Ole Miss Basketball Game Notes
Dec. 2, 2004
Game 6: Ole Miss (2-3) vs. Florida State (3-3)
OLE MISS RETURNS HOME FOR FSU: Ole Miss returns home and looks to even its season record Saturday against Florida State. The Rebels were successful in their home-opener against Tennessee Tech, but suffered a two-point setback at Arkansas State on Wednesday. Senior forward Tommie Eddie averaged 21 points, 6 rebounds and 70-percent shooting in those two contests, and has taken over the team-lead in scoring at 10.8 per game. Junior transfer forward Londrick Nolen posted a team-high 21 points and five threes at ASU and is close behind at 10.4 ppg, while leading the Rebels in rebounding at 4.6.
BARNES ENTERS SEVENTH SEASON AS REBEL MENTOR: Rod Barnes is beginning his seventh 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 115-79 record (.593 winning percentage). Barnes' 113 coaching victories in his first six seasons is the most of any Ole Miss coach over that span of time and is the second-most in school history. His .593 winning percentage is the highest of any Rebel coach of six years or more.
In 2000-01, Barnes was the Southeast-ern Conference 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 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: Under the direction of third-year head coach Leonard Hamilton, Florida State returns only seven letterwinners and two starters from last year's 19-14 squad that reached the second round of the NIT. Alexander Johnson earned Freshmen All-America honorable mention honors a year ago and is the team's top returning scorer at 9.5 ppg, second best on the team in 2004-05. The forward is currently one of nine players averaging five or more points, and the Seminoles, who were tabbed seventh in the ACC preseason poll, are off to a 3-3 start. Sophomore guard Von Wafer is FSU's top point man at 10.4 per game, and he tallied 19 points, four assists and three steals in Tuesday's 70-69 victory at Minnesota.
OLE MISS-FLORIDA STATE SERIES: Florida State's 66-60 win over Ole Miss in Tallahassee last year gave the Seminoles a 2-1 edge in the all-time series. Prior to the 2004-05 meeting, the teams' two previous encounters had both occurred 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. Last season's meeting saw the Rebels narrow an 18-point gap at the 14:15 mark of the second half to four points with 3:01 left. Justin Johnson nailed three consecutive three-pointers at one point, and Todd Abernethy knocked down two straight.
RAINING TREYS: The Rebels have been an outstanding three-point shooting club thus far this season, firing at a better than 42 percent clip. Ole Miss nailed 13-of-24 (.542 percent) vs. Tennessee Tech and 11-of-23 (.478 percent) at Arkansas State. Junior Londrick Nolen is 9-of-18 (.500), freshman Brandon Patterson is 10-of-22 (.455), while senior Justin Johnson is 9-of-22 (.409). In addition, Kendrick Fox has made 6-of-16 (.375), and Todd Abernethy is 4-of-12 (.333). Newcomers Nolen and Patterson have each made good on five in a game, which ties the ninth-highest total in school history. Nolen pulled off the feat at ASU, while Patterson caught fire against Tennessee Tech.
AWESOME EDDIE: After a slow start, Tommie Eddie has turned up the offense of late. The senior forward enjoyed one of his best games as a Rebel in the win over Tennessee Tech, shooting a flawless 8-for-8 from the field en route to a career-high 24 points. Defensively, the Brooklyn native was also stellar against the Golden Eagles, registering a career-best four steals while helping limit Preseason OVC Player of the Year Willie Jenkins to two points. Eddie followed up the TTU game with another excellent outing in the exhibition win over Spirit Express, with 18 points on 9-of-12 shooting and a team-high 7 rebounds. Wednesday at Arkansas State, he again posted 18 points to go with 8 boards. Eddie has taken over the team-lead in scoring at 10.8 per game and field goal percentage at .630. He has also knocked down 20-of-28 free throws (.714 percent).
MR. DO-IT-ALL: Some people think they can do everything, and newcomer Londrick Nolen is proving he can. The junior forward from Southwest Tennessee Community College joins Todd Abernethy as the only players to start all five games, and has filled the stat line in the process. Nolen currently tops the Rebels in rebounds (4.6 rpg), steals (8), blocks (5) and three-point percentage (.500) and ranks second in points (10.4 ppg), assists (3.3 apg) and threes made (9). He tallied 13 points, six rebounds and six assists vs. Tennessee Tech, and followed that up with a team-best 21 points and 5-of-7 treys at Arkansas State Wednesday.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: Ole Miss makes the first of at least 10 TV appearances this season Saturday against Florida State. The Rebels had 10 televised games in 2003-04, turning in a 3-7 mark. Under head coach Rod Barnes (since 1998-99), Ole Miss has played 79 television games and has a 42-37 record in those matchups.
"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. The Rebels boasted a 12-5 home record last season and are 1-0 so far in 2004-05. Ole Miss has won 105 of its last 125 games (.840 winning percentage) at home, including homecourt winning streaks of 29, 20 and 15 games. The Rebels have an all-time record of 347-167 (.675 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 77-19 (.802 winning percentage), including a 33-16 homecourt record against SEC foes (.673 winning percentage).
ROOKIE SENSATION: Freshman guard Brandon Patterson is already making an impact in the Ole Miss offense. The Altheimer, Ark., native leads the team in three-pointers with 10, and in his first career start against Tennessee Tech, he knocked down 5-of-8 from long range and finished with 19 points. Patterson's 19 points against Tennessee Tech was the most by a Rebel freshman since Justin Reed dropped 21 on Auburn on Feb. 21, 2001. Patterson also nailed three treys for nine points in his Rebel debut against South Carolina State. He has made 10-of-22 (45.5 percent) from the behind the arc for the season. In the exhibition win over Spirit Express, Patterson was good on 4-of-6 threes and finished with 14 points.
TOUGH ON NON-CONFERENCE FOES: Since the 1993-94 season, the Rebels have posted an 105-37 record (.739 winning percentage) versus non-conference opponents. Non-conference foes have found Ole Miss especially tough under head coach Rod Barnes (1998-99 through 2004-05), as the Rebels have an impressive 70-20 mark (.778 winning percentage) against out-of-conference teams. Ole Miss has been dominant against non-SEC clubs at home. Last year's loss to Memphis was only the Rebels' third non-conference home loss since 1995.
TOP OF THE CLASS: The Rebels' 2004 signing class is being tabbed as one of the nation's best. Rivals.com is rating the class 16th in college basketball, while HoopScoop Online has it fourth-best in their latest ranking.
In the early signing period, Ole Miss loaded up its frontcourt with the inking of Trey Hampton (6-7, 215, Hoover, Ala.), Mike Smith (6-7, 240, Jacksonville, Ark), Carl Swanigan (6-9, 340, West Valley City, Utah), Xavier Webb (6-9, 200, Atwood, Tenn.) and Marquis Young (6-9, 275, Chicago), who has been named a candidate for this year's McDonald's All-Star Game. The two guards in the group are Jackson's Bobby Clark (6-6, 205) and juco scorer Clarence Sanders (6-2, 180), the lone transfer in the class, which represents seven different states.
Include Auburn transfer Dwayne Curtis, and the Rebels will add four 6-foot-9 players to the roster in 2005-06. Due to NCAA transfer rules, Curtis is ineligible for the current season, but the 6-foot-9, 290-pound sophomore center may begin playing in the 2005-06 campaign with three years of eligibility remaining.
REBELS VERSUS THE ACC: The Rebels have an all-time record of 15-22 versus current members of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Ole Miss has faced only two ACC foes over the last 15 years, the 66-60 defeat at Florida State last year and a 77-54 loss at N.C. State in the third round of the 2000 NIT.
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