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Rebel Basketball: Miami Hurricanes vs. Ole Miss Rebels - What to Look For

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Get out of the lines at Best Buy and Wal Mart ("But I'm gonna save, like, twenty dollars by being here, idiot."), put down the leftover turkey sandwich, and drive yourself to Oxford tonight to support the Ole Miss Rebel basketballers as they take on the Miami Hurricanes in the Tad Pad. They'll be looking to avenge a 86-73 loss to the 'Canes last season in Coral Gables and extend their record on the season to 5-1.

Earlier this week, the Rebels fell in embarrassing fashion to Marquette by 30-or-so points (I don't remember, nor do I care to look it up - that's how bad it was) before beating TCU to claim third place in the US Virgin Islands' Paradise Jam tournament. After that Marquette loss, head coach Andy Kennedy was upset enough to say that such a performance should count as "two losses," but was relieved that it did not. In order to bolster the Rebel RPI, a win tonight over Miami is crucial, especially if Ole Miss is going to be a typical "just on the wrong side of the bubble" type of team again this season.

The 'Canes are 4-0 so far this year, with their only win worthy of any mention being over Rutgers which still isn't saying very much at all. They are led by a pair of guards, Malcolm Grant and Durand Scott, who are averaging 17 and 13 points per game respectively. Their head coach is Jim Larranaga who, if you know anything about mid-major basketball, is an excellent coach, having led George Mason for 14 years. I'm sure you all remember their Final Four run back in 2005 or 2006 or whenever that was. His style is guard oriented and focuses on minimizing turnovers, which the Hurricanes have done this season, coughing up fewer than ten turnovers a game on average.

It won't be an easy victory, but it's possible if - and only if - the Rebels can develop a shooting presence from a distance. The Rebels will do well down low, especially considering that the Rebels are third in the SEC in rebounds so far this season, but guards Jarvis Summers and Dundrecous Nelson and wing Terrence Henry will need to do what they can to keep the pressure off of Reginald Buckner, DeMarco Cox, and Murphy Holloway offensively.

In short: go to the damn game. I know you're hungover and tired, but just go. You don't have anything else to do and you know you'll have a damn blast. I'm sure they'll just let you in if you bring some canned goods or something. Just say it's for a soup kitchen, and do it confidently. You'll be good.

Hotty Toddy!