Ole Miss Hosts Inaugural Hardwood Matchup Against Norfolk State

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

The Ole Miss men’s basketball team returns to action this evening as they play host to the Norfolk State Spartans inside the Pavilion. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. on the SEC Network +.

KJ Buffen put up 21 points in the victory over Mississippi last Monday night. Photo by Petre Thomas/Ole Miss Athletics.

Norfolk State (2-0) comes into town after thumping Greensboro College 100-59 (Nov. 5) and Penn State Wilkes-Barre 93-53 (Nov. 8). With a 40.5 average margin of victory over the first two contests, Norfolk State is scoring 96.5 points per game.

Balanced scoring has benefitted NSU with seven Spartans averaging between 13.0 ppg and 8.0 ppg.  Senior Jermaine Bishop boasts the team-high 13.0 ppg to go along with 4.5 apg. Freshman Yoro Sidibe nearly averages a double-double to start his collegiate career with 11.0 ppg and a team-best 9.0 rpg. Robert Jones, the 2019 MEAC Coach of the Year, is in his seventh season as Norfolk State’s head coach. He has guided the Spartans to postseason appearances in five of the past six years.

Last season, Norfolk State upset No. 1 seed Alabama in the opening round of the NIT. The Spartans earned an NIT berth after capturing the MEAC regular-season title with a 14-2 record.  

Ole Miss (1-0) opened the season with a 71-43 win over Arkansas State on Friday night. The Rebels were led on the floor by junior guard Devontae Shuler with 20 points. His teammate KJ Buffen added another 16 points with nine boards, two blocks, three steals and an assist in the win.

Senior Breein Tyree returns as the leading scorer in the conference after he averaged 17.9 points per game. The Somerset, NJ native is one of 20 guards tabbed to the Jerry West Award Watch List.

Coach Kermit Davis’ squad leads the conference in scoring defense (43.0 ppg), steals per game (14.0) and turnover margin (+8.0). When the Rebels and Spartans face-off this evening it will be the first-ever matchup between the two programs.

Fans can listen to all of the action on the Ole Miss Sports Network or watch the game on SEC Network+.

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