Ole Miss basketball is back on the road once again in a weekend match-up with the Texas Longhorns in the Big12/SEC Challenge.
The road has not been friendly to Ole Miss basketball (11-9, 4-4) so far this season. In fact the Rebels remain win-less in true road games at 0-5. Tomorrow it doesn’t get any easier as the Rebels travel to Austin to take on Shaka Smart and the Longhorns. Of course, the Horns have a very good home record at 9-2 and will be tough to beat.
Naturally, this is a huge game for Andy Kennedy and the Rebels. The Rebels are coming off a 12 point win over the Crimson Tide and back-to-back wins would be great for Ole Miss going forward. Texas (13-7, 4-4) is a postseason resume builder and every win is big for the Rebels at this point. The Rebels need nine more wins to get to the magical 20-win mark and hopes at making the tourney selection.
Of course, the Big12/SEC Challenge is a very big deal in college basketball. It pits 10 teams from the SEC against 10 from the Big12. Texas is one of the best basketball teams in the Big12 and certainly have one of the best young coaches in the game. They are also a very talented team with several big time players. Let’s take a look at the Longhorns.
Ole Miss Rebels Basketball
Like any successful college basketball program Texas is talented and solid at both ends of the court. Coach Shaka Smart has this team where they are competitive in every game. They play hard and are a very physical team.
The Longhorns are loaded with talent and have four players averaging in double-digit scoring. Of course, they also have one of the best big men in the game. Freshman forward Mohamed Bamba is a beast and has made his presence felt in the Big12. He averages a double-double with 12.4 points and 10.9 rebounds per game.
Other key scorers for Texas are Andrew Jones, Kerwin Roach II and Dylan Osetkowski. Jones averages 13.5 points per game and shoots an amazing .463 from the arc. Osetkowski averages 14.4 points and 7.3 boards per game. Roach II averages 11.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.
Texas is much like Ole Miss in the respect of heavily relying on good solid guard play. They shoot the ball well and play solid defense. Look for Texas to test the paint early and often in hopes of creating fouls. However, don’t be surprised by their ability to put up big shots from the perimeter.
The Rebels Must Battle
With the road struggles and lack of consistency which Ole Miss basketball has faced this season it’s hard to be optimistic about another away game. However, Ole Miss is coming off a huge win and have a little momentum headed in Saturday’s game. Of course, if the Rebels can somehow pick up where they left off against Bama then they have a shot at a win.
We know we can expect a focus on Terence Davis and Deandre Burnett in this game. We can expect both to contribute greatly in a Ole Miss win. The question is which other Rebels will step up and have big games? It will take a team effort to get out of the Rebels road slump. Luckily the game tomorrow isn’t far away so we don’t have long to wait and see.
Tip-off from the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas is set for 1pm CT Saturday as the Texas Longhorns host the Ole Miss Rebels. The game will be televised on ESPN2. Good luck to coach Andy Kennedy and Ole Miss basketball. Hotty Toddy!