San Juan, Puerto Rico
OLE MISS TRAVELS TO PUERTO RICO FOR THE HOLIDAY CLASSIC
The Ole Miss Rebels (7-2) will be on the road for the holidays, as they travel to San
Juan, Puerto Rico, to participate in the three-day Puerto Rico Holiday Classic on Dec.
21-23. The Rebels will meet St. Joseph's (3-3) in the first round on Monday, Dec. 21 at
3:00 p.m. (CT). Ole Miss will enter the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic having won five of
their last six contests. The Rebels put together a five-game home win streak from Nov. 23
through Dec. 7 with victories over Alabama A&M (89-45), Austin Peay State (105-62),
Northeast Louisiana (95-62), Louisville (88-69) and West Alabama (101-68) before falling
at Memphis, 78-72 in overtime on Dec. 12. St. Joseph's, a member of the Atlantic 10
Conference, brings a two-game winning streak into the tournament, having defeated then-No.
21 Tennessee, 55-53 and Akron, 71-60.
No. Player (Yr.) Pos. Ht. Wt. PPG/RPG Hometown
4 Jason Smith (Sr.) F 6-6 220 12.2/4.8 Wheatley, Ark.
24 Marcus Hicks (Jr.) F 6-6 200 14.0/6.3 Jackson, Tenn.
44 Rahim Lockhart (So.) F 6-8 250 9.0/5.4 Mendenhall, Miss.
22 Michael White (Sr.) G 6-1 180 2.8/2.4 Tempe, Ariz.
33 Keith Carter (Sr.) G 6-4 195 14.8/4.7 Perryville, Ark.
No. Player (Yr.) Pos. Ht. Wt. PPG/RPG Hometown
00 Jon Cantrell (Sr.) F 6-8 225 5.4/2.0 Germantown, Tenn.
3 Jason Flanigan (So.) G 6-1 175 5.3/2.6 Little Rock, Ark.
11 Hunter Carpenter (Sr.) G 6-0 180 5.0/0.5 Little Rock, Ark.
12 Jason Harrison (Fr.) G 5-5 150 4.6/1.8 Little Rock, Ark.
13 Johnnie Rogers (Sr.) F 6-9 220 4.8/3.3 Laurel, Miss.
20 Matt Pruitt (Fr.) G 6-4 185 3.4/1.3 Jonesboro, Ark.
21 Darrian Brown (Fr.) F 6-6 200 6.0/2.5 West Memphis, Ark.
23 Syniker Taylor (Fr.) G 6-2 195 Gulfport, Miss.#
25 Lataryl Williams (Jr.) G 6-6 200 5.5/2.1 Oxford, Miss.
54 John Engstrom (Fr.) C 7-0 245 1.3/2.0 Paragould, Ark.
# 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 IN FIRST YEAR AT HELM OF 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 7-2 record after the Rebels fell to Memphis, 78-72 in
overtime on Dec. 12. 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 (6th; 154).
SCOUTING ST. JOSEPH'S
St. Joseph's, a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, enters the Puerto Rico Holiday
Classic with a 3-3 overall record. The Hawks were probably one of the last teams to begin
their 1998-99 schedule, as they tipped off versus Tulsa on Nov. 28. St. Joseph's has won
its last two games with victories over Tennessee (55-53) and Akron (71-60). Sophomore
guard N'aim Crenshaw leads the Hawks' offensive attack with a 13.2 scoring average. Andre
Howard (12.2 ppg) and Rob Haskins (10.7 ppg) are also averaging in double figures for the
Hawks. Howard also leads the team on the boards with a 10.0 rebounding average. Freshman
center Damian Reid is the squad's second-leading rebounder with a 9.2 average. St.
Joseph's, as a team, is averaging 63.0 points per game, and is shooting 37.9 percent from
the field and 33.3 percent from the free throw line. The Hawks are out-rebounding the
opposition by an average of 7.5 boards per game (40.3-32.8).
ST. JOSEPH'S PROBABLE STARTERS
No. Player (Yr.) Pos. Ht. Wt. PPG/RPG Hometown
40 Andre Howard (Jr.) F 6-7 215 12.2/10.0 Philadelphia, Pa.
44 Rob Haskins (Sr.) F 6-8 210 10.7/6.2 Mount Holly, N.J.
25 Damian Reid (Fr.) C 6-9 240 9.7/9.2 Scarborough, Ont.
12 Tim Brown (Jr.) G 6-3 180 6.8/1.0 Rockford, Ill.
20 N'aim Crenshaw (So.) G 6-5 180 13.2/3.5 Philadelphia, Pa.
No. Player (Yr.) Pos. Ht. Wt. PPG/RPG Hometown
33 Larry Jennings (Fr.) G 6-1 175 5.8/1.6 Astoria, N.Y.
21 Frank Wilkins (So.) F 6-9 200 3.3/2.3 Cambridge, Mass.
51 Alexandre Sazanov (Fr.) C 7-1 250 1.0/1.7 Moscow, Russia
31 Erick Woods (So.) G 6-5 190 1.0/0.7 St. Louis, Mo.
OLE MISS-ST. JOSEPH'S SERIES
The two schools will meet for only the second time in the first round of the Puerto
Rico Holiday Classic. The Rebels won the only previous meeting, a 59-51 victory to open
the 1987-88 season. That game was also a regular-season tournament, first-round contest in
the MCI Harbor Classic in Baltimore, Md.
MCI Harbor Classic Baltimore, Md.
Rod Barnes led four Rebels in double figures with 18 points to lead Ole Miss to a 59-51
victory over St. Joseph's in the first round of the MCI Harbor Classic in Baltimore, Md.
Tim Jumper (11 points), Sean Murphy (10) and Charles Prater (10) also scored in double
figures for the Rebels. Barnes, Murphy and Edgar Ward each pulled down seven rebounds
apiece for Ole Miss.
The Hawks' Rodney Blake led all scorers with 20 points. Jimmy Owens led the Hawks on the
boards with seven rebounds. Ole Miss was down, 29-26 at the half, but outscored the
Hawks 33-22 in the second period to take the 59-51 win. The Rebels shot 41.5 percent from
the field and 60.9 percent from the free throw line. St. Joseph's hit 41.3 percent from
the floor and 48.1 percent from the charity stripe. Ole Miss out-rebounded the Hawks,
Ole Miss FG-A 3P-A FT-A Reb Pts
Barnes 8-16 0-2 2-5 7 18
Murphy 4-9 0-2 2-3 7 10
Jumper 5-8 1-1 0-0 1 11
Miller 0-2 0-0 2-3 2 2
Prater 3-13 0-6 4-4 4 10
Ward 1-3 0-0 1-2 7 3
Paul 1-2 0-0 3-6 4 5
Totals 22-53 1-11 14-23 37 59
Officials: Forte, Donaghy, Rutledge
St. Joseph's FG-A 3P-A FT-A Reb Pts
Brown 1-5 0-0 4-10 2 6
Washington 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 2
Smith 3-7 0-0 1-3 4 7
Baggett 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0
Stewart 2-4 0-0 0-1 2 4
Miller 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0
Owens 4-6 0-0 0-0 7 8
Shaak 0-1 0-1 0-0 1 0
Leahy 1-7 0-1 2-2 1 4
Blake 7-15 0-0 6-11 2 20
Totals 19-46 0-2 13-27 33 51
Ole Miss 26 33 59
St. Joseph's 29 22 51
BARNES AMONG ELITE COACHING GROUP
Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes is a member of a very special group in Rebel basketball
history with his 7-2 start to the 1998-99 season. He is one of only five coaches in Rebel
basketball history to start their first season with a 7-2 record or better. The other four
coaches are B.Y. Walton (7-2; 1911-12), R.L. Sullivan (7-2; 1919-20), Homer Hazel (8-1;
1925-26) and Ed Murphy (7-2; 1986-87). Prior to the Rebels' loss at Memphis on Dec. 12,
Barnes was only the second coach in Ole Miss basketball history to begin his first season
at the helm with a 7-1 record. Hazel (1925-26) was the only other Rebel coach to begin his
first campaign with a 7-1 record. In that 1925-26 season, Hazel went 16-1 before losing
the last game of the season for a final record of 16-2 in his first year.
REBELS VERSUS THE ATLANTIC 10
Ole Miss has a 4-5 all-time record against teams in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The
Rebels are 1-0 versus St. Joseph's and Fordham, 1-1 versus Virginia Tech, 1-3 versus
Temple and 0-1 versus Dayton. The Rebels have not played Duquesne, George Washington, La
Salle, Massachusetts, St. Bonaventure, Rhode Island and Xavier. Ole Miss' last win versus
a team >from the Atlantic 10 Conference was an 87-74 victory over Temple last year.
Earlier this season, Ole Miss fell to Temple, 68-52 in Philadelphia.
THERE'S A FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING
For the first time in Ole Miss basketball history, the Rebels will be playing a
regular-season game outside the continental United States when they travel to San Juan,
Puerto Rico, to participate in the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic. In fact, the Rebels will
play three games outside the continental U.S., beginning with a first-round contest versus
St. Joseph's on Dec. 21. Ole Miss will continue play in the tournament on Dec. 22-23.
However, this trip will not be the first-ever trip for the Rebel basketball program
outside the continental U.S. Ole Miss traveled to Australia in May 1997 following the
1996-97 season. Ole Miss posted a 5-0 record on its exhibition tour in the "Land Down
Under." Keith Carter (Perryville, Ark.), a senior on this year's Rebel team, led Ole Miss
in scoring in the five games with a 22.0 average.
REBELS TOUGH ON NON-CONFERENCE FOES IN RECENT YEARS
In last seven years (including 1998-99), the Rebels have posted a 47-22 record (.681
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 30-9 mark (.769 winning percentage) against out-of-conference
teams. The following shows Ole Miss' non-conference record over the previous seven years,
A REUNION OF SORTS
The Ole Miss-St. Joseph's first-round match-up in the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic will
be a reunion of sorts for Rebel senior guard Keith Carter and Hawks' head coach Phil
Martelli. This past summer, Carter and Martelli helped lead the U.S. team to the gold
medal at the 1998 Goodwill Games in New York. Martelli served as an assistant coach on
Clem Haskins' staff, while Carter saw action in all five contests and played an integral
role in the U.S. team winning the gold.
OLE MISS IN REGULAR SEASON TOURNAMENTS
The Rebels have an all-time record of 46-50 (.479 winning percentage) in regular
season tournaments in their history. Last season, Ole Miss finished second in the CVC
Classic at Ball State, falling to the host Cardinals, 70-66 in the title game. The Rebels'
last regular season tournament title came in the 1993-94 season, a 78-74 victory over
Southern Mississippi in the Cellular South/Mississippi Beach Shootout (one-game
tournament). The last time Ole Miss won a two-day tournament title was in the 1988-89
campaign when the Rebels claimed the Bayou Classic championship with wins over Southern
(90-88) and Nicholls State (74-53). The Puerto Rico Holiday Classic will be only the
fourth three-day tournament for the Rebels in their history. The last three-day tournament
came in the 1972-73 season when Ole Miss finished fourth in the All-College Tournament in
Oklahoma City, Okla. The Rebels' other three-day tournaments were the Gulf South
Tournament (Shreveport, La.) in 1960-61 and the All-American City Tournament (Owensboro,
Ky.) in 1954-55.
STEALING HIS WAY UP THE CHARTS
Senior Jason Smith (Wheatley, Ark.) broke into the top five on the Rebel career steals
chart in Ole Miss' game at Memphis on Dec. 12. He had four swipes versus Memphis, bringing
his career total to 156. He passed both Rod Barnes (154) and Elston Turner (155). Up next
for Smith is Joe Ayers, who has 157 steals. Smith is tied for the team lead in steals with
18 this season.
CARTER JUMPS TO NO. 13 ON CAREER SCORING CHART
Senior All-America candidate Keith Carter moved into the No. 13 spot on Ole Miss
career scoring chart after his 18-point performance versus Memphis on Dec. 12. Carter now
has 1,273 career points. Up next for Carter is Cob Jarvis (1952-54), who scored 1,313
career points. 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.
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 18 points in the Rebels' game versus Memphis on Dec. 12, Smith now
has 971 career points and needs 29 points to reach the 1,000-point mark. For the season,
Smith is third on the team in scoring with a 12.2 average.
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
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 is averaging 14.8
points (leads the team) and 4.7 rebounds per game.
A WINNING CLASS
The 1999 senior class will go down in Ole Miss basketball history as helping produce
one of the most successful runs for the Rebels. Theses six seniors have helped the Rebels
to win consecutive Southeastern Conference Western Division titles, the first regular
season championships of any kind for the Ole Miss basketball program. They also helped Ole
Miss earn back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths. Well, the senior class seems to be on track
for another first in Rebel basketball history. The 1999 senior class has posted 61
victories, which is tied for the sixth most for a four-year span in Rebel basketball
history. The following charts lists the most successful (in terms of number of victories)
in Ole Miss history:
Four-Year Span No. of Wins
1979-80 to 1982-83 70
1935-36 to 1938-39 63
1994-95 to 1997-98 62
1978-79 to 1981-82 62
1923-24 to 1926-27 62
1995-96 to present 61
1980-81 to 1983-84 61
1936-37 to 1939-40 61
1934-35 to 1937-38 61
WHITE CLOSING IN ON 300 ASSIST PLATEAU
Senior guard Michael White (Tempe, Ariz.) is nearing a milestone in his career. With
four more assists, White will reach the 300-assists plateau. White enters the Puerto Rico
Holiday Classic with 296 career assists. This season, the 6-foot-1 guard leads the team in
that statistical category with 24.
SMITH'S IN THE GROOVE
Entering the 1998-99 season, senior Jason Smith knew that he would have to pick up
some of the scoring load with the departures of Ansu Sesay, Joezon Darby and Anthony
Boone. Smith had a slow start to the season, but has turned it on in the Rebels' last four
games. Since the Northeast Louisiana game on Dec. 2, Smith has scored in double figures in
every game, including a season-best 19 points in the win over the Indians. In the last
four games, Smith is averaging 16.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest. He is also
shooting 56.9 percent from the field (29-of-51).
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 530 career rebounds, and is averaging 4.8 rebounds per game this season.
HICKS ON A (SCORING) ROLL
Despite scoring only 10 points versus Memphis on Dec. 12, junior transfer Marcus Hicks
(Jackson, Tenn.) has been putting up the numbers on the offensive end. In the Rebels' last
four games, Hicks has scored in double figures, including three consecutive 20-plus point
performances versus Northeast Louisiana (Dec. 2; 20 points), Louisville (Dec. 5; 24) and
West Alabama (Dec. 7; 21). His 24 points versus Louisville were a career high. He scored
his career-high 24 points on 11-of-13 shooting from the field (.846) and 2-of-4 from the
free throw line. Hicks also recorded a career-high four assists in the win over Louiville.
In the Rebels' win over Alabama A&M on Nov. 23, Hicks posted his first double-double at
Ole Miss with 17 points and 13 rebounds. The 13 boards were a career high. Hicks is second
on the team in scoring (14.0 ppg) and leads the squad in field goal percentage (.679) and
rebounding (6.3 rpg). Hicks is also ranked second in the Southeastern Conference in field
HICKS RANKED NO. 8 IN NATION IN FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE
Junior transfer Marcus Hicks is ranked among the nation's field goal percentage
leaders, which was released by the NCAA on Dec. 14. Hicks is ranked eighth in the country
in field goal percentage at 67.9 percent. New Mexico's Damion Walker is the nation's
leader at 75.0 percent. The Rebels are also ranked among three NCAA team statistical
categories. Ole Miss is No. 9 in scoring offense, No. 2 in scoring margin and No. 14 in
field goal percentage.
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.
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.
ROGERS RECORDS CAREER HIGH VERSUS MEMPHIS
Senior Johnnie Rogers (Laurel, Miss.) scored a career-high 11 points in the Rebels'
game versus Memphis on Dec. 12. Rogers netted his career high on 5-of-6 shooting from the
field and 1-of-2 from the free throw line. Rogers' previous career best was 10 points in
Ole Miss' 1996-97 season-opening victory over Portland State. In the Dec. 12 contest,
Rogers also pulled down a season-best seven rebounds.
GETTING THE REBELS GOING
When it comes to someone on the Ole Miss team to get the Rebel offense going, look no
further than senior Jon Cantrell (Germantown, Tenn.). In the Rebels' Dec. 5 victory over
Louisville, Cantrell nailed a critical three-pointer to put the Rebels back on track.
Prior to Cantrell's three-pointer, the Rebels found themselves down 10-2 at the 15:50 mark
of the first half. Cantrell's trey cut the Cardinal lead to 10-5 and ignited an Ole Miss
run which propelled the Rebels to a 50-37 halftime lead. However, it is not the first
time in which Cantrell has started an Ole Miss run. Last season, Cantrell's treys in the
Jan. 24 game versus Mississippi State and the Feb. 18 contest at LSU helped start spurts
for the Rebels. Ole Miss won both games. This season, Cantrell is averaging 5.4 points and
2.0 rebounds. He is shooting 38.5 percent from the arc.
The Rebel defense is playing at the top of its game, and the numbers prove it. In the
Southeastern Conference statistics released on Dec. 16, Ole Miss is first in the league in
turnover margin (+7.33), second in scoring margin (+26.8), seventh in field goal
percentage defense (.384) and second in three-point field goal percentage defense (.286).
In their seven home games, the Rebels have won by an average of 37.6 points per game.
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 86.7 points per game, which ranks first in the
Southeastern Conference. The Rebels are first in the SEC in field goal percentage (.500)
and second in scoring margin (+26.8).
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 9.0 scoring average and is second on the squad with
a 5.4 rebounding average. He leads the team with 11 blocked shots.
One team will post its first win away from home when Ole Miss meets St. Joseph's in
the first round of the Puerto Rico Holiday Class. The Hawks are 3-0 when playing on their
homecourt (Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse), but are 0-3 when playing away from their
homecourt. Likewise for the Rebels. Ole Miss is 7-0 at Tad Smith Coliseum, but 0-2 on the
road...The Rebels have a perfect 3-0 record when playing on Mondays this season, and will
play St. Joseph's on Monday, Dec. 21.