Ole Miss Travels To N.C. State

March 22, 2000

OXFORD, Miss. - The Ole Miss Rebels (19-13, 5-11 SEC) will take to the road for the first time in the 2000 postseason on Thursday, Mar. 23 when they travel to N.C. State (19-12, 6-10 ACC) for National Invitation Tournament (NIT) Quarterfinal action. The contest, which is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. (CT), will be played at Entertainment and Sports Arena (ESA) in Raleigh, N.C. Ole Miss advanced to the quarterfinals of the NIT with a 70-48 second-round victory over Southwest Missouri State on Mar. 21. The Rebels have won four of their last six games with victories over then-No. 24 Vanderbilt (75-67), Alabama (63-59), UNC Charlotte (62-45) and Southwest Missouri State (70-48). The two setbacks were to then-No. 12 LSU (64-60) and then-No. 11 Florida (89-67), and both teams are in this year's NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen. The Wolfpack enter Thursday's game having won four of their last five contests. During the five-game stretch, N.C. State defeated Florida State (70-51), Virginia (76-65), Tulane (64-60) and Arizona State (60-57). The Wolfpack's lone loss was to nationally-ranked Maryland (64-61) in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament semifinals.

Thursday's game will be the third overall meeting between the two schools, but the first since the 1928-29 season. The series is tied at 1-1 with the two previous meetings coming in Southern Conference Tournament play in the late 1920s. Ole Miss won the first encounter in the 1928 tournament (1927-28 season), a 40-35 victory in the first round. The Rebels went on to win the 1928 Southern Conference Tournament. The following season (1928-29), N.C. State won the tournament rematch, defeating Ole Miss, 34-32 in the tourney semifinals.

Game #33 - NIT Quarterfinals

Ole Miss (19-13) vs. N.C. State (19-12)
Thursday, March 23 - 6:30 p.m. (CT)
Entertainment & Sports Arena - Raleigh, N.C.

* Based on last game's starters

No.Player (Yr.)Pos.Ht.Wt.PPG/RPGHometown
22Jason Flanigan (Jr.)G6-11758.3/2.9Little Rock, Ark.
23Syniker Taylor (Fr.)G6-01952.4/2.3Gulfport, Miss.
24Marcus Hicks (Sr.)F6-620014.5/5.8Jackson, Tenn.
25Lataryl Williams (Sr.)F6-72009.2/3.5Oxford, Miss.
44Rahim Lockhart (Jr.)F6-825012.4/8.4Mendenhall, Miss.


No.Player (Yr.)Pos.Ht.Wt.PPG/RPGHometown
11Jason Harrison (So.)G5-51509.1/2.8Little Rock, Ark.
15Ray Waddell (Jr.)G5-91650.9/0.6Philadelphia, Miss.
20Jason Holmes (Jr.)G6-52003.4/1.6Tylertown, Miss.
30Josh Hayes (Fr.)G6-71905.0/2.0Little Rock, Ark.#
31John Gunn (Fr.)F/C6-102453.1/1.9Oxford, Miss.
32Emmanuel Wade (Fr.)G6-31855.0/1.7Marianna, Ark.
45Richard Kirklin (Fr.)F6-92002.0/1.8Pine Bluff, Ark.
54John Engstrom (So.)C7-02451.0/0.9Paragould, Ark.

# - will seek a medical redshirt at the end of the season

Rebels on Television and Radio

Television: None

Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network (David Kellum, play-by-play, Sean Tuohy, color analyst, Stan Sandroni, pregame/halftime/postgame host)

N.C. State, a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), brings a 19-12 overall record into Thursday's contest. The Wolfpack posted a 6-10 record in ACC play. The Wolfpack enter Thursday's game having won four of their last five contests. During the five-game stretch, N.C. State defeated Florida State (70-51), Virginia (76-65), Tulane (64-60) and Arizona State (60-57). The Wolfpack's lone loss was to nationally-ranked Maryland (64-61) in the ACC Tournament semifinals. The tandem of Anthony Grundy and Damien Wilkins leads the Wolfpack offense. Grundy leads the squad with a 12.6 scoring average, while Wilkins is second with an 11.2 average. Damon Thornton is tops on the team in rebounding with a 7.6 average, and Kenny Inge is second with 6.2 boards per game. N.C. State is shooting 43.1 percent from the field, 33.2 percent from the three-point line and 63.9 percent from the charity stripe. The Wolfpack are averaging 69.0 points and 36.3 rebounds, and are out-rebounding their opponents by an average of 1.4 boards per contest (36.3-34.9).

* Based on last game's starters

No.Player (Yr.)Pos.Ht.Wt.PPG/RPGHometown
1Damien Wilkins (Fr.)F6-622011.2/5.8Washington, N.C.
21Kenny Inge (Jr.)F6-82209.7/6.2Virginia Beach, Va.
25Tim Wells (Sr.)F6-62032.3/0.7Winston-Salem, N.C.
2Anthony Grundy (So.)G6-217012.6/4.8Louisville, Ky.
12Justin Gainey (Sr.)G6-01808.7/2.3High Point, N.C.


No.Player (Yr.)Pos.Ht.Wt.PPG/RPGHometown
3Damon Thornton (Jr.)F6-82379.8/7.6Norfolk, Va.
11Archie Miller (So.)G5-91544.9/1.0Beaver Falls, Pa.
40Ron Kelley (Jr.)C6-82378.6/4.0Emory, Texas
30Clifford Crawford (Fr.)G6-31852.1/1.3Winston-Salem, N.C.


Ole MissStatistical CategoryNCSU
71.9Scoring Offense69.0
68.2Scoring Defense68.6
37.6Rebound Avg.36.3
33.3Opponent Rebound Avg.34.9
+4.3Rebound Margin+1.4
44.7Field Goal Percentage43.1
43.3Opponent Field Goal Percentage41.9
33.2Three-Point Field Goal Percentage33.2
32.1Opp. Three-Point Field Goal Percentage32.0
65.0Free Throw Percentage63.9
504Opponent Turnovers584

Rod Barnes is in his second season at the helm of the Ole Miss Rebel basketball program. With the Rebels' win over Southwest Missouri State in the NIT second round on Mar. 21, Barnes' overall coaching record now stands at 39-26. In his first season in 1998-99, Barnes guided Ole Miss to a 20-13 overall record and a third straight NCAA Tournament appearance. The Satartia, Miss., native became the first head coach in the history of Rebel basketball to win 20 games in his first season. Last 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, after Rob Evans left to take the head coaching position at Arizona State on April 6. 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).

The Rebels are playing in their sixth National Invitation Tournament (NIT). In its six NIT appearances, Ole Miss has a 6-5 record. The Rebels have a 1-4 record in road games in the NIT, and have lost three straight road contests dating back to the 1983 NIT. The lone win in an NIT road game was a 53-49 victory at Clemson in the 1982 NIT second round. Prior to this season's NIT, the Rebels' last appearance in the NIT was 1989, and Ole Miss dropped a 70-67 decision at St. John's in the first round.

The Rebels have an overall postseason record of 7-9 in the program's history. Prior to this year's NIT, Ole Miss had played in four NCAA Tournaments (1981, 1997, 1998, 1999) and five NITs (1980, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1989). Last season, the Rebels made their third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, advancing to the second round. Ole Miss won its first NCAA Tournament game with a 72-70 victory over Villanova in the first round, but fell to eventual Final Four participant Michigan State, 74-66 in the second round.

In last eight years (including the 1999-2000 season), the Rebels have posted a 65-27 record (.707 winning percentage) versus non-conference opponents. Non-conference foes have found Ole Miss especially tough the last five seasons (1995-96, 1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-2000), as the Rebels have an impressive 48-14 mark (.774 winning percentage) against out-of-conference teams. The following shows Ole Miss' non-conference record the past eight years:


The Rebels have an all-time record of 13-17 (.363 winning percentage) versus current members of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Ole Miss is 8-11 versus Georgia Tech, 1-1 versus Florida State, Maryland, North Carolina and N.C. State and 1-2 versus Clemson, . The Rebels have never played Duke, Virginia and Wake Forest. The last time Ole Miss played a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference was the 1987-88 season when the Rebels lost to Maryland, 77-69 in the championship game of the MCI Harbor Classic in Baltimore, Md. Ole Miss is 1-0 versus the Atlantic Coast Conference in postseason play, defeating Clemson, 53-49 in the 1982 NIT first round in Clemson, S.C.

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 71-9 record (.888 winning percentage) when it scores 70 points or more in a game. On the other hand, the Rebels are 9-33 when they net less than 70 points in a game over the last four years, including a 3-9 mark this season. This year, the Rebels are 16-3 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 1999-2000 campaign has not been as successful as the last three for the Rebels, but Ole Miss is a young squad-similar to another Rebel team in 1995-96 which went on to major success the following seasons. The following charts the similarities between those two teams:

Overall Record12-1519-13
SEC Record6-105-11
SEC Road Record0-80-8
SEC losses by less than 10 pts
(avg. margin of loss)7 (4.7)7 (4.4)
1st 5 SEC games0-50-5
1st SEC winAuburn (#21)Auburn (#4)
Wins vs. ranked teamstwotwo
Last 3 SEC games2-12-1
Regular-season finale4-pt. loss at4-pt. loss at
SEC Tour. 1st-Roundvs. Florida (loss)vs. Florida (loss)
Seniors on team3 (2 JUCOs)2 (2 JUCOs)

Next 3 Seasons3 NCAAs
3 20-win seasons
2 SEC Western Division titles

Ole Miss will attempt to write another page in Rebel basketball history on Thursday in Raleigh, N.C. With a win over N.C. State in the NIT quarterfinals, the Rebels would post a fourth consecutive 20-win season for the first time in school history. Ole Miss has a current string of three 20-win seasons (20-9 in 1996-97, 22-7 in 1997-98, 20-13 in 1998-99). Prior to the current streak of 20-win campaigns, the Rebel program had only two other 20-win seasons in 1936-37 (20-6) and 1937-38 (23-11).

With a Rebel victory over N.C. State in the NIT quarterfinals on Thursday, Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes would become only the third coach in the program's history to record back-to-back 20-win campaigns. George Bohler (20-6, 1936-37, 23-11, 1937-38) and Rob Evans (20-9, 1996-97, 22-7, 1997-98) are the only coaches in Rebel basketball history to accomplish the feat. If the Rebels win, Barnes would be the first-ever coach to record 20-win seasons in his first two years as head coach. Last season, Barnes became the first coach in Ole Miss basketball history to record 20 wins in his first season.

Sophomore Jason Harrison (Little Rock, Ark.) was named to the Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference third team for the 1999-2000 season. It was the fourth consecutive year that Ole Miss had at least one player named to the Associated Press All-SEC team. Harrison also became the first Rebel sophomore to be named All-SEC since Joe Harvell in 1991 (also All-SEC third team). For the season, the 5-foot-5 guard averaged 9.1 points and 2.8 boards. He leads the team with 113 assists and is second on the squad with 43 steals.

Redshirt sophomore John Engstrom (Paragould, Ark.) was named to the 2000 Southeastern Conference Men's Basketball Academic Honor Roll. This was the second consecutive year that Engstrom earned the honor. The 7-foot center holds a 3.17 cumulative grade-point average in Business. Engstrom has seen action in 22 of the Rebels' 32 games in 1999-2000. He is averaging 1.0 points and 0.9 rebounds, while shooting 52.9 percent from the floor. To be eligible for the SEC Academic Honor Roll, a student-athlete must have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher and must have completed one full year of academic work at the institution.

Well, almost. Coming into the 1999-2000 season, Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes was relying on senior forward Lataryl Williams (Oxford, Miss.) to be more of a scorer for the squad. However, no one could have guessed how important Williams' scoring would be. This season, Williams has netted double figures 16 times, and the Rebels have a 13-3 record in those contests. In SEC play, Ole Miss was 4-2 when Williams scores in double figures, with the two setbacks being a two-point loss to Mississippi State (61-59) and a three-point loss to Auburn (75-72). The following chart shows Williams double-digit games and the Rebels' results:

OpponentWilliams' pointsResult
SW Missouri State1070-48 W
UNC Charlotte1362-45 W
Alabama1363-59 W
Vanderbilt1275-67 W
at Auburn1072-75 L
Arkansas1087-82 W
Auburn1179-77 W
Mississippi State2159-61 L
Birmingham-Southern1089-48 W
Prairie View1398-74 W
Louisiana-Monroe1476-60 W
Memphis1174-64 W
Va. Commonwealth22*75-62 W
Oklahoma1273-81 L
Oregon State1277-58 W
Jacksonville State1574-59 W

*career high

With his monster rebounding games this season, junior Rahim Lockhart (Mendenhall, Miss.) has put his name among the top rebounders in Ole Miss basketball history. After his 14-rebound performance in the Rebels' second-round NIT victory over Southwest Missouri State, he has 489 career rebounds and is in the No. 15 spot on the Rebel career rebounding chart. The following abbreviated chart shows the top rebounders in Ole Miss history:

1. Walter Actwood/1974-77945
2. Elston Turner/1978-81828
7. Ansu Sesay/1995-98699
9. Jason Smith/1996-99671
12. Keith Carter/1996-99596
14. Ivan Richmann537
15. Rahim Lockhart/1997-present489
16. Duaine Boucher/1970-72480

Junior Rahim Lockhart has certainly doubled his pleasure for the Rebels in 1999-2000, as he has recorded 13 double-doubles. His last double-double performance came versus Southwest Missouri State on Mar. 21 with 13 points and 14 rebounds. His 13 double-doubles ranks him 10th in the nation in that statistical category. Lockhart is currently averaging 12.4 points and 8.4 rebounds. The following charts Lockhart's double-doubles this season:

Jacksonville St.2911career high pts
McNeese St.1316career high rebs
Furman1514tied car-high blks (4)
Oregon St.1112
Alabama St.1210
SW Missouri State1314

The junior forward now has 14 career double-doubles, as his first came last season against Tennessee (Feb. 17, 16 pts-12 rebs).

This year's senior class of Marcus Hicks (Jackson, Tenn.) and Lataryl Williams will not come near the 1999 senior class record of 74 wins over a four-year span since they were members of the Rebel program for only two years after transferring from Northwest Mississippi C.C. However, this season's junior class of Jason Flanigan (Little Rock, Ark.) and Rahim Lockhart are closing in on that record of 74. After the Rebels' victory over Southwest Missouri State, the Rebel junior class has won 61 games, just 13 behind the record. The junior class was also a part of the 1998 SEC Western Division championship squad and has been to three straight postseasons (2 NCAA, 1 NIT). The following chart lists the most successful classes in Ole Miss history:

Four-Year SpanNo. of Wins
1995-96 to 1998-9974
1979-80 to 1982-8370
1935-36 to 1938-3963
1994-95 to 1997-9862
1978-79 to 1981-8262
1923-24 to 1926-2762
1997-98 to present61
1980-81 to 1983-8461
1936-37 to 1939-4061
1934-35 to 1937-3861

If he hasn't done enough already, Jason Harrison is nearing another milestone in his young career. The 5-foot-5 sophomore guard enters Thursday's NIT quarterfinal game versus N.C. State with 499 career points, needing only one point to reach the 500-point plateau. For the season, Harrison is the team's fourth-leading scorer with a 9.1 average.

Well, there is more on sophomore Jason Harrison, as he is nearing the 200-assist plateau. With his one assist versus Southwest Missouri State in the NIT second round on Mar. 21, Harrison now has 199 and needs only one to reach the 200 mark 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 113 assists this season. 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.

Since he started coming off the bench the last 12 games, sophomore Jason Harrison, dubbed "Little Man" by the coaching staff, has given some strong offensive performances for the Rebels. In the 12-game stretch, the 5-foot-5 guard has averaged 11.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists, while shooting 83.8 percent from the charity stripe. He has scored in double figures in nine of those 12 games, and hit a career-high six field goals versus Georgia. The following charts "Little Man's" last 12 games:

South Carolina14036-6
Mississippi State12444-5
Florida (SEC)20128-10
UNC Charlotte (NIT)10240-0
SW Missouri St. (NIT)11312-2

The Ole Miss Rebel basketball program has had many "firsts" in its history over the last four seasons, but with its win over UNC Charlotte on Mar. 15, Ole Miss set another "first." With its 18th win of the season, the Rebel basketball program has now averaged 20 victories per season the last four years (20-9, 1996-97, 22-7, 1997-98, 20-13, 1998-99, 19-13, 1999-2000) for the first time in school history. The previous long for averaging 20 or more wins was two straight seasons (20-6, 1936-37, 22-12, 1937-38) when the Rebels averaged 21 wins over the two years.

Junior Jason Flanigan (Little Rock, Ark.) reached the 500-point milestone in his career in the Rebels' regular-season finale at LSU on Mar. 4. The 6-foot-1 guard entered the game with 488 career points, and netted point No. 500 on a free throw at the 5:13 mark of the second half. He finished the LSU game with 14 points. After netting five points versus Southwest Missouri State in the second round of the NIT, he now has 525 career points. This season, Flanigan is the team's fifth-leading scorer with an 8.3 average.

Senior Marcus Hicks reached another milestone in his Rebel career, surpassing the 800-point plateau in Ole Miss' game at LSU on Mar. 4. With his 16 points versus Southwest Missouri State in the NIT second round on Mar. 21, Hicks now has 851 career points in 65 games. The following chart shows Hicks' scoring milestone moments this season:

Point MilestoneOpponent/DatePoints In Game
No. 400Jacksonville St./Nov. 1914 points
No. 500Oklahoma/Dec. 416 points
No. 600Florida/Jan. 811 points
No. 700Arkansas/Feb. 2*31 points
No. 800LSU/Mar. 45 points

* career high

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.

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 81 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 44. Senior Marcus Hicks pushed his way into the top six on the Rebel career blocked shots chart, as he now has 71 after his one block versus Southwest Missouri State on Mar. 21. The following chart show the Ole Miss career blocked shots leaders:

Rebel All-Time Blocked Shots Leaders

Player/YearsNo. of Blocked Shots
Sean Murphy/1987-91180
Johnnie Rogers/1996-99114
David Dean/1992-94108
Ansu Sesay/1995-9899
Rahim Lockhart/1997-present81
Marcus Hicks/1998-present71
Ronnie Sims/1985-8671
Patrick Eddie/1989-9168

Junior guard Jason Flanigan 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 Southwest Missouri State on Mar. 21, Flanigan now has 224 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 95 assists, which is second on team.

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 364 after grabbing seven boards versus Southwest Missouri State on Mar. 21. This season, Hicks is the Rebels' second-leading rebounder with a 5.8 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.



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