Ole Miss Basketball Announces 2003-04 Schedule
Aug. 22, 2003
OXFORD, Miss. - The Ole Miss men's basketball squad will face another challenging schedule in 2003-04, Rebel head coach Rod Barnes announced Friday. In addition to the Southeastern Conference slate, the Rebels have lined up tough non-league encounters at home against Arkansas State, East Carolina and Memphis and road contests at Florida State and Evansville. Ole Miss has 17 home games slated for Tad Smith Coliseum this season.
The 2003-04 schedule has eight teams that advanced to the postseason in 2003, and also includes a stretch where the Rebels play four games in nine days (Dec. 13-22). Ole Miss already has eight games slated for television against Florida State (Dec. 3, FXSNS), Alabama (Jan. 24, FXSNS; Feb. 28, JP), Kentucky (Jan. 28, JP), South Carolina (Jan. 31, JP), Mississippi State (Feb. 7, FXSNS), Auburn (Feb. 14, FXSNS) and Florida (Feb. 21, ESPN2).
"This will be another tough schedule for our program," said Barnes, who enters his sixth season in 2003-04. "We will see several different styles of play with the opponents we will face. This schedule will definitely be a test for our young team."
Following two exhibitions in early November, the Rebels begin the 2003-04 campaign with its home opener against Arkansas State Nov. 21. Other non-league home dates include Centenary Nov. 25, Southeastern Louisiana Nov. 29, East Carolina Dec. 6, Memphis Dec. 13, Louisiana-Monroe Dec. 20, Jacksonville State Dec. 22, Alabama State Dec. 30 and Nicholls State Jan. 3. The Rebels' first non-conference road test is at Florida State Dec. 3. Ole Miss' only other road game during the non-SEC portion of the schedule is at Evansville Dec. 17.
The Nov. 25 Centenary, Dec. 20 Louisiana-Monroe and Dec. 22 Jacksonville State games will be homecomings for former Rebels. Lemuel Jones, who served as a graduate administrative aide on the 2000-01 and 2001-02 Ole Miss staffs, is an assistant coach at Centenary, while former Rebel players Michael White and Chris Oney serve as assistant coaches at Jacksonville State and Louisiana-Monroe, respectively. White was at Ole Miss from 1996-99 and played an integral role in helping lead the Rebels to three NCAA Tournament appearances and consecutive SEC Western Division titles in 1997 and 1998. Oney lettered at Ole Miss in 1997, and was a member of the Rebels' first SEC Western Division championship squad.
For the first time since the 1997-98 campaign, the Rebels open the SEC portion of their schedule at home against rival Mississippi State Jan. 7. Ole Miss faces 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 South Carolina Jan. 31, Florida Feb. 21 and Vanderbilt Feb. 25, and travel to Kentucky Jan. 28, Georgia Feb. 4 and Tennessee Feb. 18. The SEC Tournament returns to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga., Mar. 11-14.
"Despite having several SEC teams with a lot of youth this year, our conference schedule offers us a tremendous challenge," Barnes said. "This league seems to get tougher every year, and this season is no different. If there is a positive to playing in such a tough conference, it is that it prepares you for postseason play."
Ole Miss returns seven letterwinners and two starters from last year's team that posted a 14-15 record.
2003-04 Ole Miss Men's Basketball Schedule
November - 11, Southeastern All-Stars (Exhibition), 15, Carson Newman College (Exhibition), 21, Arkansas State, 25, Centenary, 29, Southeastern Louisiana
December - 3, at Florida State (FXSNS), 6, East Carolina, 13, Memphis, 17, at Evansville, 20, Louisiana-Monroe, 22, Jacksonville State, 30, Alabama State
January - 3, Nicholls State, 7, Mississippi State, 10, at Auburn, 17, at Arkansas, 21, LSU, 24, Alabama (FXSNS), 28, at Kentucky (JP), 31, South Carolina (JP)
February - 4, at Georgia, 7, at Mississippi State (FXSNS), 14, Auburn (FXSNS), 18, at Tennessee, 21, Florida (ESPN2), 25, Vanderbilt, 28, at Alabama (JP)
March - 3, at LSU, 6, Arkansas, 11-14, SEC Tournament (Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Ga.)
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