Miss. State at Ole Miss

When: 8 p.m., Tad Smith Coliseum (8,867)

TV: SEC Network

Satellite Radio: XM 190. Sirius 119.

Series: MSU leads 141-109.

Last year: MSU 76-72 in Starkville, Ole Miss 82-63 in Oxford, Ole Miss 78-66 in SEC tournament.

Coaches: Ole Miss – Andy Kennedy (204-121, 10th year; 183-108 in ninth season at Ole Miss). MSU – Rick Ray 33-51 third year overall, third at MSU.

Notes: Ole Miss has won three straight Tad Smith Coliseum games against MSU. …Ole Miss guard Jarvis Summers is 12 points away from becoming the 14th player in SEC history with 1,500 career points and 400 career assists. … Center Dwight Coleby is averaging 9.0 points and 7.6 rebounds over his last four games. … MSU opponents are averaging 30.7 rebounds, tying for fewest in the SEC. … MSU center Gavin Ware has 42 rebounds over the last three games including 17 two games ago against Auburn.

Ole Miss (12-7, 3-3 SEC)

C – M.J. Rhett 6-9 Sr.. 6.7p 5.1r

F – Sebastian Saiz 6-9 So.. 7.2p 4.8r

G – Martavious Newby 6-3 Jr. 3.9p 4.8r

G – Stefan Moody 5-10 Jr. 15.1p 3.3r

G – Jarvis Summers 6-3 Sr. 14.2.p 4.2a

Top Reserves: G Terence Smith, C Dwight Coleby, G LaDarius White

Mississippi State 9-10, (2-4 SEC)

G – I.J. Ready 5-11 So. 8.4p 2.2a

F – Gavin Ware 6-9 Jr. 7.5p 9.4r

G – Travis Daniels 6-8 Jr. 4.7p 7.0r

F – Roquez Johnson 6-7 Sr. 11.0p 6.8r

G – Craig Sword 6-3 Jr. 5.6p 2.1r

Top Reserves: G Trivante Bloodman, G Demetrius Houston, F Oliver Black

I’ve often heard it said that Mississippi State players care about the Ole Miss rivalry more than Ole Miss players.

Although I think passion is a moving target affected largely by recent series history I think there’s some truth in that statement.

Certainly Martavious Newby believes it’s true.

Newby didn’t try to hide his belief that beating Ole Miss for the sake of beating Ole Miss matters to MSU players.

Newby hasn’t experienced a home loss to MSU, but fact of the matter is before he began his career those weren’t that uncommon. Ole Miss has won three straight at Tad Smith, but before the current streak began MSU had won three straight on the Ole Miss floor.

Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy is 7-10 against MSU.

Kennedy doesn’t get caught up in the rivalry. He prepares his players to play the next game. Losing to a 210 RPI team at home could do irreparable damage to the Rebels’ presently wobbly NCAA resume no matter who the opponent. Ole Miss has an RPI of 46 right now. Tonight’s game is the first of two this week — Missouri has a 161 RPI — that will be real stinker losses.

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.

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