Rebel Basketball Game Notes
Dec. 16, 2005
Game 9: Ole Miss (6-2) vs. #5/5 Memphis (7-1)
OLE MISS HOSTS MID-SOUTH RIVAL MEMPHIS: Ole Miss continues its homestand of five games in nine days Saturday against No. 5 Memphis. The Rebels are 4-2 in their last six meetings against the Tigers, and are 3-0 against top-5 opponents at Tad Smith Coliseum since 1994-95. Ole Miss is 2-0 so far on the current homestand after a 69-43 win over Nicholls on Thursday. Three Rebels scored in double-figures against the Colonels, including Londrick Nolen who posted 11 points and 5 rebounds. Todd Abernethy was 3-of-4 from behind the arc in dropping in 11 points, while Dwayne Curtis provided 10 points, 8 rebounds and 4 steals. Ole Miss is shooting 51.4 percent over the last three games.
TIP-OFF CLUB LUNCHEON SATURDAY: Prior to the Rebels' much anticipated matchup with rival Memphis, the Ole Miss Tip-Off Club will host a gameday luncheon to get fans ready for the game. The event will be held Saturday in the Tad Smith Coliseum in the coaches' offices. Rebel assistant coach Michael White will present the Tigers' scouting report, and a light lunch will be served. Admission is $5 per person. For more information, call Judy Conner at 662-234-6044.
ROD SQUAD TO OPEN FOR MEMPHIS: Rebel fans who are not members of the Rod Squad will have an opportunity to join the group on the floor at Saturday's matchup with nationally-ranked Memphis. The first 50 Ole Miss fans wearing a red Rod Squad shirt to the game will be allowed to the courtside section. The Rod Squad became an official University student organization this year, and beginning with SEC play in January, only members will be allowed on the floor. Membership is $10 and includes floor access, a t-shirt and membership in the Ole Miss Tip-Off Club.
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 12 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 133-95 record. Barnes' 133 coaching victories in his first 228 games is the most of any Ole Miss coach over that span and is the second-most wins in school history. His .583 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 TIGERS: With a 7-1 record, Memphis is off its best start in 10 years and has risen to fifth in the national rankings, their highest since the 1995-96 campaign. The Tigers' lone loss is a 70-67 defeat to top-ranked Duke on Nov. 25. Memphis boasts wins over No. 14 Alabama and No. 16 UCLA. The Tigers are led by freshman Shawne Williams, who is averaging 16.4 points and 5.4 boards. Sophomore guard Darius Washington Jr. is dropping in 15.4 points and 4.4 assists, while veteran senior forward Rodney Carney is providing 14.9 points and 4.1 rebounds off the bench. Both Washington and Carney were named preseason Naismith and Wooden Awards candidates. Memphis is 2-3 against Ole Miss under head coach John Calipari.
OLE MISS-MEMPHIS SERIES: Saturday's game will be the 37th overall meeting between the two schools, and will mark the eighth-straight year that the two teams have faced on the hardwood. The Tigers lead the overall series 25-11, although the Rebels have taken four of the last six meetings, including last year's 65-53 victory at the FedEx Forum. The Rebels enjoy a 7-5 edge in games played in Oxford, and have won two of the last three at Tad Smith Coliseum. Memphis prevailed 73-62 in the last meeting in Oxford during the 2003-04 campaign. Before the renewal of the Mid-South rivalry in the 1998-99 campaign, the last time Ole Miss and Memphis played was in the 1985-86 season. Under head coach Rod Barnes, the Rebels are 4-3 against Memphis.
TOP-5 OPPONENTS IN THE TAD PAD: Memphis, who is ranked fifth in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today national polls, is the first top-5 opponent to face the Rebels in Oxford since the 1999-2000 season. The last three top-5 foes to come to the Tad Pad left with a loss. Ole Miss is 3-0 vs. top-5 teams at Tad Smith Coliseum since 1994-95. The following charts the Rebels' last three meetings against the nation's elite in Oxford:
MID-SOUTH RIVALRY RENEWED: With only 82 miles separating the two campuses, Ole Miss and Memphis have developed a heated regional rivalry, particularly since the series renewed in 1998-99. The average margin of victory in the last six encounters is 8.3 points, and the largest margin of victory was the Rebels' 12-point win (65-53) a season ago. The series reconvened with a Memphis overtime win in 1998, and Ole Miss has won four of six games since.
LOCAL CONNECTIONS: The Rebels boast a pair of Memphis natives on the roster. Senior forward Londrick Nolen prepped at Raleigh-Egypt High School and played two seasons at Southwest Tennessee Community College in Memphis. In last year's meeting with the Tigers, Nolen returned to his hometown to post 12 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 blocks. Freshman guard Patrick Spach also hails from the Bluff City and attended Briarcrest High School.
LAURINBURG REUNION: Saturday's game will feature five players from last year's national champion Laurinburg Prep team, which has been called the top prep squad of all-time. Ole Miss freshman forward Mike Smith started 10 games for Laurinburg, including the national championship game. From Memphis, Robert Dozier, Shawne Williams, Kareem Cooper and Antonio Anderson all played for the 40-0 team, which sent 18 players to Division I programs. In addition, Tiger sophomore Joey Dorsey was at Laurinburg during the 2003-04 season.
LAST YEAR'S GAME BY THE NUMBERS: The Rebels fired on all cylinders in last year's 65-53 win Memphis. Led by Tommie Eddie's 18 points, the Ole Miss offense had one of its highest post outputs 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.
"O"-RRIVAL: The Ole Miss offense has shown some major signs of improvement at the season's start. The Rebels are currently averaging 71.1 points per game, which is 7.3 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 4.0 percentage points higher from the field at 47.1 and 2.5 points better from 3-point range at 37.7. 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. The Rebels are shooting 51.4 percent over the last three games, including a 57.1 clip against Saint Louis.
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 six outings. The 6-foot-8, 290-pound center has averaged 15.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 65.5 percent shooting over the last six contests. Curtis has posted two double-doubles, tallying 10 points and 12 boards against Louisiana-Monroe 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 and returned home to Chicago to hang 20 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 blocked shots on UIC. Curtis has taken over the team-lead in scoring (12.3), rebounding (7.3), blocks (1.4) and steals (1.3) and is third in assists (2.6).
VIVA LA BAM: After two years in a lesser role, Bam Doyne has moved into the forefront as a key cog in the Rebel attack this season. The junior swingman is one of the club's top defenders but has also punched in the offense of late. Doyne has notched double-figures in three of the last five games and topped Ole Miss in scoring twice. He recorded new career highs in back-to-back contests, following up his 12-point performance against Centenary with a team-high 16-point outing vs. Louisiana Monroe. He also led the Rebels over Saint Louis with 15. Despite a 1.0 career rebounding average, Doyne is grabbing 4.4 boards this year, in addition to his 10 steals, which is tied for second-most on the team.
CURTIS AMONG SEC LEADERS:In his first season as a Rebel, sophomore center Dwayne Curtis is ranking among the SEC leaders in a few categories. Here is how the transfer from Auburn stacks up in the league:
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 Nicholls. Ole Miss limited the Colonels to 43 points, making the third time this season and 30th instance in Barnes' eight years at the helm that the opposition was contained below 50. The Rebels also held Nicholls to 32.7 percent shooting in registering the third opponent of the year to be held in the 30s from the field. ULM was limited to 31.1 percent shooting and 1-of-19 from 3-point range. The Rebels currently rank third in the SEC in 3-point percentage defense (.319). Ole Miss is also forcing 17.0 turnovers per game. The Rebels pressured South Carolina State into 25 turnovers, Centenary into 23 and Nicholls into 21. 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 2.0 advantage on the boards and has held a rebounding edge is 6-of-8 games this year. The Rebels are also averaging 4.4 blocked shots per game, a considerable increase from last year's 2.0 average.
YOUTH IS SERVED: The Rebels boast a young roster this year with five freshmen and five sophomores wearing the Red and Blue. In fact, Ole Miss is the third-youngest team in the SEC and 25th in the nation, based on the players' class athletically.
REBELS VERSUS CONFERENCE USA: In non-SEC play, Conference-USA is Ole Miss' most faced league. The Rebels have an all-time record of 72-94 (.434 winning percentage) against current members of Conference USA, which includes such frequent foes as Tulane (35-55) and Memphis (11-25). Ole Miss has a 7-3 record versus current C-USA teams since the league was formed in the spring of 1995.
TOUGH ON NON-CONFERENCE FOES: Since the 1993-94 season, the Rebels have posted an 118-40 record (.747 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 83-23 mark (.783 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.
OLE MISS VERSUS RANKED TEAMS: Ole Miss faces its first nationally-ranked opponent of the year in Memphis, tabbed No. 5 by both the USA Today/ESPN and AP polls. The Rebels were 0-6 against the top-25 last year but made some strong upset bids in the three home matchups with ranked foes. The Rebels were up by as much as 12 points to No. 18 Mississippi State before falling 87-76. Ole Miss led No. 8 Kentucky until the final 3:41 and had two shot attempts to tie in a bitter 53-50 defeat. In a battle with No. 22 Alabama, Ole Miss was ahead by as much as eight in the second half and was within three points with 2:51 left. The Rebels' last win over a top-25 adversary was a 79-68 home win over No. 23 South Carolina during the 2003-04 campaign. Under head coach Rod Barnes (since the 1998-99 season), the Rebels have a 20-34 record vs. ranked opponents.
"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. With a 4-0 mark in Oxford this year, Ole Miss has won 116 of its last 142 games (.817 winning percentage) at home, including homecourt winning streaks of 29, 20 and 15 games. The Rebels have an all-time record of 358-173 (.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 88-25 (.777 winning percentage), including a 35-21 homecourt record against SEC foes (.625 winning percentage).
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: Although the Rebels have played twice on local TV, Ole Miss makes its first of 10 appearances this season on a major carrier Saturday against Memphis on FSN South/Sun Sports. The Rebels faced UIC on Comcast Sportsnet Chicago and played Saint Louis on Charter Communications (St. Louis). Ole Miss has three more games scheduled on FSN this year -- at Alabama (1/7), at Georgia (1/21) and Auburn (2/25). This season will mark the eighth straight year that the Rebels have appeared on TV 10 or more times. Last year, Ole Miss was 3-7 on the small screen and played five nail-bitters on FSN, defeating Tennessee 60-58 and Auburn 79-72 while falling to Florida State 69-64, Arkansas 66-65 and Mississippi State 71-68. Under head coach Rod Barnes (since 1998-99), Ole Miss has played 90 television games with a 45-45 record.
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