2005 Mississippi Rebels Basketball Preview
2005 Mississippi Rebels Team Preview
Lots of talent and not a lot of experience is perhaps the simplest way to describe the Mississippi Rebels. The last time this club made it to March Madness, 2002, was the last time they had this much talent. In 2004-05 they finished dead last in the Western Division of the SEC. Despite the fact that they’ve lost four experienced players—two forwards and two guards—their freshman class and returning players make them more dangerous than they’ve been in a long time.
Coach Rod Barnes, who has not seen a winning season at Ole’ Miss since 2002, can use some good play and victories from his club. The trend since the team’s 27-win, Sweet Sixteen NCAA appearance in 2001 has been downward. In the past three years the team has recorded 14, 13 and 14-win seasons.
Guard Todd Abernethy is a skilled player looking for a breakout season. The junior, who earned the conference’s Top Sixth Man Award for 2004-05, hit for 8.3 PPG while leading his team with 82 assists. Manning the point his year, he should prove to be a steady on-court general.
Londrick Nolen, entering his senior year, is the only returning starter from last season. In 2004-05 he averaged 4.4 RPG and 9.8 PPG. If Nolen can find the basket more, he can be a dangerous swingman.
The other three starters include guard Brandon Patterson, swingman Bam Doyne, and center Dwayne Curtis. Each of these relatively unknown guys will need to really make it to the next level as starters, logging more quality minutes, taking and hitting more shots, and getting physical with opponents. Patterson and Doyne both need to improve their accuracy a good five to eight points this season. Curtis, an inter-conference transfer from Auburn, can make the boards his own and hopefully, for the Rebels, give them more opportunities to score. In the 12-team SEC they were 11th in points per game last season.
Freshmen Bobby Clark, Trey Hampton, Mike Smith, and Xavier
Webb all possess good shots and the potential to contribute
immediately. They could comprise powerful bench for the Rebels.
Coach Barnes’ career at Mississippi may live or die with this team. For it to live, the Rebels will have to do better than 4-12 in the conference and 14-17 overall.
For more info on the 2005 Rebels check out the official Mississippi athletic site.