Men's Basketball Game Notes
Nov. 26, 2002
OLE MISS PROBABLES
ALABAMA STATE PROBABLES
OLE MISS/ALABAMA STATE TEAM COMPARISONS
REBEL GAME NOTES
OLE MISS TO HOST ALABAMA STATE IN HOME OPENER WEDNESDAY: The Rebels host their 2002-03 home opener Wednesday, Nov. 27 when they meet the Alabama State Hornets in Tad Smith Coliseum. Game time is 7:00 p.m. (CT).
Ole Miss (0-1) dropped its season opener at East Carolina 65-58 last Sunday. Prior to the setback, the Rebels won their two exhibition games over West Alabama 97-35 and Athletes In Action 70-67. Alabama State enters Wednesday's game with a 0-3 record, dropping decisions to Furman (74-73), Texas-Arlington (59-47) and Alabama (82-56).
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 86-47 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-ALABAMA STATE SERIES: The Rebels lead the all-time series versus Alabama State 3-0. Ole Miss won the last meeting between the two schools, a 77-65 win in Montgomery, Ala., in the 1999-2000 season. The Rebels' other two victories were 87-45 in the 1998-99 season opener in Oxford and 87-75 in the 1983 National Invitation Tournament (NIT). The NIT game was also played in Oxford on Mar. 17, 1983.
SCOUTING ALABAMA STATE: The Hornets enter Wednesday's game with a 0-3 record. Alabama State lost to Furman (74-73) and Texas-Arlington (59-47) in the Guardians Classic, and also dropped an 82-56 decision at Alabama.
Junior guard Malcolm Campbell and freshman guard Cedric Mitchell lead the Hornet offense, with both averaging 12.3 points per game. Senior center Alvin Pettway and junior guard Lamar Clark lead Alabama State on the boards, as each are averaging 6.0 rebounds. The Hornets are shooting 38.2 percent from the field, 39.3 percent from the three-point line and 84.2 percent from the charity stripe. Opponents are out-rebounding the Hornets by an average of 10.3 boards per game (37.3-27.0). Head coach Rob Spivery is in his seventh season at Alabama State.
REBELS IMPRESSIVE IN HOME OPENERS: Indeed, it is "home sweet home" for the Rebels when playing in Oxford - especially in home openers. Ole Miss has been impressive in home openers, posting a 75-12 record (.862 winning percentage) in those contests. Last year, the Rebels defeated Morris Brown 92-45 in their home opener.
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 29-5 record (.853 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 THE SWAC: Ole Miss has a perfect 20-0 record versus current members of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). The Rebels are 6-0 versus Prairie View, 3-0 versus Jackson State, Alabama State and Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 2-0 versus Alcorn State, and 1-0 versus Southern, Grambling and Alabama A&M. Ole Miss has never played Mississippi Valley State or Texas Southern. Last season, the Rebels met only one SWAC foe and defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff 95-53 in that contest.
A GOOD SIGN?: In the Rod Barnes' era, the Rebels have played a game within three days of the Thanksgiving holiday on three occasions, and have won all three. Ole Miss defeated Alabama A&M (89-45) in 1998-99, McNeese State (86-59) in 1999-2000 and Sam Houston State (71-65) in 2000-01.
DID YOU KNOW?: Rod Barnes recorded his first win as the Ole Miss head coach on Nov. 13, 1998, against - Alabama State. The Rebels defeated the Hornets 87-45 in that game.
REBELS TOUGH ON NON-CONFERENCE FOES IN RECENT YEARS: In the last 10 years (including 2002-03), the Rebels have posted an 85-29 record (.746 winning percentage) versus non-conference opponents. Non-conference foes have found Ole Miss especially tough the last eight seasons (1995-96 through 2002-03), as the Rebels have an impressive 73-21 mark (.777 winning percentage) against out-of-conference teams. The following shows Ole Miss' non-conference record the last 10 years:
Year Record 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 2002-03* 0-1 Totals 85-29 *Totals Under Barnes 50-12
"TAD PAD" SWEET "TAD PAD": Yes, most of the home win streaks are over, but Tad Smith Coliseum (a.k.a. the "Tad Pad") is still one of the toughest arenas in the nation for opposing teams to play. Ole Miss has won 91 of its last 100 games (.910 winning percentage) at home, including homecourt winning streaks of 15 and 29 games. Ole Miss was 13-1 at the "Tad Pad" in 2001-02. In the past 10 seasons (1992-93 through 2001-02), Ole Miss has an overall home record of 119-30 (.799 winning percentage).
REBELS ALL-TIME AT THE "TAD PAD": The Rebels posted their 300th victory in Tad Smith Coliseum in the 2000-01 campaign, and has kept on winning at home. Ole Miss has an all-time record of 324-156 (.675 winning percentage) at the "Tad Pad." Tad Smith Coliseum opened in the 1965-66 season.
HARPER REACHES 700 POINTS: Junior Aaron Harper (Jackson, Miss.) passed a milestone Nov. 24 against East Carolina. The 6-foot-7 forward/guard netted 15 points against the Pirates to give him 704 points for his career. On his current pace, Harper would reach the 1,000-point plateau this year.
THRICE WOULD BE NICE: Entering the 2002-03 season, the Rebels have three players - Justin Reed (Jackson, Miss.), David Sanders (Jackson, Miss.) and Aaron Harper - 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. After the Rebels' Nov. 24 game at East Carolina, Reed now has 849 points, Sanders 639 and Harper 704. Although he scored most of his points at Towson University, senior transfer Shaun Holtz (Crystal Springs, Miss.) 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.
PEARSON GETS FIRST COLLEGIATE START: It's rare when a freshman gets the starting nod in his first collegiate game, but that is what Trey Pearson (South Fulton, Tenn.) did when the Rebels played at East Carolina Nov. 24. The 6-foot-4 guard had 7 points, 3 assists and two rebounds in his debut.
Pearson is only the fourth true freshman since 1995-96 to start his first college game. Jason Smith did so in the 1995-96 season opener, and current Rebels Aaron Harper and Justin Reed also started their first collegiate game in Ole Miss' 2000-01 opener.
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.
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 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)
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 now 992-1081.
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.
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.
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:
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
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 earned Wooden All-America distinction.
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