• Ole Miss is looking to snap a two-game losing streak after a 9-day break since its last game. • With the win over UL-Lafayette, Andy Kennedy has the most wins by a Rebel coach in his first six years (114). • Ole Miss has played the nation’s No. 63 ranked schedule, according to RealTimeRPI.com. • The Rebels are 74-20 in non-conference games under Kennedy. • Ole Miss has an 8-9 all-time record against current members of the Atlantic 10 Conference. • The Rebels have a 2-1 record in true road games this season. • As a team, Ole Miss ranks second in the SEC and 17th nationally with 6.3 blocks/game. • Four Rebels average 9.9+ points, and six players have led the team in scoring at least once this year. • Junior F Murphy Holloway is day-to-day with a high ankle sprain. • Junior F Reginald Buckner broke the school’s all-time career blocks record at Southern Miss. He now has 186 career blocks. He ranks 2nd in the SEC and 24th nationally with 2.7 blocks/game this year. • Freshman G LaDarius White and redshirt-freshman G Jelan Kendrick have both made their highly anticipated debuts since the fall semester ended.
REBELS FINISH 2011 AT DAYTON Ole Miss will close out the 2011 calendar year with a road game at Dayton on Friday. The Rebels are looking to bounce back from consecutive losses to Southern Miss and Middle Tennessee. Friday’s game will be the Rebels’ third straight away from Oxford. This is the third straight season that Ole Miss and Dayton have played.
STRONG SCHEDULE Ole Miss has played the nation’s No. 63 ranked schedule, according to RealTimeRPI.com. Dayton represents the seventh Rebel opponent with a current RPI of better than 100. Ole Miss is 3-3 in those game thus far. The Rebels have an RPI rank of 33 according to the website.
MOST WINS IN FIRST SIX SEASONS With the victory over Louisiana-Lafayette, Andy Kennedy surpassed Rod Barnes for the most wins (114) in the first six seasons as Ole Miss head coach. Kennedy’s 114 wins already rank third in school history behind B.L. “Country” Graham (144 wins in 13 seasons) and Barnes (141 wins in 8 seasons).
BUCKNER SETS ALL-TIME SCHOOL BLOCKS RECORD With four blocks at Southern Miss, junior F Reginald Buckner surpassed Sean Murphy as the Rebels’ all-time career leader in blocked shots. In just 74 games, the Memphis native has accumulated 186 blocks. The school record was previously held by Murphy, who had 180 blocks in 117 games from 1988-91. Buckner’s 2.7 blocks average this season ranks second among SEC players and 24th nationally. His 186 career blocks are tied for the most among active SEC players (with Alabama’s JaMychal Green). He already holds the school record for blocks in a season and game.
SCOUTING THE FLYERS Dayton enters Friday’s contest with a 9-4 overall record and wins in four of its last five outings. Led by first-year head coach Archie Miller, the Flyers have won six of eight games at home, including an upset of then-No. 15 Alabama. A balanced offensive attack features three players averaging double figure points. Kevin Dillard tops the squad with 12.0 ppg, followed by Josh Benson (11.2 ppg) and Chris Johnson (10.1 ppg). Matt Kavanaugh leads the team in rebounding at 5.5 rpg. Dayton only turns the ball over 12.6 times per game, while it forced opponents into 15.0 turnovers per outing for a +2.4 turnover margin.
OLE MISS-DAYTON SERIES This is the fourth meeting between the Rebels and Flyers. Dayton has won all three prior matchups, including last year’s 78-71 overtime outcome in Oxford and a 68-63 decision in the 2010 NIT Final Four in New York City. The teams also played in Dayton in 1980, with the Flyers winning 72-70. Ole Miss squandered a 12-point lead in the final eight minutes of regulation before Dayton topped the Rebels in overtime last November. Five Rebels scored in double figures, led by Zach Graham’s 16 points and Nick Williams’ 14, while Chris Johnson led the Flyers with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
OLE MISS VERSUS ATLANTIC 10 FOES Ole Miss has an 8-9 all-time record against current members of the Atlantic 10 Conference, which includes a 2-1 mark against Charlotte, 0-3 vs. Dayton, 1-0 vs. Fordham, 1-0 vs. La Salle, 1-2 vs. Saint Louis, 2-0 vs. St. Joseph’s and 1-3 vs. Temple. The Rebels’ last win over an A-10 foe was an 84-77 victory over La Salle in the 2007 San Juan Shootout in Puerto Rico.
COMMON OPPONENT Ole Miss and Dayton have one common opponent this season - the Miami Hurricanes. Ole Miss beat Miami 64-61 in overtime in Oxford on Nov. 25, while Dayton lost to the Hurricanes in Coral Gables 72-67 in OT.
WOLFPACK PRIDE Three former N.C. State players will be roaming the sidelines on Friday. Ole Miss assistant coach Al Pinkins was a two-year letterman for the Wolfpack from 1994-97 during an injury-riddled career, while Rebel head coach Andy Kennedy spent his freshman year in Raleigh (1986-87) before transferring to UAB. Dayton head coach Archie Miller was a four-year letterman and one of the top 3-point specialists in N.C. State history from 1998-02.
NON-CONFERENCE SUCCESS The Rebels boast a 74-20 record (.787 win pct.) against teams outside the SEC since Andy Kennedy took over in 2006-07, including a 50-2 mark at home. The Rebels are 9-3 against non-league teams this year and went 12-4 a year ago, including a 12-3 mark during the regular season.
SIZE ADVANTAGE Ole Miss is taking advantage of its significant height and length advantage against the majority of its opponents this year. Only one scholarship player on the roster is listed at shorter than 6-4 (Dundrecous Nelson, 5-11), while six Rebels who see significant minutes are listed at 6-7 or taller. Ole Miss ranks third among SEC teams in rebounding average (39.4) and fourth in rebounding margin (+4.1). The Rebels block 6.3 shots per game, which ranks second in the league and 17th in the nation.
TURNOVERS MATTER Ole Miss has a 7-0 record when it records the same or fewer turnovers than its opponent, while the Rebels are 2-3 when they lose the turnover battle.
HOLLOWAY RETURNS WITH BIG NUMBERS Junior F Murphy Holloway has posted some big numbers in his return to Ole Miss this year (following a one-year stint in South Carolina) and averages 9.9 ppg and 9.6 rpg (3rd in SEC). He ranks 37th nationally in rebounding. He is tied for third among SEC players with four double-doubles this year and ranks second among active league players with 18 in his career. He was the SEC Player of the Week after helping Ole Miss to wins over TCU and Miami.
NELSON WITH THE HOT HAND FROM OUTSIDE Sophomore G Dundrecous Nelson has been hot from downtown of late. He has averaged 3.0 3-pointers over his last five games, including five vs. Louisiana-Lafayette and four at Southern Miss. The Jackson, Miss., native had strung together seven straight double-digit scoring performances until scoring 7 vs. Middle Tennessee. He ranks 18th among all SEC players with a 13.0 scoring average and tied for 10th with 2.0 3’s/game.
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