Men's Basketball Game Notes
Dec. 3, 2002
Date: December 4, 2002
OLE MISS PROBABLES
AUSTIN PEAY PROBABLES
OLE MISS/GEORGE MASON TEAM COMPARISONS
RBEEL GAME NOTES
Ole Miss (2-1) brings a two-game win streak into the contest after victories over Alabama State (74-58) and George Mason (56-49). Austin Peay (2-1) enters Wednesday's contest after a setback at Missouri Nov. 30. The Governors opened the season with victories over Memphis (81-80, ot) and Bluefield College (90-66).
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 an 88-47 record (.652 winning percentage). He is 2-1 in 2002-03. The 86 wins in his first four seasons were the most by a Rebel coach in that span of time 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-AUSTIN PEAY SERIES: The Rebels lead the all-time series versus Austin Peay 2-0. The last time the two schools met on the hardwood was the 1998-99 campaign when Ole Miss posted a 105-62 win over the Governors in Oxford. The only other encounter between the two programs came in the 1990-91 season, an 83-80 Rebel victory in Oxford.
SCOUTING AUSTIN PEAY: The Governors enter Wednesday's game with a 2-1 record. Austin Peay defeated Memphis 81-80 in overtime and Bluefield College 90-66, but dropped an 81-46 decision at Missouri. Corey Gipson leads four players scoring in double figures with a 15.0 average. Josh Lewis (12.0 ppg), Adrian Henning (11.3 ppg) and Anthony Davis (10.3 ppg) are also averaging double digits for the Governors. Lewis leads Austin Peay on the boards with a 6.7 average. Henning is the team's top field goal shooter at 68.4 percent (13-of-19), while Gipson is the squad's top three-point threat, hitting 44.4 percent from the arc (12-of-27). The Governors are shooting 42.2 percent from the floor, 38.2 percent from the three-point line and 70.2 percent from the charity stripe. Head coach Dave Loos is in his 13th season at Austin Peay and has a 177-174 record at the school.
REBELS VERSUS THE OHIO VALLEY CONFERENCE: Ole Miss has an all-time record of 10-5 (.667 winning percentage) versus current members of the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC). The Rebels are 2-0 versus Austin Peay, 1-0 versus Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee-Martin, 4-1 versus Tennessee Tech, 1-1 versus Eastern Illinois, 1-3 versus Murray State. The last time Ole Miss played an OVC team was the 2001-02 campaign. Last season, the Rebels posted an 83-72 victory over Tennessee-Martin on Dec. 16, 2001, in the DeSoto County Civic Center.
NOVEMBER, PLEASE DON'T GO...: 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 31-5 record (.861 winning percentage) in the month of November. Ole Miss was 2-1 this 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.
...BUT DECEMBER'S NOT SO BAD: While the Rebels are nearly unbeatable in the month of November, their record in the month of December since the 1990-91 season isn't so bad either. Ole Miss has a 58-27 record (.682 winning percentage) in December games since 1990-91. The Rebels are 20-3 (.870 winning percentage) in December the last three years (6-1 in 1999-2000; 8-1 in 2000-01; 6-1 in 2001-02).
REBELS TOUGH ON NON-CONFERENCE FOES IN RECENT YEARS: In the last 10 years (including 2002-03), the Rebels have posted an 87-29 record (.750 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 75-21 mark (.781 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* 2-1 Totals 87-29 *Totals Under Barnes 52-12
BARNES BECOMES SECOND WINNINGEST COACH IN REBEL HISTORY: With the Rebels' 56-49 victory over George Mason Nov. 30, Rod Barnes became the second-winningest head coach in Ole Miss basketball history. That win gave him 88 for his career, and his record now stands at 88-47. The 88 victories are second most in Ole Miss history, trailing only B.L. "Country" Graham's (1950-62) 145 wins.
Up next for Barnes is the 100-win milestone, and with 12 more victories, he will reach that. 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 entering the 2002-03 campaign. The following lists the winningest coaches in Rebel history:
GOING FOR THE MILLENNIUM: The Ole Miss Rebel basketball program will be going after a milestone as well in 2002-03. Ole Miss entered the season with 992 all-time victories, needing only eight to reach 1,000. After their 56-49 victory over George Mason Nov. 30, the Rebels' all-time record is now 994-1081.
"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 92 of its last 101 games (.911 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 120-30 (.800 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 325-156 (.676 winning percentage) at the "Tad Pad." Tad Smith Coliseum opened in the 1965-66 season.
GETTING DEFENSIVE...PART I: Defense has always been a trademark of the Ole Miss Rebel basketball program, and it is continuing in the early part of the 2002-03 campaign. After three games, Ole Miss is holding opponents to 38.5 percent shooting from the field (6th in SEC) and 20.5 percent from the three-point arc (1st in SEC). The Rebels are also holding the opposition to 57.3 points per game (2nd in SEC).
Last year, Ole Miss finished third in the league in scoring defense, allowing only 64.3 points per contest.
HARPER MOVING UP THE CHARTS: Junior Aaron Harper (Jackson, Miss.) has expanded his game in 2002-03 with more drives to the basket and mid-range jumpers. However, that doesn't mean the Rebels' sharp-shooter has given up on the three-point shot.
After three games, Harper is 6-of-12 from the arc and leads the team in three-pointers made. With the 6 treys, Harper is also moving up the career three-pointers made list, and the following shows that:
Career Three-Pointers Made
ALLEN'S BACK!: After a couple of sub-par performances to start the season, it looks as if Derrick Allen (Gadsden, Ala.) is back to the "blue-collar" form of a year ago that made him a fan favorite. The 6-foot-8 forward had 11 points and 9 rebounds in the Rebels' victory at George Mason. For the year, Allen is averaging 8.0 points and 6.3 rebounds (second on the team).
GETTING DEFENSIVE...PART II: Senior David Sanders (Jackson, Miss.) was named by one preseason publication as the league's top defensive player. Well, the Southeastern Conference schedule hasn't begun yet, but the 6-foot-3 guard is already in mid-season form.
In the Rebels' victory at George Mason Nov. 30, Sanders limited the Patriots' Mark Davis to 11 points - only 2 after halftime - and 4 rebounds. He also forced Davis into 3-of-13 shooting from the field, including 1-of-7 from the three-point line. Entering the contest, Davis was averaging 23.0 points and 5.5 boards, while hitting 35.7 percent from the arc. Davis also had 9 steals coming into the Nov. 30 contest, and had none against the Rebels.
MORE ON SANDERS: Entering 2002-03, senior David Sanders knew he would have to take over a large portion of the point guard duties in the early part of the season, and the off-guard (his normal position) has done quite well.
In the Rebels' victory at George Mason Nov. 30, Sanders had an excellent floor game with 10 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and only 1 turnover in 33 minutes of action. The 6-foot-3 guard did all that while also shutting down George Mason's top scorer (see previous note). Sanders is the team's leader in assists with 12 (4.0 apg) after three games.
GUNN'S A-BLAZING: Indeed, redshirt junior John Gunn (Oxford, Miss.) came out on fire in the Rebels' victory over Alabama State Nov. 27. After being away from the court for over a year with a kidney illness, the 6-foot-10 forward scored a career-high 16 points against the Hornets. The 16-point performance bested his previous career high of 14 points against Tennessee in the 1999-2000 campaign (Gunn's freshman year). He scored his 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field, and the 8 field goals were also a career best.
Gunn also got the starting nod for the game, which was the second of his career and the first since the 1999-2000 season (started against Prairie View on Dec. 29, 1999).
In the Rebels' game at George Mason Nov. 30, Gunn didn't score, but his aggressive play caused problems for the Patriots. He finished the game with 3 rebounds, 1 block and 1 steal.
THRICE WOULD BE NICE: Entering the 2002-03 season, the Rebels have three players - Justin Reed (Jackson, Miss.), David Sanders 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. 30 game against George Mason, Reed now has 869 points, Sanders 662 and Harper 728. 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 2 rebounds in his debut.
He followed that with a 6-point, 5-rebound, 5-assist performance in Ole Miss' victory over Alabama State Nov. 27. He also started the Alabama State game. Pearson started the Nov. 30 George Mason game, and had 6 points, 3 assists, 1 rebound and 1 steal against the Patriots. He also hit 3-of-4 free throws in the final 9 seconds to seal the win.
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):
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.) entered the year with 66 victories, which was 22 shy of tying the record of 88. After the Rebels' win over George Mason Nov. 30, the 2002-03 senior class now has 68 victories. 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 68 1935-36 to 1938-39 63 1994-95 to 1997-98 62 1978-79 to 1981-82 62 1923-24 to 1926-27 62
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 130 games (overall games) since 1996-97, the most by any team in the SEC Western Division. The 130 victories are also second among all league teams, only trailing Kentucky's 169 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)
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.
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