Sunday, February 04, 2007

Rebs Impressive on the Road

The Ole Miss Rebels showed out yesterday as they defeated the Auburn Tigers on the road 82-59. The Rebels came out of the lockerroom hot and never trailed. They dominated the whole game and for most of the game were ahead by double digits. Everyone that played in the game contributed excellent minutes from Brian Smith to Jermey Parnell.

Ole Miss was led once again by Clarence Sanders who contributed 21 points, all three pointers. Sanders was 7-11 from beyond the line. I really like the way Kennedy is playing him now. Having him come off the bench is better for Clay and for the entire team. Bam Doyne also contributed 20 points as Dwayne Curtis chipped in 19 points and grabbed 11 boards. As much as Dwayne contributed, he still could have thrown up about 30 as he continues to miss simple put backs. I talked about this last week, I know it fustrates the hell out of Kennedy.

The Rebels had an excellent day shooting as they shot 52% from the field and 54% from behind the three point arc. Had it not been for some early fouls in the first half, Auburn might not have scored in the first five minutes. The Rebels had seven fouls a little over four minutes into the game. The free throws given to Auburn kept them around for much of the game.

As I referenced earlier, just about every Rebel that played had a good game. I rarely compliment Brian Smith, but he played a great game for the Rebels. He had several key steals and played some tough defense in the few minutes that he played. Jermy Parnell had some great blocks and Kenny Williams had two spectacular put back dunks that had the players pumped up on the sidelines.

I attended the game yesterday at Auburn, it was my fist road game aside from Starkville to attend in the SEC. If you have not been to a basketball game at Auburn you are not missing anything. I used to think the environment at the Tad Pad was the worst it could be at times. But I am here to tell you it is much better than Auburn. I get to the arena and they are out of tickets, no it is not that they were sold out, it was that they did not print enough. Once I find some tickets I go in and the place is virtually empty. For a team that has been hot as of late and is leading the SEC West on a good weather weekend, I figured the place would be a near sell out. Boy was I wrong. The announced crowd was 6,900 and I doubt there were that many people there. A large contingent of Ole Miss fans were in attendance and were louder than the Aubies for most of the game. Clarence Sanders had a large following at the game that screamed for the Rebels the entire game. It was good to see his family and friends come out in large numbers to support him.

This win put the Rebels a half game back from Alabama for first place in the SEC West. I would figure no Ole Miss fans including myself would have predicted this when the season started. I posted last week a win on the road was key and if they wanted to be true players in the race, they would have to find ways to win on the road. Ole Miss has the week off before hosting SEC Western division leader Alabama on Saturday afternoon. This has the making to be a big week for Ole Miss athletics.