GAME 11 – NOTES
Matchup: Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (3-6) vs. Ole Miss (5-5)
Date: Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Time: 6 p.m. CT
Location: Oxford, Miss.
Arena: The Pavilion at Ole Miss (9,500)
Television: SEC Network
Richard Cross, play-by-play
Daymeon Fishback, analyst
Radio: Ole Miss IMG Sports Network
David Kellum, play-by-play
Keith Carter, analyst
Series: Ole Miss leads 1-0
Last Meeting: Nov. 29, 2009
Ole Miss won 73-58
– Oxford community game – $5 general admission ticket
– This season, Ole Miss is 2-0 versus teams from the state of Texas (wins over Rice and Sam Houston State).
– The Rebels are in the midst of playing four games over a span of nine days, including the third in the past six days.
– Ole Miss is 55-3 all-time versus current members of the Southland Conference; the Rebels defeated Southland Conference foe Sam Houston State 82-69 last Wednesday (Dec. 13).
– The Rebels have used six different starting lineups in 10 games, one of 12 teams nationally to have done that.
– Ole Miss is coming off a 101-97 overtime loss to Illinois State, its third overtime game of the season.
– In the 108-year history of Ole Miss Basketball, the Rebels have never played three overtime games through the first 10 games of a season.
– Guards are accounting for 72.4 percent of the Rebels’ scoring.
– The Rebels rank second in the SEC in assist/turnover ratio (1.5), ranking 18th nationally.
– Senior Deandre Burnett ranks second in the SEC and 25th nationally with a 3.2 assist/turnover ratio; he’s recorded 39 assists and only nine turnovers (4.2 ratio) over the past six games.
– With 87 career blocks, senior Marcanvis Hymon ranks 11th on the school’s all-time list and is two away from jumping into the top 10.
– After averaging 6.6 ppg in the first seven games off the bench, junior college transfer Bruce Stevens is averaging 16.7 ppg over the last three contests (all starts).
– Stevens scored a career-high 27 points Saturday versus Illinois State, the most points by a Rebel this season; he made 13 free throws, the most by a Rebel since Deandre Burnett knocked down 13 of 14 at Missouri (Feb. 25, 2017).
– Terence Davis has scored double digits in 23 of the last 25 games dating back to last season.
– Ole Miss is in the 12th season of the Andy Kennedy era; Kennedy, the Dean of the SEC, is the winningest coach in school history with 239 victories.
– Only 10 games into this season, Kennedy already has the fifth-most wins in SEC history by a coach in his first 12 years in the league at one school.
SCOUTING THE ISLANDERS
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi enters Tuesday night’s game with a 3-6 record following a 71-55 win over St. Mary’s (Texas) on Friday (Dec. 15). Eight of the Islanders’ nine games have come against opponents from the state of Texas, the exception being SEC foe Georgia. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi took the Bulldogs to the wire before falling 68-65 (Nov. 19). Senior guard Joseph Kilgore leads the Islanders in nearly every category, including scoring (16.7 ppg), rebounds (53), assists (22) and steals (15). Kareem South, a redshirt-sophomore guard, adds 10.7 ppg to along with a team-best 11 three-pointers. The Islanders are coached by Willis Wilson, who is in his seventh season at the helm of the program.
In the only meeting between Ole Miss and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Nov. 29, 2009), Chris Warren and Terrico White scored 19 points apiece as the Rebels won 73-58. Terrance Henry added 12 points for the Rebels, who raced to a 17-4 lead in the opening seven minutes. Ole Miss led 40-23 at halftime and led by as many as 26 points early in the second half. The Rebels shot 27 of 63 from the field, 42 percent, but managed only 8 of 31 from three-point range. The Islanders, led by Kevin Palmer with a game-high 23 points, made a belated rally to pull within 11 points with three minutes left. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi shot 21 of 52, 40 percent, from the field, but could not overcome a 1 for 11 start. The Islanders managed only 9 of 18 from the free throw line and were out-rebounded 38-36.
REBELS VS. SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE
Ole Miss is 55-3 all-time against the current members of the Southland Conference. Along with going 1-0 against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi throughout history, the Rebels have also faced Abilene Christian (1-0), Central Arkansas (3-0), Houston Baptist (2-0), Lamar (2-1), McNeese (8-1), New Orleans (4-1), Nicholls (8-0), Northwestern State (3-0), Sam Houston State (6-0) and Southeastern Louisiana (17-0). Tuesday’s game is the Rebels’ second contest versus a Southland Conference opponent over the last six days (three games). Ole Miss defeated Sam Houston State 82-69 last Wednesday (Dec. 13).
For the first time in program history, Ole Miss has gone to overtime three times through the first 10 games of a season. Through 108 years, the Rebels have only had nine seasons with at least three overtime games (first since the 2013-14 campaign). All three overtime games were setbacks in The Pavilion. First, Ole Miss erased a 20-point halftime deficit to force overtime versus South Dakota State (Nov. 28). Four days later (Dec. 2), the Rebels led Virginia Tech for 37 minutes of the game before the Hokies rallied to send the game into overtime. On Saturday, Ole Miss trailed by as many as 18 but brought the game back to a standstill following 40 minutes of play.
DEFENDING HOME COURT
Winning at home has been a trademark of Andy Kennedy’s squads since he took the reins in 2006-07. Ole Miss is 137-37 (.787 win pct.) in home games during Kennedy’s tenure. In two seasons playing in the $96.5 million Pavilion at Ole Miss, the Rebels hold a 24-11 (.686) advantage against the opposition. Ole Miss has won 262 of its last 331 games (.792 win pct.) in Oxford dating back to the 1996-97 campaign.
BIG BRUCE’S BREAKOUT
Since being inserted into the starting lineup the past three games, junior college transfer Bruce Stevens has put together his best performances as a Rebel. Coming off the bench in the first seven games, Stevens averaged only 6.6 ppg. Over the last three games, all starts, Stevens is averaging 16.7 ppg. In his first start, at Middle Tennessee (Dec. 9), he recorded 10 points on 5 of 8 shooting in 25 minutes for his first double-digit scoring game of the season. Stevens followed that game with a career-high 13-point night in a win over Sam Houston State (Dec. 13), going 6 of 7 from the floor. On Saturday, Stevens was unstoppable versus Illinois State, posting a career-high 27 points that included going 7 of 9 from the floor and 13 of 16 from the free throw line. It was the most points scored this season by a Rebel. Stevens entered Saturday’s game as a 62.1 percent free throw shooter (18-29). After knocking down 13 of 16, he increased his season percentage to 68.9 percent.
The Ole Miss bench has played a prominent role in scoring through the early part of the 2017-18 campaign, averaging 29.2 points per game. In four of the Rebels’ 10 games, the bench has scored at least 40 points. The season high for bench points occurred against Utah (Nov. 20) in Las Vegas, as the reserves tallied 46 of the team’s 74 points.
GREEN LIGHT GUARDS
Andy Kennedy has proven to develop guards during his time at Ole Miss. Over Kennedy’s 11 seasons in Oxford, 12 guards have earned All-SEC accolades to rank third among conference teams. This season, the depth at guard shows in terms of scoring. Ole Miss guards have accounted for 72.4 percent of the Rebels’ points. The top four scorers on the team are guards led by Terence Davis (15.7 ppg), Deandre Burnett (15.0 ppg) and Markel Crawford (10.5 ppg). Freshman Devontae Shuler adds 9.7 ppg, while Breein Tyree contributes 8.7 ppg (sixth on team).
PROTECTING THE ROCK
Ole Miss has taken care of the basketball this season. The Rebels have coughed up the rock only 116 times, ranking 33rd nationally in fewest turnovers surrendered. Also by dishing out 17.1 assists per game (38th nationally), the Rebels’ 1.5 assist/turnover ratio sits second in the SEC and 18th in the country. Senior guard Deandre Burnett holds the second-best individual assist/turnover ratio in the SEC at 3.2, which ranks 25th nationwide.
FINDING THE RIGHT FIVE
With more depth than last year’s squad, head coach Andy Kennedy has the ability to experiment with starting lineups early on in the season to try to find the best starting five. Through 10 games, the Rebels have sent out six different starting lineups. Ole Miss is one of 12 teams nationally that has had at least six different starting lineups over the first 10 games of the season.
Ole Miss has been active with their hands on the defensive end of the floor, averaging 6.6 steals per game. Through 10 games, five Rebels have recorded at least eight steals. Devontae Shuler leads the way with 14 steals, ranking ninth in the SEC, while Terence Davis and Markel Crawford are closely behind with 11 and 10, respectively. Breein Tyree has nine steals, while Marcanvis Hymon has eight of his own. Against the Utes (Nov. 20), the Rebels tallied 14 steals throughout the night, the most by them in a game since Feb. 14, 2017 vs. LSU and the most by an SEC team this season.
After a breakout sophomore season last year, averaging 14.9 points per game after only providing 1.8 points per game as a freshman (largest increase in scoring among any returning player in the conference), Terence Davis has become a go-to scorer for Ole Miss. The Southaven, Mississippi, native has scored in double figures in 23 of the last 25 games dating back to last season. Leading the Rebels with 15.7 ppg, Davis ranks 10th in the SEC. He has already reached the 20-point plateau three times, recording 21 in the season opener versus Louisiana (Nov. 10) before putting up 24 in a win over Georgia State one week later (Nov. 17). Against South Dakota State (Nov. 28), Davis scored 20 of his team-high 22 points in the second half. He has also showcased his skills on the defensive end, ranking second in steals (11) blocks (10). As a sophomore last year, Davis ranked fourth in the league in field goal percentage (48.2) and recorded 20+ points in six different games. He quickly became a playmaker on both sides of the floor, leading the Rebels with 50 steals as well.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT DRE
A first team preseason all-conference selection, senior Deandre Burnett is embracing his role as a leader. The guard has come off the bench in seven of the Rebels’ 10 games this season. Burnett is averaging 15.0 ppg, ranking second on the team, while leading the Rebels with 48 assists. Not only does he pace Ole Miss in assists, but Burnett takes care of the ball by ranking second in the SEC in assist/turnover ratio (3.2). Over the last six games, he has produced 38 assists compared to nine turnovers (4.2 ratio). The Miami Gardens, Florida, native is shooting 41.6 percent (42 of 101) from the floor, including a team-best 36.5 percent (19 of 52) percent from three-point range. Burnett also knocks down his free throws at an 85.5 percent clip (47 of 55). As an 87.5 percent shooter at the line for his career, he is on pace to finish as the second-best free throw shooter in Ole Miss history. Last season, his first as a Rebel, Burnett averaged a team-high 16.5 ppg and finished fifth in the SEC in both free-throw percentage (.881) and three-point percentage (.376). Finishing eighth in the league in scoring, Burnett reached double figures in 26 of 33 games, including 10 20-plus performances and a career-high 41-point output (Nov. 18, 2016 vs. Oral Roberts). He also shared the rock, providing 104 assists throughout the season (3.2 apg).
HYMON PICKS UP WHERE SAIZ LEFT OFF
Heading into the season, a big question mark for Ole Miss was who would fill the void left by Sebastian Saiz. With the help of a school-record 409 rebounds, Saiz recorded 23 double-doubles a season ago. Senior Marcanvis Hymon has been the focal point of the front court that needs to replace Saiz. In his fourth year at Ole Miss, the Memphis, Tennessee, native is the only active player to spend all four seasons in Oxford. Through 10 games, Hymon leads the Rebels with 7.7 rpg to rank eighth in the SEC. He has reached double digits in rebounds three times this year, including a 12-point, 13-rebound performance in the season opener versus Louisiana (Nov. 10). The big opening game marked the third double-double in Hymon’s career. Through 84 career games, Hymon is moving up the school’s career blocks chart. With a team-high 16 already this year, ninth in the SEC with 1.6 blocks per game, he ranks 11th with 87 career rejections following a team-high 40 last season.
A 4-star guard out of perennial powerhouse Oak Hill Academy, there was a lot of hype surrounding Devontae Shuler entering the season. The freshman is averaging 9.7 ppg in 21.0 minutes per game and swiping a team-high 14 steals (ninth in the SEC). He has converted at the free throw line, making nine of his 10 attempts for a 90.0 percent clip. Against South Dakota State, he recorded a career-high 19 points on 8 of 14 shooting to go along with a team-high three steals. In his debut, Shuler recorded 14 points in 16 minutes off the bench. The Irmo, South Carolina, native knocked down four shots from beyond the arc versus Louisiana (Nov. 10), and his offensive output was the most points by a freshman in a season opener since Trevor Gaskins recorded 21 versus Mississippi Valley State, exactly 10 years ago (Nov. 10, 2007).
MARKEL MAKING HIS MARK
As a graduate transfer, Markel Crawford is already making his mark in his only season with the Rebels. The Memphis product has started all 10 games and leads Ole Miss in minutes per game (31.3), which ranks eighth in the SEC. He also is third on the team in steals (10) and scoring (10.5 ppg). Versus Sam Houston State last week, Crawford entered the game with only six three-pointers through eight games. In the first half, he drilled four treys that led to a team-high 16 points in the win over the Bearkats. Against South Dakota State (Nov. 28), Crawford scored 19 points, his most as a Rebel, on 7 of 11 shooting.
12TH YEAR OF THE KENNEDY ADMINISTRATION
With the 12th season led by Mississippi native Andy Kennedy underway, Ole Miss has a 239-145 record, one SEC Tournament championship, two SEC West championships, nine 20-win campaigns and eight postseason berths, which includes two NCAA Tournament appearances and pair of trips to the NIT Final Four, throughout Kennedy’s watch. The all-time winningest coach in school history, Kennedy has averaged more than 21 wins per season in his 11 years in Oxford after the Rebels posted just three 21-win seasons in the 96 years before his arrival.
DEAN OF SEC COACHES
In his 12th season in the league, Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy is the Dean of SEC basketball coaches. Kennedy has faced 38 different head coaches in the SEC during his time in Oxford. He is also the longest tenured head coach in the league in both basketball and football having entered the league prior to Alabama football coach Nick Saban.
KENNEDY’S FIRST 12 YEARS RANK AMONG ALL-TIME SEC GREATS
Andy Kennedy is also fifth on the list for most wins by a coach in their first 12 years in the league after taking over an SEC program. See the list below:
1. Bill Donovan (Florida) – 285
2. Joe B. Hall (Kentucky) – 279
3. Wimp Sanderson (Alabama) – 265
4. Rick Stansbury (Mississippi State) – 255
5. Andy Kennedy (Ole Miss) – 239
6. Kevin Stallings (Vanderbilt) – 236
7. Hugh Durham (Georgia) – 219
8. Ray Mears (Tennessee) – 218
9. Dale Brown (LSU) – 212
10. C.M. Newton (Alabama) – 211
11. Roy Skinner (Vanderbilt) – 204
11. Adolph Rupp (Kentucky) – 204
KENNEDY MOVING UP SEC COACHING WINS LIST
Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy is climbing the SEC coaching wins chart, ranking 18th with 239 career victories. See complete list below:
1. Adolph Rupp (Kentucky) – 875
2. Billy Donovan (Florida) – 467
3. Dale Brown (LSU) – 448
4. C.M. Newtown (UA/VU) – 340
Harry Rabenhorst (LSU) – 340
6. Kevin Stallings (Vanderbilt) – 332
7. Tubby Smith (UGA/UK) – 308
8. Joe B. Hall (Kentucky) – 297
Hugh Durhman (Georgia) – 297
10. Rick Stansbury (MSU) – 293
11. Ray Mears (Tennessee) – 278
Roy Skinner (Vanderbilt) – 278
13. Wimp Sanderson (Alabama) – 265
John Mauer (UK/UT/UF) – 265
15. Hank Crisp (Alabama) – 264
16. John Calipari (Kentucky) – 257
17. Nolan Richardson (Arkansas) – 249
18. Andy Kennedy (Ole Miss) – 239
19. Norm Sloan (Florida) – 232
20. Rick Pitino (Kentucky) – 219
21. Joel Eaves (Auburn) – 214
NEXT ON THE HARDWOOD
Before the holiday break, the Rebels welcome Bradley to Oxford for a Friday night tip (Dec. 22, 6 p.m. CT). The non-conference matchup will be the final game until Ole Miss begins SEC play against South Carolina on New Year’s Eve. The SEC opener will mark the end of five straight home games for Ole Miss.