Ole Miss Basketball Game Notes
Nov. 24, 2004
EXHIBITION: Ole Miss (2-2) vs. Spirit Express
OLE MISS BREAKS FROM SEASON FOR FIRST EXHIBITION: Ole Miss takes a break from the regular season for an exhibition game against Spirit Express Friday night at Tad Smith Coliseum. This is the Spirit Express' only game of the fall. The Rebels evened their season record at 2-2 last time out with a 91-68 beating of Tennessee Tech Friday in the home-opener. Senior forward Tommie Eddie directed the charge with a career-high 24 points on 8-of-8 shooting. Todd Abernethy has scored in double-digits in three of the Rebels' four games and continues to lead the team offensively at 11.5 points per outing. The sophomore guard also tops Ole Miss in assists (3.0 apg) and ranks second in boards (4.0 rpg).
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 115-78 record (.596 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).
BARNES IN EXHIBITIONS: Ole Miss is 12-0 in exhibition games under head coach Rod Barnes, including a 3-0 mark against Spirit Express. The Rebels' average margin of victory in the 12 contests is 24.6 points. However, this marks the first exhibition under Barnes to not be held prior to the start of the regular season. The Rebels faced the Spirit Express in Barnes' first three preseasons at the helm and won by an average of 24.3.
FAMILIAR FACES: Ole Miss fans will notice a couple of familiar faces in the Spirit Express lineup, as former Rebels Jason Smith (1996-99) and Patrick Eddie (1990-91) are set to be on the opposing bench Friday.
A four-year letterwinner alongside Rebel assistant coach Michael White, Smith was part of one of the most successful classes in school history, taking Ole Miss to back-to-back SEC Western Division titles and three straight NCAA Tournament berths. The forward from Wheatley, Ark., finished his career as the Rebels' all-time steals leader (211) and ranks 16th on the scoring list (1,286).
A frontcout transfer from Arkansas State, Eddie spent two seasons in the Red and Blue, averaging 8.0 points (415) and 4.5 rebounds (234). The Memphis native is 10th on the Ole Miss career blocked shots chart (68).
ROOKIE SENSATION: Freshman guard Brandon Patterson is already making an impact in the Ole Miss offense. The Altheimer, Ark., native is tied for third on the team in scoring (7.8), and in his first career start against Tennessee Tech, he posted 19 points and knocked down 5-of-8 three-pointers. Patterson's 19 points against Tennessee Tech was the most by a Rebel freshman since Justin Reed dropped 21 on Auburn on Feb. 21, 2001. The five threes tied the ninth-most in school history. Patterson also nailed three treys for nine points in his Rebel debut against South Carolina State. He has shot a team-best 9-of-19 (.474 percent) from the behind the arc through four games.
AWESOME EDDIE: Tommie Eddie enjoyed one of his best games as a Rebel in Friday's win over Tennessee Tech. The senior forward shot a flawless 8-for-8 from the field en route to a career-high 24 points. Eddie also knocked down 8-of-11 free throws and is 14-of-19 (.737 percent) from the charity stripe for the season. Defensively, the Brooklyn native was also stellar against the Golden Eagles, registering a career-best four steals while helping limit Preseason OVC Player of the Year Willie Jenkins to two points. It marked Eddie's second 20-point performance in the Red and Blue, having poured in 22 against Nicholls State last December.
RAINING TREYS:The Rebels have been an outstanding three-point shooting club thus far this season, firing at a better than 40 percent clip. Freshman Brandon Patterson is 9-of-19 (.474 percent), while senior Justin Johnson is 7-of-17 (.412). In addition, Todd Abernethy has made 4-of-10 (.400), and Bam Doyne is 2-of-3 (.667). Ole Miss scorched Tennessee Tech for 54.2 percent shooting (13-of-24) from three-point range.
MR. DO-IT-ALL: Some people think they can do anything, and newcomer Londrick Nolen is proving he can. The junior forward from Southwest Tennessee Community College joins Todd Abernethy as the only players to start all four games, and has filled the stat line in the process. Nolen currently tops the Rebels in rebounds (5.0 rpg), steals (6) and blocks (5), ranks second in assists (3.3 apg) and is tied for third in points (7.8 ppg). He tallied 13 points, six rebounds and six assists vs. Tennessee Tech.
"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 are 1-0 so far in 2004-05. Ole Miss has won 105 of its last 125 games (.840 winning percentage) at home, including homecourt winning streaks of 29, 20 and 15 games. The Rebels have an all-time record of 347-167 (.675 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 77-19 (.802 winning percentage), including a 33-16 homecourt record against SEC foes (.673 winning percentage).
DE-FENSE, DE-FENSE: Throughout his Rebel tenure, defense has become a trademark of Rod Barnes' squads. Ole Miss held the opposition under 50 points six times in 2003-04 and has done so 25 times in Barnes' six years at the helm. The Rebels finished fifth in the SEC in scoring defense a year ago at 65.4 per game.
Against Tennessee Tech, the Rebels forced the Golden Eagles into 25 turnovers and held CollegeInsider.com Preseason All-American Willie Jenkins to two points.
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