The Ole Miss Rebels start their toughest stretch of this young season when they take on the Temple Owls in Philadelphia on Wednesday, Nov 22, at 2:30 pm on ESPN+.
The Temple game is the first of a tough three-game run for the Rebels as they take on Temple, NC State, and Memphis all in a week and a half. These teams will be the toughest competition the Rebels have faced this season. The Rebels will come into the Temple game fresh off a 70-69 win over Sam Houston St. in the Return to the Tad Pad Game last Friday. Like most of their games this season, the Rebs did not look pretty; but still squeaked out the victory.
They had another fantastic offensive performance from arguably the best player on the team, Allen Flanigan. Flanigan scored 23 points and rebounded the ball seven times. He also got to the line a staggering 18 times. Outside of another great Allen Flanigan performance, the Rebels looked much better from the free throw line. As a team, they went 27-34 from the strike. Each game they have consistently gotten better from the line.
Another aspect trending in the right direction for the Rebels is rebounding the basketball. The Sam Houston game was the first time Chris Beard’s team has outrebounded an opponent. Ole Miss have been getting crushed on the boards at the start of the season, despite having the tallest player in the NCAA in Jamarion Sharpe. Free throw shooting and rebounding will be something the Rebels will definitely want to build upon as they head up North to take on the Temple Owls.
Temple (3-1) is coming into this game fresh off their first loss last Saturday to Columbia. The Owls kept it close with the Lions but lost the game at home 78-73. Despite the loss, Temple is having a relatively good season. Like Ole Miss, they have many new faces. It’s the first year with new Head Coach Adam Fisher. In addition to Coach Fisher, the Owls have added five new players via the transfer portal to the roster. They did, however, lose their top 4 scorers from the previous season.
Despite losing their leading scorers, the Owls are a very old team. The starting five consists of all upperclassmen, which includes their leading scorer/best player, Hysier Miller. Miller, a 6’1 junior guard, is averaging 21 ppg and is shooting 37% from the field.
Temple are a small team. They typically play a seven man rotation with a 6 ‘5 center, Sam Hofman, and a tall 6’ 10 PF, Steve Settle III. Because of their small lineup, it will be crucial for Ole Miss to attack the paint, something they have done well all season. Personally, I would love to see Ole Miss use Jamarion Sharpe more on the offensive end, something they have not done a lot of this year.I would love to see Ole Miss use Jamarion Sharpe more on the offensive end, something they have not done a lot of this year.
As the Owl defense collapses on each Ole Miss drive, Ole Miss should have some wide-open threes. The Rebs squad has not shot the 3-ball well this season. Against Sam Houston St, the Rebels shot 16.7% from three-point range. They need to increase this number if they plan on winning this game, alongside the more difficult non-conference games later in the week.
If the Ole Miss Rebels can continue their success rebounding and getting to the line. Along with drastically improving their 3-point shooting, there is no reason why they cannot go into Philadelphia and steal a win on the brink of Thanksgiving.
Tune into ESPN+ at 2:30 to catch your hardcourt Rebels take on the Temple Owls.