Sunday, February 5, 2023

Ole Miss Men’s Basketball Opens Conference Action Against No. 7 Tennessee

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

Ole Miss men’s basketball opens SEC play on Wednesday as they play host to the No. 7 Tennessee Volunteers. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. and can be seen on SEC Network.

Ole Miss (8-4) comes into the conference slate after dropping a hard-fought 66-65 loss to the North Alabama Lions right before Christmas.

Ole Miss is led in scoring by Matthew Murrell who averages 15.6 points per contest. 

Sophomore Deashun Ruffin ranks second on the team with an average of 9.6 points per game.

The Rebels average of 13.3 offensive rebounds per game, the Rebels have been among the best in the country in earning second chances on the glass, currently ranking 21st in college basketball in offensive boards per game. The team is led on the glass by senior transfer Myles Burns with 34 offensive rebounds (2.8 per game, 6th in the SEC).

Tennessee rolls into Oxford with a 10-2 overall record after defeating Austin Peay 86-44 (Dec. 21).

 The Volunteers have five players averaging double figures led by Olivier Nkamhoua and Santiago Vescovi at 11.8 points per game.

Tennessee comes into league play averaging 74.7 ppg and holds their opponents to 52.8 a night.

The eighth-most played series in Ole Miss men’s basketball history continues with the 122nd meeting, as Tennessee enters the series with a 76-45 lead. The Rebels trail by only one game when playing in Oxford (26 wins to 27 losses), and have evened the series over the past 14 meetings at seven wins each. The two programs first met on January 28th and 29th in 1924, with the Rebels taking the first two games by a score of 36-17 and 24-13, both played in Oxford. The Vols and Rebs first met in the postseason on March 3, 1938 in the SEC Tournament, with Ole Miss picking up the win 45-40. The Rebels own a 7-5 all-time record when meeting Tennessee in the postseason, last matching up in the SEC Tournament on March 6, 2012 where Ole Miss won a 77-72 overtime game (also giving the Rebels a 5-1 record against Tennessee in overtime games at the time).