It took about 31 minutes of clock before the Ole Miss Rebels (16-4, 4-2)seemed to find their stride against the Auburn Tigers (10-11, 1-5). With nine minutes remaining, the Rebels were up 59-57, and every Auburn fan, yes even the three guys pretending to be stereotypical Mexican men, were crossing every jointed appendage, hoping for a win. Terrico White and Chris Warren led the Rebels with 39 combined points in the 84-74 win. White gained steam in the second half scoring 16 points after only scoring three in the first half.
This is the Terrico the Rebels need every game. Making mid-range jumpers, driving the lane and creating offense. Much of the boost from White came while he was pseudo-running the point with Trevor Gaskins, so Warren was getting a couple extra gulps of Gatorade on the sideline during part of the game-clinching minutes.
Next up, we've got the most dangerous sub-.500 basketball team in the SEC coming to Oxford – the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Arkansas is fresh off dispatching the Mississippi State Bulldogs in Fayette-nam, 67-62. The 'Hogs were avenging a 2-point loss to the 'Dogs in Starkville in the first conference game of the year for Arkansas. The 'Hogs always play well at home, mostly because every other team in the SEC thinks they are at the end of the earth after driving to NW Arkansas. Srsly, it's so frickin farrrr (ed: and hilly 'n' shit). Yet, that doesn't diminish the significance of this win down the stretch in terms of placement atop the SEC West.
Courtney Fortson missed almost all of the non-conference schedule for Arky, playing his first game against Texas at home. Dude looks like a dredded-up leprechaun, but he can flat out play. He's offering over 20 points per game along with playing nearly every minute of every game so far.
Rotnei "Pronounced Rodney, but I'm a gangsta" Clarke can drain three's all game long and is just one of those hustle players that you're going to hate cheering against. He also scored 51 in Arky's first game this season, the highest one-game performance in the NCAA this year. Seriously, that is not a typo. Look it up.
So, basically, we're playing some circus sideshow acts: a short guy with too much hair who seems to run non-stop for hours and a white, coneheaded long-range shooter who can't seem to be stopped.
Just as with our Rebels up until very recently, Arkansas has had its road woes. Kentucky absolutely demolished them in Lexington, hitting triple digits, and it could've been much worse in my opinion. Ole Miss sports a 9-1 record at home with the only loss coming to Tractor Drivin' And Cuzzin' Kissin' State (spirit jok'd). This obviously spells good things for Kennedy's Rebels.
Luckily, Ole Miss and Arkansas both played on Thursday, so no team will have a real advantage in the "not looking sluggish" department.
Andy Kennedy said freshman F Reginald Buckner just had a little swelling on his ankle after the Auburn game. He will be a needed asset Saturday, because every player will be needed to finish off Arky.
Fortson is going to drive and dish all day, and our zone will be pushed to adjust to his play. I'm confident in our scoring ability, so the remaining SEC games are going to come down to solid defensive performances.
The Hogs lack of quality depth could be a deciding factor, but a strong, defensive effort and a packed coliseum would be welcomed and sublime. Considering the Cotton Bowl trophy will be on display Saturday, there's little to no reason why the crowd shouldn't be fantastic. Did you read that, Ole Miss students and Oxonians? Be at the game and cheer like crazy people. I know it will be cold and icy but, here's the thing, basketball is typically played indoors so spare us the excuses.
For those of you who can't make it, THE GAME IS AT 3 ON THE SEC NETWORK THE GAME IS AT 3 ON THE SEC NETWORK THE GAME IS AT 3 ON THE SEC NETWORK THE GAME IS AT 3 ON THE SEC NETWORK THE GAME IS AT 3 ON THE SEC NETWORK THE GAME IS AT 3 ON THE SEC NETWORK THE GAME IS AT 3 ON THE SEC NETWORK THE GAME IS AT 3 ON THE SEC NETWORK.
Okay, got that covered. The Rebels have been ranked in the Top 25 for almost two months and are now tied for first in the SEC West with Cow-loving, Chromosome-missing State. Yet, somehow, too many of our fans are still stuck in football mode. People, we all love 'crootin season but please give this basketball team the attention and fan support they have earned.
Ole Miss 76