By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
Looking back: The Rebels dropped both games, 102-76 at home to Vanderbilt, then 77-62 at No. 1 Kentucky.
While a loss at Kentucky was expected – It was home win No. 50 in a row for the Wildcats – the Rebels’ loss to Vanderbilt will be remembered for lOle Miss 15-11, 5-7 SECoss opportunity and after Jelan Kendrick’s post-game outburst.
Though athletic and talented, Vanderbilt at home was seen as a winnable game had the Rebels been on top of their game and a key RPI opportunity. Afterward, Kendrick, while a crowd of witnesses gathered in the tunnel outside the Ole Miss locker room, launched a verbal assault filled with profanity against teammate Reggie Buckner.
Looking ahead: The Rebels are at Tennessee Wednesday night in a 6 p.m., start (CSS TV) and at home Saturday at 12:30 p.m., against LSU (SEC Network TV).
Who’s hot: Murphy Holloway. The junior forward had 15 points on 7-for-14 shooting, six rebounds, two assists and three steals against Kentucky.
Who’s not: Freshman point guard Jarvis Summers. Summers was 0-for-5 from the floor with one point, no assists and one turnover in 16 minutes against Kentucky.
RPI watch: Ole Miss begins the week with an RPI of 60 following the Kentucky loss. Tennessee is at 111, LSU at 64.
Bottom Line: The Rebels seem poised to continue their streak of absence from the NCAA tournament, an event for which they have not qualified since 2002, unless they win the SEC tournament.
With only one top 50 RPI opponent remaining on the schedule (Alabama at home), nothing short of winning out and a deep SEC run in New Orleans would approach the conversation for an at-large bid.
– Parrish Alford