Ole Miss Basketball Announces 2002-03 Schedule
Aug. 14, 2002
OXFORD, Miss. - The Ole Miss men's basketball squad will face another challenging schedule in 2002-03, Rebel head coach Rod Barnes announced Wednesday. In addition to the Southeastern Conference slate, the Rebels have lined up tough non-league encounters at home against Virginia Commonwealth, Evansville and Samford and on the road at East Carolina, George Mason and Memphis.
The 2002-03 schedule has 10 teams that advanced to the postseason in 2002, and also includes a stretch where the Rebels will play seven games in 17 days (Dec. 14-31). Ole Miss already has nine SEC games slated for television against Tennessee (Jan. 11, JP), LSU (Jan. 18, JP), Alabama (Jan. 21, ESPN; Mar. 2, CBS), Arkansas (Jan. 25, FOX Sports Net South), Kentucky (Feb. 8, JP), Florida (Feb. 12, JP), Mississippi State (Feb. 15, FOX Sports Net South) and Auburn (Feb. 22, FOX Sports Net South). Game times and non-league television contests will be announced at a later date.
"This will be another challenging schedule for our program," Barnes said. "We will see several different styles of play with the opponents we will face. This schedule will definitely be a test for our team."
Following two exhibitions in early November, the Rebels begin the 2002-03 campaign on the road at East Carolina Nov. 24. Ole Miss also has non-league road games at George Mason Nov. 30 and at NIT champion Memphis Dec. 19.
Ole Miss' hosts its home opener versus Alabama State Nov. 27. Other non-league home dates include Austin Peay Dec. 4, Virginia Commonwealth Dec. 14, Louisiana-Monroe Dec. 17, Nicholls State Dec. 21, Evansville Dec. 23, Arkansas-Pine Bluff Dec. 28 and Samford Dec. 31.
The Rebels open SEC play on the road for the fifth consecutive year, this time at South Carolina Jan. 8. The contest will be the Gamecocks' first league game in their new arena. Ole Miss plays each Western Division opponent (Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU and Mississippi State) twice on a home-and-home basis. The Rebels host SEC Eastern Division foes Tennessee Jan. 11, Kentucky Feb. 8 and Georgia Feb. 26, and travel to Vanderbilt Feb. 1 and Florida Feb. 12 in addition to South Carolina. The SEC Tournament returns to the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, La., Mar. 13-16.
"This league seems to get tougher every year, and this season will be no different," said Barnes. "If there is a positive to playing in such a tough conference, it is that it prepares you for postseason play."
Ole Miss returns 11 letterwinners and four starters from last year's team that posted a 20-11 record and earned an NCAA Tournament berth. The winning campaign and postseason bid were the program's sixth straight.
2002-03 Ole Miss Men's Basketball Schedule
November - 9, West Alabama (Exhibition), 16, Athletes In Action (Exhibition), 24, at East Carolina, 27, Alabama State, 30, at George Mason
December - 4, Austin Peay, 14, Virginia Commonwealth, 17, Louisiana-Monroe, 19, at Memphis, 21, Nicholls State, 23, Evansville, 28, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 31, Samford
January - 8, at South Carolina, 11, Tennessee (JP), 18, at LSU (JP), 21, Alabama (ESPN), 25, Arkansas (FXSNS), 29, Mississippi State
February - 1, at Vanderbilt, 5, at Auburn, 8, Kentucky (JP), 12, at Florida (JP), 15, at Mississippi State (FXSNS), 22, Auburn (FXSNS), 26, Georgia
March - 2, at Alabama (CBS), 5, LSU, 8, at Arkansas, 13-16, SEC Tournament (Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, La.)
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