Rebel Basketball Game Notes
Nov. 25, 2005
HOME OPENER: Ole Miss (2-1) vs. Centenary (1-1)
OLE MISS HOSTS CENTENARY IN HOME OPENER: The Rebels make their 2005-06 debut at Tad Smith Coliseum Saturday against Centenary. Ole Miss came out of the season-opening Jim Thorpe Classic in Albuquerque, N.M. with a 2-1 record. Senior forward Londrick Nolen led the way averaging 11.0 points and 5.0 boards in earning All-Tournament honors. Junior guard Todd Abernethy posted 16 points and 6 boards in the victory over Southern Utah, while sophomore center Dwayne Curtis provided the punch in the South Carolina State win with his first double-double as a Rebel with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
BARNES BEGINS EIGHTH SEASON AS REBEL MENTOR: Rod Barnes is beginning his eighth season at the helm of the Ole Miss Rebel basketball program and took the bench for his 200th game as a head coach in 2004-05. The 2001 Naismith and CollegeInsider.com National Coach of the Year, Barnes has a 129-94 record. Barnes' 129 coaching victories in his first 223 games is the most of any Ole Miss coach over that span and is the second-most wins in school history. His .578 winning percentage is the highest of any Rebel coach of seven years or more. In 2000-01, Barnes was the SEC 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 an All-American honorable mention his senior season. He is the only person in SEC history to earn both All-SEC and SEC Coach of the Year honors.
SCOUTING THE GENTLEMEN: Centenary returns three lettermen, including two starters, from last year's 3-24 squad that finished ninth in the Mid-Continent Conference. Heading the list of returnees is sophomore guard Tyrone Hamilton, who averaged 12.5 points a season ago. The Gentlemen split their first two games of the year, defeating UT-Tyler 84-73 and falling at SMU 85-67 on Tuesday. A pair of JUCO transfer forwards have led the way at the season's start. Jason Underwood is averaging a team-high 14.0 points per games, while Alexander Starr has produced 12.0 points and 6.0 rebounds.
OLE MISS-CENTENARY STATE SERIES: This game between the Gentlemen and Rebels is the 13th all-time meeting and only the second since 1966. The all-time series is tied at 6-6 and extends back to the 1920s. The teams split their two encounters that decade, and matched up eight times during the 1960s, with the Gentlemen prevailing in five of those games. Ole Miss won the last bout 72-60 in 2003-04.
REBELS IN HOME OPENERS: Ole Miss has an overall record of 75-13 record (.852 winning percentage) in its first home game of the year, and defeated Tennessee Tech 91-68 in last year's home opener. The Rebels have won eight of the last nine home openers.
BOMBING TREYS: Ole Miss has been deadly from 3-point range at the season start, firing at 44.7 percent. The Rebels hit 6-of-12 against South Carolina State and 11-of-21 3-pointers against Southern Utah. Senior forward Londrick Nolen has nailed 8-of-14 (57.1) in 3s, while freshman forward Xavier Hansbro is 5-of-9 (55.6). In the win over the Thunderbirds, eight of the Rebels' final nine field goals were 3-pointers, and the one two-pointer was a Brandon Patterson jumper in which he toed the 3-point line. Hansbro hit 4-of-6 3s, and Nolen and Todd Abernethy were each 3-of-4. Ole Miss made good on 11 or more 3-pointers only four times last season.
CHARITABLE STRIPE: The Rebels are off to a productive start of the season from the free throw line, connecting on 37-of-51 for a 72.5 percentage. That figure is an 11.6 percent upgrade from last year's team percentage of 60.9. Sophomore Jermey Parnell shot 45.2 percent a year ago but is an improved 9-for-10 so far this year. Freshman Mike Smith has been good on 5-of-6 from the stripe, while junior Bam Doyne is 4-for-4.
REBELS VERSUS THE MID-CON: The Rebels have an all-time record of 13-7 versus current members of the Mid-Continent conference. Since 1992, Ole Miss is 9-1 against the Mid-Con, with the lone loss being the NCAA Tournament upset to Valparaiso in 1998. The Rebels knocked off an MCC foe in this year's season opener, beating Southern Utah, 69-62.
MISCELLANEOUS: The Rebels are off to a 2-1 start for the fourth time in the last five seasons. Ole Miss was 1-2 after three games a year ago ... Junior guard Bam Doyne collected a career-high 4 steals in the win over South Carolina State ... Sophomore guard Brandon Patterson recorded 5 blocked shots in the first two games after only 8 blocks all last year. Patterson also garnered a career-high 33 minutes on the floor against Southern Utah ... Sophomore forward Jermey Parnell pulled down a career-high and team-high 8 rebounds in addition to a career-best 5-for-5 night from the free line.
REBS-DOGS TO PLAY ON ESPN CLASSIC: It was announced last week that Ole Miss' Feb. 18 matchup at Mississippi State will be televised nationally on ESPN Classic at a newly scheduled time of 2:30 p.m. CT. The game is part of SEC Throwback Week, and both teams will be wearing throwback uniforms. This will mark the Rebels' first live appearance on ESPN Classic, which reaches 55 million homes.
DE-FENSE, DE-FENSE: Throughout his Rebel tenure, defense has become a trademark of Rod Barnes' squads, and that was certainly evident in Sunday's win over South Carolina State. Ole Miss limited the Bulldogs to 47 points, making 28 times in Barnes' eight years at the helm that the opposition was contained below 50. The Rebels also forced S.C. State into 25 turnovers. Ole Miss forced 12 opponents into 18 or more turnovers last year. In 2004-05, the Rebels finished fourth in the SEC in scoring defense (64.1), and held nationally-ranked Kentucky to 53 points -- 22.6 below their average at the time. Ole Miss contained Alabama 14.8 points below their scoring average at 66. The Rebels limited two opponents under 50 points and 12 foes under 60 points. Ole Miss held its opponent in the 30s in shooting percentage seven times last season.
"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. Ole Miss has won 112 of its last 138 games (.812 winning percentage) at home, including homecourt winning streaks of 29, 20 and 15 games. The Rebels have an all-time record of 354-173 (.672 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 84-25 (.771 winning percentage), including a 35-21 homecourt record against SEC foes (.625 winning percentage).
TOUGH ON NON-CONFERENCE FOES: Since the 1993-94 season, the Rebels have posted an 114-39 record (.745 winning percentage) versus non-conference opponents. Non-conference foes have found Ole Miss especially tough under head coach Rod Barnes (1998-99 through 2005-06), as the Rebels have an impressive 79-22 mark (.782 winning percentage) against out-of-conference teams. Ole Miss has been dominant against non-SEC clubs at home. Last December's loss to Florida State was only the Rebels' fourth non-conference home loss since 1995.
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 37-9 record (.804 winning percentage) in the month of November. The Rebels posted 11 straight November victories from 1998 through 2000.
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