Ole Miss Basketball Game Notes
Nov. 18, 2004
HOME OPENER: Ole Miss (1-2) vs. Tennessee Tech (0-0)
OLE MISS FACES TENNESSEE TECH IN HOME OPENER: Ole Miss takes on Tennessee Tech Friday night in the first home game of the 2004-05 campaign. The Rebels came out of the season-opening BCA Classic in Milwaukee with a 1-2 mark. Ole Miss knocked off South Carolina State in the opener but dropped the next two, to Air Force and Illinois State. Sophomore guard Todd Abernethy led the way for the Rebels, averaging 11.7 points including an 18-point effort against S.C. State. Abernethy tops the club in points and assists and ranks second in boards.
BARNES ENTERS SEVENTH SEASON AS REBEL MENTOR: Rod Barnes is beginning his seventh season at the helm of the Ole Miss Rebel basketball program. The 2001 Naismith and CollegeInsider.com National Coach of the Year, Barnes has a 114-78 record (.594 winning percentage). Barnes' 113 coaching victories in his first six seasons is the most of any Ole Miss coach over that span of time and is the second-most in school history. His .594 winning percentage is the highest of any Rebel coach of six years or more.
In 2000-01, Barnes was the Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year, and guided Ole Miss to a school-record 27 wins and the program's first NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 berth. Another winning season and postseason tournament followed in 2001-02 -- 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 (18th; 1,201 points), assists (2nd; 456) and steals (7th; 154).
SCOUTING TENNESSEE TECH: Although just two years removed from the Ohio Valley Conference Championship Game, Tennessee Tech is coming off a 13-15 campaign and a fifth-place tie in the OVC standings a year ago. However, the lineup did boast the 2003-04 OVC Newcomer of the Year in Willie Jenkins. The senior forward from Memphis, Tenn., collected seven double-doubles over the course of the season, ranking second in the league in scoring (19.5 ppg)and fifth in rebounding (7.2 rpg). Jenkins has been tabbed a CollegeInsider.com Preseason All-American and the OVC Preseason Player of the Year, while the Golden Eagles are picked for a fourth-place finish in the league in coach Mike Sutton's third season. Jenkins had 28 points and 17 rebounds in TTU's 99-89 exhibition win over VASDA-USA on Nov. 9.
OLE MISS-TECH ALL-TIME SERIES: Although they have not faced in 23 years, the Rebels lead the all-time series with the Golden Eagles 4-1,including a 2-0 edge in Oxford. Ole Miss has taken the last three encounters, including a 58-34 victory in 1981.
SEC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: After enjoying his finest game as a Rebel in the season-opening win over S.C. State Sunday, Todd Abernethy was named the SEC Player of the Week on Monday. A sophomore guard from Carmel, Ind., Abernethy posted a career-high 18 points, on 7-of-11 shooting, and scored eight of the Rebels' final 13 points as part of the game-winning second-half rally. He tied his career-best for rebounds with five and registered a game-high four assists.
This marks the first SEC POW selection of the 2004-05 season and the first of Abernethy's career. It is the 10th time a Rebel has received the honor since 1995-96.
TOP OF THE CLASS: The Rebels' 2004 signing class is being tabbed as one of the nation's best. Rivals.com is rating the class 16th in college basketball, while HoopScoop Online has it fourth-best in their latest ranking.
In the early signing period, Ole Miss loaded up its frontcourt with the inking of Trey Hampton (6-7, 215, Hoover, Ala.), Mike Smith (6-7, 240, Jacksonville, Ark), Carl Swanigan (6-9, 340, West Valley City, Utah), Xavier Webb (6-9, 200, Atwood, Tenn.) and Marquis Young (6-9, 275, Chicago). The two guards in the group are Jackson's Bobby Clark (6-6, 205) and juco scorer Clarence Sanders (6-2, 180), the lone transfer in the class, which represents seven different states.
Include Auburn transfer Dwayne Curtis, and the Rebels will add four 6-foot-9 players to the roster in 2005-06. Due to NCAA transfer rules, Curtis is ineligible for the upcoming season, but the 6-foot-9, 290-pound sophomore center may begin playing in the 2005-06 campaign with three years of eligibility remaining.
MISCELLANEOUS: Sophomore guard Bam Doyne led the Rebels against Illinois State with a career-high 11 points. His previous best point total was six, which he posted twice a year ago ... Senior guard Ed Glass earned his first career start Tuesday vs. the Redbirds. He had a career-high three assists against Air Force ... Senior forward Marvin Moore made his second career start vs. Illinois State. His only other start was in last year's season opener against Arkansas State, when he had his best game with 10 points ... Junior transfer forward Londrick Nolen ranks second on the team in minutes played (27.7) and is the Rebels' top rebounder (4.7). The Memphis native also recorded four blocked shots against Air Force.
SMITH CONNECTION: Kentucky head coach Tubby Smith will have a son on each bench Friday, as Brian's brother Saul Smith is a first-year assistant coach for Tennessee Tech. Saul started at the point on three SEC Champion Kentucky squads and played for his father's Wildcats 1998-2001. Freshman Brian Smith is in his first season with the Rebels and has seen action in all three games this season. The 5-11 point guard dished out three assists and scored his first career basket against Illinois State.
"TAD PAD" SWEET "TAD PAD": The "Tad Pad" has proven to be one of the toughest arenas in the nation for opposing teams to play. The Rebels boasted a 12-5 home record last season and turned in a 10-6 mark in 2002-03. Ole Miss has won 104 of its last 124 games (.839 winning percentage) at home, including homecourt winning streaks of 29, 20 and 15 games. The Rebels have an all-time record of 346-167 (.674 winning percentage) at Tad Smith Coliseum, which opened in the 1965-66 season. In head coach Rod Barnes' era, the Rebels have a home record of 76-19 (.800 winning percentage), including a 32-16 homecourt record against SEC foes (.667 winning percentage).
IMPRESSIVE IN HOME OPENERS: Ole Miss has an overall record of 74-13 record (.851 winning percentage) in its first home game of the year. The Rebels snapped a seven-game win streak in home openers last year with a 74-69 loss to Arkansas State.
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