OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss should have Deandre Burnett back for Saturday’s game in The Pavilion against Florida, and that’s a good thing as head coach Andy Kennedy and his Rebels definitely missed the guard earlier in the week against Auburn.
Burnett, a fifth-year senior averaging 14.4 points and 4.7 assists per game, was unable to participate in the Rebels’ loss at the No. 22 Tigers due to flu-like symptoms.
The good news for Ole Miss is, for the third straight game, sophomore guard Breein Tyree continued to play well, leading the team in scoring with 24 points on 7 of 18 shooting.
Terence Davis finished with 13 and 10 rebounds, while Devontae Shuler and Markel Crawford combined to score 11 points on 4 for 22 shooting.
Florida head coach Mike White knows the Rebels have some very talented guards who are capable of scoring quickly. “We’ve got to be very aware of who does what from what spot on the floor, and the difference of each of their five guards on the floor,” White said.
They’re very unique in that I don’t know how many teams in the country have five guards on the perimeter averaging nine points or more. They’re all true guards. And they have some capable front court guys, as well.
Florida head coach Mike White on Ole Miss
Today’s game continues a tough stretch for the Rebels as they are facing yet another undefeated team in league play.
Auburn (15-1, 3-0) sits atop the SEC, and the Gators (12 p.m., CBS) are right behind Auburn at 12-4, overall, and 4-0 in conference. Florida’s biggest conference win this season came at then-No. 11 Texas A&M on Jan. 2.
The Gators are currently on a six-game winning streak, and have won those six games by an average of 11.2 points.
Florida is a team this season that takes good care of the basketball; they lead the SEC in turnover margin (+5.1) and turnovers per game (10.1), with both of those ranking in the top 10 in the nation. The Gators also lead the league in steals per game (7.6) and 3-pointers made per game (9.6).
The Rebels own a 29-23 record against the Gators in games played in Oxford. Ten of the last 13 games in the series have been decided by seven points or less.
Three things to watch in the Ole Miss vs. Florida matchup
1. Will Burnett play?
From what we are hearing, Deandre Burnett will be available to play Saturday. In addition to being the Rebels’ leading scorer (14.4 ppg), he is shooting 38.9 percent from 3-point range. The senior is also averaging 4.7 assists per contest and 27.9 minutes per game. The Rebels need his experience against Florida.
2. Florida’s scoring defense
During the Gators’ six-game winning streak, they have not allowed an opponent to reach the 80-point mark. Missouri came the closest with 75 points in a two-point loss at home to Florida on Jan. 6. Ole Miss is accustomed to scoring near the 80s, as the Rebels are averaging 78.6 points per game.
3. Jalen Hudson and Egor Koulechov
Jalen Hudson and Egor Koulechov are the top two scorers for Florida this season. Hudson leads the team with 16.6 points per game, while Koulechov is averaging 15.5 ppg to go along with his team-high 6.8 rebounds per game. Koulechov is the SEC’s best free throw shooter at 93.9 percent (46 of 49). Koulechov is coming off a 23-point home performance against Mississippi State.
Matchup: Florida (12-4, 4-0 SEC) vs. Ole Miss (9-7, 2-2 SEC)
Date: Saturday, January 13, 2018
Time: 12 p.m. CT
Location: Oxford, Miss.
Television: CBS (Kevin Harlan, play-by-play; Bill Raftery, analyst)
Radio: Ole Miss IMG Sports Network (David Kellum, play-by-play; Keith Cater, analyst)
Series: Florida leads 65-45
Last meeting: January 3, 2017 – Florida won, 77-72, in Gainesville
First 1,000 fans receive Mt. Rushmore collectable (2 of 4) featuring Ole Miss basketball legend Gerald Glass.