Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury preaches man defense for the Bulldogs, but the Rebels struggled mightily with Auburn's zone in a 69-68, two-overtime loss at Auburn Saturday.
"If I'm on the other side, and I look at our numbers, and I watch our tape, then we're going to see our share of zone," Kennedy said.
The Rebels (11-6, 1-2 SEC) will try to snap a five-game losing streak to their in-state rivals when the 15th-ranked Bulldogs (15-3, 2-1) visit tonight at 8.
Among the 12 SEC teams, only Ole Miss and Alabama are shooting less than 30 percent from 3-point range.
The Rebels, last at 27.0 percent, were 7 for 28 at Auburn, but their biggest shots came late. Ultimately, freshman point guard Jarvis Summers was 4-for-8 from 3-point range and led all scorers with 22 points.
Ole Miss needed a frantic comeback just to reach overtime, however, because it couldn't knock down shots against the zone.
Auburn was able to focus on the Rebels' athletic frontcourt players and neutralize their true strength.
"The beginning of the game it was easy for me and Reggie to catch it and pass to each other up and down, but as they tightened it up, yeah, it makes it a lot harder," said junior forward Murphy Holloway, who posted his sixth double-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds and three steals.
Summers 'was feeling it'
As the Rebels rallied at Auburn several halfcourt possessions saw Summers at the shooting guard and Memphis transfer Jelan Kendrick setting the offense.
Summers said that doesn't necessarily signal a changing of roles.
"Whoever's on is going to get the ball. I just was feeling it," he said.
Summer's hot hand against the Tigers spiked his 3-point percentage to 38.6, easily the best on the team. Next is senior forward Terrance Henry at 26.7 percent.
Kennedy is hopeful his players can hit shots, but he believes he'll see different tactics from Stansbury.
"Their team plays more man than zone, but we're anticipating he, like us, will throw a little of everything out there, see what's the most effective and then try to stay with that," Kennedy said. "I think all coaches go by feel. They have three or four things that they want to unveil throughout the course of a game and see what's the most effective."