Ole Miss Set To Square Off Against Iowa State Saturday

Dec. 23, 2000

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#24/#25 Ole Miss (11-0) vs. Iowa State (9-1)
Saturday, December 23 - 9:00 p.m. (CT)
Yahoo! Sports Invitational - Championship Game
Cannon Activities Center - Laie, Hawaii

-- PROBABLE STARTERS --

No. Player (Yr.) Pos. Ht. Wt. PPG/RPG Hometown
5 Aaron Harper (Fr.) G/F 6-7 200 9.6/3.0 Jackson, Miss.
15 David Sanders (So.) G 6-3 180 7.2/2.4 Jackson, Miss.
22 Jason Flanigan (Sr.) G 6-1 180 7.5/2.8 Little Rock, Ark.
23 Justin Reed (Fr.) F 6-8 222 9.3/5.5 Jackson, Miss.
44 Rahim Lockhart (Sr.) F 6-8 255 14.4/10.2 Mendenhall, Miss.

-- RESERVES --

No. Player (Yr.) Pos. Ht. Wt. PPG/RPG Hometown
10 John Pilger (Fr.) G 5-10 170 2.5/0.0 Ocean Springs, Miss.
11 Jason Harrison (Jr.) G 5-5 155 7.5/1.8 Little Rock, Ark.
20 Jason Holmes (Sr.) G 6-5 205 4.7/2.3 Tylertown, Miss.
21 Carey Crain (Fr.) G 6-0 165 0.0/1.0 Mendenhall, Miss.
30 Josh Hayes (RFr.) G/F 6-7 195 2.8/0.5 Little Rock, Ark.
31 John Gunn (So.) F 6-10 250 3.3/1.7 Oxford, Miss.
32 Emmanuel Wade (So.) G 6-3 185 4.2/1.2 Marianna, Ark.
45 Richard Kirklin (So.) F 6-9 205 3.3/1.4 Pine Bluff, Ark.
54 John Engstrom (Jr.) C 7-0 250 1.3/1.0 Paragould, Ark.

OLE MISS TO MEET IOWA STATE IN CHAMPIONSHIP GAME OF YAHOO! SPORTS INVITATIONAL SATURDAY
The Ole Miss Rebels (11-0) will meet Iowa State (9-1) in the Yahoo! Sports Invitational championship game Saturday, Dec. 23. Game time is 9:00 p.m. (CT). Ole Miss is ranked No. 24 in the Associated Press (AP) Top 25 poll and No. 25 in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 poll. The Cyclones, which were ranked earlier this season, are among the teams in the "Also Receiving Votes" category in both polls.

BARNES IN THIRD SEASON AS REBEL MENTOR
Rod Barnes is in his third season at the helm of the Ole Miss Rebel basketball program. He has an overall record of 50-27 (.649 winning percentage). In his first two seasons, Barnes compiled a 39-27 record, and the 39 victories are the most by a Rebel coach in his first two years in Ole Miss history. Last year, Barnes guided Ole Miss to a 19-14 overall record and a berth in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). The Rebels advanced to the NIT quarterfinals for the second time in school history. The winning season and postseason tournament both were the fourth straight for the Ole Miss program.

In 1998-99, Barnes led Ole Miss to a 20-13 overall record and a third-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. The Satartia, Miss., native was the first head coach in the history of Rebel basketball to win 20 games in his first season. Barnes also guided the Rebels to a 72-70 win over Villanova in the NCAA Tournament first round, marking the program's first-ever victory in NCAA play.

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 (17th, 1,201 points), assists (2nd, 456) and steals (6th, 154).

OLE MISS-IOWA STATE SERIES
Saturday's game will be the first meeting between the schools on the hardwood.

AND THEN THERE WERE TWO...
Ole Miss is one of two NCAA Division I schools to have both its men's and women's basketball teams undefeated as of Dec. 22. The Rebels are currently 11-0, while the Lady Rebels are 11-0 after winning the Beach Classic at Long Beach State earlier this week. The other school that has accomplished the feat is Baylor (men's team, 7-0, women's team, 9-0).

OVERTIME REBELS
Ole Miss won its second overtime game of the season with its 84-83 victory over No. 13- ranked Southern Cal Friday. Earlier this season, the Rebels defeated Virginia Commonwealth, 88-84 in Richmond, Va. Ole Miss has won five of its last six overtime games, dating back to the 1997-98 season. Under head coach Rod Barnes, the Rebels have a 3-1 record in overtime games.

"CHAMPIONSHIP GAME" REBELS
For the third consecutive year, Ole Miss will play in the championship game of its regular-season tournament. The Rebels will face Iowa State in the title game of the Yahoo! Sports Invitational Saturday. Last year, Ole Miss reached the title contest of the SoCon Holiday Hoope Tournament in Greenville, S.C., and claimed the championship with a 57-53 win over Wisconsin-Green Bay. In the 1998-99 season, the Rebels met Ohio State in the championship game of the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic in San Juan, but dropped a 67-62 decision to the Buckeyes. Ohio State went on to advance to the 1999 NCAA Tournament Final Four. Under head coach Rod Barnes, Ole Miss has a 7-1 record in regular-season tournaments.

REBELS VERSUS THE BIG 12 CONFERENCE
Ole Miss has an 11-17 overall record (.393 winning percentage) versus members of the Big 12 Conference. The Rebels are 1-0 versus Oklahoma State and Kansas State, 2-1 versus Oklahoma, 1-1 versus Nebraska, 6-8 versus Texas, 0-1 versus Baylor, Kansas and Texas A&M and 0-4 versus Texas Tech. Prior to the last three meetings with the Sooners (1998, 1999 and 2000) and this year's game with Kansas State, the last time Ole Miss played a current member of the Big 12 Conference was the 1981 season when the Rebels fell to Kansas, 69-66 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Current Rebel radio analyst Sean Tuohy was a guard on that Ole Miss team which played Kansas in the 1981 NCAA Tournament.

OLE MISS TO JOIN THE BIG 12?
It may seem like it in December, but Ole Miss is not moving to the Big 12 Conference. The Rebel schedule, though, has a strong Big 12 Conference flavor in the month of December. Ole Miss defeated Oklahoma, 60-55 on Dec. 2 and also beat Kansas State, 60-46 on Dec. 5. The Rebels meet Iowa State Saturday for Ole Miss' third Big 12 Conference opponent this month.

REBELS OFF TO BEST START SINCE 1936-37
With their victory over No. 13-ranked Southern Cal Dec. 22, the Rebels remained undefeated at 11-0, tying the program's best start by the 1936-37 team which also began its campaign with an 11-0 record. Last year (1999-2000), Ole Miss started the campaign with a 6-0 record before losing its first game at Oklahoma, 81-73.

STREAKING REBELS
Ole Miss is currently on an 11-game win streak entering the championship game at the Yahoo! Sports Invitational Dec. 23. The current 11-game win streak is tied for the longest in the program's history. The 1936-37 and 1937-38 teams both posted 11-game win streaks.

REBELS IMPRESSIVE AWAY FROM CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES
Ole Miss has only made three trips - including this one - away from the continental United States in its history, but the Rebels may want to keep scheduling games outside the continental U.S. Ole Miss has a 9-1 record (.900 winning percentage) in games played outside the continental U.S., including Friday's 84-83 overtime win over No. 13-ranked Southern Cal in the Yahoo! Sports Invitational semifinals. The Rebels went 2-1 in the 1998 Puerto Rico Holiday Classic, falling to eventual 1999 NCAA Final Four participant Ohio State in the championship game. Following the 1996-97 campaign, Ole Miss posted a 5-0 record in an exhibition tour of Australia in May.

OLE MISS VERSUS FIRST TIME FOES
Ole Miss will face its third first-time opponent of the 2000-01 season when it meets Iowa State Saturday. The Rebels defeated Kansas State, 60-46 on Dec. 5 and No. 13-ranked Southern Cal, 84- 83 in overtime on Dec. 22. Ole Miss will meet Morris Brown-the final first-time opponent on the Rebels' schedule-for the first time Dec. 30. Last year, Ole Miss posted a 3-0 record versus first-time foes with wins over Oregon State (77-58), Virginia Commonwealth (75-62) and Southwest Missouri State (70-48). Since the 1998-99 campaign, Ole Miss has a 9-2 record (.818 winning percentage) versus first-time foes.

A HAPPY 50 FOR COACH BARNES
No, Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes is not celebrating his 50 th birthday (not even close for the 34-year-old, by the way). With the Rebels' overtime victory over No. 13-ranked Southern Cal Friday, Barnes won his 50 th game as the Ole Miss head coach. He has a current record of 50-27 (77 th game). Barnes reached the 50-win plateau the third fastest of any coach in Rebel history. George Bohler (50-25, 75 th game) and Homer Hazel (50-26, 76 th game) are the only two coaches in Ole Miss history to reach the milestone faster.

HITTING `EM WHEN THEY COUNT
The Rebels haven't had a reputation for hitting a high percentage from the charity stripe the last couple of seasons, especially down the stretch in games. However, that may be changing in 2000-01. Ole Miss is hitting 67.4 percent from the foul line for the season, but more importantly, the Rebels are hitting their foul shots down the stretch. In their six narrow wins over Sam Houston State, VCU, Oklahoma, Memphis, Southern Illinois and Southern Cal, the Rebels shot 78.8 percent from the line (52-of-66) in the final four minutes (and overtime) of those games. Ole Miss was 12-of-16 from the charity stripe in the final four minutes and overtime versus Southern Cal Friday.

MOVING ON UP THE CHARTS
With his 12-rebound performance versus Arkansas-Pine Bluff Nov. 18, senior Rahim Lockhart became the 15th player in Rebel basketball history to grab 500 boards in a career. He now has 610 career rebounds, after grabbing 13 boards in the Rebels' victory over No. 13-ranked Southern Cal Friday. Lockhart is in the No. 12 spot on the Ole Miss career rebounding list, moving past Keith Carter (1996-99, 596 career rebounds) in Thursday's contest versus Southern Illinois..

LOCKHART DOUBLES HIS PLEASURE
Senior Rahim Lockhart is picking up where he left off last year--doubling his pleasure. Lockhart came into the 2000-01 season with 14 career double-doubles, and he recorded his 19th double-double performance in Ole Miss' win over No. 13-ranked Southern Cal (16 points-13 rebounds) Friday. He also had double-doubles versus Arkansas-Pine Bluff (17-12) Nov. 18, Louisiana-Monroe (16-10) Nov. 28, Memphis (15-14) Dec. 9 and Southeastern Louisiana (21-14) Dec. 13. Last year, Lockhart had 13 double-doubles, which ranked him in the top 10 in the nation in that statistical category. His first career double-double came versus Tennessee (16-12) as a sophomore in the 1998-99 season.

CLOSING IN ON THE HEAD OF THE CLASS(ES)
This year's senior class of Jason Flanigan and Rahim Lockhart and junior redshirt John Engstrom are closing in on the record of most victories by a class in a four-year span. The record is 74 wins by the 1998-99 class of Hunter Carpenter, Keith Carter, Jason Smith and Michael White. After Ole Miss' victory over No. 13-ranked Southern Cal Friday, this class has now won 72 games, just two behind the record. This senior class has also been a part of the 1998 SEC Western Division championship squad and has been to three straight postseasons (2 NCAA, 1 NIT).

 

 

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