“UGH. YES. JUST LIKE THAT. YES. PERFECT. DO EXACTLY THAT.”
No, ya boi OMTB isn’t scripting one of those late night Cinemax movies that sad divorcees watch from their one room apartments — this is essentially what the last 20 seconds of last night’s game produced for me internally as two three-point attempts failed to hit the mark.
Breein Tyree’s potential winning three point attempt literally went 3/4’s of the way in before agonizingly falling harmless to the court as Ole Miss (10-8, 3-3 SEC) fell to the previously winless Texas A&M AggieCollieMilkmen 71-69 (nice).
I'm still trying to figure out how Breein Tyree's final shot rimmed out pic.twitter.com/gnODzVLvkv— Ben Garrett (@SpiritBen) January 17, 2018
Don’t let the previously winless fool you though as this Aggie team was once ranked in the top five of the college basketball world and beat a top 10 West Virginia team. It’s easy to see why with a front court anchored by Tyler Davis and Robert Williams who scored a combined 38 points Tuesday night.
So before we tear you down with what went wrong, take solace in the fact that Ole Miss went on the road and went toe-to-toe with one of the better teams in the Southeastern Conference who finally had all their bullets loaded and didn’t miss.
I know a W is what you want around here, trust me so do I, but despite shooting struggles for Deandre Burnett, Markel Crawford, and Devonate Shuler the Rebs were right there at the buzzer. Something to build on moving forward, y’all.
The Rebels were hoping to build off the momentum of an impressive win over the Florida Gators last Saturday and by God they came much closer than most likely any of us predicted, losing to the Aggies when the final three caromed out of the cylinder.
What did we learn?
Bruce Stevens is going to be a handful for folks.
The big story out of Tuesday’s loss was the continued solid play of Bruce Stevens who scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds, following up a 22-point, six rebound day against the Gators. If the Rebels are to have success down the stretch in any capacity, Stevens will clearly be a big part of the equation.
He looks much more comfortable on both ends of the floor, is decisive on offense with the ball in his hands, and looks to be in much better shape than when he arrived. Assistant coach Rahim Lockhart’s prodigy is really coming on at a vital time for A.K. because when the outside jumpers aren’t falling, he can now turn to Bruce Bruce in the post.
Hey, Terence is back! Sort of.
The Rebels also saw a noticeable boost from Terence Davis who chipped in 12 points, including an impressive one-handed dunk in the first half. He continues to struggle with his shooting touch, however, going just 2-of-7 from deep and 5-of-14 from the field.
Overall, the Rebels shot a middle of the road 45 percent for the game while the Aggies were marginally better at about 50 percent.
There were definitely missed calls Tuesday including one out of bounds call in the first half that went unchallenged for the Aggies that was clearly Ole Miss ball.
But ultimately, Ole Miss did what it could on the road against a more athletic and talented team to have a chance to win at the buzzer. One thing that might help is for Bruce’s post pal, Dominik Olejniczak to get it in gear. He only managed to chip in two points after a few decent performances in a row. Ole Miss really needs him to be a factor and chip in more than a bucket.
Alas, last night was quite the microcosm of an Andy Kennedy team. He knows what he is doing with what he has on his team to stay competitive, but it’s as comforting as it is infuriating.
And with upcoming games on the road at Arkansas, Texas, and No. 21 Tennessee and home games against No. 17 Auburn and Missouri, we’ll have a very good idea of this team’s postseason prospects once they clock has hit zeroes on all of those contests. They are more and more approaching slim and none with 13 games left to play.
Next up, Ole Miss plays at Arkansas Saturday at 2:30 CST on the SEC Network.