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Predictions for Rebels’ Road Game Against Florida

Predictions for Rebels’ Road Game Against Florida

OXFORD, Miss. — Ole Miss is a tale of two teams, at the moment. When at its best, the Rebels’ defense could be amongst the very top in the SEC. The unit sits at 25th in the nation, allowing 61.7 PPG. However, when at its lowest the team’s performance can be frustrating to watch as they have struggled to make shots on a consistent basis. Kermit Davis’ bunch is currently 317th in the nation with a 28.6% outside shooting mark.

However, tonight’s road contest against Florida could be exactly what the doctor ordered as the Gators and Rebels find themselves in similar situations.

Florida (5-3, 2-2 Southeastern Conference) has recently found itself on the wrong end of two lopsided defeats at the hands of Alabama and Kentucky. The Gators have experienced their fair share of adversity this season, as the preseason SEC Player of the Year Keyontae Johnson collapsed during a game earlier this season and may not return for a while. Johnson has been released from the hospital and is back around the team; however, no reports yet indicate when he will be able to rejoin the team on the court.

The Rebels (6-4, 1-2 SEC) are fresh off a 75-61 loss to LSU where Ole Miss struggled to get into a rhythm offensively. The contest tonight will be the third time this season the team plays away from the friendly confines of The Pavilion, as they travel to Gainesville for the contest. That being said, it may offer the best opportunity so far this season to pick up a win on the road and do so against a quality SEC opponent.

The consensus around the Gator community is that Florida has had defensive issues missing rotations, which could help the Rebels get back to their early-season identity.

I decided to ask a two of our Rebel Walk staff — Tyler Komis and Evie Van Pelt — to join me in making some predictions ahead of tonight’s game. 

No. 1: Shuler and White will set the tone

This week the Ole Miss Men’s basketball team will be traveling to the O’Connell Center to take on the Florida Gators. My predictions for Tuesday’s matchup is that Devontae Shuler will rebound from his rough two-game stretch against Auburn/LSU, and will have a much more efficient night shooting the basketball.

I also believe that Romello White will have a bigger role than last game and puts up a double-double with points/rebounds.

Despite those two having bounce back games, I still think this game will be a lower scoring game with both defenses showing up to play. Both teams have lost 3 of their last 5 games and look to add another in conference win. – Tyler Komis

No. 2: Scoring in the paint

Look for the Rebels to get back to scoring more in the paint. I predict Ole Miss will outscore Florida there by 10 and will also out-rebound them. 

The Gators have a length advantage due to Castleton and Scottie Lewis, but the Rebels may have the physical advantage with the trio of Romello White, K.J. Buffen, and Luis Rodriguez. Having Robert Allen and Khadim Sy off the bench also will help the Rebels leave Florida with a win. — Evie Van Pelt

No. 3: Crowley plays 20+ and impresses

Over the last two games Austin Crowley has played around 22 MPG and has averages of 9 PPG, 6.5 RPG, and 2.5 STL. My prediction for the Florida game is that he comes in clutch off the bench again in a spark-plug role and energizes the team again to score in double digit with two triples. The rest of the Rebels hesitated a bit on taking open jumpers but Crowley fired off two without a thought against LSU.

If he can keep that confidence going into tonight’s action, it could be the best stretch of basketball we’ve seen from him in a Rebel uniform. Overall he scores 10+ off the bench and the Rebels find some points in the paint and we could have a good chance to steal one on the road – TJ Oxley

Game info: 

Date: Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021
Time: 6 p.m. CT
Location: Gainesville, Fla.
Arena: Exactech Arena (10,151)
Television: SEC Network
Radio: Ole Miss Sports Network (XM-380, Internet-970)
Live Video: ESPN.com/ESPN app
Live Audio: OleMissSports.com/TuneIn app
Series: Florida leads 67-47
Last Meeting: Feb. 8, 2020 – Ole Miss won 68-51 in Oxford, Miss.

(Feature image credit: Josh McCoy, Ole Miss)

About The Author

TJ Oxley

TJ Oxley is a current MBA student at Ole Miss after having earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Toledo. He currently covers college hoops and the NBA Draft for the Basketball Society as well as all things Ole Miss for The Rebel Walk.

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