Another weekend has come and gone in the 2021-22 basketball season and both Ole Miss programs had big time conference matchups this weekend. The men hosted No. 4 Auburn while the ladies sought to end a 14 game losing streak to Mississippi St.
In regards to the men taking on Auburn, I bring myself to a couple of Avengers scenes. The football team took a tough loss, down all of its receivers against Auburn this season. So the basketball program had a chance to avenge that loss with a massive upset.
I am brought back to Endgame when Tony Stark is going off and saying, “We’re the Avengers? Not the Prevengers, right?”
In which Rhodes responds, “Okay, you made your point, just sit down, okay?”
Because if you remember, in Infinity War, they took an L, when it looked like they had the victory. Thor had Stormbreaker in the chest of Thanos, before Thanos says “You should have went for the head” and eventually snapping his fingers and wiping out half of all creation.
Here is Ole Miss basketball with its proverbial axe into the chest of the Auburn Tigers, and I can see Bruce Pearl, who kinda looks a little Thanos-ish, saying “you should have went for the head.” Because with its back against the wall, the loaded Auburn Tigers team came back to defeat the Rebels on its way to a possible No. 1 ranking in the upcoming polls.
A couple of notes from that game:
Matthew Murrell had so many shots barely miss. His stroke still looked good and I loved the sets the Rebels ran for him, the shots just didn’t fall — it happens.
Daeshun Ruffin is legit. He just brings something different to the floor as the lead guard than Jarkel Joiner did. Joiner is important, but absence could be the key to unlocking a better offense. These early conference games for him will be growth opportunities for a chance to finish a team like Auburn off down the road.
Nysier Brooks continues to prove how crucial he is and that Kermit has failed to recruit a suitable backup for that position. His length and rebounding keep the Rebs in the game most nights and his scoring is an added bonus.
But, there is nothing like the pain of being an Ole Miss sports fan, watching your team dominate most of the first half against a top 5 team, only to blow it in the end. I should have been ready for it, but I allowed belief to creep in and get me.
The women on the other hand sent a not so gentle reminder that the University of Mississippi is, in fact, the premier, flagship university in the state. Despite the 7 season run the Bulldogs were on, the Rebels looked like the far superior team. They dominated this game like a top 25 team would a middle of the road opponent.
Future WNBA draftee Shakira Austin was in her bag, again. But her being awesome has also allowed Madison Scott blossom as well. The duo down low can matchup with any 4-5 in the country on both sides of the ball.
For most of the game, the Lady Rebs were dominating without the three ball — 0-1 heading into the fourth quarter. It’s an amazing testament to what they were able to do, but against the South Carolina’s of the world Monk and Baker among others will need to have their shot falling.