Rebels travel to Tuscaloosa to take on the Tide in SEC-opener
OXFORD, Miss. — Kermit Davis and the Rebels travel to Tuscaloosa and will open up conference play against Nate Oats and the Crimson Tide Tuesday, marking the 182nd meeting between the two teams.
The last time these two faced off, Alabama won 103-78 back on Feb. 22, 2020, at The Pavilion. Ole Miss looks to return the favor on the road, and Davis’ team is of a different caliber heading into this contest than last year’s. While the Tide leads the series, 123-58, they will be challenged by this year’s Rebels.
Ole Miss currently boasts the nation’s best scoring defense as opponents average only 52.7 points per game. Not to mention, the boys from the ‘Sip lead the SEC in scoring defense, field goal percentage defense, and turnovers forced per game.
In just three years, Coach Davis has re-shaped Rebel hoops, and this is starting to show with the change in his players and their performance. For the first time since the 1980 season, Ole Miss has allowed the fewest points (316) in their first 6 games. Thus far, in the first half, they have held their opponents to single digits in field goal attempts in every game this season.
So what will the Rebs have waiting for them in Tuscaloosa? Here’s a quick look at the Crimson Tide.
The Tide is rolling off a strong second-half showing that saw them defeat East Tennessee State, 85-69, last week at home. They shot 55 percent from the field and 41 percent from three-point range which made all the difference. The Crimson Tide leads the SEC in three-point field goal attempts (242), averaging more than 30 per game.
Alabama boasts three players who average double figures in scoring: Jahvon Quinerally, John Petty Jr., and Herbert Jones. Also, be on the lookout for big plays from sophomore guard Jaden Shackelford.
Shackelford is coming off a career-best game that saw him score a game-high 26 points in the win over East Tennessee, hitting 8-of-13 from beyond the arc.
Also, expect another strong showing from forward Jordan Bruner who notched four assists, a set of steals, eight rebounds, and contributed eight points last week.
As for Coach Davis’ bunch, the Rebels are playing some very strong basketball, standing 5-1 on the season with their only loss coming in a close one to Dayton, 65-62. Davis has some young, fiery talent that has developed and showed up consistently.
Tip-Off Keys For The Rebels
Plain and simple, the Rebels need to continue to play strong defense, take good shots, limit turnovers, and stop Alabama from getting second-chance points.
There just might be a sleeping giant awakening in the Red and Blue — two giants if you count the women’s team that is also off to a hot start.
The Rebels will tip off against the Crimson Tide at 8:00 p.m. (CT) on Tuesday, Dec. 29th from Coleman Coliseum In Tuscaloosa on the SEC Network.
Lee Ann is the Director of Recruiting for The Rebel Walk. She is a veteran SEC sports journalist and NFL content writer. She is also the Sr. Editor for MESPORTS digital. Herring-Olvedo is a Brown University graduate who loves good cigars, good games, and a smooth glass of bourbon — not necessarily in that order.