Ole Miss looks to right ship at A&M

Posted on Feb 13 2013 - 7:00am by Lacey Russell

After losing three of their past four games, Ole Miss men’s basketball looks to get back in the win column on the road at Texas A&M. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. and will be televised by CSS.

Austin McAfee | The Daily Mississippian

Ole Miss (18-5, 7-3 SEC) will look to bounce back from their biggest loss of the season, a 19-point defeat at the hands of 20th-ranked Missouri, as they travel to College Station, Texas, Wednesday to take on Texas A&M (14-9, 4-6 SEC).
After starting conference play 6-0, the Rebels have dropped three of their last four games.
“I have not pushed the panic button,” head coach Andy Kennedy said. “We have got to get back to the way we have shown capable of in order for us to be successful. That’s rebound, that’s defend, that’s get the shots to the right people in the right spots.”
It is the first and only time in conference play that the Rebels will play back-to-back road games. Ole Miss has dropped their last two road games at Florida and Missouri; however, Texas A&M is just 1-3 at home in SEC play.
Senior guard Nick Williams returned from injury against Missouri after he tore his plantar fasciitis, a tendon in the foot, against Kentucky. Williams averages 9.3 points per game and scored nine against Missouri.
“It’s unbelievable how much pain I’ve gone through,” Williams said regarding his injury. “It just feels like you’re being stabbed every time you take a step.”
Senior forward Murphy Holloway is coming off one of his worst performances of the season.

The all-time leading rebounder in Ole Miss history pulled down one rebound against Missouri, which tied a career low. He also scored seven points, which was only the third time he hadn’t scored in double figures this season.
“I hope the guy that stole 31’s jersey gives it back, so we can get Murph(y) back in it,” Kennedy said.
Senior forward Reginald Buckner, who ranks second on the team with 7.6 rebounds per game, grabbed just four boards and was ejected in the second half after hitting Missouri forward Laurence Bowers in the face.
Buckner was not suspended for tonight’s contest because the referees did not deem it a fight, and therefore, there is no automatic suspension.
Kennedy said he is relying on his experienced forwards to pick up their play to right the ship.
“I just need them to do it as seniors,” Kennedy said. “They know what to do. They’ve just got to put it into play.”
Senior guard Elston Turner leads the Aggies with 15.6 points per game. He has scored in double figures in all but two of the Aggies’ games this year, including a career-high 40 points in Texas A&M’s upset win at Kentucky.
Turner is the son of one of the greatest Rebels of all time, Elston Turner Sr., who is the fifth all-time leading scorer in Ole Miss basketball history with 1,805 career points.
Junior guard Fabyon Harris combines with Turner for one of the top scoring backcourts in the SEC.

Harris is second on team with 11.5 points per game, including 16.1 points per game over the last six games. He is 13-of-28 from three point range in those six games.
This matchup will feature a contrast of styles, as Ole Miss leads the SEC with 73 offensive possessions per game, while Texas A&M is last in the conference at 61.8 possessions per game.
The Aggie defense allows just 59.5 points per game, which ranks third best in the conference, but also allows .96 points per possession, which is seventh in the SEC. Ole Miss gives up 67.5 points per game, which ranks 10th in the SEC, but only .92 points per possession, which is third-best in the conference.
Tipoff from Reed Arena in College Station, Texas, is set for 6 p.m., and will be televised on CSS.

For continuing coverage of Ole Miss men’s basketball, follow @Tyler_RSR and @thedm_sports on Twitter.