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Ole Miss Men’s Basketball Travels to No. 7 Alabama on Tuesday

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

Ole Miss men’s basketball returns to the hardwood on Tuesday as they travel over to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to tangle with the No. 7 Alabama Crimson Tide. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. inside Coleman Coliseum and can be seen on SEC Network.

Ole Miss (8-5, 0-1 SEC) is coming off of a hard-fought 63-59 loss to then No. 7 Tennessee to open the conference slate.  Against the Vols Jaemyn Brakefield shot a perfect 4-4 from three-point range, setting a season-high with 18 points in the process. The junior from Jackson, Miss. became just the eighth Rebel in program history to remain perfect from deep in a game with a minimum of four attempts. The last to do so was Devontae Shuler on Dec. 10, 2020 against Jackson State when he went 5-5.

This season, an average of 12.9 offensive rebounds per game, the Rebels have been among the best in the country in earning second chances on the glass, currently ranking 36th in the nation.

After beginning the season 5-0, Alabama (11-2, 1-0 SEC) traveled to the Phil Knight Invitational in Portland, Ore. where they opened the tournament with an 81-70 win over No. 12 Michigan State. After falling to Connecticut, then ranked 20th in the nation, the Tide took out No. 1 North Carolina in a four-overtime thriller 103-101. Up to No. 8 in the country in the week 5 AP Poll, Alabama took down No. 1 yet again with a 71-65 victory over Houston on the road. A win over Memphis, loss to No. 15 Gonzaga, and 20-point win over Jackson State set them up to begin their conference schedule on Dec. 28 against Mississippi State, taking down the No. 21 Bulldogs 78-67.

The Crimson Tide feature one of the best rebounding teams in the country, as they lead all of college basketball in rebounds per game (47.1) and defensive rebounds per game (32.8). They rank fourth in the NCAA in rebounding margin (+10.5) and sixth in offensive rebounds per game (14.3) as well.

Alabama doesn’t shy away from letting it fly from deep, as their average of 29.4 three-point attempts per game leads the SEC and ranks ninth in the country. They average 10.1 makes from beyond the arc as well, best in the SEC and 13th nationwide.

Individually, they are led on offense by the SEC’s leading scorer Brandon Miller, who averages 19.2 points per game. The team’s leading rebounder as well at 8.8 boards per game, Miller has recorded three double-doubles to begin the season, including a 19-point and 11-rebound performance to help the Tide defeat Mississippi State last time out. One of the top prospects for the upcoming NBA Draft, Miller is Alabama’s lead threat from deep as well, leading the SEC with 3.1 makes from three per game.

Tuesday will be the 184th meeting between the Rebels and Crimson Tide (3rd-most played series in Ole Miss history) takes place in Tuscaloosa. Alabama leads the series both overall at 125-58 and in Tuscaloosa at 74-11. The two programs began their series back in 1921, with Ole Miss winning eight of the first 11 contests. The series has been more balanced recently, with Alabama leading since the year 2000 22 games to 16.

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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