FanPost

Ole Miss Rebels at Kentucky Wildcats: Four Factors Preview

Andy Lyons

Here's how the Rebels (15-6, 6-2) match up with the Kentucky Wildcats (16-5, 6-2) using the Four Factors. (Conference Rank in Parentheses)

OM O UK D UK O OM D
eFG% 47.9% (10) 46.9% (4) 52.3% (2) 46.6% (3)
TO% 16.9% (4) 17.9% (9) 16.8% (3) 21.5% (2)
OR% 33.9% (8) 30.1% (4) 38.5% (3) 36.1% (12)
FTR 33.7 (14) 43.8 (8) 43.7 (5) 43 (7)

Official Preview from OleMissSports.com is here.

The Rebels travel to Lexington tonight to take on the Kentucky Wildcats. This is a big opportunity for the Rebels to pick up a much needed RPI-boosting win, but history is not with the Rebels tonight. The Rebels are just 13-100 (Not a typo) all time against the Big Blue and have won just once in Rupp Arena.

When Ole Miss has the ball:

The Rebels do what they do on offense. They're not prolific, but they're consistent. They shoot just under 50% eFG% from the floor and they protect the ball very well. They have just 9 turnovers in each of the last 4 games (269 possessions) for a sparkling 13.4% TO% over that time frame. The issue in conference play, obviously, has been the inability to get to the FT line. Kentucky has guarded the shot well against conference foes, but hasn't forced a lot of turnovers. Unfortunately for the Rebels, the 'Cats strength lies in the frontcourt as they've been dominant on the glass on both ends of the court.

When Kentucky has the ball:

UK has been very efficient offensively since the start of conference play as they're in the top 3 in the conference in eFG%, TO%, and OR%. While the Rebels have excelled on those first two #s, the 'Cats OR% will likely be the insurmountable obstacle tonight for the Rebs. Opponents are grabbing more than 1/3 of their misses against the Rebs and UK's average - compiled mostly against better rebounding teams than Ole Miss - is higher than that. They could easily top 50% in that stat tonight.

I expect that the Rebs will come out and play well in this one. Kentucky "broke" the Rebels last year in Oxford as Nerlens Noel got away with fouling the hell out of everyone blocked his way into the SEC record book. The Rebs were 6-0 in conference at the time, but dropped 5 of their next 7 before righting the ship heading into postseason. It won't be enough though. Kentucky is too big/strong down low to hang with for 40 minutes.

(Sure to be terribly, terribly wrong) Predictions:

Kentucky 77, Ole Miss 68

Marshall Henderson attempts 15 3s

Sebastian Saiz shows more aggression than he did against Tennessee, finishes with 8 points, 8 rebounds

(As always, the conference rankings pulled from kenpom.com, quite possibly the coolest site on the whole wide intertubes... Red Cup Rebellion excluded of course)

This post is a Red Cup Rebellion FanPost. Please don't sue us.

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