Ole Miss Basketball: Rebels Hoops Open Tourney With Gamecocks

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 13: Roquez Johnson
ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 13: Roquez Johnson /

Ole Miss basketball will begin the SEC Tourney in St. Louis Wednesday night with a match-up against the South Carolina Gamecocks.

The SEC Tourney begins tonight in St. Louis and 14 seeded Ole Miss basketball (12-19, 5-13) will open with 11 seeded South Carolina (16-15, 7-11). The match-up will be the second of two first round games tonight. Of course, the way the tourney is set up the four bottom teams meet in the first round. After the season the Rebels have found the absolute bottom of the SEC and a 14 seed.

The Rebels are entering the tourney coming off a regular season ending loss to Vanderbilt. The loss was the Rebels third consecutive to end the season. South Carolina comes into the match-up with almost as unimpressive season as the Rebels. Their season ended with a loss at the hands of Auburn.

Of course, with both teams there is a lot to play for. A deep tourney run would be of great benefit for coach Frank Martin and the Gamecocks to help possibly get them into the NIT. For Ole Miss it would be a chance to close out the season on a more positive note. Neither team wants to sit and watch the SEC Tourney. Naturally, South Carolina has talented players on the court despite their record. We’ll look at some of the Gamecocks key players.

Scouting The Gamecocks

Ole Miss Rebels Basketball
Ole Miss Rebels Basketball /

Ole Miss Rebels Basketball

When you look at the roster for South Carolina you can see the talent they have. Any success they have in the game against the Rebels will depend heavily on a few key players.

Junior forward Chris Silva is one player who has to have a huge game. Silva is the leading scorer for the Gamecocks averaging 14.1 points per game averaging 48.4% of his shots from the field. Silva also leads the Gamecocks in blocked shots and rebounding averaging 1.3 blocks and 7.8 boards per game.

Senior guard Wesley Myers leads the team in three-point field-goal percentage. He makes 41.8% of hit shots from beyond the arc. Myers also averages 7.9 points per game while 2.4 boards and 1.6 assists per game.

Junior guard Hassani Gravett leads the Gamecocks in assists with 3.5 per game. He also averages 7.6 points and 3.5 boards per game as well.

Senior guard Frank Booker is South Carolina’s steals leader with 1.1 per game. Booker also averages 12.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.

What To Expect

Despite being a relatively short team they have experience and talent. They play fast when they can but can also slow down the transition when they feel the need to. I believe we see Frank Martin let his team work down low and test the Rebels defensively under the basket. However, this team can shoot from the outside when they get hot.

Coach Tony Madlock may be seeing his final game as acting head coach for Ole Miss basketball. He wants this game and will have to turn loose his best scorers to get the win. I’d really like to see more from Bruce Stevens at the post and let him get on a roll. Of course, we can expect to see the Rebels move quickly and try to establish themselves early.

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Tip off between Ole Miss and South Carolina from the 2018 SEC Tourney in St. Louis is set for 8:30pm CT. The game will be televised via SEC Network. Of course, good luck to coach Madlock and the Rebels in the SEC Tourney. Hotty Toddy!