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Game 6: Ole Miss (4-1) vs. Tennessee Tech (1-1)
November 22, 2006 7 p.m. CT
Oxford, Miss. C.M. Tad Smith Coliseum (8,700)
OLE MISS RETURNS FOR HOMESTAND
Back from their first road trip of the year, the Rebels open a three-game homestand Wednesday with Tennessee Tech. Ole Miss finished runner-up in the Hispanic College Fund Classic in Hartford, Conn., over the weekend. The Rebels picked up wins over Fairfield and Central Arkansas before falling to host and No. 19 UConn Sunday in the finale. Bam Doyne and Clarence Sanders earned All-Tournament honors. For the second straight season, Ole Miss is off to a 4-1 start.
REBELS ENTER KENNEDY ADMINISTRATION
On March 24, 2006, Andy Kennedy was introduced as the 20th head men's basketball coach in the history of the University of Mississippi. A Louisville, Miss., native, Kennedy spent the 2005-06 season as the interim head coach at the University of Cincinnati.
With less than three months to prepare and shorthanded on staff and scholarship players, Kennedy had to lead a shaken Bearcat program that was preparing for its debut season in the BIG EAST. Despite the obstacles, he directed Cincinnati to a 21-13 record, defeating 12 foes ranked in the Top 100 of the RPI and playing a schedule rated fifth-toughest in the nation. Kennedy's Bearcats narrowly missed an NCAA Tournament bid and had their season end in the NIT quarterfinals.
Kennedy proved himself both as an astute strategist and a top-notch recruiter in more than a decade of coaching in the college ranks. Athlon named him one of the nation's top 10 assistant coaches, and Rivals.com listed him among the top 20 college basketball recruiters. In addition to Cincinnati, Kennedy was also an assistant at his alma mater UAB and South Alabama.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN EAGLES
Tennessee Tech split its first two games and is coming off a 101-79 loss at Kansas State on Saturday.
Mike Sutton’s Golden Eagles return 11 letterwinners and a pair of starters from last year’s 19-12 squad. Those two starters, guards Belton Rivers and Anthony Fisher, topped TTU in scoring a year ago at 12 each per game and have raised that number to 17 each this season. Junior forward Amadi McKenzie is adding13.5 points as the Golden Eagles are averaging 94.5 points per contest.
OLE MISS-TECH SERIES
The Rebels lead the all-time series with the Golden Eagles 5-1, including a 3-0 edge in Oxford. Ole Miss has taken the last four encounters, including a 91-68 victory in 2004-05. That marked the first meeting between the two schools since 1981.
Kentucky head coach Tubby Smith will have a son on each bench Wednesday, as Brian’s brother Saul Smith is an 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. Sophomore Brian Smith has seen action in three games this season for the Rebels and earned his first career start against Louisiana-Lafayette.
DOYNE IT ALL
Bam Doyne leads the team in scoring (16.4) and rebounding (8.0) and is second in assists (2.6). The senior guard has topped the team in boards in every game, including a career-high 12 in Friday’s win over
Fairfield. Doyne notched his fourth career 20-point game against the Stags and dropped in a team-high 19 points against Mississippi Valley State in the opener. He is also 22-24 from the charity stripe and was good on his first 13 free throws of the year.
After tallying only 8 points in the season opener, Clarence Sanders has found his stroke over the last four games, averaging 18.3 points per contest and shooting 42.3 from 3-point range. In the Louisiana-Lafayette win, the senior guard connected on 4-of-7 treys in leading the Rebels with 22 points. He followed
up by turning in his fourth career 20-point outing with a team-high 21 against Fairfield. He also topped the team Saturday with 17 points vs. Central Arkansas. After posting a .357 shooting clip a year ago, Sanders
boasts a .431 field goal percentage in the season’s early goings. In addition, the 6-foot-1, 180-pounder has recorded a team-high 6 blocks.
BACK IN THE SWING
After missing the first game of his career against Louisiana-Lafayette, senior guard Todd Abernethy bounced back strong, averaging 12.0 points and 5.3 assists in 33.3 minutes during the HCF Classic. He was injured three minutes into the season opener after his head collided with an opposing player’s shoulder on a screen. He suffered a slight concussion and had five stitches over his right eye. Abernethy did not play
the rest of the way but did return to the bench for the second half. After sitting out a game, the three-time Team Captain returned to the Ole Miss starting lineup with 13 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds against Fair-
CURTIS INJURY UPDATE
Ole Miss is without junior center Dwayne Curtis after the preseason All-SEC honoree fractured the third metatarsal in his left foot in the third day of preseason practice. Curtis has moved from crutches to a walking boot, and is expected to be wearing the boot for an additional two weeks. The foot will be x-rayed at that point, and Curtis may begin full workouts with the team.
OTHER PLAYER POINTS
Trey Hampton: The sophomore forward enjoyed his best game of the year against Central Arkansas. With Kenny Williams slowed by a sprained ankle, Hampton earned his first start of 2006-07 and posted season highs in minutes (25), points (8), rebounds (5) and assists (2). He was also 2-of-4 from behind the arc.
Xavier Hansbro: After making no starts as a rookie, the sophomore forward received the starting nod in the season’s first two games. In his first career start in the opening win over Mississippi Valley State, the Trezevant, Tenn., native responded with his second double-digit scoring outing as a Rebel, dropping in 11 points along with 6 rebounds. Coincidentally, Hansbro’s only other double-figure game was in last year’s season opener, when he hit 4-of-6 3-pointers for 12 points against Southern Utah.
Jermey Parnell: After averaging 12.0 points per game over the final three games of last year, Parnell picked up where he left off in the season opener with 11 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals off the bench against Mississippi Valley State. The junior forward has gotten the start in the last four games, and scored 6 points in two of those contests.
Eniel Polynice: The big freshman guard sparked Ole Miss to victory against Central Arkansas with his best game as a Rebel. With Ole Miss clinging two a two-point advantage midway through the second half, Polynice scored 8 points in 2:18 to push the lead up to 10. The Sarasota, Fla., native drilled a pair of 3-pointers in recording that career-high point total.
Brian Smith: With starting point guard Todd Abernethy leaving with injury in the game’s opening moments, junior guard Smith stepped in admirably in the season opener, helping lead the Rebels to the 72-49 victory over Mississippi Valley State. Smith played 21 minutes and recorded career highs of 10 points and 4 rebounds. He connected on 4-of-7 field goals, including 2-of-4 treys. The 5-foot-11 guard earned his first career start against Louisiana-Lafayette and saw 17 minutes of action.
Kenny Williams: The junior forward started and tallied 5 points and 6 rebounds against Fairfield, but left the game with 5:31 remaining with a sprained right ankle. The JUCO transfer showed few ill effects Saturday, playing 18 minutes against Central Arkansas ... Williams had his best game as a Rebel against Louisiana-Lafayette, posting season highs for 12 points and 8 rebounds.
TOUGH AT THE TAD PAD
Over the last decade, the “Tad Pad” proved to be one of the toughest arenas in the nation for opposing teams to play. With the home-opening win over MVSU, Ole Miss has won 134 of its last 166 games (.807 winning percentage) in Oxford dating back to the 1995-96 campaign. Included during this run are homecourt winning streaks of 29 and 15 games. The Rebels have an all-time record of 368-179 (.673 winning percentage) at C.M. Tad Smith Coliseum, which opened in the 1965-66 season.
IMPRESSIVE IN NON-CONFERENCE PLAY
Since the 1993-94 season, the Rebels have posted an impressive 126-42 record (.750 winning percentage) versus non-conference opponents. Ole Miss has been particularly dominant against out of conference clubs at home. Last year’s loss to No. 5 Memphis was only the Rebels’ fifth non-SEC home loss since 1995.
OLEMISSSPORTS.TV TO STREAM LIVE GAMES
Rebel fans can catch the Ole Miss basketball teams in action on OleMissSports.tv this season, as the premium site for OleMissSports.com is streaming live webcasts for seven home games.
Remaining games on the schedule include Nicholls State, Louisiana-Monroe, UIC and Alabama A&M.
OleMissSports.tv offers interviews and features with the teams, live streaming of coaches’ press conference, video of great games in Ole Miss history, and more. The site showcases the coaches’ weekly TV and radio shows as well as live video coverage of select live home and road Rebel sporting events.
TAD PAD ALTERATIONS
C.M. Tad Smith Coliseum took on a new look over the summer, as the floor returned to a more traditional, natural hardwood look. With Rebels painted on both endlines, centercourt showcases Ole Miss’ power M’ with the Ole Miss script across the middle. New Ole Miss and SEC logos have also been added to the walls on the baseline.
In addition, the Ole Miss student body is now closer to the action, as the student section has been moved to the north end of the coliseum, right on top of the court. Bleachers have been equipped in the bottom sections.