From the opening tip against Middle Tennessee, it was evident that the Rebels didn’t play up their ability. After falling to the Blue Raiders 77-62, the Rebels have a chance to end their homestand with a win against rival Memphis on Saturday.
The Rebels trailed 48-19 at the half on Wednesday night, in part thanks to 14 1st half turnovers and a 0-7 start for the Rebels. The Rebels didn’t score their first points until 8 minutes had gone by and found themselves facing a 16-0 deficit early on. The Rebels would spend the remainder of the game trying to fight their way back but only came within 9 of the Blue Raider lead in the 2nd half. A much cleaner second half gives the Rebels some positive momentum heading into Saturday’s matchup with the Tigers. The Rebels scored 43 points in the second half, only allowed 23 points and turned the ball over only twice as they worked to trim Middle Tennessee’s substantial lead.
Three Rebels scored in double figures, with just 15 points Deandre Burnett led the team in scoring followed by Cullen Neal with 13 points. The final Rebel in double figures was true freshman Breein Tyree with 10 points off the bench. Tyree was medically cleared just before camp from his knee injury and has yet to make an impact in the Rebel offense. Assuming Tyree can quickly adapt to the speed of the game, he can become another threat off the Rebel bench along with 6th man Terrence Davis. If the Rebels can improve on the 40% efficiency from the floor and continue the turnover conscious style of play from the second half, they will be in good shape moving forward.
Memphis comes in at 6-1 led by Tubby Smith in his first year with the Tigers. Scoring just over 85 points a game, the Tigers are sharing the ball as well as any team in the country averaging 22 assists per game. The Rebels have won the last two matchups against the Tigers, but Memphis leads the series 22-7 all time.
Tip-off at the Pavilion will be at Noon, and the game will be televised on the SEC Network Plus and WatchESPN.com. The Ole Miss Radio Network will have the David Kellum’s broadcast along with OleMissSports.com.
Steven Gagliano is a writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.