game with another clutch performance against Southeastern Louisiana, scoring 11 of his 15 points as part of the Rebels' game-winning, second-half rally. Doyne's crunch time antics came into play again in Wednesday's 73-70 win over Arkansas, when he drilled 2 free throws and grabbed the game's final rebound all in the last 9 seconds. In warrior fashion, Doyne played all 40 minutes at Alabama and notched 13 points and 6 rebounds. He also provided strong defense on the Tide's Ronald Steele, limiting the All-SEC guard to 0-of-10 shooting and 2 points. Doyne led the team in assists against Mississippi State with a career-high 6 along with 6 points and 5 rebounds. He failed to find his shooting touch at Tennessee, but pitched in with 2 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals. Doyne added 12 points at Mississippi State and 10 against Auburn Saturday. The Little Rock native has started all but two games and ranks second on the club in scoring (9.2), rebounds (4.3), assists (2.3) and steals (1.1).
HOT CLAY: Streaky shooter Clarence Sanders hit a hot streak in the middle of conference play, averaging 16.8 points over a five-game SEC stretch. The junior guard exploded at Tennessee drilling 7 3-pointers -- the most ever by a Rebel against an SEC opponent and one shy of Keith Carter's school record from 1998. Sanders' 29 points equaled the most by an Ole Miss player since Aaron Harper hung 30 on Auburn in 2003-04. Sanders is second on the team in scoring in league play at 9.2 per game and third overall at 9.1. Sanders has shown to be a streaky scorer this season. He has posted seven games of 15 or more points, but also six games with 1 or no points. He had his first 20-point game as a Rebel against Arkansas State with 20 points and 4 3-pointers. However, Sanders followed up with 4 points vs. Southeastern Louisiana and 0 vs. Alcorn State. He returned to form against Western Carolina with 15, but was held scoreless in the next game at Alabama.
CURTIS AMONG SEC LEADERS: In his first season as a Rebel, sophomore center Dwayne Curtis is ranking among the SEC leaders in several categories. Here is how the transfer from Auburn stacks up in the league:
"TAD PAD" SWEET "TAD PAD": The "Tad Pad" has proven to be one of the toughest arenas in the nation for opposing teams to pay. With a 11-5 mark this year, Ole Miss has won 123 of its last 153 games (.804 winning percentage) in Oxford, including homecourt winning streaks of 29 and 15 games. The Rebels have an all-time record of 365-177 (.673 winning percentage) at C.M. Tad Smith Coliseum, which opened in the 1965-66 season. In head coach Rod Barnes' era, the Rebels have a home record of 95-28 (.772 winning percentage), including a 38-24 homecourt record against SEC foes (.613 winning percentage). Three of this year's four losses came to teams currently ranked in the top 25 (#3 Memphis, #9 Florida and #24 LSU).
DE-FENSE, DE-FENSE: Throughout his Rebel tenure, defense has become a trademark of Rod Barnes' squads, and this year is no different. Ole Miss has limited three opponents in the 40s in scoring, making 30 instances in Barnes' eight years at the helm that the opposition was contained below 50. Nationally-ranked Memphis was held 17 points below its then scoring average. The Rebels contained Alabama to 38.2 percent shooting and South Carolina to 34.5, making six opponents this season to be held in the 30s from the field. The Gamecocks were also limited to 2-of-19 (.105) from 3-point range, while Arkansas was held to 3-of-16 (.188) from the arc. The Rebels are currently No. 1 in the SEC in 3-point percentage defense in SEC play at .311 and second overall at .324. In addition, the Rebels pressured South Carolina State into 25 turnovers, Centenary into 23 and Nicholls into 21. Ole Miss totaled 13 steals against Arkansas State and 11 at Alabama.
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