The post-Christmas work schedule lends itself to a couple scenarios for most of us.
First, there is no work, because your last day of work was a week ago having saved up time off throughout the year for this occasion.
Or two, you are staring at your computer screen in a half filled office or workplace as one of the people who is working these last few days of the year.
TAKE HEART SIR OR MADAM.
Your Ole Miss Rebel basketball team is back in practice as of the day after Christmas, after four days off having dispatched of Coach Kermit Davis’ previous employer last week.
The road ahead this week is a short one with only one game on the schedule until Southeastern Conference play comes roaring into the picture.
Music City Massacre
The Rebels facing the Blue Raiders hasn’t always given us the outcome we all desired - a comfortable win over a mid-major.
But Friday evening was evidence that Coach Davis potentially matters A LOT to a program. The Blue Raiders seemingly have fallen off a cliff since he left, and the Rebels cruised to a 74-56 victory.
- @Devontae_Shuler's stuff— Ole Miss Basketball (@OleMissMBB) December 23, 2018
- Shuler ➡️ @Lurodgotgame for the alley-oop
- @kbuffen1 steal and an Olejniczak dunk
These are 3 You Must See from last night's win in the Music City! pic.twitter.com/206J5Bcsjd
Ole Miss was led in scoring by Breein Tyree with 24 points on a phenomenal 10-of-13 shooting performance. Tyree has clearly emerged as the lead scoring option in any given game as Terence Davis’ play has gone from inspiring to inconsistent in the first 12 games.
The Rebels had a 42-to-30 rebound advantage in the 18-point win with freshman KJ Buffen pulling down nine and Davis chipping in seven. Buffen signed a national letter of intent to attend MTSU but asked for his release upon Coach Davis’ decision to come to Ole Miss.
Bridgestone Arena will host the 2019 SEC Basketball tournament in March, so the Rebels will play at least one more game here in a few months. Apparently, the stat sheet says there was more than 11,000 people at this game, which would be a higher attendance than capacity at the Pavilion. The SEC has committed to many more years at Bridgestone Arena for tournament time, so honestly why not play at least one game there every year?
Dunk City No More
If you even casually follow basketball, you remember the Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles and their 2013 run to the Sweet 16 defeating Georgetown and San Diego State as a 15-seed earning the moniker “Dunk City” in the process.
That team was remarkable, obviously. You don’t just luck up on back-to-back wins like that.
But unfortunately, the school’s success hasn’t been replicated at least in the NCAA tournament. The Eagles were seeded 16th in 2016 and 14th in 2017 NCAA Tournaments, not advancing past the round of 64.
Last season, FGCU won the Atlantic Sun Conference regular season and earned a bid to the National Invitational Tournament only to lose its first game to Oklahoma State.
So Dunk City took an even bigger step back so far in 2018 starting off this year with a 5-9 record. It may be a Spirit Halloween store by 2021 if this trend continues.
FGCU hasn’t shied from competition with this record - Michigan State, Florida, Illinois State and South Dakota State highlight its schedule. They currently sit at No. 224 in KenPom rankings and No. 213 in the NCAA NET rankings.
This game should 100 percent still be a tune up game for the Rebels who enter the game with a 9-2 record and a 10-1 record against the spread. It is also Oxford Area Community Day at the Pavilion, which means you can get in for like $5 or something.
Saturday also marks the next to last non-conference game of the year with a game against Iowa State still hanging out there in the middle of SEC play. Ole Miss will play its first conference game Jan. 5 at Vanderbilt.