Rebel Basketball Game Notes
Dec. 8, 2005
Game 6: Ole Miss (4-1) vs. UIC (3-4)
OLE MISS TAKES WIN STREAK TO CHICAGO: After an 11-day break for final exams, Ole Miss returns to action Saturday, traveling to Chicago to take on UIC in the Rebels' final non-conference road game. The Rebels are currently riding a three-game win streak after a 59-43 win over Louisiana-Monroe on Nov. 29. Junior swingman Bam Doyne dropped in a career-high 16 points with 5 rebounds and 3 assists, while sophomore Jermey Parnell matched his career-best scoring performance with 10. Sophomore center Dwayne Curtis recorded his second double-double of the year with 10 points and 12 boards. The Rebels held ULM to 31.1 percent from the floor, including 1-of-19 from behind the arc, and contained its second opponent of the year under 50 points.
BARNES IN EIGHTH SEASON AS REBEL MENTOR: Rod Barnes is in his eighth season at the helm of the Ole Miss Rebel basketball program and is 14 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 131-94 record. Barnes' 131 coaching victories in his first 225 games is the most of any Ole Miss coach over that span and is the second-most wins in school history. His .582 winning percentage is the highest of any Rebel coach of eight 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 FLAMES: After a momentous road win at Georgia Tech, UIC has dropped its last two, including a 75-74 loss to crosstown rival Chicago State last time out. The Flames are returning eight letterwinners and three starters from last year's 15-14 squad that ended the program's streak of three straight postseason berths. A reserve a year ago, senior forward Justin Bowen has led the offensive charge thus far this season, averaging 15.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals while shooting 59.0 percent from the floor. Sophomore JUCO transfer forward Othyus Jeffers is posting 11.9 points and 7.0 boards. That duo has helped the Flames enjoy an advantage on the boards of nearly 10 rebounds per game. In his 10th campaign as UIC head coach, Jimmy Collins is the team's winningest head coach with 146 victories and has guided the Flames to four postseason appearances, including three NCAA Tournaments (1998, 2002 and 2004).
OLE MISS-UIC SERIES: Saturday's game will mark the first encounter between the Rebels and Flames.
CHICAGO REBELS: Four members of the Ole Miss family call the Windy City home -- sophomore center Dwayne Curtis, freshman center Marquis Young, sophomore guard Justin Cerasoli and assistant coach Tracy Dildy. Curtis and Young will be suiting up as a collegian for the first time in their hometown. Cerasoli is sitting out this season after transferring from Seton Hall and is not making the trip with the Rebels.
DILDY'S RETURN: Rebel assistant Tracy Dildy will not only be returning to his hometown of Chicago this weekend but his alma mater. Dildy was a two-year letterwinner (1989-90) for UIC, where the point guard still ranks eighth on the school's all-time assist list (260). Following his playing days, Dildy spent three seasons as an assistant coach for the Flames from 1991-94. He was inducted into the UIC Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995.
OLE MISS VS. STATE OF ILLINOIS: Although UIC has never appeared on the schedule, Ole Miss has faced its share of Illinois teams over the years, matching up 15 times with teams from the Prairie State. The Rebels have played the Fighting Illini twice and DePaul once. The most recent meeting was a loss to Illinois State at last year's BCA Classic in Milwaukee. Below charts how Ole Miss has fared against Illinois schools:
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 three outings. The 6-foot-8, 290-pound center has shot 68.0 percent (17-of-25) and averaged 16.3 points and 10.0 rebounds in the last three games. Curtis posted double-doubles in two of the contests, tallying 10 points and 12 boards against Louisiana-Monroe last time out and coming up with 18 points and 12 rebounds against South Carolina State. The Chicago native lit up Centenary for 21 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks and 3 steals. Curtis has taken over the team-lead in scoring (10.8), rebounding (7.6) and assists (14). His 1.63 assist/ turnover ratio is also best on the squad.
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 Louisiana Monroe. Ole Miss limited the Bulldogs to 43 points, making the second time this season and 29th instance in Barnes' eight years at the helm that the opposition was contained below 50. The Rebels also held ULM to 31.1 percent shooting and 1-of-19 from 3-point range. Ole Miss held its opponent in the 30s in shooting percentage seven times last season. The Rebels currently rank fourth in the SEC in scoring defense (62.8) and third in 3-point percentage defense (.325). Ole Miss is also forcing 18.0 turnovers per game, fourth-most in the league. The Rebels forced S.C. State into 25 turnovers and Centenary into 23. Ole Miss forced 12 opponents into 18 or more turnovers last year.
BULKING UP: The new big bodies in the Rebel lineup have paid some dividends in the early season. After being outrebounded a year ago, Ole Miss currently boasts a 3.8 advantage on the boards, fifth-best in the SEC. The Rebels are also averaging 5.0 blocked shots per game, a considerable increase from last year's 2.0 average.
MISCELLANEOUS: The Rebels are off to a 4-1 start for the first time since 2002-03 ... Junior guard Bam Doyne has recorded new career highs in each of the last two games, following up his 12-point performance against Centenary with a 16-point outing vs. Louisiana Monroe. Doyne leads the Rebels in steals this season with 8 ... Sophomore center Dwayne Curtis ranks 10th in the SEC in rebounding (7.8), and junior guard Todd Abernethy is ninth in 3-point percentage (.458).
CHARITABLE STRIPE: The Rebels are off to a productive start to the season from the free throw line, connecting on 69-of-102 for a 67.6 percentage, which ranks fourth in the conference. That figure is an 6.7 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 11-for-12 so far this year. Bam Doyne has been good on 12-of-17 from the stripe, while Londrick Nolen is 7-of-10.
"O"-RRIVAL: The Ole Miss offense has shown some major signs of improvement at the season's start. The Rebels are currently averaging 69.6 points per game, which is 5.8 higher than last year's team scoring clip and would be the highest since posting 72.0 in 2001-02. Ole Miss is also shooting 19 percentage points higher from 3-point range at .382 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.
TOUGH ON NON-CONFERENCE FOES: Since the 1993-94 season, the Rebels have posted an 116-39 record (.748 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 81-22 mark (.786 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.
REBELS VS. THE HORIZON LEAGUE: The Rebels have an all-time record of 2-0 versus current members of the The Horizon League. Those two lone matchups occurred in the 1970s, with the Rebels knocking off Wisconsin-Green Bay 83-53 in Oxford and Loyola Chicago 83-75 at an Illinois State tournament in Normal, Ill.
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