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Ole Miss Rebels vs. Auburn Tigers Basketball Preview

Yay! We're finally to Auburn. After the tough schedule to open SEC play, we're finally at our gimme.... right? I mean, Auburn's terrible, right? Oh crap they beat Mississippi State on Saturday.

Turns out that Auburn, while certainly not good, could definitely beat us tonight. I know. Let that sink in for a minute. Auburn has lost to UNC-Asheville, Samford, Campbell, Jacksonville, Presbyterian, and LSU among others. They have also beaten Florida State, South Carolina, and Mississippi State. What is going on in the SEC right now? This is getting ridiculous.

Click the jump for the preview.

There are two legitimate scoring threats on Auburn's team. 6'5" G Earnest Ross (13.5) and 6'8" PF Kenny Gabriel (10). Any time that Chris Warren is guarding Earnest Ross, I will question Andy Kennedy's ability to coach basketball. That would be a horrible matchup for us, but I wouldn't put it past him. [An aside: I don't hate Andy Kennedy. I think he's probably the best we can do. I'm just tired of watching the team crumble whenever things appear headed in the right direction.] We should thank our lucky stars that we don't have to deal with 6'5" G Andre Malone (who was averaging 12 points per game before transferring inexplicably). If he were in the game, we would have to deal with two major height issues.

Auburn defends the arc better than anyone in the leage (in theory) only giving up scores on 28% of threes attempted by opponents. This late in the season, it can't be THAT big of a fluke. This is obviously a major concern for the Rebels as the three ball is basically our livelihood.

Agaisnt Alabama, Terrance Henry and Reggie Buckner combined for a whopping 46 minutes due to foul trouble. We've got to get more out of them than that, or else Kenny Gabriel will have no trouble building on his point total. A big game from an unexpected contributor tonight would be nice. We haven't really had many of those this year.

Individual Predictions:

1. Reggie Buckner plays 25 minutes or fewer

2. Dundrecous Nelson scores 10+ but is pulled at least twice for terrible shot selections.

3. An Auburn player makes four three-pointers.

Overall Prediction:

Ole Miss 71

Auburn 64