Monday, January 30, 2023

Men’s Basketball Welcomes Georgia

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor
adam.brown@hottytoddy.com

Ole Miss men’s basketball returns to the court on Saturday as they play host the Georgia Bulldogs. Tipoff is set for 12 p.m. CT and can be seen on SEC Network.

Ole Miss (8-8, 0-4 SEC) is coming off an 82-73 loss to No. 21 Auburn on Tuesday night. The Rebels are looking to snap a five-game losing streak against Georgia.

“We took off Wednesday and had a good, spirited practice (Thursday),” head coach Kermit Davis said on Friday. “We had a film session going over some of the missed opportunities and good things we did against Auburn.”

Davis added that he thought the team’s offensive flow was better, but the shot-making was down in the second half.

Against the Tigers, Ole Miss was led on the floor by junior Matthew Murrell with 24 points and six rebounds. Teammate Tye Fagan added 13 points.

Georgia enters their game with a 12-4 record, having gone 2-1 in conference play thus far. After opening SEC play with a 76-64 win over Auburn at home, they fell to Florida on the road 82-75 before defeating Mississippi State 58-50 in Athens.

“Georgia comes with a good team and playing well,” Davis said. “Mike (White) has done a really good job they have gotten seven guys out of the transfer portal.”

White is in his first season as the head coach at Georgia, after spending the previous seven seasons at Florida where he compiled a 142-88 record. He got his first head coaching job at Louisiana Tech in 2011, where he coached for four years and led the Bulldogs to a 101-40 record.

Prior to entering the head coaching ranks, White spent seven seasons as an assistant for the Ole Miss program under head coaches Rod Barnes and Andy Kennedy. A graduate of Ole Miss, White was a four-year starter for the Rebels basketball team, helping them win two SEC West titles and a trio of NCAA Tournament berths. His 370 career assists rank as the seventh-most in school history, after leading the team in assists per game all four of his seasons on campus.

Georgia has kept their opponents scoring at bay during the 2022-23 season, owning a 64.2 points allowed per game average (No. 56 NCAA, No. 5 SEC), while holding their foes to a three-point field goal percentage of 28.4 (No. 15 NCAA, No. 5 SEC). The Bulldogs have been strong on the glass through their first 16 games, owning a +6.1 rebounding margin (No. 32 NCAA, No. 4 SEC) and an average of 39.1 boards per game (No. 39 NCAA, No. 3 SEC).

Terry Roberts leads Georgia in scoring at 15.7 points per game, the sixth-best clip in the SEC. The senior guard has been on fire during conference play, leading the SEC with an average of 22.3 points per contest after scoring 26 in their win over Auburn, 25 at Florida, and 16 in their matchup with MSU. Roberts also ranks third on the year in the SEC in assists per game at 4.1.

“Trey Roberts leads our league in scoring in SEC play,” Davis said. “He shoots it really really well and great depth.”

Saturday will be the 123rd all-time series meeting between the two programs. Georgia owns a 76-46 all-time lead in the series. At home in Oxford, the Rebels lead 28-24 and are 6-4 over the last 10 games played in Mississippi. While Georgia holds a 6-4 advantage over the previous 10 games, the Rebels have won four of seven meetings under Davis.

“It’s a big challenge, but it’s a game we’re looking forward to,” Davis said. “I think everyone likes the early start and hopefully we’ll have a good crowd in the Pavilion.”


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