Last month's 80-71 shellacking at the hands of the Florida Gators ushered in Ole Miss hoops' first loss at The Pavilion, a game that offered up dismal Rebel basketball in every regard. The scheduling stipulations for the 2015-16 season, however, dictate that Florida and Ole Miss should trade a home-and-home twofer, and so the Rebels get another shot at Mike White's club Tuesday night in the House of Horrors.
In a wonderful bit of news that dropped Monday, Sebastian Saiz has been cleared to participate in normal basketball activities, though he remains a game-time decision for Tuesday. Saiz's retina surgery debarred him from playing Florida back on Jan. 16, and the Rebs have gone 3-5 in his absence. Before his injury, the monocular menace was averaging 12.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per game, and though he's not thought of as a bone-crusher inside man, his length and suave off the dribble render him a surprisingly nimble post guy.
As Saiz has sat, so has Anthony Perez stepped up his production in the Spaniard's absence. AP's game hasn't progressed as evenly keeled as many had hoped, however, to the extent that Andy Kennedy described him as "one of the greatest mysteries in my 20 years of coaching" following the season's initial meeting with Florida. Perez is averaging 7.0 points and 4.1 rebounds per game on the season, while in the eight games without Saiz he's contributed nine points per game, including a 14-and-10 double-double against Mississippi State.
So, with Saiz potentially returning, the raggedly-stitched-together frontcourt of Perez, Marcanvis Hymon, and whoever the hell Jake Coddington is gets a welcome Iberian injection. And who knows, maybe we'll get a second helping of Sebas in RecSpecs.
Florida is 4-2 in the time since their last encounter with Ole Miss -- including a crazy win over then-No. 9 West Virginia -- while the Rebs have gone 3-3 in that time, having lost to Kansas State, who beat then-No. 1 Oklahoma last Saturday. I don't know, man, basketball's weird.
How to watch:
Game Time: 8 p.m. CT
Online Streaming: WatchESPN