March 1, 2012
Ole Miss Game Notes
VIDEO: Coach Kennedy Press Conference
REGULAR-SEASON FINALE: Ole Miss (17-12, 7-8 SEC) vs. Alabama (20-9, 9-6 SEC)
Saturday, March 3, 2012 | 3:00 p.m. CT
Oxford, Miss. | Tad Smith Coliseum (9,061)
Television: SEC Network (Affiliates List) (Carter Blackburn, play-by-play; Kyle Macy, analyst).
Live Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network (David Kellum, play-by-play; Keith Carter, analyst).
Satellite Radio: SIRIUS 219, XM 201
Live Video: ESPN3.com
Live Audio: RebelVision
• Ole Miss can earn the No. 6 or 7 seed in the SEC Tournament with a win over Alabama.
• The Rebels need three wins to reach 20 for the fifth time in the last six seasons.
• Andy Kennedy has the 7th-most wins in SEC history (122) by a coach in his first six years in the league.
• Kennedy has the most overall wins (122) and SEC wins (45) by an Ole Miss coach in a six-year span.
• Saturday is the final regular-season game for Rebel seniors Terrance Henry and Steadman Short.
• The Rebels are 83-17 in games played at Tad Smith Coliseum during Kennedy’s tenure, including 11-2 this year.
• In league play, the Rebels lead all SEC teams in rebounding (38.1) and rank 2nd in rebounding margin (+3.5).
• The Rebels rank 2nd in the SEC and 17th in the most recent NCAA rankings with 5.2 blocks/game.
• Ole Miss ranks third among SEC teams and 57th nationally in field-goal percentage defense (.407).
• Ole Miss is 12-3 when its opponent shoots below 40 percent from the field.
• Senior F Terrance Henry is the second player in school history with 1,000 points and 100 blocks.
• Junior F Murphy Holloway ranks third in the league and 52nd nationally in rebounding (8.9 rpg).
• Junior F Reginald Buckner leads all active SEC players with 221 career blocks (UM record, t-17th in SEC history).
FREE STUFF FOR FANS
In honor of Terrance Henry joining the 1,000-point club, Ole Miss will give away #1 Henry replica jersey t-shirts to the first 1,000 students in attendance on Saturday. In addition, the first 1,000 fans to show a baseball ticket stub from Saturday’s game vs. Miami (Ohio) at the basketball ticket office will receive a free ticket for the hoops game.
SURGING REBELS HOST TIDE ON SENIOR DAY
Winners of two straight, the surging Ole Miss Rebels will host Alabama in the regular-season finale for both teams on Saturday. Pregame ceremonies will honor Rebel seniors Terrance Henry and Steadman Short in the final regular-season home game of their careers. Ole Miss is coming off a dramatic 77-75 comeback win at Arkansas that improved the team’s SEC record to 7-8. Andy Kennedy’s team will look to finish .500 or better in league play for the third time in the last six years. The team has won at least seven SEC games each year under Kennedy.
IN THE RPI
Ole Miss is No. 59 in the nation in the latest RPI rankings, according to RealTimeRPI.com. That ranking is fifth-best among SEC schools. Ole Miss has played the nation’s 44th-toughest schedule and has a 7-11 record against teams in the top 110 of the RPI. Alabama is ranked 27th in the RPI.
SEC TOURNEY SEEDING ON THE LINE
Ole Miss enters the regular-season finale tied for sixth place in the SEC standings (with Mississippi State and LSU) at 7-8. With a win, the Rebels would get the No. 6 or 7 seed in next week’s SEC Tournament, depending on Saturday’s results of State (vs. Arkansas) and LSU (at Auburn). If the Rebels lose on Saturday, they could get the No. 6, 7 or 8 seed. Alabama (9-6 league record) will be the tournament’s No. 4 or 5 seed whether it wins or loses on Saturday, based on results and tiebreakers with Vanderbilt, Florida and Tennessee.
HENRY, SHORT SUIT UP FOR THE LAST TIME AT TAD SMITH COLISEUM
Unless Ole Miss hosts a postseason game, Saturday marks the final home game for Rebel seniors Terrance Henry and Steadman Short. Henry recently became the second Rebel ever with 1,000 points and 100 blocks in a career. The Monroe, La., native is the 33rd member of Ole Miss’ 1,000-point club and ranks sixth all-time in blocks (103). With an appearance on Saturday, he will tie Emmanuel Wade for the third-most games played by anyone in school history (128). Since transferring from Chipola Junior College, Short has played in 45 games with four starts over the last two seasons.
SCOUTING THE CRIMSON TIDE
Alabama is riding a four-game win streak heading into the regular-season finale in Oxford. The Tide has won seven of its last nine to move to 20-9 overall and 9-6 in SEC play (tied for fourth in league standings). The team has compiled a 13-3 home record and 4-6 road record this season, including 3-4 in SEC road games. It has won two of its last three road games, with wins at Auburn and Arkansas and a loss at LSU. Anthony Grant has instilled a strong defensive mindset in his club, and the team has responded by allowing an SEC-best 57.8 ppg to opponents (11th in NCAA). Alabama has surrendered 70 points to an opponent just once in league play, and that was a 77-71 loss to top-ranked Kentucky in Lexington. Senior F JaMychal Green is averaging team bests of 13.9 ppg and 7.1 rpg. Sophomore G Trevor Releford adds 12.0 ppg and a team-best 2.9 apg. Senior F Tony Mitchell was averaging 13.1 ppg and 7.0 rpg before being suspended from the team seven games ago.
OLE MISS-ALABAMA SERIES
Saturday’s game will be the 170th meeting between the two schools. The Crimson Tide holds a 117-52 lead in the series, which began in 1921. The teams have split their season series in 10 of the last 13 years, including last season when Alabama won 74-64 in Tuscaloosa and Ole Miss prevailed 68-63 in Oxford behind Chris Warren’s 25 points. In their first meeting this year on Feb. 4, Alabama prevailed 69-67 in double overtime despite a game-high 19 points from Nick Williams. Ole Miss leads the series 39-38 in games played in Oxford, and the Rebels have won 11 of the last 14 meetings at Tad Smith Coliseum. Andy Kennedy has a 5-6 career record vs. the Tide.
TOP DEFENSES CLASH
Don’t expect this one to be a high-scoring affair. Alabama ranks 11th nationally in scoring defense (57.8) and ninth nationally in field-goal percentage defense (.385), while Ole Miss is 57th nationally with a .407 field-goal percentage defense. Both teams have held an SEC foe under 50 points this year. In their first meeting in Tuscaloosa (Alabama won 69-67 in double-OT), the score was knotted at 54 apiece when the regulation horn sounded.
KENNEDY HAS MOST OVERALL WINS AND SEC WINS IN A SIX-YEAR PERIOD
With 17 wins this year, Andy Kennedy has the most overall wins by an Ole Miss head coach in a six-year span (122). With seven league victories this season, his total of 46 is also the most SEC wins over a six-year span. Kennedy already ranks third in Ole Miss career victories behind B.L. “Country” Graham (144 wins in 13 seasons) and Barnes (141 wins in 8 seasons).
KENNEDY’S FIRST SIX YEARS RANKS AMONG ALL-TIME SEC GREATS
With his 122nd win at Ole Miss (at Arkansas), Andy Kennedy now boasts the seventh-most wins by an SEC head coach in his first six years in the league. He needs just two more to tie future Hall of Famer Billy Donovan for sixth place.
1. Rick Pitino (Kentucky) - 150
2. Bruce Pearl (Tennessee) - 145
3. Joe B. Hall (Kentucky) - 135
4. Wimp Sanderson (Alabama) - 127
5. Rick Stansbury (Mississippi State) - 126
6. Billy Donovan (Florida) - 124
7. Andy Kennedy (Ole Miss) - 122
Tuesday’s win at Arkansas guaranteed a sixth straight winning season for Ole Miss. The last time the school had six straight winning campaigns was the 1996-97 to 2001-02 seasons. Andy Kennedy is only the second coach in school history to guide the Rebels to six straight winning seasons. The other was R.L. Sullivan (1920-25).
DEFENDING HOME COURT
Winning at home has been a trademark of Andy Kennedy’s squads since he took the reins in 2006-07. Ole Miss is 83-17 (.830 win pct.) in games played at Tad Smith Coliseum during Kennedy’s tenure, including an 11-2 record this season. Ole Miss has won 214 of its last 263 games (.814 win pct.) in Oxford dating back to the 1995-96 campaign. The Rebels have an all-time record of 447-196 (.695 win pct.) at Tad Smith Coliseum, which opened in 1965-66.
HENRY REACHES 1,000 POINTS, ELITE CLUB AT OLE MISS
Against LSU, senior F Terrance Henry eclipsed 1,000 career points to become the 33rd member of the 1,000-point club at Ole Miss. He became just the second player in school history to reach 1,000 points and 100 blocks, joining former All-American Rahim Lockhart (1,160, 132). Henry now has 1,031 points and needs 16 more to pass Todd Abernethy (1,036), Denver Brackeen (1,040) and Ron Coleman (1,046) into 30th place in school history. He ranks sixth in school history in blocked shots (103) and needs five more to tie David Dean for fifth place (108).
REBELS SNAG BIG COMEBACK VICTORY AT ARKANSAS
Tuesday’s 77-75 win at Arkansas saw the Rebels come from 15 points down almost midway through the second half. The second-half burst of freshman G Jarvis Summers (16 of his 17 points came after halftime) and late-game heroics of senior F Terrance Henry (game-winning 3-point play with 8 seconds left) helped Ole Miss to its fourth straight victory in Fayetteville and its eighth in the last nine overall against the Hogs. Most importantly, it gave Ole Miss another road win to add to its postseason tournament resumé. Henry is the only Ole Miss player ever to win four straight games at Bud Walton Arena.
STINGY DEFENSE LEADS TO ROUT OF LSU
Ole Miss shut down LSU’s attack with a stellar defensive showing in a 72-48 victory last Saturday. The Rebels gave up the fewest points to an SEC opponent since 2009 (69-47 win over Georgia). They held LSU to the Tigers’ season low of 31 percent shooting from the floor and 17.4 percent from behind the arc. It was the fourth time this year that Ole Miss has held an opponent below 50 points.
LOCKING DOWN ON “D”
Ole Miss has established itself as one of the better defensive teams in the SEC this year. The Rebels rank third in the SEC (and 57th in the latest NCAA rankings) in field goal percentage defense at .407. Ole Miss is 12-3 when its opponent shoots below 40 percent from the field. Eight different times the Rebels have held their opponent below 60 points, including four times under 50 and a pair of games under 40.
SCORING 70 USUALLY MEANS A WIN
Ole Miss has an 8-2 record this year when it scores at least 70 points, while the Rebels are 9-10 when they fail to reach the 70-point mark.
BUCKNER IS KEY TO THE REBELS’ SUCCESS
Throughout his Rebel career, Reginald Buckner’s presence and production has been key to the team’s sucess. This year is no different, as Ole Miss has an 8-2 record when the junior forward has double-digit rebounds. He has cracked double figures on the glass in each of the last two games, both resulting in a Rebel victory.
HOLLOWAY ABOUT TO CRACK TOP 10 IN CAREER REBOUNDS
In just his third season at Ole Miss, junior F Murphy Holloway is set to break into the school’s top 10 for career rebounds. He enters the regular-season finale with 695 boards, four shy of Ansu Sesay (699) for 10th place on the Rebels’ all-time chart.
Ole Miss, which rates as the ninth-tallest team in the country (according to KenPom.com), is taking advantage of its significant height and length advantage against most of its opponents this year. No scholarship player on the roster is listed shorter than 6-4, while seven Rebels are listed at 6-7 or taller. Ole Miss ranks second among SEC teams with a rebounding average of 38.3 and a rebounding margin of +3.3. In SEC play, Ole Miss leads all teams with 38.1 rebounds per game and is second with a +3.5 rebounding margin. Individually, Murphy Holloway ranks third among SEC players and 52nd in the nation in rebounding (8.9), while Reginald Buckner is fourth in the SEC and 71st nationally (8.3). The Rebels also block 5.2 shots per game, ranking second in the league and 17th in the NCAA. They are led by Buckner’s 2.3 swats per game, which ranks him fifth in the SEC and 35th nationally.
Junior forwards Reginald Buckner and Murphy Holloway are neck and neck in the race for most dunks by a Rebel this year. Buckner has matched last year’s career high with 31 dunks on the season, while Holloway is right behind him with a career-high 28 slams. As a team, Ole Miss has thrown it down 76 times, which is the most since Andy Kennedy arrived as head coach in 2006.
HOME VERSUS ROAD
Like most college teams, Ole Miss fares better at home (11-2) than on the road (4-8). Here are some other facts and figures about the Rebels in home and road games:
• Ole Miss has averaged about one more point at home (66.9) than on the road (65.8).
• The Rebels allow just 58.2 ppg to opponents in Oxford as opposed to 71.9 ppg on the road.
• Ole Miss actually makes a higher percentage of its 3-point attempts on the road (35.5) than at home (30.2).
• Terrance Henry is the Rebels’ top scorer in road games at 13.2 ppg. Jarvis Summers is next at 12.0 ppg.
• Henry is also the Rebels’ top scorer in home games at 12.0 ppg, followed by Nick Williams (11.8) and Murphy Holloway (11.4).
When Ole Miss has needed a player to step up offensively, senior F Terrance Henry has answered the bell in SEC play. The 6-foot-9 wing has averaged 18.3 points over the Rebels’ last four outings, including 21 and 19 in back-to-back wins over LSU and Arkansas, respectively. He was named SEC Player of the Week after leading Ole Miss to wins over No. 15 Mississippi State and Georgia and posted back-to-back 20-point efforts and double-doubles against Georgia (24 points, 10 boards) and No. 13 Florida (21 points, 10 boards). Henry leads Ole Miss with a 12.4 scoring average for the season (18th among SEC players) and 13.2 ppg in league play (14th in SEC). His .788 free-throw percentage in SEC games ranks sixth in the league.
BUCKNER MOVES UP IN SEC CAREER BLOCKS LIST
With four blocks at Southern Miss, junior F Reginald Buckner became the Rebels’ all-time career leader in blocked shots. In just 91 games, the Memphis native has now accumulated 221 blocks, which ties him for 17th in SEC history with Jermareo Davidson (Alabama). He needs five more to match Melvin Turpin (Kentucky) for 16th place. The school record was previously held by Sean Murphy, who had 180 blocks in 117 games from 1988-91. Buckner’s 2.3 average this season ranks fifth among SEC players and 35th in the most recent NCAA rankings. He now holds the school record for blocks in a career, season and game. He has blocked at least one shot in 25 of 27 games this year and 78 of 91 games over his three-year career. His total of 62 blocks this season is the Ole Miss record by a junior and is the third-most in a season in school history (behind Buckner’s previous two season totals).
HOLLOWAY RETURNS WITH BIG NUMBERS
Junior F Murphy Holloway has posted some big numbers in his return to Ole Miss this year (following a one-year stint in South Carolina) and averages 11.2 ppg (25th in SEC) and 8.9 rpg (3rd in SEC, 52nd in NCAA). In league play, he averages 12.2 ppg (17th in SEC) and 8.3 rpg (4th in SEC). He ranks third among SEC players with nine double-doubles this year and ranks second among active league players with 23 in his career. He was the SEC Player of the Week after helping Ole Miss to wins over TCU and Miami. He led the Rebels to a win over Auburn with 20 points and 11 rebounds, including 12 straight points for Ole Miss during a second-half comeback. He had 15 points in a loss at No. 1 Kentucky. He has had a pair of monster games in wins over Arkansas (19 points and 14 rebounds in Oxford, 16 points and 16 boards in Fayetteville).
IN THE “NICK” OF TIME
Junior G Nick Williams has stepped up his game in SEC play and ranks 19th among league players with 12.0 ppg. The Mobile, Ala., native has tallied double figures in 11 of the last 14 games. He had a season-high 19 points to lead the Rebels in the double-overtime effort at Alabama. He’s also had big games in wins over Arkansas (18 points and career high-tying 8 rebounds), 15th-ranked Mississippi State (17 points) and LSU (18 points).
SUMMERS NOT AFRAID OF CRUNCH TIME
Freshman PG Jarvis Summers has shown no fear in the face of critical situations this year. It was his 27 points and crunch-time heroics that gave the Rebels an early victory at Penn State and his late free throws to seal an overtime win over Miami. Against Auburn, he directed a comeback from 12 down in the final nine minutes to force overtime, hitting all four of his 3-pointers after the nine-minute mark. He scored 22 against the Tigers to become the first Rebel with multiple 20-point games this year. Most recently, he scored 16 of his 17 points in the second half to help the Rebels come from behind in a 77-75 road win at Arkansas. He leads all SEC freshmen in 3-point percentage (42.6), is tied for seventh with 9.8 ppg and ranks third with 3.2 assists per game.