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Game 7: Ole Miss (5-1) vs. Nicholls (0-6)
November 24, 2006 7 p.m. CT
Oxford, Miss. C.M. Tad Smith Coliseum (8,700)
OLE MISS CONTINUES HOMESTAND
In the second of a three-game homestand, the Rebels host the Nicholls Colonels Friday. Ole Miss rebounded from its first loss of the year, at No. 19 UConn in the finale of the Hispanic College Fund Classic, by defeating Tennessee Tech 86-77 Wednesday. The Rebels rallied from 10 points down in the second half to improve to 5-1 for the first time since 2002-03. Bam Doyne scored a career-high 25 points and leads the team at 17.8 ppg and 7.2 rpg. Clarence Sanders dropped in 12 of his 14 points in the second stanza and averages 15.8 per game.
SCOUTING THE COLONELS
Nicholls remains winless on the year at 0-6, but has faced such notable opponents as Texas, LSU, Washington and Mississippi State. The Colonels return four starters from last year's 9-18 squad, including Adonis Gray. The junior swingman scored 12.6 points per game a season ago and has raised that average to 19.2 this year, along with 6.4 rebounds per contest. Sophomore guard Gil Verner is adding a 14.6 scoring clip for third-year head coach J.P. Piper.
OLE MISS-NICHOLLS SERIES
The game marks the sixth meeting between the two schools, with Ole Miss winning all five previous encounters with Nicholls State. In last year's meeting, Todd Abernethy, Dwayne Curtis and Londrick Nolen all scored in double-figures in a 69-43 Rebel victory at the Tad Pad. Including the other matchups in 1988, 1995, 2002 and 2004, which were all played in Oxford, Ole Miss has beaten NSU by an average margin of 20.6 points.
In Nicholls, Ole Miss gears up for its second of six games against schools from Louisiana this year. The Rebels have already knocked off UL-Lafayette and still face UL-Monroe and New Orleans, along with two SEC bouts against LSU. Ole Miss is 176-189 all-time against Louisiana schools including such frequent foes as Tulane (35-55) and conference rival LSU (77-112).
DOYNE IT ALL
Bam Doyne leads the team in scoring (17.8) and rebounding (7.2) and is second in assists (2.2). The senior guard has topped the team in scoring in three games, including a career-high 25 in Wednesday’s win over Tennessee Tech. It was his fifth 20-point game in the Red and Blue. Doyne has led or tied the team-lead in rebounds four times, and grabbed a career-best 12 boards against Fairfield. He burned the Stags for 20 points in notching his first double-double. In addition, the Little Rock native is shooting a team-high 84.6 percent from the charity stripe (33-39 FTs)
After tallying only 8 points in the season opener, Clarence Sanders has found his stroke over the last five games, averaging 17.4 points per contest and shooting 44.8 percent 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 with 17 points vs. Central Arkansas. After posting a .357 shooting clip a year ago, Sanders boasts a .421 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 has bounced back strong, averaging 10.8 points and 5.5 assists in 33.5 minutes in the four games since his return. 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 Fairfield.
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 ... Williams missed the Tennessee Tech game, suffering from flu-like symptoms.
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: In the win over Tennessee Tech, the junior forward matched his career high for point with 14 and rebounds with 8. Parnell was 6-of-8 from the field in rebounding from a 1-for-5, 2-point outing in the UConn loss. He is averaging 7.0 rebounds in the last two games ... 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.
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 had his best game as a Rebel against Tennessee Tech with career highs of 13 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals. Williams also stood out in the win over Louisiana-Lafayette, posting 12 points and 8 boards.
IMPRESSIVE IN NON-CONFERENCE PLAY
Since the 1993-94 season, the Rebels have posted an impressive 127-42 record (.751 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.
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 a 3-0 mark this year, Ole Miss has won 136 of its last 168 games (.810 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 370-179 (.674 winning percentage) at C.M. Tad Smith Coliseum, which opened in the 1965-66 season.
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 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.
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.