Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Ole Miss Hosts Auburn in SEC Hoops Action

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

The Ole Miss Rebels will return to the hardwood on Wednesday as they play host to the Auburn Tigers. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. inside the Pavilion on SEC Network.

Ole Miss (5-3, 0-1 SEC) is coming off of an 83-79 loss to Wichita State.

“After watching the Wichita State (film) we got a couple of areas better, as far as assist to turnovers and spacing,” head coach Kermit Davis said. “Our concern right now is our ball screen defense. Just stopping the dribble. We had our chances, and we’ve got to be able to make plays and close them out. At the end of the day, we are about two plays away from being 7-1.”

While playing in the friendly confines of the Pavilion, Ole Miss has outscored opponents by an average of 79.0-56.6 (+22.4 scoring margin). The Rebels rank 12th in the country in turnovers forced per game (19.3); the Rebels have forced at least 15 turnovers in all eight games this season.

Senior guard Devontae Shuler (1,024) is 13 points away from passing former Ole Miss Rebel Todd Abernethy (1,036) for 40th on the all-time scoring list for the Rebels; Abernethy was an assistant coach at Ole Miss when Shuler was a freshman.

Auburn (6-4, 0-2 SEC) will head into Oxford after a loss to the Texas A&M Aggies. The Tigers lead the league in threes, making 10.3 a game.

“Auburn has a really good nucleus coming back,” Davis said. “Just a really good offensive team, like all of Bruce’s teams, very well-coached, good ball movement… I think they have a good chance to win a lot of games in our league.”

Auburn is led on the court by Allen Flanigan, who is averaging 14.5 ppg. Three other Tigers are averaging in double figures: Justin Powell (11,7), Jamal Johnson (10.7) and Javin Williams (10.2).

It will be the 140th all-time meeting between the two programs once the ball is tipped up in the air. Auburn leads the all-time series 77-62.