Men's Hoops Returns Home to Host South Dakota State

Matchup: South Dakota State (6-2) vs. Ole Miss (4-1)
Date: Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Time: 7 p.m. CT
Location: Oxford, Miss.
Arena: The Pavilion at Ole Miss (9,500)
Television: SECN+
    Seth Austin, play-by-play
    Marc Dukes, analyst
Radio: Ole Miss IMG Sports Network
    David Kellum, play-by-play
    Keith Carter, analyst
Series: Ole Miss leads 1-0
Last Meeting: Dec. 6, 1976
    Ole Miss won 78-70
    Oxford, Miss.

- Battle of the Beards in conjunction with Ole Miss Health Promotions

- Ole Miss is 4-1 for the 18th time in the last 24 seasons, including the 10th under Andy Kennedy.
- The Rebels begin a stretch of playing seven of their next eight games at home.
- The next three games on the Rebels' schedule are against teams that made the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
- Ole Miss went 3-1 in MGM Resorts Main Event games; the Rebels went 2-0 in "Undercard" games, which took place in Oxford, before going 1-1 in Las Vegas.
- Senior forward Justas Furmanavicius scored 16 of his 20 points this season while out in Las Vegas.
- The Rebels rank second in the SEC in steals, averaging 8.4 per game.
- Ole Miss has made the second-fewest turnovers in the SEC (63).
- The Rebels have used three different starting lineups in five games this season; each starting lineup has won at least one game.
- With 79 career blocks, senior Marcanvis Hymon ranks 11th on the school's all-time list.
- Guards are accounting for 74.6 percent of the Rebels' scoring through the first two games.
- Terence Davis has scored double digits in 19 of the last 20 games dating back to last season, including 10 straight.
- Averaging 1.8 steals per game, Markel Crawford ranks third in the SEC.
- Senior Deandre Burnett leads the team and ranks 10 in the SEC in three-point field goal percentage (.462).
- Ole Miss is in the 12th season of the Andy Kennedy era; Kennedy, the Dean of the SEC, is the winningest coach in school history with 238 victories.
- Only two games into this season, Kennedy already has the fifth-most wins in SEC history by a coach in his first 12 years in the league at one school.
- In the only previous matchup with South Dakota State, Ole Miss all-time leading scorer John Stroud (a freshman at the time) scored 13 points to help lead the Rebels to an eight-point victory.
- Ole Miss has won seven consecutive games on Nov. 28, including a victory over No. 23 Creighton during the 2014-15 campaign; its last loss on the date occurred versus No. 8 Illinois during the 1989-90 season.

Playing their 108th season of college basketball, the Rebels are 1,285-1,283 all-time. With a win over Eastern Kentucky (Nov. 13), Ole Miss moved its all-time winning percentage over .500 for the first time since Jan. 12, 1959 when they were 441-440 overall. To put that in perspective, a gallon of gas cost 25 cents, while 1959 was also the year that Alaska and Hawaii became states. As a program, Ole Miss was 95 games under .500 when Andy Kennedy took over in Oxford prior to the 2006-07 season.

South Dakota State enters Tuesday night's game with a 6-2 record on the 2017-18 campaign. Losses to Kansas and Wyoming are sandwiched between a pair of three-game winning streaks. The Jackrabbits won three of their four games last week, winning two games in the Cayman Islands Classic before cruising past Dakota State 92-60 at home on Sunday. Junior forward Mike Daum, the 2016-17 Summit League Player of the Year, paces the Jackrabbits in scoring at 19.4 ppg. Off the bench, freshman David Jenkins has been a spark plug and sharpshooter, averaging 14.5 ppg and shooting 48.9 percent (23 of 47) from beyond the arc. As a team, South Dakota State is shooting an impressive 41.1 percent from long distance. T.J. Otzelberger is in his second season as head coach after leading the Jackrabbits to the NCAA Tournament last season as winners of the Summit League Championship.

The Rebels and Jackrabbits will meet for only the second time in history. The teams last faced off 41 years ago when Ole Miss secured a 78-70 victory in Oxford (Dec. 6, 1976), its fourth game under first year head coach Bob Weltich. Four Rebels reached double figures led by 16 points from Eugene Harris. John Stroud, the all-time leading scorer in Ole Miss history, contributed 13 points as a freshman. John Billips, who would go on to earn All-SEC honors that season, tallied 12 points to go along with team highs in rebounds (10) and assists (7) to finish only three assists shy of a triple-double. Joe Kyles added 12 points to go along with six rebounds and five assists. The Rebels shot 55.2 percent from the field in front of 2,104 fans.

Following three games at home to open the season, Ole Miss played away from The Pavilion for the first time during the 2017-18 campaign. The Rebels traveled to Las Vegas for the first time in program history, competing in the MGM Resorts Main Event. After winning a pair of "Undercard" games in Oxford, Ole Miss went 1-1 in the Sin City. The first loss of the season came at the hands of Utah, but the Rebels rebounded to cruise past Rice 79-62 in the second game out in Las Vegas.

Playing in the MGM Resorts Main Event last week, Ole Miss competed in a regular season tournament (SEC Tournament not included) for the 14th consecutive season. The Rebels have had success in these neutral-site battles under head coach Andy Kennedy, sporting a 22-9 record during his tenure. Ole Miss has traveled all over the Western Hemisphere for these tournaments, including destinations outside the continental U.S. such as Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Last year, the Rebels went down to the U.S. Virgin Islands for the Paradise Jam and finished second in the tournament after taking No. 12 Creighton to the wire in the championship game. Las Vegas marked another off the Rebels' list as they played in the Sin City for the first time in the program's 108-year history when they took the court against Utah and Rice. Ole Miss split the pair of games, extending its streak of winning at least one game in a regular season tournament. The last time the Rebels failed to win a regular season tournament game occurred during the 1974-75 season.  

Despite facing quality teams to start the season, Ole Miss now gets into the toughest part of its non-conference schedule. Starting with South Dakota State tomorrow, the Rebels will play three consecutive games against teams that made the 2017 NCAA Tournament. ACC foe Virginia Tech invades The Pavilion on Saturday (Dec. 2) before Ole Miss travels northeast to face Middle Tennessee (Dec. 9), who made the round of 32 in March.

The Rebels are 8-3 all-time in games played on November 28, including earning wins in the last seven contests on that date. Here is a brief history of Ole Miss games on November 28

Season                Opponent         Location            Outcome         
1981-82  Troy State Oxford, Miss. W, 76-56
1987-88 Maryland  Baltimore, Md.  L, 69-77
1988-89 Tennessee Oxford, Miss. L, 76-84
1989-90  No. 8 Illinois Oxford, Miss.  L, 72-83
1990-91 SE Louisiana Oxford, Miss. W, 74-52
1998-99  Austin Peay Oxford, Miss. W, 105-62
1999-2000 Wisconsin-Green Bay      Greenville, S.C. W, 57-53
2000-01 UL-Monroe  Oxford, Miss.  W, 76-62
2001-02 Morris Brown  Oxford, Miss. W, 92-45
2014-15   No. 23 Creighton Destin, Fla.  W, 75-68
2015-16  Bradley Oxford, Miss. W, 67-54


Tuesday's game will begin a stretch in which the Rebels will play seven of their next eight games at home. After the contest against the Jackrabbits, Ole Miss will host Virginia Tech for a Saturday afternoon tilt (Dec. 2). One week later (Dec. 9), the Rebels head to Murfreesboro, Tennessee to face Middle Tennessee before returning to The Pavilion for five straight home games to end the calendar year. Opponents coming to The Pavilion include: Sam Houston State (Dec. 13), Illinois State (Dec. 16), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Dec. 19), Bradley (Dec. 22) and South Carolina (Dec. 31).

Ole Miss has been active with their hands on the defensive end of the floor, ranking second in the SEC with 8.4 steals per game. Through five games, four Rebels have recorded at least seven steals. Markel Crawford leads the way with nine steals, averaging 1.8 per game to rank third in the SEC, with Terence Davis closely behind (8). Devontae Shuler and Breein Tyree have seven steals apiece as Shuler recorded a career-high four swipes last week versus Utah. Against the Utes (Nov. 20), the Rebels tallied 14 steals throughout the night, the most by them in a game since Feb. 14, 2017 vs. LSU.

Andy Kennedy has proven to develop guards during his time at Ole Miss. Over Kennedy's 11 seasons in Oxford, 12 guards have earned All-SEC accolades to rank third among conference teams. This season, the depth at guard shows in terms of scoring. Through the first five games of the season, Ole Miss guards have accounted for 74.6 percent of the Rebels' points. All five of the top scorers on the team are guards led by Terence Davis (17.2 ppg), Deandre Burnett (16.0 ppg) and Devontae Shuler (11.0 ppg). Graduate transfer Markel Crawford adds 9.0 ppg, while starting point guard Breein Tyree contributes 7.8 ppg.

It's safe to say that Justas Furmanavicius enjoyed playing in Las Vegas last week. During the MGM Resorts Main Event, the senior forward provided instant energy off the bench. He scored 16 of his 20 points over the two-game stretch in the Sin City, tallying seven points against Utah (Nov. 20) before adding a season-high nine points in the win over Rice (Nov. 22). In the victory over the Owls, Furmanavicius was a perfect 4 of 4 from the floor in 23 minutes of play. After spending half of last season as a starter, Furmanavicius has come off the bench in all five games this year. The Kaunas, Lithuania, native is averaging 4.0 ppg over 16.2 minutes per game.

After a breakout sophomore season last year, averaging 14.9 points per game after only providing 1.8 points per game as a freshman (largest increase in scoring among any returning player in the conference), Terence Davis has become a go-to scorer for Ole Miss. The Southaven, Mississippi, native has scored in double figures in 19 of the last 20 games dating back to last season, including 10 straight contests. Leading the Rebels with a 50.9 field goal percentage and 17.2 ppg, Davis ranks sixth and eighth in the SEC, respectively. He has already reached the 20-point plateau twice, recording 21 in the season opener versus Louisiana (Nov. 10) before putting up 24 in a win over Georgia State one week later (Nov. 17). He has also showcased his skills on the defensive end, ranking second on the team in steals (8) and blocks (5). As a sophomore last year, Davis ranked fourth in the league in field goal percentage (.482) and recorded 20+ points in six different games. He quickly became a playmaker on both sides of the floor, leading the Rebels with 50 steals as well.

Not often does a first team preseason all-conference selection come off the bench, but senior Deandre Burnett is embracing the role. The guard is averaging 16.0 ppg, ranking second on the team, while leading the Rebels with 18 assists. Not only does he pace Ole Miss in assists, but Burnett takes care of the ball by ranking 10th in the SEC in assist/turnover ratio (2.6). The Miami Gardens, Florida, native is shooting 50.0 percent (23 of 46) from the floor, including a team-best 46.2 percent (12 of 26) percent from three-point range. Burnett also knocks down his free throws at an 81.5 percent clip (22 of 27). During last week's games in Las Vegas, Burnett led Ole Miss in scoring by racking up 21 points versus Utah (Nov. 20) and 18 in the victory over Rice (Nov. 22). Last season, his first as a Rebel, Burnett averaged a team-high 16.5 ppg and finished fifth in the SEC in both free-throw percentage (.881) and three-point percentage (.376). Finishing eighth in the league in scoring, Burnett reached double figures in 26 of 33 games, including 10 20-plus performances and a career-high 41-point output (Nov. 18, 2016 vs. Oral Roberts). He also shared the rock, providing 104 assists throughout the season (3.2 apg).

Heading into the season, a big question mark for Ole Miss was who would fill the void left by Sebastian Saiz. With the help of a school-record 409 rebounds, Saiz recorded 23 double-doubles a season ago. Seeing the stat line of 12 points and 13 rebounds in the season opnener, one may have thought that Saiz returned for a fifth-year reunion tour. However, it was Marcanvis Hymon who produced the double-double in the win over Louisiana (Nov. 10). In a team-high 32 minutes, Hymon notched his third career double-double and the first since his sophomore season (Feb. 13, 2016 vs. Arkansas). The Memphis, Tennessee, native followed the season opener with an 8-point, 10-rebound performance versus Eastern Kentucky (Nov. 13). Through five games, Hymon leads the Rebels with 8.0 rpg and ranks seventh in the SEC. In his fourth year at Ole Miss, the Memphis, Tennessee, native is the only active player to spend all four seasons in Oxford. Through 79 career games, Hymon is moving up the school's career blocks chart. With eight already this year, he ranks 11th with 79 career rejections following a team-high 40 last season.

A 4-star guard out of perennial powerhouse Oak Hill Academy, there was a lot of hype surrounding Devontae Shuler entering the season. The freshman has not disappointed, averaging 11.0 ppg to rank third on the team in scoring. Shuler has played in all five games, making two starts and averaging 21.6 minutes per game. Last week in Las Vegas, he showcased his quick hands on the defensive end with a career-high four steals versus Utah (Nov. 20) before pulling down a career-high five rebounds in the win over Rice (Nov. 22). In his debut, Shuler recorded 14 points in 16 minutes off the bench. The Irmo, South Carolina, native knocked down four shots from beyond the arc versus Louisiana (Nov. 10), and his offensive output was the most points by a freshman in a season opener since Trevor Gaskins recorded 21 versus Mississippi Valley State, exactly 10 years ago (Nov. 10, 2007).

As a graduate transfer, Markel Crawford is already making his mark in his only season with the Rebels. The Memphis product has started all five games and leads Ole Miss in minutes per game (29.4). He also leads the team in steals (9) and is second in assists (12), while averaging 9.0 ppg. His 1.8 steals per game rank third in the conference. Against Georgia State (Nov. 17), Crawford scored a season-high 15 points thanks to his success at the charity stripe. He knocked down 9 of 10 free throws, including a perfect 4 of 4 in the final minute, to help put the game on ice. Crawford proved to be a factor defensively against Utah last week (Nov. 20), recording a team-high five steals.

In the Rebels' latest game, a 79-62 victory over Rice, newcomers D.C. Davis and Ilya Tyrstyshnik made their first appearances in an Ole Miss uniform. The duo bumped the list of newcomers to play this season to six. Four Rebels made their Ole Miss debut in the season opener versus Louisiana: graduate transfer Markel Crawford, sophomore transfer Domink Olejniczak, freshman Devontae Shuler and junior college transfer Bruce Stevens. The newcomers provided a combined 34 points in the Rebels' 94-76 victory.

With the 12th season led by Mississippi native Andy Kennedy underway, Ole Miss has a 238-141 record, one SEC Tournament championship, two SEC West championships, nine 20-win campaigns and eight postseason berths, which includes two NCAA Tournament appearances and pair of trips to the NIT Final Four. The all-time winningest coach in school history, Kennedy has averaged more than 21 wins per season in his 11 years in Oxford after the Rebels posted just three 21-win seasons in the 96 years before his arrival.

Andy Kennedy is also fifth on the list for most wins by a coach in their first 12 years in the league after taking over an SEC program. See the list below:

1. Bill Donovan (Florida) - 285
2. Joe B. Hall (Kentucky) - 279
3. Wimp Sanderson (Alabama) - 265
4. Rick Stansbury (Mississippi State) - 255
5. Andy Kennedy (Ole Miss) - 238
6. Kevin Stallings (Vanderbilt) - 236
7. Hugh Durham (Georgia) - 219
8. Ray Mears (Tennessee) - 218
9. Dale Brown (LSU) - 212
10. C.M. Newton (Alabama) - 211
11. Roy Skinner (Vanderbilt) - 204
11. Adolph Rupp (Kentucky) - 204

Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy is climbing the SEC coaching wins chart, ranking 18th with 238 career victories. See complete list below:

1. Adolph Rupp (Kentucky) - 875
2. Billy Donovan (Florida) - 467
3. Dale Brown (LSU) - 448
4. C.M. Newtown (UA/VU) - 340
    Harry Rabenhorst (LSU) - 340
6. Kevin Stallings (Vanderbilt) - 332
7. Tubby Smith (UGA/UK) - 308
8. Joe B. Hall (Kentucky) - 297
    Hugh Durhman (Georgia) - 297
10. Rick Stansbury (MSU) - 293
11. Ray Mears (Tennessee) - 278
    Roy Skinner (Vanderbilt) - 278
13. Wimp Sanderson (Alabama) - 265
    John Mauer (UK/UT/UF) - 265
15. Hank Crisp (Alabama) - 264
16. John Calipari (Kentucky) - 255
17. Nolan Richardson (Arkansas) - 249
18. Andy Kennedy (Ole Miss) - 238
19. Norm Sloan (Florida) - 232
20. Rick Pitino (Kentucky) - 219
21. Joel Eaves (Auburn) - 214

Ole Miss will remain in The Pavilion for its next game, hosting Virginia Tech in a big SEC/ACC showdown. The contest tips off at 1 p.m. on SECN+ and is part of a doubleheader with the Ole Miss women's basketball team. The Ole Miss women will begin play 30 minutes following the conclusion of the matchup between the Rebels and Hokies.






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