Ole Miss Basketball Game Notes
Nov. 20, 2003
Game #1: Ole Miss Rebels vs. Arkansas State Indians
OLE MISS OPENS 2003-04 SEASON AGAINST ARKANSAS STATE: Ole Miss opens the 2003-04 season against Arkansas State Friday at 7 p.m. at Tad Smith Coliseum. The Rebels completed their preseason with exhibition wins over the Southeastern All-Stars, 103-91, and Carson-Newman College, 87-49. Seniors Aaron Harper and Justin Reed led the way in the preseason. In the two games, Harper averaged 22 points, six rebounds and six assists, while Reed posted 21 points and 7.5 boards per game. Juniors Kendrick Fox and Marvin Moore each averaged 11 in the exhibitions. Harper and Reed are two of seven returnees for the Rebels, who add seven newcomers for the upcoming season.
BARNES ENTERS SIXTH SEASON AS REBEL MENTOR: Rod Barnes is approaching his sixth 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 100-61 record (.621 winning percentage). The 100 wins in his first five seasons is the most by a Rebel coach in that span of time in Ole Miss history. In 2000-01, Barnes was the Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year, guided Ole Miss to a school-record 17 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 ARKANSAS STATE: Under the direction of eighth-year head coach Dickey Nutt, Arkansas State returns six letterwinners and two starters from last year's 13-15 squad. Among the returnees is senior guard Tevoris Thompson, who was named to the Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference second team. Thompson led the team in scoring average at better than 15 points per contest, and his 84 three-pointers ranked 27th nationally last year. Along with Thompson, the Indians, who were picked to finish fourth in the Sun Belt preseason poll, will feature senior forward Kim Adams and senior point guard Antonio Rambo. Adams currently sits 11th on the ASU career rebound chart at 643. Rambo is coming off a season averaging eight points per game and was second on the team in assists per game.
OLE MISS-ARKANSAS STATE SERIES: Friday's meeting between the Rebels and Indians will mark the first since 1991 and only the third since 1960. Ole Miss owns a 17-7 all-time edge and a 13-1 record in Oxford. After a 30-year layoff, the two squads faced off at Memphis' Mid-South Coliseum in December 1990 and again in 1991, with ASU winning both matchups.
IMPRESSIVE IN SEASON, HOME OPENERS: Indeed, it is "home sweet home" for the Rebels when playing in Oxford -- especially in season and home openers. Ole Miss has an overall record of 69-24 (.742 winning percentage) in season openers. The Rebels have been even more impressive in home openers, posting a 74-12 record (.860 winning percentage) in those contests. The Rebels have opened the last two seasons with losses on the road - 65-58 at East Carolina in 2002, and 82-78 vs. Bowling Green in Fairbanks, Alaska, in 2001. Ole Miss' last home-opener was a 98-47 shellacking of Arkansas-Pine Bluff to tipoff the 2000-01 campaign.
AMONG SEC'S TOP TANDEMS: With Justin Reed and Aaron Harper back, the Rebels have an advantage enjoyed by few others. Ole Miss is one of only two teams in the Southeastern Conference to return its top two scorers from last year, with Arkansas being the other club. The senior duo of Reed and Harper, who averaged over 15 and 12, respectively, a year ago, was voted among the top tandems in college hoops by Basketball News. Reed and Harper have spent the majority of their basketball lives together, having teamed up at Provine High School in Jackson, Miss., before arriving in Oxford.
MR. NOVEMBERS: The Rebels love to play games in November, and it shows in their record in contests played during that month. Since the 1990-91 campaign, Ole Miss has a 31-5 record (.861 winning percentage) in the month of November. The Rebels were 2-1 in November last year, with the lone setback an 65-58 loss at East Carolina. The Rebels won 11 straight November games from 1998 through 2000.
TAMING THE EAGLES: Ole Miss completed a perfect preseason with a dominant exhibition win over Carson-Newman College, 87-49, Saturday. Ole Miss was clicking offensively, firing at a 60 percent clip and notching six players with nine or more points. Justin Reed led all scorers with 21 points and eight rebounds, while Aaron Harper dropped in 19 with eight assists and four boards.Off the Rebel bench, junior transfer Ed Glass chipped in with 13 points, while Cavadas Nunnery tallied seven assists. Carson-Newman, who advanced to the NCAA Division II Sweet 16 a year ago, led 11-9 at the 13:17 mark in the first half, but a Reed jumper would tie the game and spur a 28-15 run to close out the opening half.
GETTING DEFENSIVE: Against Carson-Newman, the Rebels displayed the defensive prowess that has become a trademark of Rod Barnes' squads. Ole Miss limited the Eagles to 36 percent shooting and 23 second-half points and finished with a 32-24 rebounding edge. Todd Lucas was the only Eagle in double-digits with 10 points.
SCORING MACHINE: Ole Miss poured on the offense against the Southeastern All-Stars in surprising fashion with 103 points. The Rebels hit the century mark in points only once over the last four seasons in a 105-71 whipping of Alabama in 2001. Ole Miss averaged 95 points in its two exhibitions.
NEWCOMERS IMPRESS: This year's Ole Miss lineup features seven new faces, and several of them were impressive in the preseason. Marvin Moore, a junior transfer from Southern Union State Community College in Alabama, posted a double-double off the bench against the Southeastern All-Stars with 13 points and 10 rebounds. He averaged 11 points and seven boards in the two preseason games.
The Rebel starting backcourt in the two games was comprised of a pair of exciting freshmen in Bam Doyne and Todd Abernethy. Against the All-Stars, Doyne totaled 12 points, five rebounds and three assists, while Abernethy added four assists and two steals.
JUCO transfers Ed Glass and Tommie Eddie were also productive. Glass posted a team-high six assists against the All-Stars and scored 13 vs. Carson-Newman. Eddie tallied eight points in the All-Stars game and got the starting nod against the Eagles.
REED PILES UP PRESEASON HONORS: Justin Reed is one of the most decorated athletes in the history of Rebel basketball, and the awards continued to pour in this preseason. The senior forward earned Preseason All-SEC first team status from Athlon Sports, Basketball News, Lindy's, Street & Smith's and Blue Ribbon Basketball Yearbook. Athlon's ranked him the No. 5 "inside-out player" in college basketball. Reed was also rated the 11th-best power forward in the nation by Lindy's and the 14th-best by The Sporting News. Reed has earned All-SEC honors each of his three collegiate seasons, and was a preseason Wooden Award candidate each of the last two seasons. He is the only player from the state of Mississippi to ever be nominated twice.
REBELS VERSUS THE SUN BELT: The Rebels have an all-time record of 37-16 (.698 winning percentage) versus current members of the Sun Belt conference. Dating back to 1997, Ole Miss has won seven straight against the Sun Belt. Last year, the Rebels were 1-0 versus teams from the conference, defeating Louisiana-Monroe, 80-57.
TOUGH ON NON-CONFERENCE FOES: Over the last 10 years, the Rebels have posted an 95-31 record (.754 winning percentage) versus non-conference opponents. Non-conference foes have found Ole Miss especially tough under head coach Rod Barnes (1998-99 through 2002-03), as the Rebels have an impressive 60-14 mark (.811 winning percentage) against out-of-conference teams.
FUTURE REBELS: The future of Ole Miss hoops got even brighter this week as the Rebels added three new players for the 2004-05 season. Ole Miss received national letters of intent from Arkansas natives Jeremy Parnell, a 6-foot-9, 240-pound forward/center from Gosnell, and Brandon Patterson, a 6-foot-6, 180-pound swingman from Altheimer, and Jackson's Bobby Clark, a 6-foot-6, 195-pound guard.
An All-State first team pick a year ago, Parnell averaged 20 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks as a junior at Gosnell High School, where he was coached by Len Whitehead. Included in his 2002-03 campaign was a triple-double performance against Senath (Mo.), tallying 21 points, 11 boards and 10 blocks.
Patterson helped guide Altheimer High School to a 34-1 mark and a 2A state championship as a junior a year ago, earning state tournament MVP honors along the way. For the season, he averaged 25 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
Clark is a two-time All-State selection at nationally-ranked Lanier High School, where he has attended the last two years. At Lanier, Clark averaged 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists during his sophomore campaign, and last year, he posted 15 points, seven boards and seven assists per game as a junior.
GOOD OMEN: The Ole Miss Rebels were picked to finish in sixth in the Southeastern Conference Western Division in a vote by media members at the annual conference media day Oct. 29 in Birmingham, Ala. The last time the Rebels were picked so low was prior to the 2000-01 season, when Ole Miss claimed the SEC West crown en route to a school-record 27 wins and a Sweet 16 appearance. LSU was picked to win the Western Division crown, while Kentucky was selected to win the Eastern Division championship and the SEC overall title.
BARNES REACHES 100: With the Rebels' 62-56 victory over South Carolina in the the 2003 Southeastern Conference Tournament first round, Rod Barnes recorded the 100th win of his career. His record stands at 100-61. The 100 victories are second most in Ole Miss history, trailing only B.L. "Country" Graham's (1950-62) 145 wins. Barnes is the only coach in the program's history to average 20 wins per season.
MAKE IT 11 FOR REED: Justin Reed hit the 20-point mark three of last season's last five games, giving the 6-foot-8 forward 11 career games in which he has scored 20 or more points. He scored a career-high 26 points on two different occasions, with the first coming against Bowling Green in the 2001-02 season opener and the second against Vanderbilt in the 2002-03 campaign.
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