Just three days after the Rebels worst offensive showing of the season, a game in which they scored just 47 points in a loss to the Georgia Bulldogs, Ole Miss has a chance to redeem themselves Saturday against the South Carolina Gamecocks.
The Rebels are now 1-3 in the SEC, and if they don’t turn things around soon, their chances of making the NCAA tournament will begin to slip away.
Leading scorer Deandre Burnett is listed as ‘doubtful’ for Saturday’s contest with an ankle injury, and if he can’t go, someone else will have to step up for the Rebel offense. Burnett averages 18 PPG, and without him in the lineup, it presents an obvious challenge to make up those points.
In the loss to Georgia, Sophomore Terence Davis led the way with just 12 points. Sebastian Siaz scored 11, but no other Rebel scored more than 6 points. No one could get going, and the result was a 27.5 shooting percentage, and the Rebels converted on just two of 19 attempts from 3. It almost goes without saying that the Rebels have to shoot more efficiently than they did against the Bulldogs to have a chance to beat the Gamecocks. The Rebels were out-rebounded by the Bulldogs 44-34, another stat that they must work to improve. On a more positive note, the Rebels had just 13 turnovers, two less than their season average of 15.
Without Burnett, look to Davis or Cullen Neal to play a bigger role in the offense. Siaz had just 3 rebounds against UGA, but the senior averages 11.5 RPG on the season. In Burnett’s absence, the Rebels can’t afford for Siaz, the leader of this Rebels team, to play anything less than his best.
The Gamecocks are a perfect 3-0 in the SEC and 13-3 overall. Along with Kentucky and Florida, South Carolina is one of the 3 remaining teams without an SEC loss. Not a powerhouse on Offense, the Gamecocks are tied for 225th in scoring averaging 72 PPG. Sophomore guard PJ Dozier leads the way for South Carolina in points and assists, 14.8 and 3.1 per game respectively.
Tip-off is on Saturday at 5:30 central time from the Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, S.C. If you’re not going to make the 546 mile trip to Columbia, the game can be seen on ESPNU, and heard on the Ole Miss Radio Network. The game can also be seen and heard online at WatchESPN.com along with OleMissSports.com.
Steven Gagliano is a writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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