Chris Beard talks Brakefield, Cisse, and his Rebels’ defense after win over NC State
OXFORD, Miss. — Ole Miss men’s basketball remains undefeated, advancing its record to 6-0 following a 20-point win over North Carolina State Tuesday night. The Rebels’ offensive success was led by senior Jaemyn Brakefield, who scored 25 points, followed by Allen Flanigan with 15.
Following Brakefield’s dominating performance, head coach Chris Beard talked about the abundance of work his forward puts into his game.
“It’s what he puts in every day. The confidence comes from hours in the gym. You go in the morning, the ball’s bouncing, and it’s Brake; you go in late at night, the ball’s bouncing, and it’s Brake. Nobody cares more than Brake. You know, in life you can either be a victim or you can chest up, head out, let go, and I thought that’s what he did tonight.”
Chris Beard on Jaemyn Brakefield
Not only did the offense play an outstanding game, but the Rebels’ defense was equally productive.
Against their first Power Five opponent of the year, Ole Miss held NC State to 52 points, the fewest number of points they have allowed through six games. Last Friday, the Wolfpack scored 86 points on the No. 19 team in the country, BYU.
For Beard, this was the most encouraging defensive effort he has seen thus far.
“We guarded tonight. That’s our defense. Look, we had some fortune, they had a lot of (missed) three-point shots, but I think you have to give us credit for pressuring a lot of those shots. We definitely had some fortune, but in basketball, I think you create your fortune. Our guys were playing extremely hard. From where I was sitting before I watched the film, I thought we played 33–34 minutes of Ole Miss basketball, and that’s a promising thing.”
In other news, it was announced that 7-foot-0 transfer center Moussa Cisse has been cleared to play for the Rebs after waiting for a waiver from the NCAA. Cisse transferred in from Oklahoma State, where he led the team in blocks and started 20 out of 32 games in 2022.
Beard talked about Cisse’s communication skills even though the Conakry, Guinea native has not been able to play.
“He’s been an unbelievable leader. He stopped practice the other day and brought the guys in. He’s been vocal at halftime and on the bench. He’s done a good job staying intact. He’ll make our team better.”
Chris Beard on Moussa Cisse
After coming off what Beard said was the Rebs’ “best week of preparation” and their best win, they’ll need to turn the page quickly. The Memphis Tigers are coming to town with the motivation to beat an SEC team after suffering their first loss of the season to Villanova.
Rebel fans, show your support and pack the Pavilion at 1 p.m. this Saturday! Hotty Toddy!