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NIT South Region Second Round
No. 4 Ole Miss (21-12) vs. No. 1 Clemson (22-10)
Monday, March 19, 2007 6 p.m. CT
Clemson, S.C. Littlejohn Coliseum (10,980)
Live TV: ESPN (Brad Nessler, play-by-play; Steve Lavin, analyst)
Live Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network (David Kellum, play-by-play; Pete Cordelli, analyst)
Satellite Radio: NA
OLE MISS ADVANCES IN NIT
Ending a four-year postseason drought, Ole Miss returned with a win and a second-round berth in the NIT. An opening-round host, the South Region No. 4 seed Ole Miss knocked off No. 5 Appalachian State 73-59 Wednesday in Oxford. Todd Abernethy led the scoring for the fourth time this year with 18 points, while Dwayne Curtis added 14 with 8 rebounds. Kenny Williams notched his first double-double since December with 13 points and 11 rebounds and is averaging 11.3 points and 9.0 rebounds over the last three games.
REBS MAKE 13TH POSTSEASON APPEARANCE
Ole Miss is back in postseason play for the 13th time in the program’s history and the first time since earning an NCAA Tournament bid in 2002. That season capped a streak of five straight years in postseason play. The Rebels’ seven postseason appearances in the last 11 years equals the second-most of any SEC Western Division team over that span.
The Rebels have an overall postseason record of 10-12 in the program’s history. Prior to this year, Ole Miss had played in six NITs (1980, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1989, 2000) and six NCAA Tournaments (1981, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002), The Rebels’ best postseason result came in the 2001 NCAA Tournament when the team reached the Sweet Sixteen before falling to eventual national runner-up Arizona.
Ole Miss made its first postseason appearance in 1980, reaching the NIT second round. That season began a string of four straight years with postseason play, including the program’s first NCAA berth in 1981. The Rebels also saw postseason action in the 1987 and 1989 NITs.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS
The South Region top seed, Clemson (22-10) enters Monday's game with a 15-0 mark against non-conference teams. This year's 22 wins is the most since the team finished 23-10 during the 1996-97 season. The Tigers are led in scoring by K.C. Rivers, who has a 13.3 scoring average. He had one of his top games as a Clemson player in Wednesday's win over East Tennessee State when he had 17 points and a career high 14 rebounds. Trevor Booker also had a double-double against ETSU with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
OLE MISS-CLEMSON SERIES
Ole Miss trails the all-time series with Clemson 2-1, and the schools are matched up in the NIT for the second time. The last meeting between the two was a 53-49 Rebel victory on the Tigers' court in the first round of the 1982 tourney (see page 11). Clemson won the other two meetings in regular-season tournaments. The Tigers prevailed 85-57 in the 1965 Poinsetta Classic in Greenville, S.C., and 93-80 at home in the 1974 IPTAY Invitational.
OLE MISS IN THE NIT
The Rebels are playing in their seventh National Invitation Tournament. Ole Miss’ last appearance in the NIT was 2000, when the team advanced to the quarterfinals before losing at N.C. State. It equaled the best NIT finish for the Rebels, who also reached the quarterfinals in 1983 before falling at DePaul.
In its seven NIT appearances, Ole Miss has a 7-6 record. The Rebels have a 2-2 record in the second round of the NIT and have won their last two contests dating back to the 1983 tourney. Ole Miss is 1-5 in NIT road games, although the lone victory came at Clemson in the 1982 first round, 53-49.
Wednesday’s winner will advance to a Wednesday meeting with the victor of South Region No. 2 seed Syracuse and No. 6 San Diego State in the quarterfinals. The host school will be based on the higher seed. The NIT Final Four is March 27 and 29 at New York's Madison Square Garden.
KENNEDY RETURNS TO ACC
Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy is returning to the conference where he began his collegiate playing career. Prior to his record-setting tenure at UAB, Kennedy spent the 1986-87 campaign at N.C. State on Jim Valvano’s ACC championship team. He saw action in both Clemson games that year, with the Tigers prevailing each instance. In the game at Littlejohn Coliseum, Kennedy posted 1 point and 2 boards in 5 minutes of action. Monday’s game will mark Kennedy’s first against Clemson in his two seasons as a head coach.
ESPN analyst Steve Lavin, who is handling the color for Monday’s game, had a front-row seat for the Rebels’ last postseason appearance. In the 2002 NCAA Tournament, Ole Miss was ousted in the first round by UCLA, 80-58, with Lavin serving as the Bruins’ head coach.
IMPRESSIVE AGAINST NON-LEAGUE FOES
Since the 1993-94 season, the Rebels have posted an impressive 134-44 record (.753 winning percentage) versus non-conference opponents. Ole Miss boasts a 12-3 mark against non-SEC teams this season, with all three losses coming on the road to No. 19 UConn 77-59, No. 16 Memphis 82-70 and Saint Louis 59-56. Ole Miss is 3-3 in non-conference games in road or neutral court games this year with wins at South Alabama 82-72 and over Fairfield 70-67 and Central Arkansas 75-61 at the Hispanic College Fund Classic in Hartford, Conn.
REBELS VERSUS THE ACC
The Rebels have an all-time record of 15-23 versus current members of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Ole Miss has faced only three ACC foes over the last 18 years a pair of setbacks against Florida State in 2004-05 and 2003-04 and an NIT loss at N.C. State in the third round of the 2000 tourney.
KENNEDY HAS RECORD-SETTING DEBUT
With the team’s 21st victory of the year against Appalachian State Wednesday, Andy Kennedy has recorded the most wins by a Rebel coach in his first season at the helm. One more victory would tie this year’s squad with the 1937-38 and 1997-98 teams for the second-most wins ever. The school record lies with the 2000-01 club’s 27 victories.
Kennedy is the fourth different coach to guide Ole Miss to a 20-win season and the fifth to earn SEC Coach of the Year honors.
SEC WEST CHAMPIONS
With the thrilling victory over Auburn in the regular season finale, Ole Miss earned the program’s fourth SEC Western Division championship and first since 2001. Just like this year, the Rebels were picked to finish last in the West that preseason as well. Ole Miss also captured consecutive division crowns in 1997 and 1998. The Rebels’ four SEC West titles in the last 11 years is the most of any division rival over that span.
With the SEC Tournament victory over LSU, Ole Miss secured the program’s eighth 20-win season and first since going 20-11 during the 2001-02 campaign, the program's last postseason appearance. Over the last four losing seasons, the Rebels’ previous high for wins had been 14. Also, after five or less SEC victories in each season since 2002, Ole Miss nearly doubled that mark with eight this year.
POURING IN THE POINTS
Andy Kennedy's style of "pressure basketball" has paid tremendous dividends for the Rebels on the offensive side. The team is averaging 73.3 points per game, a 8.1 raise from a year ago, and the highest clip since scoring 77.0 per game in 1998-99. Ole Miss scored 80-plus points in four consecutive SEC games this year for the first time since 1976. The team’s 80 points against LSU in Atlanta was its most in an SEC Tournament game since pouring in 86 against Tennessee in a first-round win at the 2001 event, 10 tourney games ago. The Rebels' 100-80 victory over Nicholls marked only the second time since 2001 for the team to reach the century mark in points.
With his 8 points against Florida at the SEC Tournament, Todd Abernethy ran his career point total to exactly 1,000, becoming the 29th player in Rebel history to reach that mark. Abernethy also needs 2 more assists to tie Jason Harrison (1999-2002) for third on the all-time chart and 9 more 3-pointers to tie Harrison for fourth on the career trey list. On Wednesday, Abernethy slid into the No. 4 spot on the single-season assist list with 176.
In addition, with his 3 3-pointers at South Carolina, senior Clarence Sanders moved atop the Ole Miss single-season chart for treys, passing Aaron Harper’s 2002 total of 83. Sanders’ tally is now at 95.
PROTECTING THE BALL
Ole Miss is second in the SEC in both in turnover margin (+3.73) and assist/turnover ratio (1.21). The Rebels have been in single digits in turnovers in 11 games and five times in league play. Ole Miss had only 5 giveaways against Alabama and a season-low 4 against LSU. Senior guard Todd Abernethy is the SEC leader in assist/turnover ratio at 3.09.
REBELS ON THE TUBE
Ole Miss is making its 22nd television appearance, breaking the previous school record of 21 set in 2000-01. This marks the ninth straight season that Ole Miss has played 10 or more TV games. Monday’s contest is the Rebels’ second of the year on ESPN, as the Ole Miss-Mississippi State rivalry was renewed in Oxford with an "Super Tuesday" showdown. The Connecticut game was also on ESPNU. The Rebels have been on Lincoln Financial six times, while five games were played on FSN. The Rebels have also been in front of the cameras four times each on SportsSouth and CSS. In addition, five games were streamed live over the web on OleMissSports.com's premium site, OleMissSports.tv.
Since the close of the regular season, Kenny Williams has raised his game, averaging 11.3 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.3 blocked shots and 1.3 steals in the last three contests. He collected 13 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists against Appalachian State in the NIT first round. It marked his third double-double of the year and first since a 13-point, 13-rebound performance against Alabama A&M on Dec. 22. Williams’ 12 points, on 6-for-6 shooting, in the SEC Tournament win over LSU was his most against an SEC foe, while his 12 boards vs. Florida in the semifinals was also his league high.
SEC’S TOP POINT GUARD?
Todd Abernethy has raised his scoring average and assist total in each of his seasons as a Rebel, and this year, those figures jumped once again as the senior emerged as arguably the SEC’s best point guard. Abernethy is the SEC leader in assists per game (5.50) and assist/turnover ratio (3.09). He had 9 assists with no turnovers at South Carolina, and 11 assists with only 1 TO against LSU.
Abernethy is also averaging in double-figure points for the first time in his career at 11.0 ppg with a 12.3 clip in SEC action. The Carmel, Ind., native has registered a pair of 20-point games and his first two career double-doubles with 19 points and 10 assists against Mississippi State and 12 points and a career-high 11 assists against LSU. He narrowly missed the mark in the Auburn home win with 15 points and 9 assists. Abernethy has led the team in scoring four times, including his 18-point showing in the NIT first-round win over Appalachian State. In addition, he is eighth in the SEC in minutes played at 33.41 per game.
Since his return from a fractured foot late in non-conference play, Dwayne Curtis has notched 10 double-doubles, including six in SEC play. He has twice reached the 20-point, 10-rebound plateau this year, including his 20 and 12 performance in the home win over Arkansas. Curtis also shined with season highs of 25 points and 13 rebounds against Alabama A&M. He narrowly missed that mark at Auburn, scorching his former team for 19 points and 11 boards. Curtis posted 13 points and 10 rebounds against the Wildcats and all-star center Randolph Morris, and he tallied 11 points and 12 boards against LSU and All-American Glen Davis. On Wednesday, he hit for 12 points and 10 rebounds against Alabama and their vaunted frontcourt of Davidson and Hendrix. Curtis just missed double-doubles against Tennessee (18 points and 9 rebounds), Mississippi State, Alabama and Appalachian State in the NIT first round (14 points and 8 rebounds in each game). Curtis ranks fifth in the SEC in rebounding (8.3) and sixth in field goal percentage (53.5).
After a streaky first season in the Red and Blue, Clarence Sanders has been a steady point provider for the Rebels this year. The senior guard has scored in double-figures in all but three games and ranks fifth in the SEC at 16.3 points per game. He has turned in 11 20-point games and led or tied the team-lead in scoring 15 times. Sanders is second in the SEC in 3s per game (2.88) and eighth in the league in 3-point percentage (37.4). In SEC play, Sanders finished first in 3-pointers (3.50) and fourth in scoring (17.3). Also, after a 35.7 shooting clip a year ago, he boasts a 42.7 field goal percentage this season.
Over the last 11 games, Sanders has averaged 17.5 points and led the scoring efforts six times, including his 21-point showing against Florida in the SEC Tournament semis. Twice in that span he tied his own school record for 3s against an SEC foe with 7. Sanders was 7-of-13 from long range in matching his career high of 29 points against the Bayou Bengals. The Phenix City, Ala., native also burned Auburn for 7-of-11 from downtown for 21 points on the Plains, and he fired in 4-of-6 from behind the arc in hanging 22 on Mississippi State. In last week’s win over Georgia, Sanders posted his 10th 20-point game of the year with 21, drilling 5 3-pointers. Also in SEC play, he struck for 16 and 18 points against Alabama, 17 at Florida and 20 against Tennessee. He lit up Auburn for 18 points at home and hit two 3s in the final 1:35 for the win.
DOYNE IT ALL
Bam Doyne has led the Rebel scoring in two of the last four games. After 19 points in the regular-season finale against Auburn, Doyne followed up with team highs of 26 points and 8 rebounds in the second-round win over LSU at the SEC Tournament. The senior guard has topped the team or tied for the team-lead in scoring in 11 games and in rebounds seven times this year. He is top-10 in the SEC in both scoring (15.2) and free throw accuracy (76.9). Doyne posted three 20-point games in SEC play and 10 total this year. He scored an even 20 at Auburn, and posted 23 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks in the win over Mississippi State. Doyne had 22 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals at Vanderbilt, and in the regular-season final against Auburn, he dropped in 19 and broke a tied game with four free throws in the final three seconds. Doyne also led the way in the Alabama victory with 17 points.
OTHER PLAYER POINTS (Alphabetical)
Todd Abernethy: The fourth-year Rebel missed the first game of his career against Louisiana-Lafayette. He was injured three minutes into the season opener after his head collided with an opposing player's shoulder on a screen. He suffered a slight concussion and had five stitches over his right eye. After sitting out the ULL game, the three-time Team Captain returned to the Ole Miss starting lineup with 13 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds against Fairfield.
Dwayne Curtis: The junior center suffered a stress fracture of the third metatarsal in his left foot in the third day of preseason practice and missed the first eight games of the year. In his second game back, the preseason All-SEC honoree reached a double-double less than 15 minutes into the UL-Monroe contest and finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench. He nearly repeated that feat at South Alabama with 16 points and 9 boards, and against UIC, he registered 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Bam Doyne: The senior forward has tallied multiple steals in nine games, including a career-high tying 4 against Arkansas at home. He collected 3 steals against Appalachian State in the NIT first round ... Prior to game seven of the SEC slate at Vanderbilt, Doyne's previous 20-point game was a 22-point outburst in the non-conference finale at Saint Louis. During an impressive non-league season, he scored a career-high 28 in the win at South Alabama and a pair of 25-point outings against Tennessee Tech and Louisiana-Monroe. Doyne has also turned in his first two career double-doubles with 20 points and 11 rebounds against Nicholls and 20 points and a career-best 12 boards against Fairfield.
Trey Hampton: Playing in only his sixth game in SEC play, Hampton tipped in a pair of baskets for 4 points and tied the team-lead in rebounds with 5 at South Carolina. Both were SEC highs this year. The sophomore forward had one previous bucket in league play (in the opener), and his rebound total was the most since the fifth game of the year (6 at UConn) ... Hampton appeared in the starting lineup for only the second time this season at Mississippi State. He played 6 minutes and connected on 1-of-2 free throws. Hampton made 9 starts as a freshman a year ago ... After missing two games with sickness, the sophomore forward returned to the court against New Orleans and added 5 points and 4 boards ... Hampton enjoyed his best game of the year against Central Arkansas. With Kenny Williams slowed by a sprained ankle, Hampton earned his first start of 2006-07 and posted season highs in minutes (25), points (8), rebounds (5) and assists (2). He was also 2-of-4 from behind the arc.
Xavier Hansbro: After making no starts as a rookie, the sophomore forward received the starting nod in the season’s first two games. In his first career start in the opening win over Mississippi Valley State, the Trezevant, Tenn., native responded with his second double-digit scoring outing as a Rebel, dropping in 11 points along with 6 rebounds. Coincidentally, Hansbro’s only other double-figure game was in last year’s season opener, when he hit 4-of-6 3-pointers for 12 points against Southern Utah.
Greg Hardy: Since suiting up for his first game with the Rebel basketball team against Alabama A&M, the two-sport athlete has seen action in 14 games and earned his first career start at LSU. Hardy has saved his best outings for the defending national champion Florida. He was 3-for-3 for a career-high 6 points with 4 rebounds against the Gators in the SEC Tournament semifinals. With Kenny Williams and Jermey Parnell both fouling out in Gainesville, Hardy saw 12 minutes of action and posted 3 points, 4 rebounds and a steal, giving him 6 takeaways over a four-game span. He posted a season-high 5 rebounds with 2 points and 2 steals at Mississippi State ... A freshman from Memphis who is also a member of the Ole Miss football team, Hardy began practicing with the team on Nov. 27, following the Rebels’ Egg Bowl victory over Mississippi State in the season finale on the gridiron. As a rookie on the football team, Hardy played in all 12 games on the defensive line, tying for the team-lead in sacks (3.0) and ranking fifth in total tackles (49). His four fumble recoveries also tied for third in the SEC, and against MSU, he saw his first action at wide receiver and hauled in a 23-yard touchdown.
Rodney Jones: The freshman guard scored his first basket in SEC play at Arkansas, going 1-for-1 with 2 points and 1 rebound in 6 minutes. Jones saw action in eight games against league foes with the most minutes, 7, coming at Florida.
Andy Ogide: After playing in only three of the first 12 games, the freshman forward received the starting nod for the first time in his career in the win over Alabama A&M. Ogide saw 11 minutes of action and posted 3 points and 5 rebounds. He had his best game against Louisiana-Monroe with 7 points on 3-for-3 shooting.
Jermey Parnell: The junior forward turned in his first career double-double against Georgia, posting SEC highs of 11 points and 10 rebounds. Besides that, Parnell has not scored more than 6 points against a league foe this year and reached that mark on four occasions. He totaled 6 points and 5 rebounds in each of the final two regular-season games ... Parnell has returned to the starting lineup in four of the last six games. Prior to that, he made one other start in SEC action against Arkansas at home. Parnell started 11 straight games during non-conference play ... After only five double-figures scoring games in his first two seasons, the junior forward has already scored 10 or more points seven times this year. In the win over Tennessee Tech, Parnell tallied 14 points and 8 rebounds, and he followed up with 13 points and 4 boards against Nicholls. Against New Orleans, the Gosnell, Ark., native established a career high in scoring with 16 points, going 5-for-5 from the field and 6-of-7 from the free throw stripe.
Eniel Polynice: The freshman guard has earned the starting nod in eight games against SEC teams, including six straight at one point. In the SEC Tournament second round, Polynice turned in his best game since non-conference season, tallying 11 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in the win over LSU. It was his fourth double-digit scoring performance. He got his first career start at Vanderbilt and responded with 10 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals. Polynice also totaled 7 points and 3 assists in the win over LSU and 6 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals ... For the fourth time this season, Polynice helped energize a big Rebel run in the second-half comeback at Florida. During Ole Miss' 29-11 outburst on the Gators, the Sarasota, Fla., native scored 8 points and collected 3 steals, 2 rebounds and 2 assists in helping bring a 25-point deficit down to 7 ... The freshman guard had his best game as a Rebel against New Orleans, knocking down 4-of-4 3-pointers in totaling 15 points, 3 assists and 3 steals. Polynice dropped in 12 of his points in the second half in helping Ole Miss rally from 7 down early in the stanza. He followed up with 10 points in a career-high 29 minutes at Memphis. Down 12-3 early, Polynice came off the bench to score three of the next four Ole Miss baskets to help ignite a 21-11 Rebel run ... Polynice also sparked Ole Miss in the victory over Central Arkansas in the HCF Classic. With the Rebels clinging to a 2-point advantage midway through the second half, Polynice drilled a pair of 3-pointers and scored 8 points in 2:18 to push the lead up to 10.
Clarence Sanders: In six SEC contests, the Rebels erased deficits late with Sanders spearheading the rallying efforts. The senior guard scored 15 of his team-high 17 points in the second stanza at Florida, as Ole Miss reeled off a 29-11 against the nation's No. 1. He followed with 18 second-half points against Tennessee to help the Rebels go from 10 down at the break to a 83-69 victory. Sanders dropped in 11 after the break at Vanderbilt and hit back-to-back 3-pointers to cap a 32-16 run and provide Ole Miss a 1-point lead. Against Alabama, he led the Rebels from 7 points down with 10:10 left to a 75-69 win, scoring 11 of the team's final 12 points. Sanders struck again in the home victory over LSU, when he scored 7 points during the team’s game-ending 12-5 run, including the go-ahead jumper with less than a second left for the 71-70 win. His latest heroics occurred Saturday, when he hit a pair of 3-pointers in the final 1:35 to overcome Auburn. The Rebels were down by 4 points when he fired the first trey, and his second bomb tied the game with 39 ticks left ... At one point this year, Sanders hit 11 straight shots, posting a perfect second half against UIC and connecting on his first five attempts against Alabama A&M. In the win over UIC, Sanders connected on 4-of-6 treys in leading the Rebels with 20, and he netted his first four 3s in scoring 23 against Alabama A&M. Sanders drilled 4-of-7 treys in pouring in 22 points against Louisiana-Lafayette, and he struck for a team-high 21 against Fairfield and 20 against Nicholls.
Brian Smith: The junior guard shot 48.1 percent from the field (13-of-27) and 47.6 from 3-point range (10-of-21) in league play. He scored 5 or more points in five games, including when he hit a pair of late 3-pointers at Alabama. Smith was 2-for-2 from the field in scoring 5 points against both Mississippi State and Tennessee. He also came off the bench to hit a key trey with 8:11 left in the home win over Arkansas, and was 2-for-2 from behind the arc during the Rebels' 29-11 second-half comeback at Florida. In addition, he hit a crucial 3-pointer in the midst of the Rebels' late game-winning rally against Alabama ... Smith was a hero in the home win over LSU. Down by a point with the Tigers burning the clock, Smith got the steal with 6 seconds left that led to Clarence Sanders’ game-winning basket. Smith also deflected LSU’s inbound pass on their last-second possession ... Smith earned his second career start at Vanderbilt. He played 19 minutes and collected 3 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists ... With starting point guard Todd Abernethy leaving with injury in the game's opening moments, Smith stepped in admirably in the season opener, helping lead the Rebels to the 72-49 victory over Mississippi Valley State. Smith played 21 minutes and recorded career highs of 10 points and 4 rebounds. He connected on 4-of-7 field goals, including 2-of-4 treys. With Abernethy still out, the 5-foot-11 Smith earned his first career start against Louisiana-Lafayette and saw 17 minutes of action.
Kenny Williams: The junior forward leads Ole Miss in field goal percentage at 55.7 percent and 59.5 in SEC play. He was 6-for-6 in the SEC tourney win over LSU ... Williams notched multiple blocked shots in a game for the 12th time this year and for the second-straight game with a pair against LSU in the SEC Tournament. He collected a career-high 3 against Alabama. He is 13th in the SEC in blocks (1.12) ... Williams scored in double figures in five games against SEC teams. At Arkansas, he tallied 10 points, 8 rebounds and a career-high 4 assists. He struck for 10 points and 7 rebounds in the home win over Arkansas, and he amassed 10 points and 6 rebounds on the road against both Vanderbilt and LSU. Williams was also effective against Tennessee with 9 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocked shots and Auburn at home with 9 points, 4 boards and 2 blocks ... Williams turned in two double-doubles during the non-conference season, including a 13-point, career-high 13-rebound effort against Alabama A&M. Williams had his best game as a Rebel against Nicholls with his first double-double, posting a career-high 16 points with 10 rebounds. He also hit for 15 points and 6 boards against New Orleans and 13 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals against Tennessee Tech.
STEALING THE SHOW
Ole Miss has posted double-digit takeaways seven times this year, including 11 in the NIT first-round win over Appalachian State with 3 apiece from Todd Abernethy, Bam Doyne and Kenny Williams. The Rebels established a season high for steals at Florida with 12 against the No. 1 Gators, including 3 from Eniel Polynice. Brian Smith collected 3 against Tennessee, as the team totaled 11. Ole Miss also managed 11 steals on the Plains and pressed Auburn into 25 turnovers. The Rebels notched 10 steals and forced 21 turnovers in home wins over both Arkansas and Auburn. Clarence Sanders has tallied multiple steals in 13 games overall this year and leads the team with 41. Ole Miss finished fourth in the SEC in steals in league play at 7.56 per game.