With Andy Kennedy’s sudden departure from the Ole Miss basketball program the Rebels are now beginning the Tony Madlock era in Oxford.
Ole Miss basketball fans are still scratching their heads over the loss of Andy Kennedy 3 weeks earlier than expected. With four games left things must be pretty bad for the head coach to tap out. Of course, we can’t really be sure of what is going on within the team itself but the effects show on the court.
Right now Ole Miss basketball (11-16, 4-10) is on a 7 game losing streak and have lost 9 of their last 11 game. If that isn’t bad enough they are 0-9 in road games thus far this season. Now with interim head coach Tony Madlock the Rebels have to go to work on the road against a pretty good Missouri basketball (18-9, 8-6) team.
This is uncharted territory for Ole Miss basketball. The adversity this team has faced with the drama surrounding AK can finally be put to rest. They are a new team moving forward. We can hope that coach Madlock can help them find a way to get their confidence back and get a good win. Beating Missouri in Columbia would definitely be a confidence boost. However, this Tigers team is very good.
Ole Miss Rebels Basketball
First year head coach Cuonzo Martin has this team playing incredibly well. They are loaded with talented players who play to the level Martin has established this season. Right now the Tigers are sitting in 4th place in the SEC however, they are coming off a 64-63 loss at LSU.
The Tigers depend on a number of statistical leaders to help this team be successful. Senior guard Kassius Robertson leads Missouri in scoring averaging 16.5 points per game. Robertson also averages 2.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Kassius Robertson is also a .427 3-point specialist.
Missouri’s leading rebounder is freshman forward Jontay Porter who averages 6.6 boards per game. Porter also leads the team in blocked shots with 1.9 per outing. Porter averages 8.9 points per game as well.
Jordan Barnett Is another excellent 3-point shooter who hits .406 from the arc. Barnett also averages 13.9 points per game. Kevin Puryear is another player who can always have a big game for Mizzou. Puryear averages 9.0 points per game.
What To Expect
If everything is going to get any better it will be in this ball game. From all appearances this team wants to play basketball and be competitive for Tony Madlock. With only four games left in the season I don’t believe we see much change-up from Kennedy’s playbook. However, we may see the Rebels play much better out from under whatever cloud was hanging over the program.
We can expect to see more physical and faster-paced basketball from Ole Miss for the new acting head coach. Expect at least 2 Rebels to hit double-digit scoring against the Tigers. Of course, I’d put money on Deandre Burnett and Breein Tyree having good games. Hopefully one more Rebel can help out with the scoring.
From what we’ve seen this season from the Rebels we know coach Cuonzo Martin would love to put Ole Miss out of the game early. Expect Missouri to run the floor and catch Ole Miss nback on their heels. The last meeting between the two schools was February 6th when Mizzou took the 75-69 win over the Rebels in Oxford. I expect we will see the same Mizzou lineup and the same basic game-plan.
Thankfully we don’t have to wait long to see what kind of Ole Miss basketball team shows up for coach Madlock. Tuseday night the Ole Miss Rebels are in Columbia, Missouri to take on the Missouri Tigers. Tip-off is set for 8pm CT and the game will be televised on ESPN2. Of course, good luck to coach Tony Madlock and Rebels hoops. Hotty Toddy!