Ole Miss Basketball Game Notes
Dec. 1, 2003
GAME #4: Ole Miss (2-1) vs. Florida State (4-0)
OLE MISS TRAVELS TO FLORIDA STATE FOR FIRST ROAD GAME OF YEAR: Ole Miss travels to Florida State Wednesday for its first road game of the 2003-04 season. The matchup, broadcast by Fox Sports South, will be the first of two straight televised game for the Rebels. Ole Miss improved to 2-1 on the season after posting come-from-behind victories over Centenary Tuesday, 72-60, and Southeastern Louisiana Saturday, 52-48. Senior forward Justin Reed continued his torrid start with back-to-back 20-plus-point, 10-plus-rebound outings.
BARNES ENTERS SIXTH SEASON AS REBEL MENTOR: Rod Barnes is approaching his sixth 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 102-62 record (.622 winning percentage). The 100 wins in his first five seasons is the most by a Rebel coach in that span of time in Ole Miss history. In 2000-01, Barnes was the Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year, guided Ole Miss to a school-record 17 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).
SCOUTING FLORIDA STATE: Florida State continues its season-opening, seven-game homestand Monday against Northwestern in the first game of the 2003 ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Seminoles enter Monday's game against the Wildcats looking to open a season with five consecutive wins for the first time since the beginning of the 1995-96 season and looking for their first five-game winning streak since the 1996-97 season. Senior guard Tim Pickett enters the week averaging a team-leading 16.3 points and 2.8 steals. He has made a team-leading 12 three-point field goals and ranks among the team leaders in assists (2.5 apg), blocked shots (0.8 bpg) and field goal shooting percentage (.460).
OLE MISS-FLORIDA STATE SERIES: Ole Miss and Florida State have met twice previously, both in 1951 with the home team winning each time. FSU prevailed 63-58 on Jan. 11 in Tallahassee, and the Rebels avenged that defeat with a 79-75 victory on Feb. 14 in Oxford.
REED'S UNSTOPPABLE START: Justin Reed is off to one of the greatest season starts in school history, posting back-to-back 20-plus-point, 10-plus-rebound games last week. The senior forward's career-high 28 points vs. Centenary tied the most by an Ole Miss player since Marcus Hicks' 31 in 1999-2000. A native of Jackson, Miss., Reed also matched his career high for blocks with four against the Gents. Reed's career-high 19 rebounds against Southeastern Louisiana equaled the most by a Rebel since Walter Actwood's 20 in 1975. He also nailed a pair of game-clinching free throws against the Lions with 10 seconds left. Dating back to last season, Reed has notched 20 or more points in five straight games and is the first Rebel to manage that feat since Keith Carter in 1998-99. Reed, who has played 38 or more minutes in all three of this season's games, now boasts 14 career double-doubles and 14 20-point games. Reed currently tops the SEC in rebounding at 13.3 per game, and ranks second in scoring at 24.7. Reed's early-season point average is the highest for a Rebel since Joe Harvell (25.0) in 1992.
GETTING DEFENSIVE: Against Southeastern Louisiana, the Rebels displayed the defensive prowess that has become a trademark of Rod Barnes' squads. Ole Miss limited the Lions to 29 percent shooting on the day and 14 first-half points. The Rebels held their opponent under 50 points for the 21st time in Barnes' six years at the helm.
HARPER RISES UP CHARTS: Aaron Harper, who joined the 1,000-point club and 200 three-pointer club a year ago, further made his imprint on the Rebel record book Tuesday. The 6-foot-7 swingman cracked the 20-point barrier against Centenary for the ninth time in his career, totaling 24, and knocked down a pair of three-pointers last week to move alone into second on the Ole Miss career list for treys with 215. Harper hit 65 threes in 2002-03, which is the fourth-most for a single season in Ole Miss history.
KENDRICK IN THE CLUTCH: Kendrick Fox has knocked down some key shots in his Rebel career but none were bigger than his game-deciding three-pointer against Southeastern Louisiana Saturday. With the Rebels trailing by one, the junior forward from Oxford put Ole Miss on top for good with his second trey of the afternoon. Fox finished with a career-high 10 points. He is currently third on the team in scoring (6.0 per game) and rebounding (3.0).
FAMILIAR START: Ole Miss is off to a 2-1 start for the third straight year and the eighth time since 1990. However, the Rebels eventually progressed to a 6-1 opening mark a year ago and a 5-1 start in 2001-02.
NEW REBELS STEP RIGHT IN: Five new Rebels have seen playing time through the first three games, and four have earned at least one start. Freshmen Todd Abernethy and Bam Doyne have comprised the Ole Miss starting backcourt in both games. Abernethy was particular strong in the season-opener with nine points and six assists, while Doyne compiled six points and two assists vs. Southeastern Louisiana. Junior transfer Marvin Moore earned the start against Arkansas State and responded with 10 points and three rebounds. Forward Tommie Eddie has started the last two games, while fellow JUCO transfer Ed Glass came off the bench for six points in the win over Centenary.
REBELS VERSUS THE ACC: The Rebels have an all-time record of 14-18 versus current members of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Ole Miss has faced only one ACC foe over the last 15 years, a 77-54 loss at N.C. State in the third round of the 2000 NIT.
AMONG SEC'S TOP TANDEMS: With Justin Reed and Aaron Harper back, the Rebels have an advantage enjoyed by few others. Ole Miss is one of only two teams in the Southeastern Conference to return its top two scorers from last year, with Arkansas being the other club. The senior duo of Reed and Harper, who is currently averaging over 24 and 15, respectively, was voted among the top tandems in college hoops by Basketball News. Reed and Harper have spent the majority of their basketball lives together, having teamed up at Provine High School in Jackson, Miss., before arriving in Oxford.
TOUGH ON NON-CONFERENCE FOES: Over the last 10-plus years, the Rebels have posted an 97-32 record (.752 winning percentage) versus non-conference opponents. Non-conference foes have found Ole Miss especially tough under head coach Rod Barnes (1998-99 through 2003-04), as the Rebels have an impressive 62-15 mark (.805 winning percentage) against out-of-conference teams. Ole Miss has been dominant against non-SEC clubs at home. The season-opening loss to to Centenary was only the Rebels' second non-conference home loss since 1995 and snapped a streak of 12 straight wins.
SPARK PLUG: Cavadas Nunnery provided a spark off the Rebel bench against Arkansas State. The junior guard collected a team-high seven assists, marking the first time for him to ever lead Ole Miss in dimes. Nunnery finished with career-highs in minutes (26), assists (7) and rebounds (4). The Magnolia, Miss., native was also 1-for-1 shooting with a pair of steals.
REED PILES UP PRESEASON HONORS: Justin Reed is one of the most decorated athletes in the history of Rebel basketball, and the awards continued to pour in this preseason. The senior forward earned Preseason All-SEC first team status from Athlon Sports, Basketball News, Lindy's, Street & Smith's and Blue Ribbon Basketball Yearbook. Athlon's ranked him the No. 5 "inside-out player" in college basketball. Reed was also rated the 11th-best power forward in the nation by Lindy's and the 14th-best by The Sporting News. Reed has earned All-SEC honors each of his three collegiate seasons, and was a preseason Wooden Award candidate each of the last two seasons. He is the only player from the state of Mississippi to ever be nominated twice.
GOOD OMEN: The Ole Miss Rebels were picked to finish in sixth in the Southeastern Conference Western Division in a vote by media members at the annual conference media day Oct. 29 in Birmingham, Ala. The last time the Rebels were picked so low was prior to the 2000-01 season, when Ole Miss claimed the SEC West crown en route to a school-record 27 wins and a Sweet 16 appearance. LSU was picked to win the Western Division crown, while Kentucky was selected to win the Eastern Division championship and the SEC overall title.
BARNES TOPPLES CENTUARY MARK: With the Rebels' victory over South Carolina in the 2003 Southeastern Conference Tournament first round, Rod Barnes recorded the 100th win of his career. His record currently stands at 102-62. The 102 victories are second most in Ole Miss history, trailing only B.L. "Country" Graham's (1950-62) 145 wins. Barnes is the only coach in the program's history to average 20 wins per season.
FUTURE REBELS: The future of Ole Miss hoops got even brighter in mid-November as the Rebels added three new players for the 2004-05 season. Ole Miss received national letters of intent from Arkansas natives Jeremy Parnell, a 6-foot-9, 240-pound forward/center from Gosnell, and Brandon Patterson, a 6-foot-6, 180-pound swingman from Altheimer, and Jackson's Bobby Clark, a 6-foot-6, 195-pound guard.
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