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December 14, 2013

Hoops Gameday: MTSU at Ole Miss

Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy, Dec. 12
Middle Tennessee at Ole Miss
Friday, Dec. 14, 2013 - 4 p.m. CT
TV: CSS/ RADIO: Ole Miss Radio Network, OleMissSports.com, Sirius 119, XM 200
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (7-2, 0-0 Sun Belt)
Streak: Won 1
Last Game: Defeated Fisk, 115-65
F Shawn Jones (Averaging 14.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game) Sr. 6-8 236
F Neiko Hunter (Averaging 12.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per game) Sr. 6-7 221
G/F Kerry Hammonds (Averaging 12.4 points and 4.1 rebounds per game) Sr. 6-5 210
G Tweety Knight (Averaging 9.2 points and 3.6 rebounds per game) Sr. 6-1 190
G Jaquwn Raymond(Averaging 6.6 points and 2.2 rebounds per game) So. 6-4 197

Ole Miss RebelsOle Miss Rebels (6-2, 0-0 SEC)
Streak: Lost 2
Last Game: Lost to Oregon, 115-105
F Aaron Jones (Averaging 5.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.9 blocked shots per game) Jr. 6-9 220
C Demarco Cox (Was MVP of Barclay's Classic; averaging 8.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game) Jr. 6-8 276
G Martavious Newby (Averaging 2.9 points per game; hitting 58.3 percent of his shots from the floor) So. 6-3 210
G Derrick Millinghaus (Averaging 14.1 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game) So. 5-10 172
G Jarvis Summers (Averaging 15.5 points and 3.3 assists per game; making 53.6 percent of his shots from the 3-point line) Jr. 6-3 186

Find balance with three-guard lineup

Ole Miss has been most effective offensively when it uses Millinghaus at the point and Summers and Marshall Henderson at the wings. Millinghaus attacks the glass, and both Summers and Henderson are dangerous shooters who can facilitate offense off the dribble. The problem for Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy is that lineup leaves the Rebels vulnerable on defense, most especially against long, athletic teams. Kennedy will use the three-guard look, but he has to manage it strategically.
Make free throws

It sounds elementary, sure, but Ole Miss can't expect to win close, critical games against quality opponents making just 65.9 percent of its shots from the free throw line. Henderson is Ole Miss' best shooter from the line, making 76 percent of his attempts. Four key players _ Millinghaus, Cox, Jones and Newby _ are shooting 61.5 percent or below from the stripe.
Take smart shots

The underlying assumption about Henderson's willingness to throw up shot after shot, as pointed out by Clarion-Ledger beat reporter Hugh Kellenberger this week, is that eventually a few do go down, and that can mean the difference between a win and a loss. As Kellenberger pointed out, however, the Rebels are 18-5 when Henderson takes between 10-14 shots from beyond the arc but is 1-4 all-time when Henderson shoots 15 or more 3-pointers.

Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy on Marshall Henderson's shot selection on the heels of his 39-point performance (on 23 shots) in an overtime loss to Oregon:

"He shoots a lot of balls. The only way to stop him from shooting is to sit him down. I've done that a few times here and there, and I'll continue to try that. But he's a volume guy. He's been a volume guy from day 1, he was a volume guy when I recruited him. I realize that. I try to put him in a position where he can help our team and he's certainly done that."
Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson on the Rebels' need for quality wins after narrow losses at Kansas State and to Oregon last week:

"When those games are close we need to be able to get over the hump and win those games and grind them out in the end, or we'll be on the outside looking in."

Ole Miss 79-72

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