Men's Basketball Game Notes
Nov. 21, 2002
OLE MISS PROBABLES
EAST CAROLINA PROBABLES
REBEL GAME NOTES
OLE MISS TO OPEN 2002-03 SEASON AT EAST CAROLINA SUNDAY: The Rebels open regular-season play Sunday, Nov. 24 when they travel to Greenville, N.C., to meet the Pirates of East Carolina. The contest will be the home opener for East Carolina. The Pirates had their season opener at Middle Tennessee Nov. 22.
Ole Miss, ranked in the "Also Receiving Votes" category of the Associated Press poll, won its two exhibition games, defeating West Alabama 97-35 Nov. 9 and Athletes In Action 70-67 Nov. 16. The Pirates split their two exhibitons games, falling to the EA Sports All-Stars 76-68 Nov. 12 and defeating the U.S. Marine Corps 96-65 Nov. 7.
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 (7th; 154).
OLE MISS-EAST CAROLINA SERIES: Sunday's encounter will be the first between Ole Miss and East Carolina on the hardwood.
SCOUTING EAST CAROLINA: The Pirates enter Sunday's game after opening the 2002-03 campaign at Middle Tennessee Friday. East Carolina, a member of Conference USA, split its two exhibition contests, falling to the EA Sports All-Stars 76-68 Nov. 12 and defeating the U.S. Marine Corps 96-65 Nov. 7.
Last year, East Carolina posted a 12-18 overall record and a 5-11 mark in Conference USA. The Pirates were tough down the stretch last season, winning 4 of their last 7 games which included an upset of No. 9 Marquette 51-46 at home. The Pirates return four starters from the 2001-02 squad, including double-figure scorers Erroyl Bing (12.6 ppg) and Gabriel Mikulas (11.8 ppg). Senior guard Travis Holcomb-Faye dished out 116 assists last season, and needs only 13 dishes to become the school's all-time assists leader.
Head coach Bill Herrion is in his fourth year at East Carolina. He has an overall record of 36-50 as the Pirates' mentor. Prior to East Carolina, Herrion coached at Drexel and guided the Dragons to a first-round 75-63 upset of Memphis in the 1996 NCAA Tournament.
REBELS HAVE IMPRESSIVE RECORD IN SEASON OPENERS: Ole Miss has an overall record of 69-23 (.750 winning percentage) in season openers in its previous 92 years of basketball. Last year, the Rebels lost to Bowling Green 82-78 in overtime in their season opener. That contest was a first-round game at the BP Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska.
OLE MISS IN ROAD OPENERS: The Rebels have not had much success in their first game away from Oxford in their 92-year history. Ole Miss has a 41-51 overall mark (.446 winning percentage) in its opening game on the road (including neutral sites). Last season, the Rebels lost their first game on the road, falling to Bowling Green 82-78 in overtime at the BP Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska. Since the 1990-91 season, Ole Miss has a 5-7 record in road openers, including neutral sites.
REBELS VERSUS FIRST-TIME FOES: Ole Miss will face its first first-time opponent of the 2002-03 campaign when the Rebels play East Carolina Sunday. The Rebels' only other first-time foe during the regular season will be Evansville on Dec. 23.
Last year, Ole Miss was 4-2 against first-time opponents with wins over Alaska-Fairbanks (75-58), Tennessee-Martin (83-72), IUPUI (77-70) and UTEP (68-58) and setbacks to George Mason (71-70) and UCLA (80-58). Since the 1998-99 season, Ole Miss has a 14-5 record versus first-time foes.
LOVE THOSE NOVEMBER GAMES!!!: 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 29-4 record (.879 winning percentage) in the month of November. The Rebels were 4-1 in November last year, with the lone setback an 82-78 overtime loss to Bowling Green. Prior to that loss, the Rebels had won 11 straight in the month of November.
REBELS VERSUS CONFERENCE USA: The Rebels have an all-time record of 70-88 (.443 winning percentage) versus current members of Conference USA. However, Ole Miss has a 9-1 record versus Conference USA teams since the league was formed in the spring of 1995. Last year, Ole Miss was 1-0 versus teams from Conference USA, defeating Memphis (71-67). Since the 1990-91 season, the Rebels are 10-2 versus members of Conference USA (3-1 versus Memphis, 2-1 versus Southern Mississippi; 2-0 versus Houston and Louisville; 1-0 versus Charlotte). The following chart shows Ole Miss' all-time results versus teams from Conference USA:
UAB 4-1 Memphis 10-23 Cincinnati 0-1 Charlotte 2-1 DePaul 0-1 Saint Louis 0-1 Houston 2-1 Southern Miss. 15-4 Louisville 2-0 South Florida 0-0 Marquette 0-0 Tulane 35-55 Totals 70-88
REBELS TOUGH ON NON-CONFERENCE FOES IN RECENT YEARS: In the last 10 years, the Rebels have posted an 90-33 record (.732 winning percentage) versus non-conference opponents. Non-conference foes have found Ole Miss especially tough the last seven seasons (1995-96 through 2001-02), as the Rebels have an impressive 73-20 mark (.785 winning percentage) against out-of-conference teams. The following shows Ole Miss' non-conference record the last 10 years:
Year Record 1992-93 5-5 1993-94 7-3 1994-95 5-5 1995-96 6-4 1996-97 8-3 1997-98 9-2 1998-99* 11-4 1999-2000* 14-2 2000-01* 14-2 2001-02* 11-3 Totals 90-33 *Totals Under Barnes 50-11
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.
OLE MISS PICKED FOURTH IN WEST BY MEDIA: The Ole Miss Rebels were picked to finish in fourth place in the Southeastern Conference Western Division in a vote by media members at the annual conference media day Oct. 30 in Birmingham, Ala. Alabama was picked to win the SEC overall title and the Western Division crown, while Florida was selected to win the Eastern Division championship. The following shows the media's picks for the 2002-03 campaign (first-place votes in parentheses):
OLE MISS RANKED IN TOP 50 IN FIVE PRESEASON PUBLICATIONS/WEB SITES: The Rebels were ranked among the top 50 teams in the country in five preseason publications. Ole Miss is No. 40 in Basketball News, No. 43 in Sporting News, No. 36 in Lindy's, No. 40 in ESPN.com and No. 33 in ESPN.com Bracketology.
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.
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. The following lists the winningest coaches in Rebel history:
... 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.
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. The following charts show the Rebels' success:
Most Overall/SEC Wins By SEC West Teams
Most Overall/SEC Wins By SEC Teams (Top 6)
INDEED, EXPERIENCE COUNTS: One reason that Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes is smiling about the 2002-03 season is because of the number of veterans returning. Four starters are back from the 2001-02 team, and when Ole Miss has had three or more starters return for the following season since 1995-96, it has resulted in a 20-win season and an NCAA Tournament berth. The following chart shows that:
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.
REED CLIMBING REBOUNDING CHART: Justin Reed (Jackson, Miss.) 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 him 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 (Crystal Springs, Miss.), Richard Kirklin (Pine Bluff, Ark.), David Sanders (Jackson, Miss.) and Emmanuel Wade (Marianna, Ark.) 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). The following chart lists the most successful classes:
Four-Year Span No. of Wins 1997-98 to 2000-01 88 1998-99 to 2001-02 86 1995-96 to 1998-99 74 1979-80 to 1982-83 70 1999-2000 to present 66 1935-36 to 1938-39 63 1994-95 to 1997-98 62 1978-79 to 1981-82 62 1923-24 to 1926-27 62
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.
THRICE WOULD BE NICE: Entering the 2002-03 season, the Rebels have three players -- Justin Reed, David Sanders and Aaron Harper (Jackson, Miss.) -- 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.
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.
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