Day After Observations

A few thoughts from Ole Miss’ 65-62 win over Vanderbilt …

For starters, I like the Rebels’ SEC tournament draw. They get the Vanderbilt-MSU winner in a game that will start Thursday some time around 8:30 CT.

Vanderbilt has good players but has depth issues, which we saw at the end of the game Saturday. MSU has struggled to the finish.

That doesn’t mean the Bulldogs won’t come out and play as hard as they can against Ole Miss. In fact, they will have the knowledge that while they didn’t win many SEC games, they did beat Ole Miss.

An MSU-Ole Miss rematch would be another meeting for Marshall Henderson against the Dogs. There was only one this season, a big Rebels win in Oxford, after which MSU coach Rick Ray was captured by TV cameras mouthing unfriendly words to Henderson as he left the court. Henderson was also mouthing, but the camera wasn’t clear on what he might have said. Nothing like added drama for Mississippi’s SEC rivals.

If the Rebels win they face Georgia, a team against which they had a multitude of opportunities to win in Athens but failed to get it done in a one-point loss.

Back to Saturday’s game …

Henderson was genuinely emotional after the game. You could tell he’d been crying. He went out with a win, but he didn’t go out with a good shooting game and really hasn’t had one of those since he was 5-for-11 from 3 at Georgia on Feb. 15.

Since the Georgia game Henderson is 22-for-78 from 3, 28.2 percent. It’s no coincidence the Rebels have had issues down the stretch.

This team will go as far as Henderson or Jarvis Summers will take it. Anything else is, as we say at the newspaper, “bonus coverage” and really doesn’t happen enough.

Take Anthony Perez for instance. He was 0-for-3 and did not score Saturday. If he shows up, that game has a lot less drama.

The bigs still can’t shoot. They are what they are. The big question is what will they be next year? We’ve seen flashes. I think they will improve. If they don’t … if they’re not stronger, if they’re not more consistent at the rim, this team won’t be better in a year.

The Rebels really bothered Vanderbilt with their halfcourt trap. Anything you can do to pressure a team with depth issues is a plus for you. There will be a legs issue for Vandy if that’s who the Rebels face in Atlanta.







22-for-78 from 3-point range (28.2 percent).

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

Posted in Basketball
  • Karl Hungus

    Looking at the SEC bracket, I see Ole Miss reaching the seminal. That should get them a #6 seed in the NIT. Great season, indeed!

    • Killer_Beeze

      Coach AK has had to play a lot of young & inexperience guys this year and had to lean heavily on two: Henderson & Summers.

      I can’t figure out if your “great season indeed” remark is a slight or what…but the 6th seeding in the SEC is not too shabby considering it would have been much higher had the Rebels won 5 or 6 of those last minute one and two point losses this season.
      Wherever the Rebels end up in post season is a helluva lot better than that school beneath us (TSBU)

      • Karl Hungus

        It definitely wasn’t a slight. The Cabbie Fighter has become the “Master of the N.I.T” Ole Miss has had a better season,than Ricky F’n Ray’s 8 guys…that’s obvious and “Mr. 36%”, Henderson is NBA bound.

  • JB

    i think Ole Miss will make the NCAA dance this season, They are not a bad basketball team, and with some breaks they could do very good in the NCAA tournament. Maybe see my Gators again. that could be possible in the SEC play off.

  • Lee814

    The only way the Rebels have a chance for the big dance is to win the SEC tourney again this year. I would be surprised if the SEC gets more than four teams in the NCAA, and four would be a stretch. With the bracket they are in, the Rebels have a good shot at getting to the semi-finals. But I believe that is far as they will get. Should make it to the NIT somewhere around a 3-4 seed.

  • Karl Hungus

    This is about as exciting as it gets for Ole Miss hoops!!! The N.I.T. is becoming an Ole Miss favorite. Eerily similar to the BBVA Composite Bowl for the football team.

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