Here's how the Rebels (8-2) match up with the Monroe Bears (7-4) using the Four Factors. (National Rank in Parentheses)
|OM O||Mercer D||Mercer O||OM D|
|eFG%||50.6% (127)||47.1% (102)||52.6% (67)||45.8% (66)|
|TO%||15.7% (42)||17.3% (246)||19.8% (231)||20.2% (80)|
|OR%||31.7% (161)||30.9% (139)||30.4% (206)||34.8% (276)|
|FTR||45.2 (97)||47.6 (275)||39.8 (193)||39 (143)|
Official Preview from OleMissSports.com is here.
The Rebels wrap up their pre-Christmas slate with the Mercer Bears today at 3:00 in Oxford. Mercer is an experienced team, but one the Rebels should dispatch with relative ease.
Glancing at the chart above, the biggest mismatch is in the FTR on the Ole Miss offensive side. Mercer fouls quite a bit and the Rebels have been fairly adept at getting to the charity stripe this year, though converting has been more of an adventure. The Mercer D doesn't force a lot of turnovers, but their 47.1% Defensive eFG% ranks just outside the top 100 in the country.
When Mercer has the ball, odds are they will turn it over quite a bit, probably about 20% of their possessions, which is a very high rate. They have the shot ball very well this year - 52.6% eFG% - but the Rebels have guarded very well, allowing only a 45.8% eFG%. Where the Rebels have been at their worst lately is defensive rebounding, and it's really showing in the chart above. Before the MTSU, the Rebels ranked 156th in the country in defensive rebounding%. That's pedestrian, but not a killer. After getting killed on the glass the last two games against MTSU and Monroe, the Rebels now rank 256th in the country. While I think this year's Rebel bigs have more upside - particularly offensively - than Murph and Buck did, they simply are the rebounding presence we had last year. That's the biggest weakness we have as we wind down the NonCon season.
(Sure to be terribly, terribly wrong) Predictions:
Ole Miss 80, Mercer 68
(As always, the national rankings pulled from kenpom.com, quite possibly the coolest site on the whole wide intertubes... Red Cup Rebellion excluded of course)