By Adam Brown
The Ole Miss Rebels men’s basketball team takes the court on Thursday against the Marquette Golden Eagles at the Shriners Children’s Charleston Classic in Charleston, S.C. The tipoff is set for 6 p.m. on ESPN 2.
Ole Miss is off to a 2-0 start on the season after back-to-back wins over New Orleans and Charleston Southern last week. The Rebels have scored an average of 87.5 points per game.
Ole Miss is led on the court by senior Jarkel Joiner who is averaging 18.0 points a game. Two of his teammates, Austin Cowley and Luis Rodriguez join him in averaging in double figures at 12.0 and 10.5 respectively.
This season, Ole Miss leads the SEC and ranks sixth in the NCAA in assists per game (23.0), and they also lead the SEC and rank 11th in the nation in assist-turnover ratio (2.19) and 49th in fewest total turnovers per game (10.5). On average, Ole Miss is dishing out an assist on 63.9 percent of its made field goals so far this season.
Marquette (3-0) is coming off a 67-66 upset of No. 10 Illinois in the Gavitt Tipoff Games. The Golden Eagles forced 26 costly Illini turnovers, turning those into 28 points.
Marquette’s Darryl Morsell (21 points, 5 rebounds, 3-of-4 3PT) and Justin Lewis (17 points, 4 rebounds) combined for 38 points and shot a combined 12-of-22 in the victory, while the Golden Eagle defense collectively held a potent Illinois offense to 37.9 shooting overall and 37.5 from beyond the arc.
This matchup on the hardwood will be the second all-time meeting between the two programs. Ole Miss and Golden Eagles have only met once in their history, with the then 19th-ranked Marquette winning, 96-66, at the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Coming into this tournament Ole Miss joins the field of Boise State, Clemson, Elon, Marquette, No. 22 St. Bonaventure, Temple and West Virginia.
Ole Miss will take on either West Virginia or Elon on Friday night. Depending on the outcome against the Golden Eagles the Rebels will play at either 6 p.m. or 8 p.m.