Ole Miss opened up its 2017 men’s basketball season Friday night with a 94-76 win over Louisiana-Lafayette inside The Pavilion. The Rebels had five players who scored in double figures as the team recorded 17 assists on 33 made field goals.
Ole Miss (1-0) will have a short time to prepare for Eastern Kentucky (1-0) as the two teams tip off Monday night at 5:30 p.m. (CT) in Oxford.
Here are three things to watch for in this non-conference matchup:
Marcanvis Hymon was the only post player who scored in double figures against the Ragin’ Cajuns. He notched a double-double, finishing the night with 12 points and 13 rebounds in 32 minutes of action. He made 5 of 7 field goals and was active on both ends of the court. He also recorded one block and one steal.
Hymon is the most experienced post player on the roster, but the Rebels will eventually need more production from Justas Furmanavicius, Bruce Stevens, and Dominik Olejniczak. The three combined to score 11 points on 5 of 11 shooting against ULL.
Sharing minutes amongst the guards
Head coach Andy Kennedy has depth at the guard position and will continue to find the best rotations as the season moves along.
On Friday night, Deandre Burnett, Devontae Shuler, Breein Tyree, Terence Davis, and Markel Crawford all played at least 16 minutes.
Crawford was on the court the longest, playing 31 minutes, scoring nine points and pulling down nine rebounds in his Ole Miss regular season debut.
It will be interesting to see which set of guards will win the battle of playing time.
On Friday night, Kennedy got production out of all of them. Davis finished with 21, Burnett tallied 17, Shuler scored 14, and Tyree finished with 10.
Trailing 42-40 at intermission, the Rebels outscored Louisiana-Lafayette by twenty points, 54-34, in the second half. Ole Miss went 4-for-12 from 3-point range in the first half against the Ragin’ Cajuns and 3-for-9 in the second. Shuler was the team’s best 3-point shooter Friday night, converting on four of six attempts.
The Rebels went on a 16-6 run in the second half after finding themselves behind ULL, 51-50. Against Eastern Kentucky, Kennedy will look for Ole Miss to get off to a little quicker start and make better shot selections than the team did Friday night.
The Rebels and Colonels will tip off at 5:30 p.m. (CT). The game will be available on SECN+. Ole Miss leads the series between the two, 1-0. The last meeting between the Rebels and Eastern Kentucky was on December 16, 1955, with the Rebels winning in Oxford, 95-92.
(Feature image credit: Dan Anderson, The Rebel Walk