REBS MAY NOT GET TO PLAY TODAY
By Chris Burrows
Ole Miss plays LSU at 7 p.m. today in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge. Maybe.
The Rebels were originally scheduled to bus to Baton Rouge at noon Friday, but athletic director Pete Boone postponed the trip after an ice storm enveloped Northeast Mississippi.
Alternate plans included a bus trip to the Memphis airport Friday evening for a late-night flight into Baton Rouge. If bad weather continues, the Rebels could fly into Baton Rouge at 8 a.m. this morning.
“The safety of everyone is the first concern, but we’re going to try to get the game played,” Ole Miss Associate Sports Information Director Jeff Romero said. “But, if we aren’t able to make the 8 a.m. flight into Baton Rouge, it’s going to be difficult to get another flight there.”
After traveling to Baton Rouge in safety, the top priority for the Rebels (7-10, 2-6) would be getting out with a win. If Ole Miss can take the road win, the Tigers (10-9, 2-5) would become the SEC Western Division cellar dwellers.
“They’re a powerful offensive team,” said head coach Rob Evans, whose club is seeking its first SEC road win since the 1993-94 season when the Rebels won at Auburn.
“Winning on the road is a matter of talent level and experience. Our talent level is improved and we’ll continue getting better. Experience is something we’re gaining each game. It’s (winning on the road in the SEC) the next step for us.”
The Rebels came close to defeating LSU in Baton Rouge last year. Randy Livingston converted a coast-to-coast layup with two seconds remaining to force overtime and the Tigers eventually prevailed, 87-81.
Livingston returns with high-scoring running mate Ronnie Henderson (22.3 points per game) and Deuce Ford (11.6) to give the Tigers a strong three-guard combination.
“They can run up points from every perimeter spot,” Evans said. “The key is to try to control them and prevent the inside guys from hurting you, too.”
The Rebels are led by freshman guard Keith Carter (14.4 ppg) and sophomore Joezon Darby, who has provided firepower (8.3 ppg) in a reserve role and is expected to start.
Freshman point guard Michael White, who was treated earlier in the week for bronchitis, is expected to make the trip but will see limited playing time.