2009-2010 Mississippi Rebels Basketball Preview
For the Ole Miss Rebels (16- 15 overall, 7- 9 SEC), it’s been years of frustration, as the club has pretty much finished out of the running year after year. Last season, they ended up fifth in their division and didn’t go to a tournament. The last five years, they’ve been to the NIT twice. However, this season looks to be different for the Rebels.
Last season’s stats should all, for the most part, see vast improvement. The Rebels were 10th in scoring offense (72.7 PPG), in scoring defense (72.3 PPG) and in field goal percentage (.433). They were seventh in threes (34%) and rebound margin (plus-0.8). Their best stat was seen at the foul line where they were good 73% of the time. That was second best in the league.
The frontcourt is young. Freshman forward Reginald Buckner may get a chance to play. He brings a set of amazing defensive chops. The other frosh forward, DeAngelo Riley, is a fine athlete who can create shooting opportunities. Sophomore forward Murphy Holloway (8.4 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 0.9 APG) is a solid shooter and DeAundre Cranston (3.1 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 0.6 APG) offers some depth off the bench. Still, this group has little experience and is filled with unknowns.
The Ole Miss Rebels’ backcourt is the best in the SEC. Terrico White (13.7 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 2.3 APG), a sophomore, had a fine first season last year. He quickly became a go-to player as his play improved in leaps and bounds throughout the season. Chris Warren (19.6 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 4.0 APG) and Eniel Polynice (6.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 2.0 APG) are both solid players. Warren can put points on the board quickly and Polynice is a fine wingman. Zach Graham (8.5 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.3 APG), who was an able defensive force last season, is coming back from off-season knee surgery. It’s hoped that he can pickup from where he left off last season.
The Rebels have not been to the Big Dance since 2002. This year coach Andy Kennedy has a wealth of talent on hand. Ole Miss probably has the best backcourt in the SEC. But the front does have question marks and those guys will determine just how far these Rebels can run. A winning record, a second-place SEC West finish and a trip to the NCAA Tournament look to be in the cards. Once they get there expect the team be go one and done.