The Ole Miss men’s basketball team is off to perhaps a better start than anyone anticipated. Its lone loss on the season came against Oklahoma this past Sunday in the ESPN Events championship game.
Now the Rebels set its sights on Beale Street and the Memphis Tigers. Memphis has dropped a couple games already this season, against St. Louis and Seton Hall. The Tigers do boast wins over Vanderbilt, VCU and the same Stanford team Ole Miss beat last week. Memphis is certainly a more tested program at this junction in the season, but the Rebels are playing with confidence behind freshman Amaree Abram.
These two teams are borderline identical. Ole Miss averages 70.9 points per game on 46% shooting while Memphis averages 72.4 points on 45.8% shooting. The Rebels give up 62.9 points per contest and the Tigers, 64.4. Both teams are led by dynamic scoring guards in Matthew Murrell (Ole Miss) and Kendric Davis (Memphis).
Expect this game to be one played in the mud. Both teams hang their hats on the defensive end of the floor and have shown mighty struggles offensively as a unit. Can Abram continue to thrive on offense? Can Matthew Murrell become a more efficient volume shooter? Can the Rebels limit Kendric Davis and force someone else to beat them? These are the questions that will determine the outcome of this game.
The biggest question, however, is the status of Daeshun Ruffin. If cleared to play, his addition to the guard rotation could very well be the one thing that leads Ole Miss to victory over Memphis.