Ole Miss basketball is getting ready to begin the SEC portion of a very tough schedule. Where are the Rebels in a roller-coaster season as SEC play begins?
There is no doubt this has been an up and down season for Ole Miss basketball so far. Of course, this isn’t the typical Andy Kennedy season any of us expected. Rebels hoops have found ways to run wire to wire in games while also dropping heart breakers. It hasn’t been a season we had hoped for by any means. However, the Rebels aren’t as bad as their record indicates.
When we look back on this Ole Miss basketball season we can see the Rebels have found ways to win games. However, they are also a team which has found ways to lose decisions. Coach Andy Kennedy has been saying all season this team needed to learn to play with a sense of urgency. So far we’ve seldom seen it but this team is getting better.
Yes, even at 7-5 this team could still have a successful season and find its way to another 20-win season. However, we have to look at the body of work so far and see where the Rebels need to improve in order to have a shot at 20 wins. Of course, we have to consider this is a team which has to play in one of the strongest conferences in NCAAB.
The Schedule To Now
Ole Miss Rebels Basketball
Sitting at 7-5 at this point in the season is not a bad place to be especially with the Rebels on a two-game winning streak. The Rebels picked up a number of good wins thus far this season however they also picked up some tough losses.
In their seven wins the Rebels topped Louisiana, Eastern Kentucky, Georgia State, Rice, Sam Houston State, TAMU-Corpus Christi and most recently Bradley. Of course, there are losses.
In their five losses they dropped games to Utah, South Dakota State, Virginia Tech, Middle Tennessee State and Illinois State. Three of the last five teams which the Rebels faced were in the NCAA tourney last season. Of those three teams Ole Miss found only one victory and it was against Bradley.
Ole Miss picked up some good wins and lost some games they would’ve won had they played more consistently. Inconsistency on both sides of the ball have cost them at least three wins which were overtime losses.
What Lies Ahead
The SEC is a difficult conference to play in when you can even figure it out. The non-conference portion of the SEC’s schedule is a blinder for many of the teams. Prior to SEC play we see a number of teams playing a tough non-SEC schedule. For many teams there have been tourneys in which it can be easy to pick up a loss or two.
At this point there are no undefeated teams in the SEC. However, there are three teams with only one loss. Texas A&M, Auburn and Miss State all sit with just one loss. No Ole Miss at 7-5 isn’t at the bottom of the barrel just yet. That spot belongs to Vandy who sits at 5-7 is dragging the hind leg of SEC basketball.
Basketball is a hard game to predict. It’s easy to look at the SEC and pick Kentucky as the favorite, however Kentucky is currently 9-2 and No.6 in the SEC based on non-conference play. Basketball is a fickle game until you get into the meat of SEC play.
Ole Miss basketball has it’s work cut out in conference play as they will face South Carolina in the SEC opener. The Rebels will begin SEC play on New Years Eve from The Pavilion. Tip-off is set for 5pm CT from Oxford. The game will be televised on ESPN2. Hotty Toddy!