Ole Miss set for Senior Night against Vanderbilt
After defeating Alabama 82-74 on its Senior Night, Ole Miss is in great position to land a spot in the NCAA tournament. With one more win before the Southeastern Conference tournament, the Rebels will surely be on the right side of things once the NCAA Committee pencils in the field of 68.
If the season ended today, the Rebels would be the No. 3 seed in next week’s SEC tournament and a No. 9 seed in the Big Dance, according to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi.
Junior guard Stefan Moody was a big part of his team’s victory over the Crimson Tide Tuesday night in Tuscaloosa, scoring 22 of his team-high 25 points in the second half.
Senior LaDarius White didn’t leave Moody out there to ball on his own, notching 19 points off the bench–including going 4-for-5 from three-point range.
20-wins, yet again
The word “history” came into play in Ole Miss’ win over Alabama. The Rebels posted 20 wins for the seventh time in nine seasons under head coach Andy Kennedy. Kennedy also passed Alabama’s Wimp Sanderson for the third-most wins in SEC history in his first nine seasons with one program. He only trails Kentucky’s Joe B. Hall (205) and Florida’s Billy Donovan (193).
Stefan Moody (A Howell Trophy Finalist)
Junior guard Stefan Moody has led Ole Miss in scoring all season and, at times, has had to carry the Rebels on his back to victory. For the season, Moody is averaging 16.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 2.1 assists a game. He’s also shooting a team-best 91.4 percent from the free throw line, which leads the SEC and ranks sixth in the nation.
For his great accomplishments on the court, Moody has been named one of the three finalist for the Bailey Howell Trophy presented by the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame to the most outstanding men’s college basketball player in Mississippi.
The winner will be announced Monday and Ole Miss has been fortunate to win the award for the past two seasons.
Seniors Jarvis Summers, Aaron Jones, M.J. Rhett, Ladarius White, and Terence Smith will be honored Saturday on Senior Night in the Tad Pad.
Summers is just the fifth player in SEC history to record 1,500 points and 500 assists. He recently passed Rod Barnes for second in Ole Miss history with 507 assists, and also sits 9th all-time in scoring (1,587).
For his career, Summers has 83 wins under his belt, trailing only Reginald Buckner and Jason Flanigan (87), Jason Harrison (86), Murphy Holloway (85), Zach Graham (84) and tying Rahim Lockhart (83).
Facing the Commodores
Unlike the Crimson Tide they defeated earlier in the week, Ole Miss will look to avoid losing on its Senior Night Saturday, as the Rebels (20-10, 11-6 SEC) will take on the Vanderbilt Commodores 9 p.m. ET inside Tad Smith Coliseum. The Rebels are 7-1 on Senior Night under head coach Andy Kennedy, including five straight wins.
Vanderbilt (18-12, 8-9) has won its last four league games and seven of its last nine after starting league action 1-7. Sophomore center Damian Jones leads the team in scoring (14.5 points per game) and rebounding (6.3 rebounds per game).
Guard Riley LaChance is second on the team in scoring, averaging 12.3 points per contest and has drained 30 3-pointers in SEC play. The Commodores lead the SEC in 3-point percentage at 38.1 percent, but rank dead last in opponent 3-point percentage at 38.7 percent.
The series between Vanderbilt and Ole Miss started back in 1925 and the Commodores lead the series 74-42, but lately the Rebels have had their number, winning the last four meetings, which included Ole Miss’ first season sweep of Vanderbilt since 1983. The Rebels are 31-23 against the Commodores in Oxford, but have suffered defeat in four of the last six meetings against Vanderbilt in Tad Smith Coliseum, where Ole Miss is 9-6 for the season.
So, Rebel fans, head on over to the Tad Pad and send Aaron Jones, M.J. Rhett, Terence Smith, Snoop White and Jarvis Summers off with the cheers they deserve. Hotty Toddy!
Where to watch the game
TelevisIon: SEC Network Dave Bake, play-by-play; Daymeon Fishback, analyst.
Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network, David Kellum, play-by-play; Keith Carter, analyst
Satellite Radio: Sirius 113, XM 191
Live Video: WatchESPN.com
Live Audio: OleMissSports.com
Courtney is from Memphis and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Memphis in May of 2014. He began his journalism career covering the Memphis Tigers Men’s basketball team, which landed him an intern position on 730 Yahoo Sports Radio and a position with Rivals.com. A freelance writer for the Associated Press, Courtney is also a member of The Rebel Walk team and reports regularly on Ole Miss football and basketball. Courtney, the father of a six-year old girl named Soniyah, prefers to cover NCAA basketball and football, but is happy to report on any other sport that comes his way.