Our headline pays homage to the great Brandon Bolden whose Tweet last night sums up the likeness of LSU's coach to Toucan Sam.
Chris Warren and Co. plucked, tarred and feathered Johnson and LSU down in Baton Rouge, but a slowdown offense by the Tigers last night kept the game close in the 66-60 Rebel victory.
Warren scored 26 points to match his season high, and Zach Graham poured in 17 points to aid a struggling offensive night for Ole Miss.
Just so we're clear there: Graham and Warren had 43 points, the remaining Rebels had 23 points. Rough night.
It was an ugly win, but it was the kind of game I expected for the Rebels to win.Matt Derenbecker is going to be a really quality player for LSU if he sticks around all four years. So far, he's been a streaky shooter but a confident player nonetheless.
Last night, Derenbecker went off for 19 points including 5 of 7 from three point range. Yep, FIVE OF SEVEN. Not only is this impressive, but it speaks to a larger problem.
Our perimeter defense does not adjust when a shooter is having a great night. Kennedy just doesn't do it. He plays the percentages that the shooter will run cold...or that Warren will just out-shoot whoever is having a good night.
It worked out in Ole Miss' favor last night, but the tragic decision LSU made late in the game was to foul Warren once in the bonus. The little guy from Orlando was 9 of 9 from the charity stripe and has had 18 games this season where he was perfect from the free throw line.
Don't foul Warren, seriously, that's just one of the worst decisions you can make. Even if you're planning to foul, just double team him and let someone else get the wide open pass. Just a heads up, Toucan.
Reggie Buckner disappeared a little bit last night registering no blocks in 30 minutes of play. Considering the steady stream of passes LSU made into the paint to Storm Warren and Malcolm White (who faced chants of "Ole Miss reject" from the student section until coaches asked them to stop, what?), it was a little surprising to not see Buckner take over down low.
The larger issue with Buckner is his free throw shooting. It has been atrocious all season, but last night it could've cause Ole Miss to go into the locker room with a five or six point lead rather than a one point lead. Reggie finished the night 2 of 8 from the free throw line – all of those coming in the first half.
Eventually, Buckner's poor free throw shooting could come to hurt the Rebels' chances in a close game. It's a worry in the back of my head and surely in the back of his and our coaches' heads. I'm not sure if it's conditioning or just a confidence issue, but it's got to be improved by next season.
The Rebels are now on a three game win streak in SEC play with a 16-8 overall and 4-5 conference record. Really thought, it's shaping up about like some of us here at the Cup expected in terms of overall record if our conference luck continues.
Saturday, Ole Miss travels to Tuscaloosa to play SEC Western Division leader Alabama. The Crimson Tide are 7-1 in conference and 15-7 overall. A road win here would surely go a long way to helping improve the postseason chances of the Rebels.
SEC RPI update
The Rebels' RPI stands at 58 as of this morning's updated Warren Nolan rankings. Here's a rundown of who we've beaten, lost to and where they stand in the SEC.
Kentucky: 12; Lost to Ole Miss
Florida: 13; Won against Ole Miss
Vanderbilt: 21; Won against Ole Miss
Tennessee: 23; Won against Ole Miss
Georgia: 44; Won against Ole Miss
Alabama: 96; Two games remain against Ole Miss
South Carolina; 109; One game remains against Ole Miss
Arkansas: 120; One game remains against Ole Miss
Mississippi State: 131; One game remains against Ole Miss
LSU: 214; 0-2 vs. Ole Miss
Auburn: 283: Two games remain against Ole MIss
So we've got the potential for two top-100 RPI victories that would help marginally and five games that we really can't afford to lose if the NCAA tourney hopes are still in conversation (really need to run the table here and pick up some SEC tourney wins too).
Who's your player of the game? Anything else stick out last night other than terrible attendance?
Who is the Rebel of the Game?
Chris Warren: 26 points, 9-9 FT, 2 rebounds, 3 assists (136 votes)
Zach Graham: 17 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 4-4 FT (16 votes)
Malcolm White: 6 turnovers, 3 personal fouls, 2-6 FT, 8 points (64 votes)
216 total votes