Rebels Open SEC Play Against LSU - OPEN THREAD

Ole Miss vs. LSU
12:30 PM Central
SEC Network

The eventful and frustrating out of conference slate is over, as the Ole Miss Rebel Men's basketball team will begin SEC play this afternoon against the LSU Tigers. LSU has had a similarly bizarre offseason, only with higher peaks and lower valleys than that of our Rebels. They have three unpredicted losses - Coastal Carolina, Northwestern, South Alabama - as well as what is arguably the SEC's biggest win on the season thus far in a 67-59 defeat of Marquette. Toss in a loss to a top-25 UVA team and you've got a pretty up and down affair so far for the Bayou Bengals.j

LSU fans are, expectedly, preoccupied with that whole "BCS National Championship Game" thing we've heard so much chatter about, but they've also got a basketball team which could make some noise in the Southeastern Conference if things fall in their favor. They are a defensively oriented team, and are in the top-half in the conference in many important defensive categories including opponents' ppg, opponents' shooting %, and defensive rebounds. Players to watch for are Justin Hamilton, Andre Stringer, and Johnny O'Bryant - the Mississippi native who, along with Ky Madden, was all but ready to commit to Ole Miss before the duo committed to LSU and Arkansas respectively. Stringer and Hamilton are averaging double-digit points per game. Hamilton is around .500 from the floor and averages 6.9 rebounds a game. He's sortof everything we'd want Terrence Henry to be every single night.

Our keys to victory will be winning the turnover battle and playing strong against the glass. I do imagine we will have a hard time scoring against LSU, especially considering that our leading scorer is no longer a part of the team (au revoir, CousCous), so we will need to rebound aggressively and control the ball and tempo of the game in order to establish and maintain a lead. We'll also need a few strokes of good luck here and there because this is Ole Miss vs. LSU, and superstition is always necessary when our two clubs meet in any sport ever.

I have no word yet on whether or not Murphy Holloway will play this afternoon. I have my fingers crossed, though. He's listed as "day-to-day" by the official site, meaning that he'll have a chance to see some minutes, I would hope.

What we do have going for us is a team which is stronger defensively and a coach who has, for better or for worse, a knack for beating LSU. That's really it. We're a team without an identity and without any real leadership, which will ultimately be their downfall in the face of their obvious athleticism and skillsets.

BOLD PREDICTIONS:

Murphy Holloway sees around five minutes on the floor.

Jarvis Summers scores more than ten points.

Jalen Kendrick registers three or more assists.

SCORE PREDICTION:

LSU 58 - Ole Miss 50

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