The Rebels see their first action since last Saturday, when the held off the South Carolina Gamecocks and surged to a victory and stand tall at 9-1 at home this season. This task will be a lot more difficult as they are on the road playing the second ranked defense in the SEC and sixth in the nation in defensive field goal percentage. On the road this season the Rebels are 3-4, 1-2 SEC with their only SEC road win coming against Gerogia. Alabama will be a much tougher matchup and at home this matchup seems near impossible for the Rebels whose struggles on the road have been their weakness.
The Crimson Tide have an overall record of 14-7, however they are 3-4 in SEC play. They dropped four games straight in the SEC before finally rising up and beating Arkansas to get its third SEC victory. With a 9-2 record at home this season and a defense that will keep our offense out of the paint and force us to shoot three’s, where we struggle most, it seems like a win for Alabama. However, here is why the Rebels will surge to victory on the road once again and take down the Tide.
Ok so a 9-2 home record for Alabama and a 3-4 away record for Ole Miss. This may seem like a huge defeat for Ole Miss, but the Rebels thrive when they are counted as the underdogs. Look at the Florida game, where the Rebels were counted out from the beginning and came out on fire. I look for the Rebels to come out with that same passion in this game, as the Rebels know they must learn to win on the road if they are going to compete for the SEC Championship.
Keys To Rebels Victory:
Nick Williams: Williams is the teams best three point shooter with Terrence Henry and Jarvis Summers hitting the occasional three point shots. Alabama is going to make Ole Miss try to shoot the three and keep them out of the paint with their significant size advantage over the Tide. Williams needs to come up big for the Rebels and hit a lot of his three point shots to keep the Rebels in this game.
Their D is Tough, Ours Needs to be Tougher: Alabama has an incredible defense on paper, so the Rebels need to step up and play their defense just as hard. When they win the turnover battle he Rebels are 8-1 this season. They need to play tight D and not give up all of the three point baskets that they gave up to Florida and some to South Carolina. Our boys are bigger, so make Bama force the ball inside and get a few blocks.
Free Throws, Free Throws, Free Throws: Let’s face it, if the Rebels could hit all of their free throws they would be an unstoppable force. With as many times as Buckner and Holloway make it to the free throw line along with Summers and Henry they need to hit the free throw. Williams and Henry are good at knocking down their free throws, but Summer, Buckner, and Holloway if you get to the line (which you should plenty) then hit them.
Three Pointers: For some reason in that Florida game the Rebels just seem to finally click with these shots. They started off the game 6-6 in three point shots. Since then the Rebels haven’t really hit the three pointers and haven’t been able to hit them for most of the season. With a talented defense like this it is almost a must to be able to knock down the three pointer. Set good screens and get someone an open look and when they get an open look they must deliver with a knockdown three or this is going to be a long night for the Rebs.
Can’t Do It All At Home: The Rebels must learn to play on the road and do it well. Not get out to a 10 point lead and try to coast in the end because that is how they almost gave it up to Georgia. Its always tough going into another atmosphere where fans are booing your name and chanting indecent things toward you, but you have to quiet the crowd by getting a lead early and keeping it for the duration of the game. Don’t allow the crowd to be a factor and we will win this game.
The Rebels take their record of 14-7, 4-3 SEC into Tuscaloosa today looking to come out victorious. The Rebs are currently ranked sixth in the SEC and look to move up the ranks. Gametime is set to tipoff at 7:00 p.m. from the Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and will be televised on ESPN 2. Watch as your Ole Miss Rebels try to take down the Tide and prove themselves worthy in the SEC. Hotty Toddy.