The Ole Miss men’s basketball team takes the court at 6 p.m. to face the Western Michigan Broncos for the second consecutive season in non-conference play.
Last year, the Rebels opened its season with the Broncos and won 90-64 in Oxford in Kermit Davis’ first game as Ole Miss head coach. This year may be the same result, but I have a feeling this game could be a little closer.
First, Western Michigan has had the same coach for a very long time, so he has taken his bumps and bruises before as a Mid-American Conference basketball coach. But Steve Hawkins has his team off to a 3-0 start including a win at Milwaukee in TRIPLE OVERTIME, 115-110.
Western Michigan is led by guard Michael Flowers and forward Brandon Johnson. Flowers is averaging more than 25 points per game while the 6’8” Johnson is averaging a double-double on the season. Granted, they weren’t playing SEC level competition, but these are the two players the Rebels will need to keep in check tonight.
For Ole Miss, the Rebels have jumped out to a 2-0 start behind the strong play of KJ Buffen, Devontae Shuler and Breein Tyree. Buffen is starting to emerge as a scoring threat this season already compared to last season when he would disappear for entire games especially against stiff competition.
The Rebels currently rank fifth in the nation in scoring defense, only allowing 49 points per game, which has to please Davis. Our tea sippin’ head coach asked for support tonight with a football game against No. 1 LSU tomorrow after Ole Miss athletics reported this week basketball broke its season ticket record with more than 5,100 season tickets sold.
The momentum is firmly behind the Rebel program, and right now, the Broncos are just in the way of this team.
Line: Ole Miss -23.5
How to watch
Where: The Pavilion at Ole Miss, Oxford, Miss.
When: 6:30pm CST
Online streaming: WatchESPN