Ole Miss basketball has had a subpar season thus far. The contest on Saturday against the Baylor Bears has become a must win game.
The Ole Miss basketball season has been sort of a disappointment. There have been a few bright spots during the season. Sebastian Saiz has been a double-double machine. Deandre Burnett has been scoring well this year. However, it has not equated to wins. A win against Baylor would go a long way to making up for a lot of the losses.
This Saturday, the Rebels will be in what may be their biggest game of the year. They will host the RPI’s number one team, the Baylor Bears. The Big 12 leaders will come to the Pavilion with a 19-1 record after a 65-61 over the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Ole Miss is coming off of a disappointing 80-76 loss to Texas A&M. Therefore, this game has become supremely important. There aren’t many games left on the schedule that the Rebels can use to increase their chances of being invited to the NCAA Basketball Tournament.
However, this game against the Baylor Bears will be far from easy. The Bears have a formidable team. They are lead by 6’10 forward Johnathan Motley. The junior is averaging 16.2 points per game and 9.6 rebounds. He is capable of putting up bigger numbers.
Motley scored 25 points against Texas Tech. He also had a 32 point 20 rebound game against Texas. He is a dangerous weapon for the Bears.
He will be a handful for Rebels to handle. Especially since Ole Miss has been struggling defensively. Teams are averaging 75.9 points a game when facing the Rebels. If they can’t figure a way to limit turnovers and offensive rebounds, they will be in trouble.
The real test for the Rebels will be their ability to be consistent on offense. Ole Miss can not go into lapse of scoring as they have been accustom to doing lately. Baylor is holding teams to 60.2 points per game. Their length in the inside causes a lot of problems. Along with Motley, they also have 7’0 Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. who is tied for 9th in the country in blocks.
Therefore Ole Miss needs to score and score often. Burnett and Saiz have to be active. Cullen Neal has to be able to stretch the defense and hit his shots. Everyone has to step up offensively.
Ole Miss needs to put together several win in this last 10 games. They literally need to go no worse that 9-1 or 8-2 in order to be considered for post season play. However, a victory of Baylor will give them a huge win on their resume.
A victory like that will go a long way to securing their spot in the tournament. So come out and support the Rebels Saturday because this game is the most important on their schedule and they need a win.