March 13, 2001
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NCAA Tournament First Round
#14 seed Iona (22-10)
#3 seed Ole Miss (25-7)
Friday, March 16, 2001, 6:55 p.m. (CT)
Kemper Arena, Kansas City, Mo.
Rebels on Television and Radio
Television: CBS Sports (Verne Lundquist, play-by-play, Bill Raftery, color
analyst, Bob Mansbach, producer)
Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network (David Kellum, play-by-play, Sean Tuohy,
color analyst, Stan Sandroni, pregame/halftime/postgame host)
OLE MISS HEADS TO NCAA TOURNAMENT FRIDAY
The Ole Miss Rebels (25-7, 11-5 SEC) received their fourth NCAA Tournament
invitation in the last five years on Sunday and will open postseason play
Friday, Mar. 16 versus the Iona Gaels (22-10, 12-5 MAAC) in the Midwest
Region first round in Kansas City, Mo. The game, which will be played in
Kemper Arena, is sheduled for a 6:55 p.m (CT) start. Ole Miss, ranked No.
14 in the Associated Press poll and No. 13 in the ESPN/USA Today poll,
advanced to the SEC Tournament Championship last weekend with victories
over Tennessee and Florida. The Rebels fell to Kentucky in the title
contest. The Gaels won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC)
Tournament championship over Canisius (74-67). It is the second straight
year that the Gaels have won the MAAC tourney title and received the
league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
NCAA Midwest Region First & Second Rounds
Kemper Arena, Kansas City, Mo. (All Times Central)
Friday, Mar. 16
Wake Forest vs. Butler, 11:30 a.m.
Arizona vs. Eastern Illinois, approx. 2:00 p.m.
OLE MISS vs. Iona, 6:55 p.m.
Notre Dame vs. Xavier, approx. 9:20 p.m.
Sunday, Mar. 18
Wake Forest/Butler winner vs. Ariz./Eastern Ill. winner, 1:30 p.m.
OLE MISS/Iona vs. Notre Dame/Xavier winner, approx. 4:00 p.m.
BARNES IN THIRD SEASON AS REBEL MENTOR
Rod Barnes is in his third season at the helm of the Ole Miss Rebel
basketball program. He has an overall record of 64-34 (.653 winning
percentage). In his first two seasons, Barnes compiled a 39-27 record, and
the 39 victories are the most by a Rebel coach in his first two years in
Ole Miss history. Last year, Barnes guided Ole Miss to a 19-14 overall
record and a berth in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). The Rebels
advanced to the NIT quarterfinals for the second time in school history.
The winning season and postseason tournament both were the fourth straight
for the Ole Miss program.
In 1998-99, Barnes led Ole Miss to a 20-13 overall record and a
third-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. The Satartia, Miss., native was
the first head coach in the history of Rebel basketball to win 20 games in
his first season. Barnes also guided the Rebels to a 72-70 win over
Villanova in the NCAA Tournament first round, marking the program?s
first-ever victory in NCAA play.
Barnes was hired as the Rebel head coach on April 9, 1998. 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
(17th, 1,201 points), assists (2nd, 456) and steals (6th, 154).
OLE MISS-IONA SERIES
Friday's meeting will be the first between the two schools on the hardwood.
OLE MISS VERSUS FIRST TIME FOES
Ole Miss will face another first-time opponent when the Rebels face Iona
in the first round of the NCAA Midwest Region in Kansas City. The Rebels
have a 3-1 record against first-time opponents this year, defeating Kansas
State (60-46) Dec. 5, No. 13-ranked Southern Cal (84-83, ot) Dec. 22 and
Morris Brown (94-59) Dec. 30 and falling to Iowa State (73-68) Dec. 23.
In the 1999-2000 campaign, Ole Miss posted a 3-0 record versus first-time
foes with wins over Oregon State (77-58), Virginia Commonwealth (75-62) and
Southwest Missouri State (70-48). Since the 1998-99 season, Ole Miss has a
10-3 record versus first-time foes.
The Gaels enter the NCAA Tournament with a 22-10 overall record. Iona won
the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament and posted a 12-6 mark in
the MAAC during the regular season. Nakiea Miller leads three Gaels in
double figures with a 15.0 scoring average. Earl Johnson (12.7 ppg) and
Dyree Wilson (12.7 ppg) are also averaging double digits. Miller is the
squad's top rebounder (8.7 rpg) and field goal shooter (67.1 percent). He
leads the MAAC in field goal percentage and blocked shots (77 total, 2.96
bpg). Johnson is the Gaels' top three-point threat, hitting 49.5 percent
>from the arc. Iona is shooting 48.3 percent from the floor, 39 percent
>from the three-point line and 68.5 percent from the foul line.
Head coach Jeff Ruland, a 1991 graduate of Iona, is in his third year at
his alma mater and has an overall record of 58-35.
IONA'S "CRADLE OF COACHES"
Some college football experts once dubbed Miami of Ohio as the ?Cradle of
>Coaches? because several football head and assistant coaches moved on to
higher profiles jobs at other colleges. Well, the same could be said for
Iona in the hoops realm. Former coaches who had a stint at Iona include
the late Jim Valvano, current DePaul mentor Pat Kennedy and current
Providence head coach Tim Welsh.
Valvano moved on to N.C. State after his time at Iona. In 1983, he led
the Wolfpack to the NCAA title. Kennedy, who coached at Florida State
before moving to DePaul, led the Seminoles to an NCAA Elite Eight
appearance in 1993. This year, Welsh guided the Providence Friars to the
program's first NCAA Tournament berth since 1998.
OLE MISS MAKES FIFTH NCAA TOURNAMENT APPEARANCE
For the fifth time in its history, Ole Miss will participate in the NCAA
Tournament (a.k.a. ?The Big Dance?). This is the fourth time in the last
five seasons (1997, 1998, 1999, 2001) that the Rebels have received an
at-large invitation to the tournament.
Ole Miss also played in the 1981 NCAA Tournament, receiving the SEC's
automatic bid to the tournament as a result of winning the league's
tournament championship. Ole Miss has an all-time NCAA Tournament record
2000-01 REBELS RECEIVE PROGRAM'S HIGHEST SEED
The 2000-01 Ole Miss squad received its highest seeding in the NCAA
Tournament when it was awarded a No. 3 seed in the Midwest Region. The No.
3 seed Ole Miss will meet No. 14 seed Iona in the first round Mar. 16. The
following chart lists the seeds the Rebels have had in their NCAA
AND THE WINNER GETS...:
The winner of the Ole Miss-Iona contest will meet the winner of the Notre
Dame-Xavier's first-round game in the second round on Sunday, Mar. 18. If
the Rebels advance to the second round, they could face yet another
first-time opponent if Xavier also advances.
Ole Miss and Notre Dame have met once before on the hardwood, with the
Irish taking a 111-62 win in the 1977-78 season opener in South Bend, Ind.
That Notre Dame squad advanced to the 1978 NCAA Final Four.
REBELS IN GOOD COMPANY
Ole Miss is one of only three teams from the Southeastern Conference to
compete in the last five basketball postseasons (NCAA or NIT). Ole Miss
played in the NCAA Tournament in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2001, and
participated in the NIT in 2000. Kentucky (5 NCAAs) and Arkansas (4 NCAA,
1 NIT) are the other SEC teams to play in the last five years.
OLE MISS VERSUS NCAA FIELD
The Rebels have an 8-4 record versus teams in this year's NCAA Tournament.
Ole Miss played Oklahoma (1-0), Southern Cal (1-0), Iowa State (0-1),
Arkansas (2-0), Kentucky (1-1), Tennessee (2-0), Georgia (0-1) and Florida
GO (MID)WEST, REBELS...AGAIN:
The Rebel basketball program must wonder if there is another region in the
NCAA Tournament. For the fifth time in their history, the Rebels received
an invitation to the NCAA Tournament. And, for the fifth time, Ole Miss
will be playing in the Midwest Region.
To take it another step, Ole Miss will begin NCAA Tournament play on a
Friday for the fifth time. The Rebels have never played on a
Thursday-Saturday, first/second round site in their five NCAA Tournament
appearances. Ole Miss has always played on the Friday-Sunday schedule.
DOROTHY, WE MUST BE IN KANSAS (CITY) AGAIN
Of its five trips to the NCAA Midwest Region, Ole Miss has been sent to
Kansas City, Mo., twice. The Rebels played in Kemper Arena in 1997 and
will travel to the same site this year.
Although not in the same state, the Rebels played the 1981 NCAA Tournament
in a "Kansas-associated" site. Ole Miss traveled to Wichita, Kan., in
1981, and lost to Kansas in the first round, 69-66.
OLE MISS VERSUS THE MAAC
The Rebels will be playing their first opponent ever from the Metro
Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Friday when Ole Miss meets Iona. The
schools that comprise the MAAC are Canisius, Fairfield, Iona, Loyola,
Manhattan, Marist, Niagara, Rider, St. Peter's and Siena.
20TH ANNIVERSARY OF OLE MISS' SEC TOURNAMENT TITLE TEAM, FIRST NCAA
The 2001 NCAA and SEC Tournaments will mark the 20th anniversary of the
1980-81 Rebel team that won Ole Miss' lone SEC Tournament crown, earning
the program's first NCAA Tournament berth. The 1980-81 Ole Miss squad,
under the direction of head coach Bob Weltlich, defeated Tennessee (81-71)
and Vanderbilt (71-51) en route to the 1981 SEC Tournament championship
game versus Georgia. The Rebels won the title with a 66-62 victory over
the Bulldogs. Elston Turner and Sean Tuohy earned All-Tournament Team honors.
The 1980-81 squad was honored prior to the Ole Miss-Kentucky football game
Sept. 30, 2000, in Oxford. Turner was also inducted into the M-Club
Athletic Hall of Fame that day.
A "FIRST" FOR THE SEC
With the recent success of the Ole Miss basketball program, there have
been many "firsts" or "since thens" the past few seasons. Well, here's one
not only for Ole Miss, but for the SEC.
Rod Barnes is the first person in the league's history to earn All-SEC
first team honors as a player (1988) and also received the conference's
Coach of the Year accolade.
BARNES PICKS UP FIRST AWARD...
Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes may have to clear some space in his trophy
case after this season is over, as he is up for several coach of the year
honors. Barnes received his first accolade Mar. 1 when he was named SEC
Coach of the Year by CollegeInsider.com, a college basketball internet
magazine. Kentucky's Tayshaun Prince was named the league's Player of the
Year by the internet site.
Rebel head coach Rod Barnes is really racking up the hardware this season.
On Mar. 11, Barnes was named the National Coach of the Year by
CollegeInsider.com, a college basketball internet magazine. Barnes was one
of 10 finalists for the honor along with Indiana's Mike Davis, Georgia
Tech's Paul Hewitt, Cincinnati's Bob Huggins, Stanford's Mike Montgomery,
Ohio State's Jim O'Brien, Arizona's Lute Olson, Oklahoma's Kelvin Sampson,
Boston College's Al Skinner, and Providence's Tim Welsh.
OLE MISS WINS SEC WESTERN DIVISION OUTRIGHT
Entering the final weekend of the regular season, Ole Miss had at least a
share of the SEC Western Division title, but the Rebels wanted it outright.
To do that, Ole Miss had to defeat Alabama or have Arkansas fall to Georgia.
Well, Ole Miss took care of its own business with a 105-71 victory over
the Crimson Tide to claim the SEC West crown with an 11-5 league record.
Arkansas finished second with a 10-6 SEC mark. The title was Ole Miss'
third SEC Western Division crown in the last five years.
REBELS SECOND ON WEST TITLES LIST
With their win over Alabama Mar. 3, the Rebels clinched the Southeastern
Conference Western Division title outright. It is Ole Miss' third SEC
Western Division championship in the last five years. Since the league
went to the two-division format in 1991-92, the Rebels have won the
second-most SEC West titles.
FIRST TIME SINCE...
Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes picked up more postseason hardware Mar. 5-6
when he was named the Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year by the
league's coaches and Associated Press (AP).
Barnes is the first Rebel mentor to honored by conference's coaches since
Lee Hunt received the same honor in 1983. Hunt shared the honor with
Kentucky's Joe B. Hall. Barnes is the fourth Rebel coach to receive the AP
honor. Bob Weltlich (1980), Lee Hunt (1983) and Rob Evans (1997) also
earned the AP award.
FIRST TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY
The Rebels have been making a lot of history in recent years, and freshman
Justin Reed (Jackson, Miss.) added to that last week. Reed became Ole
Miss' first-ever SEC Freshman of the Year. The 6-foot-8 forward earned the
honor from the coaches. Reed was also named Associated Press' (AP)
Newcomer of the Year.
Reed was selected to the coaches' SEC All-Freshman Team and was the team's
lone unanimous pick. Reed also earned AP All-SEC third team and SEC
All-Tournament Team accolades.
BRACKEEN HONORED AS SEC LIVING LEGEND AT TOURNAMENT
Former Rebel basketball standout Denver Brackeen was honored at the 2001
league tournament as one of the SEC's Living Legends. Each Chick-fil-A/SEC
Basketball Legend was recognized at halftime of his institution's first
game at the tournament. The legends were also honored as a group during
pregame festivities before the first semifinal game Mar. 10.
Brackeen played center at Ole Miss from 1954-55. Brackeen transferred to
Ole Miss from East Central Junior College, where he was an All-America
selection and was chosen as the nation's Most Outstanding Junior College
Player after the 1952-53 season. He made an immediate impact at Ole Miss,
earning All-SEC honors in both 1954 and 1955. During his senior season,
Brackeen averaged 27.2 points per game and was named UPI SEC Player of the
Year and AP SEC Most Valuable Player. He also earned All-American honors
after the season and set a total of 24 school records during his two-year
career at Ole Miss. Brackeen was drafted in the second round of the 1955
NBA Draft by the New York Knickerbockers. He retired from the Adjutant
General Office of the Mississippi National Guard in 1992 with the rank of
"THE DRIVE FOR FIVE" COMPLETE
The Rebels entered the 2000-01 with a mission to take the Ole Miss program
where it had never gone before. Well, they succeeded in their quest. With
Ole Miss' invitation to the 2001 NCAA Tournament, the Rebels have played in
five consecutive postseasons (4 NCAA?1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 1 NIT?2000)
for the first time in school history.
REBELS CELEBRATE "SENIOR DAY"
The 2001 Ole Miss seniors ended their careers on a winning note Mar. 3
when they won their final home game with a 105-71 victory over Alabama.
The win also gave the Rebels their third SEC Western Division title in the
last five years.
The 2001 seniors are Jason Flanigan (Little Rock, Ark.), Rahim Lockhart
(Mendenhall, Miss.), John Engstrom (Paragould, Ark.) and Jason Holmes
(Tylertown, Miss.). The quartet has averaged 20 victories per season, and
is the only class in Rebel basketball history to do so. The 2001 seniors
also earned a fourth straight postseason berth this year to become the
first class to play in four straight postseason tournaments since the 1983
class did so. The 1983 seniors participated in one NCAA (1981) and three
NITs (1980, 1982, 1983).
LOCKHART IN ANOTHER ELITE GROUP
Senior Rahim Lockhart joined another elite group in Rebel history when he
was selected to the coaches' All-Southeastern Conference first team Mar. 5.
He is only the fourth player in Rebel history to receive All-SEC first
team accolades from the league's coaches. Joe Gibbon (1957), Ansu Sesay
(1997, 1998) and Keith Carter (1999) were the other Rebels to earn coaches'
All-SEC first team honors. (NOTE: Coaches' All-SEC picks were not made on
a first-team and second-team basis from 1958-92.)
Lockhart also received Associated Press All-SEC second team and SEC
All-Tournament Team honors.
HOLMES HAS CAREER WEEK
ESPN held its "Championship Week" Mar. 3-11. Well, it was ?Career Week?
for senior Jason Holmes Feb. 26-Mar. 4. In the Rebels' victory over
Alabama Mar. 3, the 6-foot-5 guard was on fire, scoring a career-high 26
points. The 26-point performance bested his previous high of 17 in Ole
Miss' Dec. 5 win over Kansas State. He also recorded career highs of seven
field goals, five treys and seven free throws versus the Crimson Tide.
In the Rebels' contest at LSU Feb. 28, Holmes dished out a career-high six
assists. He also scored 13 points versus the Tigers.
For the week, Holmes averaged 19.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists,
while shooting 54.5 percent (12-of-22) from the field, 53.3 percent from
the arc (8-of-15) and 100 percent from the charity stripe (7-of-7).
"BUCK" IS BACK...AGAIN
Senior Jason Flanigan has had his ups and downs this year, and with the
way he has played recently, it looks as if he is on his way up again. The
6-foot-1 guard, who also goes by the nickname ?Buck,? has picked up his
play in Ole Miss' last three games, and it is showing in the numbers.
In the three games prior to the SEC Tournament, Flanigan averaged 9.3
points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists. He scored 17 points in Ole Miss'
victory over Alabama Mar. 3, which was his highest-scoring SEC contest of
the regular season. Flanigan also hit a career-best 10 free throws versus
the Crimson Tide.
Flanigan had solid performances in SEC Tournament play. He averaged 6.3
points, 3.3 rebounds 3.0 assists in the three games.
CLOSE CALLS GOING REBELS' WAY
What a difference a year makes. With their 74-69 win over No. 5-ranked
Florida in the SEC Tournament semifinals Mar. 10, the Rebels now have a
12-3 record in games decided by single digits (nine points or less). Ole
Miss' three setbacks by single digits were to Iowa State (73-68), Georgia
(70-66) and LSU (78-77, ot). Last season, Ole Miss had a 6-8 record in
AT THE HEAD OF THE CLASS(ES)
This year's senior class of Jason Flanigan, Rahim Lockhart and Jason
Holmes and junior redshirt John Engstrom is at the head of all the classes
in Ole Miss basketball history. With the Rebels' victory over Florida, the
2000-01 senior class has 86 wins, the most victories by a class in a
four-year span. The 86 victories surpass the previous mark of 74 wins by
the 1998-99 class of Hunter Carpenter, Keith Carter, Jason Smith and
Michael White. The 2000-01 senior class has also been a part of the 1998
and 2001 SEC Western Division championship squads and has been to four
straight postseasons (3 NCAA, 1 NIT).
"BUCK" HAS THE RECORD
When senior Jason ?Buck? Flanigan took the floor in the Rebels' SEC
Tournament second-round game versus Tennessee, he set a new a school record
all his own. The tournament's second-round contest was the 122nd of
>Flanigan's career, giving him the record for most games played in an Ole
Miss uniform. He has now played in 124 games. The 6-foot-1 guard was tied
with Roger Stieg at 121 games going into the SEC Tournament. Stieg played
at Ole Miss from 1980-82 and was a member of the Rebels' 1981 SEC
Tournament championship team.
ENGSTROM RECEIVES FIRST START
Redshirt junior John Engstrom, who is a senior academically, got a reward
for his four years of hard work and dedication to the program when he
received his first career start versus Alabama Mar. 3. He grabbed two
rebounds in six minutes of action in the Rebels' 105-71 victory over the
On Mar. 6, Engstrom was named to the Southeastern Conference Academic
Honor Roll for the third straight year. The 7-footer is only the seventh
player in Rebel history to earn the league's academic honor three or more
THE OMENS HAVE BEEN GOOD
So far, the Rebels can say the omens have been good for them. Ole Miss
claimed the Southeastern Conference Western Division title this year in
similar fashion to the 1997 and 1998 Rebel squads.
In 1996-97 and 1997-98, Ole Miss had a 4-2 record versus the SEC Eastern
Division, a 4-4 road record in league play and sealed the title with a
victory in its final home game versus a Western Division opponent (74-68
win over LSU in 1996-97, 74-67 win over Auburn in 1997-98) in the final
week of the campaign.
This season, the Rebels did the same. Ole Miss was 4-2 against the SEC
East and posted a 4-4 record on the road in the league. The Rebels then
clinched the SEC West crown outright with a 105-71 victory over Alabama in
the final game (at home) of the regular season.
2000-01 REBELS AT TOP OF THE CHARTS
The 2000-01 Rebels are sure making their mark in Ole Miss basketball
history, and they now own the record for most wins in a single season. With
its victory over Florida Mar. 10, Ole Miss has a current record of 25-7,
and the 25 wins are the most in Rebel basketball history. The previous
school record for most victories in a season was 22 by the 1937-38 and
VERSUS THE RANKED OPPONENTS
The Rebels are 6-3 versus ranked opponents this season, defeating No. 14
Oklahoma (60-55), No. 13 Southern Cal (84-83, ot), No. 10 Tennessee (87-71)
and No. 20 Alabama (105-71) and falling to No. 15 Alabama (82-63) and No. 7
In last weekend's SEC Tournament, Ole Miss defeated No. 24 Tennessee
(86-73) and No. 5 Florida (74-69), but lost to No. 15 Kentucky (77-55) in
the title game.
OLE MISS SECOND MOST WINS SINCE 1996-97
The Rebels have, indeed, been one of the Southeastern Conference's most
successful teams in recent years?especially since 1996-97. Ole Miss has
won 106 games (overall games) since 1996-97, the most by any team in the
SEC Western Division. The 106 victories are also second among all league
teams, trailing only Kentucky's 143 wins.
REBELS ON TELEVISION
Ole Miss will be making its 19th television appearance of the year Friday
when the Rebels meet Iona in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on CBS.
In the month of January, Ole Miss appeared before the television cameras
five straight games from Jan. 13 through Jan. 31 (Georgia, Alabama,
Kentucky, Mississippi State, Arkansas). This season, Ole Miss has a 13-5
record in television games, including all three SEC Tournament games last
weekend. The Rebels have appeared on television over 40 times the past
four seasons. Last year, Ole Miss had 11 television contests, and posted a
6-5 record in those games.
BOMBS AWAY...PART I
Ole Miss has hit 210 three-pointers so far this year, which is a school
record for most treys for a single season in Rebel basketball history. The
previous record for three-pointers made in a season was 204 by the 1997-98
squad. The 1991-92 team hit 199 treys, and the 1999-2000 squad connected
on 196 three-pointers.
BOMBS AWAY...PART II
When the Rebels are hitting from the three-point arc, it's a good chance
that they will win the game. This year, Ole Miss has a 13-3 record when
they hit seven or more treys in a game. The Rebels are 4-0 when they hit
LOCKHART DOUBLES HIS PLEASURE
Senior Rahim Lockhart is picking up where he left off last year?doubling
his pleasure. Lockhart came into the 2000-01 season with 14 career
double-doubles, and he recorded his 23rd double-double performance versus
Tennessee Mar. 9 (17 points-11 rebounds).
BARNES SELECTED A FINALIST FOR NAISMITH COACH OF YEAR AWARD
Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes was selected as one of 20 finalists for the
Naismith National Coach of the Year Award, the Atlanta Tipoff Club
announced Feb. 22. Barnes is one of three SEC coaches up for the honor, as
Florida's Billy Donovan and Alabama's Mark Gottfried also made the list.
Other finalists are: Syracuse's Jim Boeheim, Notre Dame's Mike Brey, North
Carolina's Matt Doherty, Georgia State's Lefty Driesell, Georgetown's Craig
Esherick, Iowa State's Larry Eustashy, Virginia's Pete Gillen, Georgia
Tech's Paul Hewitt, Michigan State's Tom Izzo, Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, St.
Joseph's Phil Martelli, Stanford's Mike Montgomery, Arizona's Lute Olson,
Oklahoma's Kelvin Sampson, Illinois' Bill Self, Boston College's Al
Skinner, and Kansas' Roy Williams.
A STRONG REBEL TURN-AROUND
Ole Miss is one of three basketball programs in the country which went
>from ?worst to first? in 2000-01. The Rebels tied for fifth place in the
SEC Western Division (No. 6 seed in SEC tourney) in the 1999-2000 season
with a 5-11 league mark, but bounced back in 2000-01 to claim the SEC West
title with an 11-5 mark.
Boston College and Central Michigan are the other two basketball programs
to do the same. Boston College was coming off three straight last-place
finishes in the Big East, but won the league's title in 2001. Central
Michigan had 12 consecutive non-winning league seasons in the Mid-American
Conference, but won their conference crown this season.
BARNES REACHES 60
No, Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes did reach his 60th birthday (not even
close for the 35-year-old, by the way). Barnes posted his 60th victory as
head coach at Ole Miss with the Rebels' 67-61 win over South Carolina Feb.
17. He has a current record of 64-34, and reached the 60-win plateau the
fastest of any coach in Rebel basketball history.
WELCOME TO THE CLUB
With his 15-point performance in the Rebels' victory over Mississippi
State Feb. 14, senior Rahim Lockhart became the latest member to join the
Ole Miss 1,000-point club. The 6-foot-8 forward now has 1,113 points after
scoring 35 points in three SEC Tournament games, and is No. 21 on the
Rebel career scoring chart.
THE MAGIC NUMBER IS...
Well, for the Rebels, it seems as if that number is 70. Since the 1996-97
season and including this campaign, Ole Miss has an incredible 86-10 record
(.895 winning percentage) when it scores 70 points or more. On the other
hand, the Rebels are 19-39 when they net less than 70 points during that
five-year period (including 2000-01). This season, Ole Miss has a 15-1
record when scoring 70 points or more, with the lone setback a 78-77
overtime loss at LSU Feb. 28.
...BUT SCORING 70 ISN'T NECESSARY IN 2000-01
As discussed in the previous note, the Rebels have been nearly unbeatable
when they score 70 points or more. However, the 2000-01 Rebels are proving
they can win games when they don't reach that magical number of 70. Ole
Miss is 10-6 this year when scoring less than 70 points.
MOVING ON UP THE CHARTS
With his 12-rebound performance versus Arkansas-Pine Bluff Nov. 18, senior
Rahim Lockhart became the 15th player in Rebel basketball history to grab
500 boards in a career. He now has 762 career rebounds, after grabbing 24
boards in the SEC Tournament Mar. 9-11. Lockhart is in the No. 5 spot on
the Ole Miss career rebounding list. Lockhart entered the 1999-2000 season
with 278 boards, and with his 220 rebounds in 1999-2000, he had 498
rebounds coming into the 2000-01 campaign.
REED TIES CAREER BESTS
Freshman Justin Reed tied his career high in scoring with 21 points in the
Rebels' victory over Auburn Feb. 24. He also tied his career high of nine
field goals versus the Tigers, hitting 9-of-14 from the field (64.3
percent). Earlier this season, the 6-foot-8 forward had 21 points and nine
field goals against Georgia (Jan. 13).
REED ENJOYING SEC ACTION
They say the big players step up in ?primetime.? Well, there's nothing
more ?primetime? than SEC play, and freshman Justin Reed made his presence
known in the league. In 16 SEC games, Reed netted double figures in 12
contests, including a career-high 21 points versus Georgia Jan. 13 and
Auburn Feb. 24. The 6-foot-8 forward averaged 12.6 points (led team) and
6.0 boards (second on team) in SEC games only this year.
GET IN THOSE PASSING LANES
Ole Miss has a reputation for playing tough, ?in-your-face? defense.
Lately, the Rebels have not only been in their opponents' faces but also
their passing lanes. In Ole Miss' last 12 SEC regular season games (9-3
record), the Rebels have forced their opponents into 226 turnovers (18.8
per game). In its first four conference games, Ole Miss forced only 54
turnovers (13.5 per contest).
The old saying is that defense wins championships. If that is the case,
Ole Miss may be in contention for a title in 2000-01, especially if the
Rebels can continue to hassle the opposition with their defensive pressure.
Ole Miss is holding its opponents to an average of 64.7 points per game,
which leads the SEC.
EVEN MORE DEFENSE
When Rob Evans took over the Rebel program in the 1992-93 season, he said
his squads were going to play defense?and they did. That emphasis on
defense has continued under Rod Barnes. This season, Ole Miss has held 10
opponents under 60 points, including four SEC teams. The Rebels held
Arkansas (53-48 Ole Miss win) Jan. 10, Kentucky (65-55 Ole Miss win) Jan.
20, LSU (50-33 Ole Miss win) Feb. 7 and Mississippi State (51-48 Ole Miss
win) Feb. 14 to under 60 points. Last year, Ole Miss held nine opponents
to under 60 points, but only one league team.
Since the 1992-93 season, the campaigns in which the Rebels held the most
opponents under 60 points were 1996-97 and 2000-01. The 1996-97 year saw
Ole Miss hold 10 opponents to under 60 points, including five SEC squads.
The 1996-97 season was the Rebels' first SEC Western Division title.
HITTING 'EM WHEN THEY COUNT
The Rebels haven't had a reputation for hitting a high percentage >from the
charity stripe the last couple of seasons, especially down the stretch in
games. However, that may be changing in 2000-01. Ole Miss is hitting 65.4
percent from the foul line for the season (11th in the SEC), but more
importantly, the Rebels are hitting their foul shots when they count,
despite their 2-of-8 showing versus Auburn Feb. 24. In their wins over Sam
Houston State, VCU, Oklahoma, Memphis, Southern Illinois, Southern Cal,
Vanderbilt, Arkansas (both games), Kentucky, Auburn (both games), Tennessee
(both games), Mississippi State (second game), South Carolina and Florida
(SEC Tournament), the Rebels shot 72.2 percent from the line (130-of-180)
in the final four minutes (and overtime) of those games.
HARPER ON THE CHARTS
With his two three-pointers in Ole Miss' win over Alabama Mar. 3,
freshman Aaron Harper (Jackson, Miss.) pushed his way onto the Rebel
single-season chart for treys. The 6-foot-7 guard has 60 three-pointers,
which ties him for the No. 4 spot on the single-season chart. The record
is 78 treys by Joe Harvell in 1992.
The 2000-01 Rebels posted their 20th victory with a 51-48 win over
Mississippi State Feb. 14, marking the fastest any team in Ole Miss
basketball history has reached the 20-win plateau in a season. The 2000-01
team recorded its 20th win in only 24 games. The previous quickest climb
to 20 victories was by the 1936-37 and 1997-98 squads. Both teams reached
20 wins in their 25th games.
WIN NO. 20 IS IN THE BANK
The Rebels won their 20th game of the season with a 51-48 victory over
Mississippi State Feb. 14. Ole Miss now has a 25-7 record. It is the
fourth time in the last five seasons that Ole Miss has won 20 or more
games. The 1996-97 (20-9 record), 1997-98 (22-7) and 1998-99 (20-13) also
posted 20-win campaigns.
In its history, Ole Miss has had six 20-win teams. They were 1936-37
(20-6), 1937-38 (22-12), 1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99 and 2000-01.
REBELS FIRST TO 20 WINS
Ole Miss was the first team in the SEC to reach the 20-win plateau in the
2000-01 season. The Rebels are 25-7.
This is the third time in the program's history that Ole Miss was the
first SEC squad to reach 20 wins. The 1936-37 (20-6 record) and 1937-38
(22-12 record) teams also were first among SEC schools to reach the magic
number of 20 wins in a season. In fact, the 1936-37 and 1937-38 Ole Miss
teams were the only 20-win squads in the SEC those two seasons.
ANOTHER "FIRST" IN REBEL HISTORY
The 2000-01 senior class set the record for most wins in a four-year span
earlier this year, breaking the previous record of 74 victories. Now, the
senior class has accomplished another first in Rebel history. With Ole
Miss' victory over Tennessee Feb. 10, this class posted its 80th victory
and is the first three or four-year senior class to average 20 victories
REED DOUBLES HIS PLEASURE
Freshman Justin Reed doubled his pleasure for a third time this season
versus South Carolina Feb. 17. The 6-foot-8 forward scored 18 points and
had 11 boards in the 67-61 victory over the Gamecocks. Reed's first
double-double in SEC play came against Georgia Jan. 13, when he scored a
career-high tying 21 points and grabbed 12 boards in the 70-66 setback to
the Bulldogs. His first collegiate double-double was a 16-point,
13-rebound performance in the Rebels' 88-84 overtime victory over VCU Nov.
25. Reed also hit a career-high tying nine field goals versus Georgia.
"GET THAT SHOT OUTTA HERE!!!"
Senior Rahim Lockhart recorded a career-best five blocked shots versus
Memphis Dec. 9. After his one block versus Florida Mar. 10, he now has 127
for his career and is in second place on the Ole Miss career blocked shots
chart. The 6-foot-8 forward entered the 2000-01 season with 83 career
blocks. Lockhart led the Rebels in blocked shots the previous two seasons
with 44 and 46 blocks, respectively.