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January 9, 2014

Gameday: Auburn at Ole Miss

Andy Kennedy, Jan. 8, 2014
Auburn at Ole Miss
Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014 - 7 p.m. CT
TV: ESPN2/ RADIO: Ole Miss Radio Network, OleMissSports.com, Sirius 136, XM 199
Auburn Tigers (8-3, 0-0 SEC)
Streak: Won 4
Last Game: Defeated Florida A&M, 81-50
F Allen Payne (Averaging 7.2 points and 6.5 rebounds per game; 14th in SEC in rebounding) Sr. 6-6 225
C Asauhn Dixon-Tatum (Averaging 6.1 points and 6 rebounds per game; 2.2 blocks per game is fourth in the SEC) Sr. 7-0 226
G KT Harrell (Averaging 19.4 points and 3.6 rebounds per game; scored in double figures in all 11 games) Jr. 6-4 216
G Chris Denson (Averaging 19 points and 5.5 rebounds per game; ninth in league in FG percentage - 51.1) Sr. 6-2 181
G Tahj Shamsid-Deen(Averaging 8.4 points per game; averaging 3.4 assists per game, good for 7th in SEC) Fr. 5-10 163

Ole Miss RebelsOle Miss Rebels (9-4, 0-0 SEC)
Streak: Lost 1
Last Game: Lost to Dayton, 83-80
F Aaron Jones (Averaging 6.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game; went for 10 points and 7 boards versus Dayton) Jr. 6-9 220
C Demarco Cox (Averaging 7.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game) Jr. 6-8 276
F Sebastian Saiz(Averaging 4.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game; Scored 6 points and grabbed 11 rebounds Saturday against Dayton) Fr. 6-9 233
G Ladarius White (Averaging 6.9 points and 3 rebounds per game; likely starter in place of suspended Marshall Henderson) Jr. 6-6 211
G Jarvis Summers(Averaging 17.8 points per game; scored 29 points on 9-for-15 shooting against Dayton) Jr. 6-3 186

Contain Harrell and Denson

Auburn's duo is the top-scoring duo in the SEC so far this season, and they've done it by being efficient and explosive offensively. If there's an advantage for Ole Miss in not having Henderson Thursday, it's the ability to match up with the Tigers better on the defensive end.
Replace Henderson's offense

Henderson is Ole Miss' leading scorer. Without him, Auburn will likely key on Summers and force Ole Miss to get points elsewhere. So far this season, that's been problematic for the Rebels. Look for Andy Kennedy to turn to White, guard Derrick Millinghaus and some combination of low-post players to make up for Henderson's absence on offense.
Battle of the boards

Ole Miss has lost the rebounding battle in four consecutive games and in nine of 13 games this season. If the Rebels are to win, especially with Henderson in civvies, that has to stop. Kennedy said earlier this week the Rebels are getting beat on the boards because their backcourt isn't consistently in the right place at the right time.

Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy on playing without Henderson:

"It does give us a bit more versatility because we will have more size at that position. They're going to be difficult matchups for us because they can beat you in a number of ways."
Auburn guard Chris Denson, on facing Ole Miss without Marshall Henderson:

"We are not going in there complacent since he is not playing. We are not thinking we can walk in there and have an easy cakewalk to beat them. They have Jarvis Summers, Derrick Millinghaus and are still a tough team. It's a plus that he's not playing but we are still going in there with the same mentality and same attitude."

Auburn 77-73

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