On Saturday night, the Rebels hit rock bottom. This was a beatdown the Rebels hadn’t experienced in years, and in the process they earned their worst loss of the season, a 94-61 divebomb in Knoxville at the hands of No. 18 Tennessee. This is yet another beginning of the end to what began as a promising season. So it goes.
Not much went right for the Rebels on Saturday in Knoxville. Facing a 35-25 deficit at the half, Kennedy’s boys cut it to 35-32 after a Terence Davis three-pointer early in the second half. Afterwards the Vols dominated, finishing the game outscoring the Rebs 59-29. That’s utterly outrageous.
The 94-61 loss was the biggest for Ole Miss since a 103-70 loss to New Mexico on December 13, 2009. It was also the Rebels’ worst SEC defeat since 2006, at the hands of Mississippi State of all teams.
Kennedy’s teams are known for their ability to fight back and keep attacking, but that effort was lacking against Tennessee. Off the backs of three consecutive losses, two of them by double digits, it may be fair to question where this team is mentally.
Here’s what we learned:
The Rebels have to put this behind them if they want to salvage some semblance of an SEC basketball slate.
By the time the team arrives back in Oxford late Saturday, they’ll need to throw this one in the garbage and put it behind them. The Missouri Tigers, fresh off their first win ever over Kentucky, visit Oxford Tuesday. That sounds fun.
The Rebels gave up a season high 1.42 points per possession in Knoxville, their worst defensive performance since 2012. Not much else can be taken from this game. Kennedy’s job will be to flush this performance and have the team prepared for Tuesday.
AK’s teams aren’t known for giving up, but they'll have to perform a helluva lot better next week or the soul-searching at the Pavilion may ratchet up.