This dadgum virus can try all it wants — Ole Miss Twitter is forever and will keep on keeping on. And the Rebels basketball account introduced fans to a vote centered March Madness tournament to crown the best one-on-one Ole Miss player ever.
Yes. It’s got Stefan Moody. Marshall Henderson. Coolidge Ball. Johnny Neumann. Don Kessinger. Breein Tyree. Tons of names that have a street right off your memory road, cul-de-sacs of happiness based on some of the highest water marks in program history.
But, ultimately, we got to pick winners and explain ourselves. Remember, this is a one-on-one assumption, so some folks may feel bigs have some kind of advantage to basically back down their opponent on the box and some may think guards are the clear best pick due to quickness and shooting range.
I’m also pretty sure if we went in detail through all 32 match-ups in the first round, you would probably not make it to the end. So let’s make a few assumptions really quick for the sake of time — we’re assuming make it, take it rules; every 1-4 seed advances in the first round (Marshall Henderson/Clay Sanders closer than expected); every player is playing in his assumed “prime” at Ole Miss.
No. 8 Tim Jumper vs No. 9 Jason Harrison
Harrison is undoubtedly the fan favorite due to his slight stature, and he’s from an era that is more successful in program history. Ultimately, I’m going with the taller guard and Jumper takes it in a close one.
No. 5 Jarvis Summers vs No. 12 Ary Phillips
Jarvis doesn’t have anyone to pass to, but he is still one of the better point guards Ole Miss has ever had. Also Phillips played at Ole Miss in the late 1920’s, so I have a feeling this one would be a blowout win for our five seed son from Jackson.
No. 6 Eric Laird vs No. 11 Deandre Burnett
This is an absolute slugfest between two talented guards — Laird a two-time All-SEC selection and Burnett a sharpshooting three point specialist. I’m giving the edge to Laird who was also a record-setting defender for the Rebels.
No. 7 BL Graham vs No. 10 Terrico White
B.L. “Country” Graham was an All American center in the ‘30’s and had an old man move called the “country fade-away” to help him lead the SEC in scoring. Terrico is probably one of the more explosive athletic basketball players Ole Miss has had...ever.
I could see ole Graham throwing up indefensible hook shots again and again on Terrico, plus he doesn’t give away size in this match for an upset of sorts as a seven-seed.
TAD SMITH REGION
No. 8 Dwayne Curtis vs No. 9 Jack Marshall
If my research is correct, Curtis is like eight or nine inches taller than Marshall, and if memory serves, Curtis could use the rim to protect his offense better than almost anyone I’ve ever seen. Sorry, Jack, not enough room for you in round two.
No. 5 Zach Graham vs No. 12 Bam Doyne
Bam Doyne was a straight up junkyard dog during his playing days, but Zach Graham is probably one of the more underrated players of the Andy Kennedy era. Graham was a solid all-around player who was overshadowed by others on the roster. Doyne and Graham would be a great battle, but I give the advantage to Graham’s mid and outside shooting.
No. 6 Aaron Harper vs No. 11 Ron Coleman
Harper, at 6’8, has the size advantage with both players having played pro basketball in some form or fashion after Ole Miss. I’m giving the nod to Harper, because Coleman played in the late 60’s compared to modern basketball. Yes, modern day players are going to most likely dominate the bracket.
No. 7 Jack Waters vs No. 10 Joe Ayers
Jack Waters finished his career at Ole Miss as the second overall scorer, plus he is an inductee of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. Ayers had a couple good years at Ole Miss, but I’m giving it to Waters. Never heard of either before this morning.
No. 8 Coolidge Ball vs No. 9 Denver Brackeen
Ball was the first African American ball player at Ole Miss plus he was an absolutely fantastic player. No snub to Brackeen, they are both legends at Ole Miss, I’m going with Ball to round two.
No. 5 Raheem Lockhart vs No. 12 Reggie Buckner
I think Reggie pushes Raheem a little bit since he could get motivated from time to time to protect the rim at all costs. Buckner’s just not as talented offensively though and drops a close one to Lockhart.
No. 6 Joe Gibbon vs No. 11 Fred Cox
Literally, I am not sure who these guys are, so coin flipped this one to Joe Gibbon.
No. 7 Cob Jarvis vs No. 10 Sean Tuohy
Jarvis was a great scorer, and the first Rebel to win All-SEC honors twice back like 50 or so years ago. Tuohy is either loved or hated in Ole Miss circles now, but he could be one of the better point guards in program history. We’ll go with Cob, because his name is just terrific, old sports nostalgia.
No. 8 Terrance Henry vs No. 9 Walter Actwood
Terrance Henry. Period. He’s one of the more underrated players to ever put on the red and blue.
No. 5 Sebastian Saiz vs No. 12 David Huertas
I’m still waiting for Huertas to play a meaningful minute of defense. He was a heck of a shooter, but I would think Saiz eats him up easily.
No. 6 Rod Barnes vs No. 11 David Sanders
Has David Sanders ever been ejected from a game honoring him? Because Rod Barnes has and that puts him high on my winners’ list.
No. 7 Jason Smith vs No. 10 Ken Turner
Ken Turner had three very successful years at Ole Miss, averaging double digits in points every year including almost 20 points per game his final year. Smith is the sentimental choice during a successful time of Rebel roundball, but I’m going with Turner on this one.
So how did you vote? Where did I go wrong in my pics? Comment below or tweet @redcuprebellion with your take on the Rebel March Madness bracket and keep updating yourself here as our picks keep rolling out.