Three keys for Ole Miss against Georgia
Ole Miss is coming off a much-needed Southeastern Conference road win against Auburn on Saturday and will be back in action Wednesday night (6:00 p.m., ESPNU) to face the Georgia Bulldogs (10-5, 2-1 SEC) in The Pavilion.
The Rebels (10-5, 1-2) are looking for their second league win on the season, but it won’t be easy against the Bulldogs, winners of five of their last seven games.
Here are three keys for Ole Miss heading into the home game against Georgia:
1. Limit junior forward Yante Maten
Georgia forward Yante Maten is having a solid junior campaign, averaging 20.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, which ranks second and third in the SEC, respectively.
Maten posted 17 points and nine rebounds in the Bulldogs’ 71-66 home victory over Missouri on Saturday. The 17 points marked Maten’s 14th double-figure scoring outing of the season and the 49th of his career.
Last season when Georgia traveled to Oxford, Maten recorded 20 points and nine rebounds in a game the Bulldogs might have won if it wasn’t for Stefan Moody’s game-winning layup with 3.8 seconds remaining that gave the Rebels the 72-71 comeback win.
Maten is dangerous when he has great position in the post. Standing at 6-foot-8, he is shooting 54.4 percent (105 of 193) from the field. If called upon to do so, Maten can shoot from long range; for the season, he’s shooting 41.4 percent (12 of 29) from three.
Ole Miss will have to limit Maten’s presence in the post and not allow him have another solid performance like he did last season.
2. Force Georgia into a lot of 3’s
On Saturday against the Missouri Tigers, Georgia went 2 of 13 from the beyond the arc. For the season, the Bulldogs are shooting 31.3 percent from deep and are 14th in the league, averaging 5.3 made three-pointers a game.
3. Look for balanced scoring
Against Auburn, six Ole Miss players scored in double figures. Redshirt junior Deandre Burnett led the way with 18 points and recorded eight assists. Sophomore guard Terence Davis added 16 points. Senior forward Sebastian Saiz notched 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Redshirt junior Cullen Neal scored all 13 of his points in the second half, coming at a time the Rebels really needed them. Freshman post player Justas Furmanavicius and senior forward Rasheed Brooks finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Instead of always trying to find Saiz in the post, Ole Miss needs others to step up on the offensive end so the attention can come off the 6-foot-9 Madrid, Spain native. If the Rebels can manage a repeat of Saturday’s performance against the Tigers, they will make it difficult for Georgia’s Mark Fox to decide on whom to focus the most when he draws up his game plan.
Series history vs. Georgia
Wednesday’s game will be the 114th meeting between the two schools, with Georgia holding a 71-42 lead in the series. The two SEC foes have split the last 16 meetings, including a home-and-home split last season. Ole Miss leads the all-time series 27-22 in games played in Oxford and has won five of the last seven meetings at home. Head coach Andy Kennedy owns a 7-7 record against the Bulldogs.
(Feature image credit: Josh McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics)
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.