Rebel Basketball Game Notes
Dec. 14, 2004
Game 9: Ole Miss Rebels (4-4) vs. Troy Trojans (1-6)
OLE MISS RIDES WIN STREAK INTO TROY MATCHUP: In the midst of a five-game stretch in 11 days, Ole Miss takes a two-game win streak into Wednesday's encounter with Troy. The Rebels evened their season record at 4-4 with a resounding 87-55 victory over Nicholls State Monday. The Rebels shot 63.0 percent against the Colonels and are firing 58.3 percent over the last two games, including Saturday's 65-53 win at Memphis. Sophomore guard Todd Abernethy posted 13 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists against NSU. He leads Ole Miss in assists with 21, while senior forward Tommie Eddie continues to top the team in scoring at 11.6 ppg and rebounding at 4.8 rpg.
BARNES IN SEVENTH SEASON AS REBEL MENTOR: Rod Barnes is in 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 117-80 record (.594 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 .594 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 TROY: Troy loses all five starters from last year's 24-7 team that had an 18-2 conference record and won the school's third-consecutive Atlantic-Sun title and the fourth in five seasons. Only two years removed from the NCAA Tournament, the Trojans were tabbed third by the media in the A-Sun preseason poll, but have struggled out of the gates with a 1-6 mark, their worst start since 1997-98. Troy has dropped three straight games and is coming off a 110-63 loss at Southwest Missouri State on Saturday. Senior forward Eddie Baker missed last season to a redshirt, but played in all 32 of Troy's games the year before, starting five and averaging 6.8 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. He has been the Trojans' top weapon this season at 14.6 ppg and 5.9 rpg.
OLE MISS-TROY SERIES: Wednesday's game marks the fifth meeting between the two schools, with Ole Miss winning all four previous encounters with Troy. The Rebels and Trojans battled twice in the 1950s, once in 1981 and the last faceoff was a 92-65 beating on Dec. 18, 2000. Ole Miss has beaten Troy by an average margin of 16.75 points.
HOT SHOOTING: The Rebels have shot the lights out in the current two-game win streak. Ole Miss has shot 58.3 percent from the field and 56.7 percent from three-point range over the last two contests. Senior Kendrick Fox has been deadly, knocking down 7-of-8 treys, while freshman Brandon Patterson has nailed 4-of-5 from behind the arc. For the season, Ole Miss leads the SEC in three-point percentage at 42.4 percent.
CAREER HIGHS: Senior guard Ed Glass led the Rebels in rebounding against Nicholls State with a career-high 7 boards. He also equaled his career high in assists with 4 while tallying 7 points ... Junior forward Lonnie Jackson posted career-bests in points with 5 and rebounds with 6 against Nicholls State ... Sophomore guard Bam Doyne turned in his second double-figure point game of the year against Nicholls State, matching his career high of 11.
AWESOME EDDIE: After averaging 18.3 points, 7.5 boards and 63.4 percent shooting over a four-game stretch, Tommie Eddie shot 3-for-3 from the floor for just 8 points against Nicholls State. It ended a string of four straight games in double-figures. The senior forward dropped in the Rebels' first 10 points in the 65-53 road win over Memphis and finished with 18 points, nine rebounds and a career-high four assists. Eddie enjoyed perhaps his best games as a Rebel in the victory 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 at Arkansas State, with 18 points and eight boards. Last time out vs. Florida State, he was 4-of-5 from the field and 5-of-7 from the charity stripe for 13 points to go with a team-high nine rebounds. Eddie has taken over the team-lead in scoring at 11.6 per game, field goal percentage at .627, and rebounding at 4.8. He has also knocked down 29-of-40 free throws (.725 percent).
CAPTAIN CAVADAS: Senior point guard Cavadas Nunnery was the catalyst in the Rebels' win over Memphis. The Magnolia, Miss., native earned his first career start and responded with a career-high 10 points and 5 rebounds along with 5 assists. Nunnery was 3-for-4 from the field and 4-of-6 from the free throw line. He also did an outstanding defensive job on Tiger star guard Darius Washington, forcing the former prep All-American into 8 turnovers. Nunnery earned his second straight start vs. Nicholls State Monday and recorded a game-high 6 assists with only one turnover.
REBS IN TUPELO: The Ole Miss men's and women's basketball teams will be in action at Tupelo's BancorpSouth Center on Dec. 21 with the Lady Rebels taking on Clemson at 6 p.m. followed by the Rebels battling UT-Martin at 8:15. This marks the first time the Ole Miss men's basketball squad has held court at the BancorpSouth Center and the second time the team has ever played in Tupelo. The only previous game was a 94-67 loss to Texas on Dec. 5, 1964.
Although not as frequently now, the Rebels have a history of playing in neutral arenas across the state. The most common spot is Jackson, where Ole Miss boasts an 8-3 record. The Rebels are also 2-1 in Biloxi and 2-0 in Natchez in a pair of games in the early 50s. Ole Miss defeated Alabama 79-76 on a neutral floor in Starkville on Dec. 28, 1957, and in the most recent alternate locale, the Rebels and UTM Skyhawks last faced at Southaven's DeSoto Civic Center on Dec. 16, 2001 in a 83-72 Ole Miss victory.
THE MEMPHIS WIN BY THE NUMBERS: The Rebels ended a two-game losing streak to Memphis Saturday with a 65-53 win in which they never trailed. The Ole Miss victory ended the Tigers' 24-game home win streak, third-longest in the nation. The Rebels were firing on all cylinders and controlled the game in every area. Led by Tommie Eddie's 18 points, the Ole Miss offense had its highest post output of the year with a 38-18 advantage in points in the paint. Eddie was one of five players in double-figure and one of four players with four or more assists, as Ole Miss enjoyed a 21-7 edge in dimes. The Rebels also had a 31-28 lead on the boards and are 4-0 when outrebounding the opponent. Defensively, they limited the Tigers to 34-percent shooting.
RAINING TREYS: The Rebels have been the SEC's best three-point shooting club this season, firing at a 42.4 percent clip. Ole Miss nailed 12-of-19 threes (.632 percent) against Nicholls State, 13-of-24 threes (.542 percent) vs. Tennessee Tech, and 11-of-23 (.478 percent) at Arkansas State. Freshman Brandon Patterson is 14-of-30 (.467) from behind the arc, while senior Kendrick Fox has made 15-of-33 (.455). Justin Johnson is 12-of-29 (.414) and Londrick Nolen is 11-of-29 (.379). Newcomers Nolen and Patterson have each made good on five treys 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. Fox was 4-for-4 in threes vs. Nicholls State.
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-point percentage, 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 and had 10 points and 2-of-3 threes at Memphis. He has made 14-of-30 (.467 percentage) 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.
DECEMBER GIFTS: Over the last eight-plus seasons, Ole Miss has been receiving plenty of wins in December. The Rebels enjoy a 51-14 record (.785 winning percentage) in December games since 1996-97. Ole Miss was 5-2 during the holiday month last year.
"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 2-1 so far in 2004-05. Ole Miss has won 106 of its last 127 games (.835 winning percentage) at home, including homecourt winning streaks of 29, 20 and 15 games. The Rebels have an all-time record of 348-168 (.674 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 78-20 (.796 winning percentage), including a 33-16 homecourt record against SEC foes (.673 winning percentage).
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 is the only player to start all seven games, and has filled the stat line in the process. Nolen currently tops the Rebels in steals (10) and blocks (7) and is second in points (11.1), rebounds (4.3) and assists (2.5). Nolen tallied 13 points, six boards and six assists vs. Tennessee Tech, and followed that up with a team-best 21 points and 5-of-7 treys at Arkansas State.
TOUGH ON NON-CONFERENCE FOES: Since the 1993-94 season, the Rebels have posted an 107-38 record (.738 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 72-21 mark (.774 winning percentage) against out-of-conference teams. Ole Miss has been dominant against non-SEC clubs at home. The Dec. 4 loss to Florida State was only the Rebels' fourth non-conference home loss since 1995.
DE-FENSE, DE-FENSE: Throughout his Rebel tenure, defense has become a trademark of Rod Barnes' squads. Ole Miss held the opposition under 50 points six times in 2003-04 and has done so 25 times in Barnes' six years at the helm. The Rebels finished fifth in the SEC in scoring defense a year ago at 65.4 per game.
Over the two-game win streak, Ole Miss limited Memphis to 34.0 percent shooting and Nicholls State to 38.8 percent.
Against Tennessee Tech, the Rebels forced the Golden Eagles into 25 turnovers and held CollegeInsider.com Preseason All-American Willie Jenkins to two points.
TOP OF THE CLASS: The Rebels' 2004 signing class is being tabbed as one of the nation's best. HoopScoop Online is rating the class third in college basketball, while Rivals.com has it 16th-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.
SEC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: After enjoying his finest game as a Rebel in the season-opening win over S.C. State, Todd Abernethy was named the SEC Player of the Week on Nov. 15. A sophomore guard from Carmel, Ind., Abernethy posted a career-high 18 points, on 7-of-11 shooting, and scored eight of the Rebels' final 13 points as part of the game-winning second-half rally. He tied his career-best for rebounds with five and registered a game-high four assists.
This marks the first SEC POW selection of the 2004-05 season and the first of Abernethy's career. It is the 10th time a Rebel has received the honor since 1995-96.
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