Ole Miss Basketball Exhibition Game Notes

Nov. 15, 2002

OLE MISS TO HOST FINAL EXHIBITION SATURDAY: The Rebels host their final exhibition Saturday, Nov. 16 against Athletes In Action (AIA). Game time is 3:00 p.m. (CT) at Tad Smith Coliseum. Ole Miss defeated West Alabama 97-35 in its first exhibition last Saturday. AIA enters Saturday's contest with a 0-9 record on its college tour. AIA dropped an 80-62 decision at Cincinnati Thursday. AIA has played three Southeastern Conference teams on the tour to date, falling at Arkansas (77-73), Alabama (72-71) and Kentucky (83-82).

BARNES IN FIFTH SEASON AS REBEL MENTOR: Rod Barnes is in his fifth season at the helm of the Ole Miss Rebel basketball program. The 2001 Naismith and CollegeInsider.com National Coach of the Year, Barnes has compiled an 86-46 record, and the 86 victories are the most by a Rebel coach in his first four years in Ole Miss history. Last year, Barnes, the 2001 Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year, guided Ole Miss to a 20-11 overall record and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. The winning season and postseason tournament both were the sixth straight for the Ole Miss program.

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).

REBELS OPEN REGULAR-SEASON PLAY NOVEMBER 24: Ole Miss opens regular-season play Sunday, Nov. 24 at East Carolina. Game time for the opener is 1:00 p.m. (CT). It will be the first meeting between the two programs.

WILL SEVEN BE LUCKY FOR THE REBELS?: Many say that seven is the lucky number, and the Ole Miss Rebels hope that is true for them in 2002-03. Ole Miss will be looking to extend both its winning season and postseason tournament bid streaks to seven straight. If the Rebels are successful with another winning record in 2002-03, it would be the program's seventh straight, which would be the longest winning stretch in Ole Miss history since the Rebels had nine-consecutive winning seasons from 1919-20 through 1927-28. The current string of six-straight postseason tournament appearances (1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002 NCAA; 2000 NIT) is the longest in Ole Miss history.

THERE'S A FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING: For the first time in head coach Rod Barnes' tenure at Ole Miss, major staff changes occurred. In early June, Marc Dukes resigned his post as assistant coach after four seasons on Barnes' staff. He moved on to the Director of Student Support Services position at Northwest Mississippi Community College. On June 13, Grant Pate, who had served the previous three years as the program's administrative assistant, was promoted to the assistant post vacated by Dukes.

Jay Bowen, an assistant at Austin Peay State University in 2001-02, was hired as Coordinator of Basketball Operations July 3. Bowen returned to Oxford, as he served as a graduate assistant in the 1988-89 season. Also, Jason Flanigan, a standout for the Rebels from 1998-2001, returned as the program's graduate administrative aide.

BARNES GOING FOR CENTURY MARK...: Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes enters the 2002-03 season going after a milestone of his own. Barnes has 86 victories and needs only 14 to reach 100 for his career. The 86 victories are tied for third most in Ole Miss history, trailing only Cob Jarvis (87 wins) and B.L. "Country" Graham (145). If Barnes is successful in reaching 100 victories, he would be only the second Rebel mentor to do so. Barnes is the only coach in the program's history to average 20 or more wins per season.

... WHILE THE REBELS GO FOR THE MILLENNIUM: The Ole Miss Rebel basketball program will be going after a milestone as well in 2002-03. Ole Miss enters the season with 992 all-time victories, and needs only eight to reach 1,000. The Rebels all-time record is 992-1080.

REBELS IN GOOD COMPANY: Some say you are judged by the company you keep. If that is true, then the Rebels should be considered among the nation's elite, especially the last six years (1997-2002). Ole Miss is one of only two teams from the Southeastern Conference to post a winning record and participate in postseason play each of the last six seasons. The Rebels played in the NCAA Tournament in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2002 and participated in the NIT in 2000. Kentucky is the only other SEC school to have a winning record and play in the postseason (6 NCAA) each of the last six years.

THRICE WOULD BE NICE: Entering the 2002-03 season, the Rebels have three players - Justin Reed, David Sanders and Aaron Harper - who could top 1,000 points for their careers. If all three reach the milestone this year, it would be the first time in Ole Miss basketball history that three Rebels hit the 1,000-point plateau in the same season. Reed has 838 points, Sanders 629 and Harper 689. Although he scored most of his points at Towson University, senior transfer Shaun Holtz could also reach 1,000 points for his collegiate career. He has 743 points. The last time Ole Miss had multiple players reach 1,000 points in the same season was 1997-98 when Ansu Sesay and Keith Carter did so.

REBELS LOOK TO EXTEND ANOTHER STREAK: When they host their Southeastern Conference home opener against Tennessee Jan. 11, the Rebels will look to extend another streak. Ole Miss enters 2002-03 with the league's longest current homecourt win streak versus SEC opponents. The Rebels' streak stands at 15 straight, dating back to Jan. 20, 2001. The last SEC loss suffered at Tad Smith Coliseum was a narrow 70-66 setback to Georgia Jan. 13, 2001.

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 128 games (overall games) since 1996-97, the most by any team in the SEC Western Division. The 128 victories are also second among all league teams, only trailing Kentucky's 167 wins.

THRICE IS NICE: For the second-straight year, the Rebels set a school season record for three-pointers made. Ole Miss hit 235 treys in 2001-02, breaking the previous mark of 224 set in 2000-01. The Rebels finished third in the SEC in three-pointers made with 235, and led the league in three-point field goal percentage at 38 percent. Of the top six three-point shooting teams in Ole Miss history (based on number of treys made), five have been since 1996-97.

REED CLIMBING REBOUNDING CHART: Justin Reed is not there yet, but he is getting close. The junior enters 2002-03 with 410 boards and needs only 75 to break into the top 15 in Ole Miss history. Gerald Glass (1989-90) is No. 15 with 484. At his current pace of 205 rebounds per season, Reed would finish a four-year career with 820 boards, which would put the Jackson, Miss., native in the No. 5 spot.

AT THE HEAD OF THE CLASS(ES): As a result of the Rebels' success the last six seasons, the recent seniors have taken their places at the top of the charts for the most wins by a senior class. The 2002-03 senior class of Shaun Holtz, Richard Kirklin, David Sanders and Emmanuel Wade enters the year with 66 victories, which is 22 shying of tying the record of 88. The record of 88 wins was set by the 2000-01 class of John Engstrom, Jason Flanigan, Jason Holmes and Rahim Lockhart. Last year's senior class of Jason Harrison posted the second-most victories with 86 in a four-year span. The 2002-03 senior class has also been a part of the 2001 SEC Western Division championship squad and has been to three-straight postseasons (2 NCAA, 1 NIT).

NOT ONLY AN OLE MISS FIRST: When junior forward Justin Reed was named a candidate for the 2002-03 John Wooden Award this past summer, it was the second-consecutive year that his name was on the list for the prestigious honor. The Jackson, Miss., native is first player in Ole Miss history to be a two-time Wooden candidate, and is also the first player among all Mississippi Division I state colleges to be a candidate two-straight years. Reed is Ole Miss' third player to be up for the honor, as John Stroud (1980) and Ansu Sesay (1998) were candidates. Stroud and Sesay both finished among the top 10 in voting for the Wooden Award and earned Wooden All-America distinction.

"TAD PAD" SWEET "TAD PAD": Yes, most of the home win streaks are over, but Tad Smith Coliseum (a.k.a. the "Tad Pad") is still one of the toughest arenas in the nation for opposing teams to play. Ole Miss has won 91 of its last 100 games (.910 winning percentage) at home, including homecourt winning streaks of 15 and 29 games. Ole Miss was 13-1 at the "Tad Pad" in 2001-02. In the past 10 seasons (1992-93 through 2001-02), Ole Miss has an overall home record of 119-30 (.799 winning percentage).

REBELS ALL-TIME AT THE "TAD PAD": The Rebels posted their 300th victory in Tad Smith Coliseum in the 2000-01 campaign, and has kept on winning at home. Ole Miss has an all-time record of 324-156 (.675 winning percentage) at the "Tad Pad." Tad Smith Coliseum opened in the 1965-66 season.

 

 

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