Rebel Basketball Game Notes
Nov. 28, 2005
GAME 5: Ole Miss (3-1) vs. Louisiana-Monroe (3-3)
OLE MISS LOOKS FOR THIRD STRAIGHT WIN: The Rebels look to improve to 4-1 on the young season against Louisiana-Monroe Tuesday at 7 p.m. CT in Oxford. The Rebels picked up a second consecutive victory Saturday over Centenary 107-67 in the 2005-06 home opener. Sophomore center Dwayne Curtis followed up his double-double against South Carolina State with a 21-point, 6-rebound performance against the Gents. Junior transfer guard Clarence Sanders came off the bench for 17 points, while junior guard Todd Abernethy drilled 4-of-6 3-pointers for 16 points along with 4 steals. Curtis is leading the team at 11.0 ppg and 6.5 rpg, while senior forward Londrick Nolen is close behind at 10.8 ppg and 5.3 rpg.
BARNES BEGINS EIGHTH SEASON AS REBEL MENTOR: Rod Barnes is in his eighth season at the helm of the Ole Miss Rebel basketball program and is 15 victories away from reaching B.L. "Country" Graham's school record for coaching wins. The 2001 Naismith and CollegeInsider.com National Coach of the Year, Barnes has a 130-94 record. Barnes' 130 coaching victories in his first 224 games is the most of any Ole Miss coach over that span and is the second-most wins in school history. His .580 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 INDIANS: Under the direction of first-year head coach and former Alabama assistant Orlando Early, Louisiana-Monroe had its three-game win streak snapped Saturday at No. 2 Texas 90-55 to even its season-record at 3-3. The Indians return seven letterwinners and three starters from last year's 8-19 squad that finished 10th in the Southland Conference. Heading the list of ULM returnees is senior guard Cecil Hood, who posted 9.9 ppg last season. Hood has raised his numbers this season to team-best averages 14.7 points and 5.7 rebounds. Five other players are posting between 7.7 and 9.5 points per outing.
OLE MISS-ULM SERIES: Tuesday's game will be the 15th meeting between the two schools, with Ole Miss holding a 10-4 all-time edge and winning the last seven encounters with Louisiana-Monroe, formerly Northeastern Louisiana. The Rebels have prevailed by an average margin of victory of 20.9 points during the streak, which has occurred with all the games played in Oxford over the last seven years. Led by Londrick Nolen's game-high 25 points, Ole Miss prevailed 84-58 in last year's battle.
D.C. PRESIDES OVER REBEL CHARGE: After foul trouble handcuffed him in his first two games in a Rebel uniform, Dwayne Curtis has taken charge for Ole Miss in the last two outings. The 6-foot-8, 290-pound center has shot 80.0 percent (16-of-20) and averaged 19.5 points and 9.0 rebounds in the last two games. Curtis lit up Centenary Saturday for 21 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks and 3 steals. The Chicago native turned in his first double-double in the Red and Blue against South Carolina State with 18 points and 12 boards. Curtis has taken over the team-lead in scoring (11.0), rebounding (6.5) and tied for the lead in assists (11). His 1.83 assist/turnover ratio is also best on the squad.
"O"-RRIVAL: The Ole Miss offense has certainly showed up in the season's first four contests. The Rebels are currently averaging 72.2 points per game, which is 8.4 higher than last year's team scoring clip and would be the highest since Rod Barnes' first year at the helm in 1998-99. Compared to last year, Ole Miss is shooting 16 percentage points higher from the field at 46.4 percent and 32 points better from 3-point range at 39.5 percent. The Rebels topped the 100-point plateau against Centenary, 107-67, for the first time since a 105-71 victory over Alabama in 2001 and only the second time since 1998.
CHARITABLE STRIPE: The Rebels are off to a productive start of the season from the free throw line, connecting on 37-of-51 for an SEC-best 74.2 percentage. That figure is an 13.3 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. Junior Bam Doyne has been good on 6-of-6 from the stripe, while freshman Mike Smith is 6-for-7. Clarence Sanders has knocked down 5-of-6, and Brian Smith is 4-for-4.
MISCELLANEOUS: The Rebels are off to a 3-1 start for the first time since 2002-03 ... Junior guard Todd Abernethy collected a career-high 4 steals against Centenary and had his second 16-point outburst of the year ... Junior guard Bam Doyne lit up Centenary for a career-high 12 points Saturday. Doyne snatched a career-best 4 steals in the win over South Carolina State and leads the Rebels in thefts this season with 6 ... Sophomore guard Brandon Patterson recorded 5 blocked shots in the first two games of the year after only 8 blocks all last year.
DE-FENSE, DE-FENSE: Throughout his Rebel tenure, defense has become a trademark of Rod Barnes' squads, and that was certainly evident in the 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 and Centenary into 23. 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.
CAJUN FEAST: In Monroe, Ole Miss faces its second of six games against schools from Louisiana. The Rebels knocked of Shreveport's Centenary College 107-67 on Saturday and have games with Nicholls State and Southeastern Louisiana and two SEC bouts against LSU remaining on the docket. Ole Miss is 172-187 all-time against Louisiana schools including such frequent foes as Tulane (35-55) and SEC rival LSU (77-110).
"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 113 of its last 139 games (.813 winning percentage) at home, including homecourt winning streaks of 29, 20 and 15 games. The Rebels have an all-time record of 355-173 (.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 85-25 (.773 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 115-39 record (.747 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 80-22 mark (.784 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 38-9 record (.809 winning percentage) in the month of November. The Rebels posted 11 straight November victories from 1998 through 2000.
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