Men's Hoops Hosts Alabama
Alabama (13-13, 6-8) at Ole Miss (16-11, 4-10)
Rebels on Television and Radio
The Ole Miss Rebels (16-11, 4-10 SEC) will host their final home game of the 1999-2000 regular season on Wednesday, Mar. 1 when they meet the Alabama Crimson Tide (13-13, 6-8 SEC). The contest, which is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. (CT), will be played at Tad Smith Coliseum in Oxford, Miss. The Rebels enter Wednesday's game after a 75-67 upset win over No. 24-ranked Vanderbilt on Saturday (see Vanderbilt game recap and boxscore on page 3).
The victory halted a four-game losing skid for Ole Miss. The Crimson Tide enter Wednesday's contest having won two straight and three of their last five. All three victories were against ranked opponents (Vanderbilt, 77-63, Auburn, 68-64, Tennessee, 80-75).
# will seek a medical redshirt at the end of the season
MARCH 4 GAME AT LSU GAME TIME CHANGED TO 1:00 P.M. (CT)
The Ole Miss-LSU game on Saturday, Mar. 4 in Baton Rouge has been changed from a 7:00 p.m. (CT) start to 1:00 p.m. (CT) for television. The contest between the Rebels and Tigers will be televised by Jefferson-Pilot Sports.
Paul Kennedy will provide the play-by-play, and Larry Conley will serve as the game's color analyst.
The game will be the regular-season finale for both teams.
OLE MISS-ALABAMA SERIES
Wednesday's game will be the 145th meeting between the two schools. The Crimson Tide hold a 103-41 lead in the series, which began in 1921. Earlier this season, Alabama defeated Ole Miss, 96-67 in Tuscaloosa. Last year, the two teams split their meetings, with Ole Miss winning, 78-60 in Oxford and Alabama winning, 78-74 in Tuscaloosa. Alabama holds a 35-30 lead in games played in Oxford. Ole Miss, however, has won the last two meetings in Oxford, including a 78-60 win in 1998-99. The last Alabama win in Tad Smith Coliseum came in the 1996-97 season, a 59-46 victory. That win ended Ole Miss' first school record homecourt win streak at 15.
1999-2000 EARLIER MEETING
Alabama's Schea Cotton netted a career-high 29 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Crimson Tide to a 96-67 Southeastern Conference win over Ole Miss. Terrance Meade (17 points), Rod Grizzard (13) and Doc Martin (10) also netted double figures for Alabama. Erwin Dudley grabbed a game-high 12 boards for the Crimson Tide.
Marcus Hicks led Ole Miss with 20 points, while freshman Emmanuel Wade scored a career-best 19 points. Rahim Lockhart led the Rebels with 10 boards.
The Rebels led most of the first 13 minutes of the game, holding a 22-21 advantage at the 6:55 mark. Alabama, however, went on an 8-2 run to take the lead for good at 29-24 with 4:46 remaining before the intermission. The Crimson Tide held a 41-32 lead at the half.
After the break, Ole Miss cut the Crimson Tide lead to six at 43-37, but that would be as close as the Rebels would get the rest of the contest. From that point, Alabama went on a 20-10 run to take a 63-47 advantage and put the game out of reach.
The Rebels shot 36.7 percent from the field, while Alabama hit 52.8 percent from the floor. The Crimson Tide also shot 42.1 percent from the three-point arc. Alabama won the battle on the boards, out-rebounding Ole Miss 42-33.
The Crimson Tide enter Wednesday's game with a 13-13 overall record and a 6-8 Southeastern Conference mark. Alabama has won three of its last five games, with all three victories coming against nationally-ranked opponents in Vanderbilt, Auburn and Tennessee. Sophomore Schea Cotton leads four Crimson Tide players in double figures with a 15.4 scoring average. Rod Grizzard (13.1 ppg), Terrance Meade (11.8 ppg) and Erwin Dudley (10.3 ppg) are also averaging in double figures for Alabama. Dudley leads the Tide on the boards with an 8.4 rebounding average. Alabama is averaging 73.3 points and 39.8 boards per contest, and is out-rebounding its opponents by an average of 3.6 boards per game (39.8-36.2). The Crimson Tide is shooting 43.2 percent from the field, 36.1 percent from the three-point line and 70.6 percent from the charity stripe.
ALABAMA PROBABLE STARTERS
OLE MISS-ALABAMA TEAM COMPARISONS
HICKS, WILLIAMS TO PLAY FINAL HOME GAME
Seniors Marcus Hicks (Jackson, Tenn.) and Lataryl Williams (Oxford, Miss.) will play the final game of their careers at Tad Smith Coliseum on Wednesday versus Alabama. Hicks and Williams both transferred to Ole Miss from Northwest Mississippi Community College in 1998, and have played integral roles in the Rebels' success the past two seasons. During their two years at Ole Miss, Hicks and Williams helped the Rebels compile a 36-24 record to date, including a 20-win season in 1998-99. The duo also helped the Rebels earn a third straight NCAA Tournament berth in 1999, and the program's first-ever tournament win.
"TAD PAD" SWEET "TAD PAD"
Yes, the school-record 29-game homecourt winning streak came to an end last year, 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 conference games at home this season, Ole Miss has still won 60 of its last 67 games (.896 winning percentage) at home, including homecourt winning streaks of 15 and 29 games. The Rebels are 12-3 at Tad Smith Coliseum this season. Ole Miss also owns the second longest homecourt winning streak versus non-conference opponents in the nation at 33 (Maryland is first at 70 straight). In the past eight seasons (1992-present), Ole Miss has an overall home record of 88-28 (.759 winning percentage).
DID YOU KNOW?
Wednesday's match-up between Ole Miss and Alabama will feature head coaches at the helm of basketball programs where they also played. Rod Barnes played at Ole Miss from 1985-88, and is the first Rebel head coach to have played his collegiate basketball at Ole Miss since Cob Jarvis. Alabama head coach Mark Gottfried played at his alma mater from 1985-87 and helped lead the Crimson Tide to three consecutive NCAA Sweet 16 appearances.
During their playing careers, Barnes' and Gottfried's teams met six times from 1984-85 to 1986-87. Gottfried's squads won all six meetings in those match-ups.
THE MAGIC NUMBER IS...
Well, for the Rebels, it seems as if that number is 70. In the past four seasons (1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-2000), Ole Miss has an incredible 70-9 record (.886 winning percentage) when it scores 70 points or more in a game. On the other hand, the Rebels are 7-31 when they net less than 70 points in a game. This year, the Rebels are 14-3 when scoring 70 points or more. In SEC action the last four seasons (1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-2000), Ole Miss has a 34-6 record (.850 winning percentage) when scoring 70 or more points.
THE RACE IS ON...
Well, it's not the race for first or second place in the Southeastern Conference Western Division, but four teams Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Alabama and Arkansas are jockeying for positions No. 3-No. 6 for the SEC Tournament. The tournament, which is Mar. 9-12, will be held at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga. The following chart shows the records and what games are left in the race:
REBELS RECORD FOURTH STRAIGHT WINNING SEASON
With its victory over No. 24 nationally-ranked Vanderbilt on Feb. 26, the Ole Miss basketball program guaranteed its fourth consecutive winning season. The last time the Rebel basketball program put together four straight winning seasons was 1979-80 through 1982-83 (17-13, 1979-80, 16-14, 1980-81, 18-12, 1981-82, 19-12, 1982-83). The last time the Rebels had more than four consecutive winning campaigns was nine straight from 1919-20 through 1927-28.
"LITTLE MAN" LIGHTIN' IT UP
Since he started coming off the bench the last seven games, sophomore Jason Harrison (Little Rock, Ark.), dubbed "Little Man" by the coaching staff, has given some strong offensive performances for the Rebels. In the seven-game stretch, the 5-foot-5 guard has averaged 11.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.5 assists, while shooting 79.4 percent from the charity stripe. He has scored in double figures in four of those seven games, and hit a career-high six field goals versus Georgia. The following charts "Little Man's" last seven games:
TAYLOR'S CAREER NIGHT...PART I
Freshman Syniker Taylor (Gulfport, Miss.) had a career game in the Rebels' game at Mississippi State on Feb. 23. The 6-foot guard posted career bests of nine points and four field goals and tied a career high with one three-pointer. Taylor's previous career scoring high was eight points versus Birmingham-Southern on Jan. 2.
TAYLOR'S CAREER NIGHT...PART II
Well, freshman Syniker Taylor wasn's done after the Rebels' Feb. 23 game at Mississippi State, as he had another career showing in Ole Miss' win over No. 24 Vanderbilt on Feb. 26. The 6-foot guard recorded career bests of seven rebounds, six steals and three assists. He also received the first start of his career versus the Commodores.
HARRISON CLOSING IN ON 200 ASSISTS, BREAKS 100 ASSISTS FOR SEASON
Sophomore Jason Harrison (Little Rock, Ark.) is closing in on the 200-assist plateau. With his five assists versus Vanderbilt on Feb. 26, Harrison now has 189 for his career. He recorded the 150th assist of his career in the Rebels' game versus Mississippi State on Jan. 12. The 5-foot-5 guard leads the team with 103 assists this season, and is ranked ninth in the SEC in assists. With his 100th assist of the season versus Vanderbilt, Harrison became the first Rebel since Cedric Brim in 1994-95 to have 100 assists or more in a season. Harrison also became only the 11th player in Rebel history record 100 or more assists in a season.
LOCKHART DOUBLES HIS PLEASURE A 12TH TIME
Junior Rahim Lockhart (Mendenhall, Miss.) has certainly doubled his pleasure for the Rebels in 1999-2000, as he has recorded 12 double-doubles. His last double-double performance came versus Auburn on Feb. 19 with 14 points and 11 rebounds. His 12 double-doubles ranks him 10th in the nation in that statistical category. Lockhart is currently averaging 12.4 points (18th in SEC) and 8.5 rebounds (4th in SEC). The following charts Lockhart's double-doubles this season:
The junior forward now has 13 career double-doubles, as his first came last season against Tennessee (Feb. 17, 16 pts-12 rebs).
"GET THAT SHOT OUTTA HERE!!!"
With his three blocked shots versus Arkansas on Feb. 2, junior Rahim Lockhart moved into the top five on the Ole Miss career blocked shot chart.
The 6-foot-8 forward currently has 78 career blocks and is No. 5 on the chart. In the Arkansas contest, he passed former Rebel Ronnie Sims, who recorded 71 blocked shots in his career from 1985-86. Lockhart leads the Rebels in blocked shots this season with 41, and is fifth in the SEC in blocks. Senior Marcus Hicks is also making push for the top seven on the Rebel career blocked shots chart, as he now has 67 after his two blocks versus Vanderbilt on Feb. 26. The following chart show the Ole Miss career blocked shots leaders:
AN ALL-STAR REUNION
Wednesday's contest will be an all-star reunion of sorts. Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes, Rebel senior forward Marcus Hicks and Alabama sophomore forward Sam Haginas were all members of the Southeastern Conference All-Stars that traveled to Japan last August. Barnes, who served as the team's co-head coach with LSU's John Brady, guided the SEC All-Stars to a 4-1 record versus the Japan National Team. Hicks averaged 10 points and 6.2 boards, and led the team in rebounding, blocked shots and field goal percentage. Haginas played in all five games and averaged 1.2 points and 1.4 rebounds.
FLANIGAN BREAKS 200 ASSISTS, TIES CAREER HIGH
Junior guard Jason Flanigan (Little Rock, Ark.) reached a milestone in the Rebels' 83-75 victory over South Carolina on Feb. 9, surpassing the 200-assist plateau for his career. He dished out a career-high tying nine assists versus the Gamecocks, and after his two-assist performance versus Mississippi State on Feb. 23, Flanigan now has 212 for his career. He also dished out nine assists versus Northwestern State during his freshman campaign in 1997-98. This season, the 6-foot-1 guard has 83 assists, which is second on team.
HICKS NEARING 800-POINT MILESTONE
Senior Marcus Hicks reached another milestone in his Rebel career, surpassing the 700-point plateau in Ole Miss' victory over Arkansas on Feb. 2. And, now he is closing in on point No. 800. The 6-foot-6 forward entered the Arkansas game with 684 points, and after his 31-point performance versus the Razorbacks, he had 715 points. With his 19 points versus Vanderbilt on Feb. 26, Hicks now has 786 career points in 60 games. He scored point No. 700 on a layup with 2:12 left in the first half versus Arkansas. On Jan. 8, Hicks passed the 600-point plateau, scoring point No. 600 on a free throw at the 16:53 mark of the first half versus the Gators. Earlier this season, Hicks reached the 500-point plateau in the Rebels' game at Oklahoma on Dec. 4. Hicks entered the game with 492 points, and scored his 500th point on a free throw at the 3:10 mark of the first half versus the Sooners.
REBELS VERSUS THE SEC WESTERN DIVISION
The Rebels have a 40-48 regular-season record versus teams from the SEC Western Division. Ole Miss is 40-49 versus the SEC Western Division teams, including tournament play. 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 21-9 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):
HICKS ALSO PASSES 300-REBOUND MARK
Senior Marcus Hicks really doubled his pleasure in the Rebels' win over Arkansas on Feb. 2. Hicks' double-double of 31 points and 10 rebounds not only allowed him to reach the 700-point milestone but also surpass the 300-rebound mark. The 6-foot-6 forward entered the Arkansas game with 292 career boards, and his 10 rebounds versus the Razorbacks gave him 302. He now has 334 after grabbing five boards versus Vanderbilt on Feb. 26. This season, Hicks is the Rebels' second-leading rebounder with a 5.7 average. He was also the team's second-leading rebounder in 1998-99 with a 5.4 average. Hicks came to Ole Miss from Northwest Mississippi C.C., where he compiled 624 rebounds in two seasons from 1996-98.
LOCKHART REACHES 400-REBOUND MILESTONE
Junior Rahim Lockhart has been a rebounding machine for the Rebels this season, and as a result of his board prowess, he has reached the 400-rebound plateau for his career. With his five boards versus Arkansas on Feb. 2, the 6-foot-8 forward reached the 400-board plateau. After recording eight boards versus Vanderbilt on Feb. 26, he now has 449 career rebounds. Lockhart entered the 1999-2000 season with 220 career rebounds, and has grabbed 229 so far this year. Lockhart leads the Rebels with an 8.5 rebounding average.
LOCKHART CLOSING IN
With his monster rebounding games this season, junior Rahim Lockhart is close to putting his name among the top rebounders in Ole Miss basketball history. Entering Wednesday's game, he has 449 career rebounds and needs only 31 boards to enter the top 15 on the Rebel chart. The following abbreviated chart shows the top rebounders in Ole Miss history:
Player/Years Rebounds 1. Walter Actwood/1974-77 945 2. Elston Turner/1978-81 828 . . . 7. Ansu Sesay/1995-98 699 . . . 9. Jason Smith/1996-99 671 . . . 12. Keith Carter/1996-99 596 . . . 15. Duaine Boucher/1970-72 480 . . . Rahim Lockhart/1997-present 449
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