Ole Miss is Set to battle Louisville

December 4, 1998

Louisville (1-0) vs. Ole Miss (5-1)
Saturday, December 5 - 2:00 p.m. (CT)
Tad Smith Coliseum - Oxford, Miss.

OLE MISS TO HOST LOUISVILLE ON SATURDAY
The Ole Miss Rebels (5-1) return to action on Saturday, Dec. 5 when they host perennial national power Louisville (1-0). Tip-off is scheduled for 2:07 p.m. (CT) at Tad Smith Coliseum. Since dropping its only game of the season at then-No. 7 nationally-ranked Temple on Nov. 18, Ole Miss has won three straight games with victories over Alabama A&M (89-45) on Nov. 23, Austin Peay State (105-62) on Nov. 28 and Northeast Louisiana (95-62) on Dec. 2. Louisville, a member of Conference USA, will play its first game in 13 days after a season-opening victory over Western Kentucky (99-78) on Nov. 22.

BARNES TAKES OVER REBEL PROGRAM
Rod Barnes is in his first season at the helm of the Ole Miss Rebel basketball program. He posted his first victory as head coach on Nov. 13 when the Rebels defeated Alabama State, 87-45. He now has a 5-1 record after the Rebels defeated Northeast Louisiana on Dec. 2. Barnes was hired as the Rebel head coach on April 9, 1998, after Rob Evans left to take the head coaching position at Arizona State on April 6. 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 (16th; 1,201 points), assists (2nd; 456) and steals (5th; 154).

SCOUTING LOUISVILLE
The Cardinals return to play on Saturday after a 13-day layoff. Louisville opened regular-season play with a 99-78 victory over Western Kentucky on Nov. 22. Senior Alex Sanders led the Cardinals with 22 points and five rebounds. Senior Eric Johnson (15 points), Cameron Murray (14), junior Tony Williams (14), junior transfer Tobiah Hopper (12) and sophomore Marques Maybin (13) also netted double figures in the win. Last year, Louisville posted a 12-20 overall record and a 5-11 mark in Conference USA.

Louisville returns four starters from last year's squad, including leading scorer Nate Johnson, who will miss Saturday's contest for disciplinary reasons. Cardinals' head coach Denny Crum, who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1994, is in his 28th season at the helm of the Louisville basketball program. He has a career record of 626-253.

OLE MISS-LOUISVILLE SERIES
Ole Miss and Louisville met for the first time in the 1997-98 season, with the Rebels taking a 74-70 win in Freedom Hall in Louisville. In last year's meeting, Keith Carter scored a game-high 18 points, including eight points in a key second-half run, to lead the Rebels to the victory.

LAST MEETING
December 22, 1997
#16 Ole Miss 74, Louisville 70

Keith Carter scored a game-high 18 points, including eight points in a key second-half run, to lead the No. 16 Ole Miss Rebels to a 74-70 victory over Louisville in Freedom Hall on Dec. 22. Joezon Darby (13 points) and Ansu Sesay (11) and Jason Smith (10) also scored in double figures for Ole Miss.

Sesay also grabbed a game-high 11 boards in the win. Cameron Murray led Louisville with 17 points, while Eric Johnson added 16 points. Nate Johnson led the Cardinals on the boards with seven rebounds. The Rebels held a narrow 35-32 lead at the intermission, but began the second half with a 10-0 spurt to take a 45-32 advantage with 15:41 remaining. Carter sparked the Ole Miss run, scoring eight points on two treys and a layup. The Cardinals then used a 10-2 run to pull to within five at 47-42 at the 12:53 mark. Ole Miss, however, responded with a 9-2 spurt to increase its advantage to 12 points at 56-44 with 10:21 left. The Rebel run was fueled by back-to-back treys by Carter and Darby. Ole Miss maintained its double-digit lead until the one-minute mark (71-60), but a late Louisville run made the final score, 74-70.

Ole Miss FG-A 3P-A FT-A Reb Pts Ast Blk Stl
Smith     4-9 0-0  2-2   6  10  0   0    3
Sesay    5-10 0-1  1-4  11  11  4   0    3
Boone, A. 2-7 0-0  0-0   9   4  0   0    0
White     0-1 0-0  2-2   0   2  2   0    0
Carter   6-11 2-4  4-8   5  18  0   1    1
Darby    5-12 3-8  0-0   0  13  1   0    0
Flanigan  4-6 0-0  1-2   1   9  4   0    0
Cantrell  0-0 0-0  0-0   0   0  0   0    0
Lockhart  2-2 0-0  3-6   5   7  0   0    1
Rogers    0-0 0-0  0-0   0   0  0   0    0
Totals  28-58 5-13 13-24 38 74  11  1    8

Louisville FG-A 3P-A FT-A Reb Pts Ast Blk Stl Johnson, N. 4-11 0-1 2-2 7 10 0 1 2 Dantzler 0-2 0-2 1-2 4 1 2 1 1 Sanders 4-11 0-5 1-2 4 9 3 1 3 Maybin 2-4 1-3 0-0 1 5 1 1 0 Murray 6-12 2-4 3-4 5 17 4 0 2 Williams 1-3 0-2 0-0 4 2 1 0 0 Jackson 1-3 0-0 0-1 4 2 1 0 1 Johnson, J. 1-2 0-1 0-0 0 2 0 0 0 Best 2-3 2-3 0-0 1 6 0 0 0 Johnson, E. 6-8 0-0 4-6 3 16 4 1 0 Totals 27-59 5-21 11-17 36 70 16 5 9

Ole Miss 35 39 74 Louisville 32 38 70

Officials: T. O'Neill, A. Patillo, G. Boudreaux Attendance: 19,313

PROBABLE STARTERS

No. Player (Yr.)     Pos. Ht. Wt. PPG/RPG 
4  Jason Smith (Sr.)    F 6-6 220 10.7/4.7
24 Marcus Hicks (Jr.)   F 6-6 200 11.8/7.3 
44 Rahim Lockhart (So.) F 6-8 250 8.8/5.7
22 Michael White (Sr.)  G 6-1 180 3.0/3.0 
33 Keith Carter (Sr.)   G 6-4 195 16.5/3.7 

RESERVES

No. Player (Yr.)        Pos. Ht. Wt. PPG/RPG 
00  Jon Cantrell (Sr.)    F 6-8 225 4.4/2.4 
3 Jason Flanigan (So.)    G 6-1 175 5.7/2.8 
11 Hunter Carpenter (Sr.) G 6-0 180 5.0/0.6 
12 Jason Harrison (Fr.)   G 5-5 150 4.7/1.8 
13 Johnnie Rogers (Sr.)   F 6-9 220 3.0/2.0 
20 Matt Pruitt (Fr.)      G 6-4 185 3.6/1.4 
21 Darrian Brown (Fr.)    F 6-6 200 7.3/2.8 
23 Syniker Taylor (Fr.)   G 6-2 195  #
25 Lataryl Williams (Jr.) G 6-6 200 6.2/2.2 
54 John Engstrom (Fr.)    C 7-0 245 1.2/2.0 

# - will miss the 1998-99 season as a result of a broken left fibula and dislocated ankle suffered in football practice Nov. 4

% - redshirted in 1997-98

BARNES AMONG ELITE COACHING GROUP
Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes joined a special group in Rebel basketball history with his 5-1 start to the 1998-99 season. Barnes is only the fifth coach in Ole Miss basketball history to begin his first season with a 5-1 record. E.R. Hubbard (1910-11), Homer Hazel (1925-26), Charles Jaskwhich (1939-40) and Ed Murphy (1986-87) also began their first seasons as the Rebel head coach with a 5-1 start.

REBELS VERSUS CONFERENCE USA
The Rebels have an all-time record of 65-86 (.430 winning percentage) versus current members of Conference USA. However, Ole Miss has a perfect 4-0 record versus Conference USA teams since the league was formed in the spring of 1995. In the 1990s, the Rebels are 5-1 versus members of Conference USA (2-1 versus Southern Mississippi; 2-0 versus Houston; 1-0 versus Louisville). The Rebels may also meet another Conference USA team this season, as UAB is also participating in the Puerto Rico Holiday Shootout (Dec. 21-23). Prior to last year's meeting versus the Cardinals, the last time Ole Miss had faced a Conference USA foe was the 1996-97 season when the Rebels defeated Houston, 93-71 in Oxford. The following chart shows Ole Miss' all-time results versus teams from Conference USA:

 Ala.-Birmingham 4-1 Memphis        7-21
 Cincinnati      0-1 N.C. Charlotte  1-1
 DePaul          0-1 Saint Louis     0-1
 Houston         2-1 Southern Miss. 15-4
 Louisville      1-0 South Florida   0-0
 Marquette       0-0 Tulane        35-55
 

DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE
The Rebels must love to play doubleheaders with the Lady Rebel basketball team, and it shows in the record. Saturday's doubleheader format begins with the men's game at 2:00 p.m. (CT), followed by the women's contest versus Southern Mississippi at 7:00 p.m. (CT). The Ole Miss men's squad has won its last 21 games at home when playing a doubleheader with the women's basketball team. Saturday will be the third of four doubleheaders this season. The Rebels defeated Belmont, 91-42 in the first doubleheader on Nov. 16 and defeated Northeast Louisiana, 95-62 in the second double-dip on Dec. 2. After Saturday's doubleheader, the Ole Miss men's and women's squads will host one more doubleheader on Dec. 29. The last time the Rebels lost their game in a doubleheader format was in the 1992-93 season, an 89-79 setback to Rice on Jan. 9, 1993.

REBELS TOUGH ON NON-CONFERENCE FOES IN RECENT YEARS
In last seven years (including 1998-99), the Rebels have posted a 45-21 record (.682 winning percentage) versus non-conference opponents. Non-conference foes have found Ole Miss especially tough the last four seasons (1995-96, 1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99), as the Rebels have an impressive 28-8 mark (.778 winning percentage) against out-of-conference teams. The following shows Ole Miss' non-conference record over the previous seven years, including 1998-99:

 1992-93 5-5
 1993-94 7-3
 1994-95 5-5
 1995-96 6-4
 1996-97 8-2
 1997-98 9-1
 1998-99 5-1    

FIRST TIME SINCE...
The Rebels have been playing well especially on the defensive end of the floor. In three of its five home games, Ole Miss has held those three opponents to below 50 points. The Rebels defeated Alabama State (87-45), Belmont (91-42) and Alabama A&M (89-45). It is the first time that the Rebels have held three or more opponents to under 50 points in a season since the 1981-82 campaign. During that season, Ole Miss held six opponents to under 50 points.

MORE ON THE REBEL DEFENSE
The Rebel defense is playing at the top of its game, and the numbers prove it. In the Southeastern Conference statistics released on Dec. 1, Ole Miss is first in the Southeastern Conference in field goal percentage defense (.331), second in the league in scoring margin (+32.4) and turnover margin (+5.80), and third in three-point field goal percentage defense (.277). In their five home games, the Rebels have won by an average of 42.2 points per game.

PLEASE, NOVEMBER, DON'T END
Well, the month of November has come and gone, and the Rebels hate to see that happen. In the 1990s, Ole Miss has posted an impressive mark of 14-3 (.824 winning percentage) in games played in the month of November. In case you were wondering, the Rebels have a 33-22 record (.600 winning percentage) in December games in the 1990s (record includes Dec. 2 win over North-east Louisiana).

DID YOU KNOW?
Rod Barnes is the first Rebel head coach to have played his collegiate basketball at Ole Miss since Cob Jarvis. Jarvis, who was a two-time All-Southeastern Conference first teamer in 1953 and 1954, was a three-year letterwinner for the Rebels and is still in the No. 12 spot on the Ole Miss career scoring chart with 1,313 points. He coached the Rebels from 1968-76 and compiled an 87-117 record.

"TAD PAD" SWEET "TAD PAD"
The Rebels posted a perfect 14-0 record at Tad Smith Coliseum (a.k.a. the "Tad Pad") last year. The Rebels have won 40 of its last 41 games dating back to the middle of the 1995-96 season. The Rebels' lone loss in the streak was a 59-46 setback to Alabama on Jan. 8, 1997. The streak began on Jan. 24, 1996, with an 82-69 win over Auburn. With its 95-62 win over Northeast Louisiana on Dec. 2, Ole Miss extended its school-record home winning streak to 25 consecutive games. In the past seven seasons (1992-present), Ole Miss has an overall home record of 68-22 (.756 winning percentage). The following charts the Rebels' current homecourt win streak:

Date     Opponent, Result
12-2-98  Northeast Louisiana, 95-62
11-28-98 Austin Peay State, 105-62
11-23-98 Alabama A&M, 89-45
11-16-98 Belmont, 91-42
11-13-98 Alabama State, 87-45
2-28-98  Auburn, 74-67 *
2-25-98  Arkansas, 81-65
2-11-98  Vanderbilt, 87-76
2-7-98   Alabama, 75-74
1-24-98  Mississippi State, 81-77 (2ot)
1-21-98  LSU, 80-58
1-7-98   Florida 90-79
1-3-98   South Carolina, 73-54
12-30-97 Northwestern State, 99-52
12-20-97 Prairie View, 106-59
12-17-97 Belmont, 100-59
11-24-97 Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 81-36
11-22-97 Temple, 87-74
11-19-97 Louisiana Tech, 88-56
2-26-97  LSU, 74-68 #
2-19-97  Mississippi State, 84-61
2-1-97   Auburn, 57-46
1-29-97  Arkansas, 71-52
1-22-97  Tennessee, 70-48
1-11-97  Kentucky, 73-69

* clinched 1998 SEC Western Division title # clinched 1997 SEC Western Division title

REBELS PICKED TO FINISH THIRD IN SEC WESTERN DIVISION
In the Southeastern Conference media day voting, Ole Miss was picked to finished third in the SEC Western Division. Arkansas was the overwhelming choice to win the Western Division, with Auburn picked to finish second. Mississippi State was fourth followed by Alabama and LSU. In the SEC Eastern Division, Kentucky was picked to finish first followed by Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Vanderbilt. The Wildcats were also selected to win the overall SEC championship.

OLE MISS PUTTING UP THE POINTS
While the Rebel defense is playing well, Ole Miss is not looking too bad on the offensive end. Ole Miss is averaging 86.5 points per game, which ranks first in the Southeastern Conference. The Rebels are second in the SEC in scoring margin (+32.5) and field goal percentage (.501).

A SUCCESSFUL DEBUT FOR BARNES
On Nov. 13, head coach Rod Barnes made a successful debut as the Rebel mentor, as Ole Miss posted an 87-45 victory over Alabama State. With Barnes' victory, Ole Miss head coaches are now 14-5 (.737 winning percentage) in their debuts. The previous three head coaches Rob Evans, Ed Murphy and Lee Hunt all posted victories in their coaching debuts. The last Ole Miss head coach to lose in his first game at the helm was Bob Weltlich, a 70-61 loss to TCU on the road in the 1976-77 season.

CARTER JUMPS TO NO. 14 ON CAREER SCORING CHART
Senior All-America candidate Keith Carter (Perryville, Ark.) moved into the No. 14 spot on Ole Miss career scoring chart in the Nov. 28 win over Austin Peay State. Carter now has 1,239 career points after his 14-point performance in the Rebels' win over Northeast Louisiana on Dec. 2. With his 19 points versus Austin Peay State on Nov. 28, Carter jumped past Walter Actwood (1974-77) into the No. 14 spot. Actwood netted 1,216 points in his career. In the Rebels' victory over Alabama A&M on Nov. 23, Carter passed his head coach, Rod Barnes, on the Ole Miss career scoring chart. Barnes scored 1,201 points in his career from 1985-88.

CARTER NAMED PRESEASON NAISMITH CANDIDATE
Senior Keith Carter was named as one of 20 preseason candidates for the 1999 Naismith College Player of the Year, as announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club in early October. Carter is one of four players from the Southeastern Conference to be named among the preseason candidates. Georgia's Jumaine Jones, South Carolina's BJ McKie and Kentucky's Scott Padgett were also among the 20 preseason candidates for the player of the year honor.

This past summer, Carter played an integral role in helping lead the USA Goodwill Games Team to a 4-1 record and the gold medal. It was the first time that a USA amateur team had won gold in international play since 1986.

In the five games, Carter averaged 7.8 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists, while shooting 48.1 percent from the field and 40 percent from the three-point arc.

Following the 1997-98 season, the Perryville, Ark., native was named to the Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference second team. This season, Carter leads the squad with a 16.5 scoring average and is also averaging 3.7 boards per game.

SMITH CLOSING IN; PASSES 900-POINT PLATEAU
Senior All-SEC candidate Jason Smith (Wheatley, Ark.) is drawing ever closer to becoming the 24th player in Ole Miss basketball history to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau. After scoring a season-high 19 points in the Rebels' win over Northeast Louisiana on Dec. 2, Smith now has 925 career points and needs 75 points to reach the 1,000-point mark.

STEALING HIS WAY UP THE CHARTS
Senior Jason Smith is also close to breaking into the top five on the Rebel career steals chart. He had three swipes in the Rebels' win over Northeast Louisiana on Dec. 2, bringing his career total to 149. He needs five more to tie you, guessed it Rod Barnes for the fifth spot on the Ole Miss career steals chart. Barnes (1985-88) finished his career with 154 steals. Smith is tied for second on the Rebel squad in steals this season with 11.

LOCKHART HAS A CAREER NIGHT
Sophomore forward Rahim Lockhart (Mendenhall, Miss.) has improved his game since last season, and it has paid dividends for the Rebels. In Ole Miss' 95-62 win over Northeast Louisiana on Dec. 2, the 6-foot-8 forward posted career highs of 16 points, five assists and four steals. He tied his career best in rebounding with eight boards versus the Indians. Earlier this season, Lockhart also tied a career high with three blocked shots. Lockhart is fourth on the team with an 8.8 scoring average and is second on the squad with a 5.7 rebounding average. He leads the team with eight blocked shots.

SMITH BREAKS 500
Senior All-SEC candidate Jason Smith broke 500, and it was a good thing. With his five rebounds versus Temple on Nov. 18, Smith joined the 500-rebound club at Ole Miss. Smith now has 515 career rebounds, and is averaging 4.7 rebounds per game this season.

HICKS RECORDS FIRST CAREER DOUBLE-DOUBLE
Junior Marcus Hicks (Jackson, Tenn.), a transfer from Northwest Mississippi C.C., recorded his first collegiate double-double as a Rebel in Ole Miss' victory over Alabama A&M on Nov. 23. Hicks scored 17 points and grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds in only 18 minutes of action. Hicks' double-double was the first by a Rebel player this season. Hicks leads the Rebels' in rebounding with a 7.3 average, and is second on the team in scoring at 11.8 points per game.

HICKS AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS IN FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE
Junior Marcus Hicks, a transfer from Northwest Mississippi C.C., is ranked among the national leaders in field goal percentage, according to the ESPN.com website. In the statistics released on Dec. 1, Hicks was ranked No. 10 in the country in field goal percentage at 70.6 percent. Hicks currently leads the team in field goal percentage at 70.2 percent. (NOTE: Hicks is not listed among the SEC leaders because he does not meet the minimum requirement of 5.0 field goals made per game.)

SMITH RECORDS CAREER HIGH IN ASSISTS
Senior All-SEC candidate Jason Smith recorded a career-high six assists in the Nov. 23 win over Alabama A&M. Smith led the team in that statistical category in the victory. Smith's six-assist performance bested his previous career high of five assists set versus Florida last season. Ole Miss won that game, 90-79.

WHITE CLOSING IN ON 300 ASSIST PLATEAU
Senior guard Michael White (Tempe, Ariz.) is nearing a milestone in his career. With five more assists, White will reach the 300-assists plateau. White enters the Louisville game with 295 career assists. This season, the 6-foot-1 guard leads the team in that statistical category with 23.

FLANIGAN SETS CAREER HIGH
Sophomore guard Jason Flanigan (Little Rock, Ark.) recorded a career high with five rebounds in the Nov. 23 victory over Alabama A&M. Flanigan's five boards bested his previous career high of four rebounds which he set six times as year as a freshman. Flanigan also scored 11 points in the Nov. 23 win, which was just two points shy of tying his career high of 13 points. Last year, Flanigan scored 13 points in the Rebels' 71-48 win over Wichita State.

TIP-INS...
Junior transfer Marcus Hicks netted a career-high 20 points in the Rebels' win over Northeast Louisiana on Dec. 2...Junior transfer Lataryl Williams (Oxford, Miss.) and freshman Darrian Brown (West Memphis, Ark.) each netted a career-high 16 points in Ole Miss' victory over Austin Peay State on Nov. 28...Carter connected on four treys in the Rebels' first two wins. Last year, the Rebels were 6-1 when Carter hit four or more three-pointers in a game...Ole Miss shot 76.2 percent from the free throw line versus Alabama A&M on Nov. 23. It was the first time this season that the Rebels have shot better than 70 percent from the charity stripe. The Rebels also shot over 70 percent (72.0) from the charity stripe versus Northeast Louisiana and won. Last year, Ole Miss posted a 6-4 record when they shot 70 percent or better from the foul line...Senior Jon Cantrell (Germantown, Tenn.) earned the first three starts of his career this season. Ole Miss is 3-0 when Cantrell starts. Cantrell missed the Austin Peay State game as the result of suffering from a stomach virus...The Rebels had five players in double figures in the Nov. 28 win over Austin Peay State, the most for a game this season.

 

 

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