Rebel Basketball Game Notes
Dec. 20, 2004
Game 11: Ole Miss Rebels (6-4) vs. UT-Martin Skyhawks (3-5)
REBS TAKE WIN STREAK TO TUPELO: Finishing a stretch of five games in 11 days, Ole Miss takes a season-long four-game win streak into a Tuesday encounter with UT-Martin at Tupelo's BancorpSouth Center. It will be the Rebels' first contest in the arena and the team's second ever game in Tupelo, having dropped a 1964 meeting with Texas 94-67. The Rebels have won their last three games by an average margin of victory of 30 points. Junior forward Londrick Nolen has scored in double-figures in seven straight games, including a career-high 25 points on 10-of-12 shooting in Saturday's 84-58 win over UL-Monroe. Nolen has taken over the team lead in scoring (12.9), rebounding (4.7), blocks (9) and three-pointers (17), is tied for the team-lead in steals (15), and is one shy of the leader in assists (28).
BARNES COACHES 200TH GAME AS HEAD COACH: Tuesday's game will mark Rod Barnes' 200th as the Rebel head coach. In his seventh season at the helm for Ole Miss, Barnes, the 2001 Naismith and CollegeInsider.com National Coach of the Year, has a 119-80 record (.598 winning percentage). Barnes' 119 coaching victories is the most of any Ole Miss coach in his first 200 games and is the second-most in school history. His .598 winning percentage is the highest of any Rebel coach of seven years or more.
In 2000-01, Barnes was the Southeastern 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 UT-MARTIN: Plagued with injury and inexperience, Tennessee-Martin struggled to a 10-18 overall record and ninth-place OVC finish last season. A year later, the injured have healed, and head coach Bret Campbell is equipped with 11 of 12 lettermen back, including all five starters. However, the Skyhawks are off to a 3-5 start and coming off a 79-66 defeat at Portland State on Saturday. UTM's other losses have come to nationally-ranked Duke, Evansville, and Illinois State and Arkansas State, both of whom have knocked off the Rebels. All five of the Skyhawks' losses have come on the road. Junior guard Jared Newson averaged 14.4 points and 5.9 rebounds a year ago and has raised his averages to 16.1 and 7.8 this season, both team highs.
OLE MISS-UT-MARTIN SERIES: The Rebels and Skyhawks have met only once previously, and it was also in an alternate arena. Ole Miss knocked off UT-Martin 83-72 on Dec. 16, 2001 in the Rebels' first ever game at Southaven's DeSoto Civic Center.
REBS IN TUPELO: Both the Ole Miss men's and women's basketball teams will be in action at Tupelo's BancorpSouth Center on Tuesday with the Lady Rebels taking on Clemson at 6 p.m. followed by the Rebels and UT-Martin at 8:15. This marks the first time the Ole Miss men's basketball squad has held court at the 11-year-old 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.
HOT SHOOTING: The Rebels have shot the lights out in the current four-game win streak. Ole Miss has shot 59.3 percent from the field and 47.0 percent from three-point range over the last four contests. Tommie Eddie has continued his torrid pace with a 68.6 percent clip (24-of-35) during the streak, while Londrick Nolen has made good on 60.9 percent (28-of-46) of his looks. Senior Kendrick Fox has been deadly from long range, knocking down 8-of-10 treys, while freshman Brandon Patterson has nailed 6-of-11 from behind the arc.
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 every game, and has filled the stat line in the process. Nolen currently tops the Rebels in scoring (12.9), rebounding (4.7), blocks (9) and three-pointers (17), is tied for the team-lead in steals (15), and is one shy of the leader in assists (28). Nolen has scored in double-figures in seven straight games, and turned in a season-high 25 points on 10-of-12 shooting, including 4-of-5 threes, with five assists against Louisiana-Monroe Saturday. He tallied a team-best 21 points and 5-of-7 treys at Arkansas State. He posted 16 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals against Troy Wednesday.
DE-FENSE, DE-FENSE: While the offense has been kicking, Rod Barnes' trademark defense has remained as effective as ever. Over the four-game win streak, Ole Miss has limited the opposition to 37.0 percent shooting. On Wednesday, the Rebels contained Troy to 49 points, marking the 26th time in Barnes' seven years at the helm that the opposition was held under 50 points. Ole Miss managed the feat six times in 2003-04. On Saturday, the Rebels forced Louisiana-Monroe into 26 turnovers. Earlier in the season against Tennessee Tech, the Rebels forced the Golden Eagles into 25 turnovers and held CollegeInsider.com Preseason All-American Willie Jenkins to two points.
RAINING TREYS: The Rebels have been the SEC's best three-point shooting club this season, firing at a 41.8 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. Senior Kendrick Fox is 16-of-35 (.457) from behind the arc, while freshman Brandon Patterson has made 16-of-36 (.444). Londrick Nolen is 17-of-40 (.425), Justin Johnson is 12-of-33 (.364), and Todd Abernethy is 10-of-29 (.345). 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, and Nolen was 4-of-5 against Louisiana-Monroe.
AWESOME EDDIE: Tommie Eddie has shot a spectacular 67.2 percent this season, and has posted four games of 17 or more points. 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 game 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. Against UL-Monroe Saturday, he was 8-of-11 for 17 points. Eddie is second on the team in scoring at 12.1 per game. He has also knocked down 31-of-43 free throws (.721 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 a career-best 7 points against Louisiana-Monroe and a rebound-high of 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. He also dished out a career-high 4 assists vs. Troy ... Freshman center Jermey Parnell had his best game as a Rebel against Troy with 6 points, 3 rebounds and 2 blocked shots.
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