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HottyToddy.com’s Daily Ole Miss Sports Roundup

SPORTS ROUNDUP_EDIT_2Hottytoddy.com is giving readers a roundup of all the commentary and information about the Ole Miss Rebels from various publications around the Web.

Readers will be able to check out the latest information in a single post every day throughout the year. Here at HottyToddy.com, we are doing all the leg work to find the information that people may want to hear about Ole Miss sports.

Today’s roundup features Gridiron Now, Rivals and Ole Miss Athletics.

Ole Miss spring preview

Coach Hugh Freeze celebrates after Ole Miss’ 2016 Sugar Bowl victory. Photo by John Bowen
Coach Hugh Freeze celebrates after Ole Miss’ 2016 Sugar Bowl victory.
Photo by John Bowen

Despite the loss of some key seniors and three juniors leaving early for the NFL, 2016 is setting up to be a big season for Ole Miss. That season technically gets under way Wednesday with the start of spring practice.

The offensive line and secondary have some question marks, but it helps when a star quarterback – in this case Chad Kelly – is returning for his senior season. Kelly led the SEC with 4,042 passing yards and 31 TDs last, and he figures to be more comfortable this season, his second in coach Hugh Freeze. And even with the loss of Laquon Treadwell, Rebels still should have one of the best receiving corps in the nation.

If this is to be the season in which Ole Miss makes its first appearance in an SEC championship game, the Rebels need to start getting some answers to the few questions they have. They are going to make noise this fall; how much is the question.

Priority One: Ole Miss lost three key juniors — Laremy Tunsil, Robert Nkemdiche and Laquon Treadwell – and having younger guys fit seamlessly into their roles is big. It’s imperative that the replacements for Nkemdiche and Treadwqell have strong springs. It seems likely that the replacement for Tunsil will arrive in the summer.

Strongest position: Wide receiver. Despite Treadwell and Cody Core heading to the NFL, the Rebels should be fine at receiver. Junior Damore’ea Stringfellow came on strong late last season in his first year after transferring from Washington; he has the skill set to become the go-to receiver. Then again, senior Quincy Adeboyejo and junior Markell Pack likely think they have what it takes to be the No. 1 guy, too. Senior TE Evan Engram decided to stay in school, and he’s another big-time weapon. Four-star recruits A.J. Brown and D.K. Metcalf arrive in the summer and add even more talent at the position.

Courtesy of Ashley Barnett and Gridironnow.com

Tunsil tops initial Rivals.com mock draft

Photo courtesy of Joshua McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics
Photo courtesy of Joshua McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics

In conjunction with the start of the NFL Scouting Combine, Rivals.com is releasing its first mock draft leading up to April’s NFL Draft. Here is a breakdown of each pick from Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and Rivals.com National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney.

No. 1 Tennessee Titans

Farrell: OT Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss

The Titans should trade down and add some picks here, but the need for a blindside protector for Marcus Mariota is also key.

Gorney: OT Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss

Tunsil missed time this season because of an NCAA investigation. That won’t matter. The Titans need somebody to protect Mariota and the former five-star from Ole Miss is by far the best option.

Courtesy of Mike Farrell and Adam Gorney | Rivals.com

Rebels Drop Road Contest at Arkansas

Ole Miss head coach Matt Insell  Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics
Ole Miss head coach Matt Insell
Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics

The Ole Miss women’s basketball tried to rally in the fourth quarter but couldn’t complete the comeback falling, 60-49 to Arkansas in the regular season finale. The Rebels made things interesting in the fourth quarter and after trailing by as many as eight points in the second half, the Rebels cut the lead to two points before the Arkansas closed the game on a 14-5 run to take the victory.

Shandricka Sessom (Byhalia, Miss.) led the Ole Miss offense with 19 points and Madinah Muhammad (Chicago, Ill.) scored 14 points for her 11th game in double figures. Shequila Joseph (London, England) tied her career-high with 10 rebounds in the loss.

Arkansas came out and cut the Ole Miss lead all the way to one possession, 29-27 with a big three-pointer from Jessica Jackson at the 7:13 mark and from that point the score see-sawed back and forth between the teams. Sessom ended a nearly five minute scoring drought with a bucket for the left elbow but Arkansas, who took its first lead of the game at the 4:16mark, used a 10-3 run to close the quarter to take a 39-31 lead at the end of the third quarter.

Both teams were slow out of the gates but the Rebels got hot early, running out to a 10-2 lead behind seven early points from Muhammad. Joseph also got into the action with an early triple to keep momentum with the visitors. Ole Miss kept its strong start going and was feeling it from long range as the Rebels opened the game shooting 37.5 percent from long range (3-of-8) and was 47.1 percent (8-of-17) from the floor. Sessom back in the starting lineup for the first time in four games, missed her first five shots but settled in at the end of the quarter and had six points in the first quarter. The Rebels held Arkansas to just eight first quarter points and 26.7 (4-of-15) shooting from the floor.

Ole Miss struggle to score in the second quarter and saw its first points of the quarter at the 5:15 mark on a pair of free throws from A’Queen Hayes (Horn Lake, Miss.). The Razorbacks cut into the lead and had the once-13 point lead down to six points at the second quarter media timeout. Ole Miss was able to keep the ‘Hogs at bay the remainder of the quarter thanks to some big shots from Sessom who was into double figures by the end of the first half with 10 points. Ole Miss was cold in the second frame scoring just six points but took a 25-20 lead into the halftime break.
Rebel Sidelines

-Today’s game is the first matchup of these teams this season. Arkansas won the last meeting between the teams at the 2015 SEC Tournament. Ole Miss leads the all-time series 25-16.

-Erika Sisk came off the bench for the first time in her collegiate career snapping a streak of 90 consecutive games in the starting lineup spanning her career in games at Ole Miss and Murray Stare.

-Shandricka Sessom was back in the start lineup after coming off the bench the last four games.

-Sessom recorded her 24th game in double figures with 19 points. It was her second straight game in double figures.

-Madinah Muhammad posted her 11th game in double figures with 14 points

-Shequila Joseph tied her career high with 10 rebounds.

 Up Next

The Rebels head to the 2016 SEC Tournament in Jacksonville, Fla. Ole Miss will be the No. 14 seed and will take on the No. 11 seed, Vanderbilt, in opening round action on Wednesday at approximately 1:30 PM ET. Fans in the Oxford, Lafayette area can hear Graham Doty and Armintie Herrington on the call on 105.1/105.5 in Oxford/Batesville and on OleMissSports.com

Upcoming Games

3/2-6/16- at SEC Tournament                    TBA                            SEC Network

Keep Up With the Rebels

Keep up to date with the Ole Miss women’s basketball team throughout the season on social media. For all Ole Miss women’s basketball news and information, go to OleMissSports.com, and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissWBB, Facebook at Ole Miss WBB and on Instagram at Ole MissWBB.   Fans can also follow Ole Miss women’s basketball head coach Matt Insell on Twitter at @minsell. Additionally fans can get a behind the scenes look at Ole Miss Athletics on Snapchat under the handle, @WeAreOleMiss.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports

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Adam Brown
Adam Brown
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