Rebs Face Jags
The University of South Alabama comes into Tad Smith tomorrow night to take on the Rebels in the second game of the year. This is a pretty strong opponent for the Rebels to be playing them the second game of the year. I am interested to see what type of talen the Jaguars have. They traditionally have a pretty decent team. Andy Kennedy will still be working the kinks out with this team and trying to find the best five on the court at one time. This is the first of two games this week as Lamar comes to Oxford on Friday to take on the Rebs.
SCOUTING THE JAGUARS South Alabama used a strong defensive effort to earn a 73-41 win in its season opener against Division II West Florida on Saturday night. The Jaguars, who amassed a 20-12 record last season, are led by Preseason All-Sun Belt guards Demetric Bennett and Daon Merritt, the only returning starters from the 2006-07 squad. Bennett poured in 15.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game last season, while Merritt helped out with 12.7 points per contest. JC Transfer Domonic Tilford had a team-high 15 points in the season opener, while Bennett and junior Brandon Davis added 12 apiece. USA is coached by Ronnie Arrow, who is beginning his second stint with the school after coaching there from 1987-94. He replaces John Pelphrey, who was hired by Arkansas in April.
OLE MISS-SOUTH ALABAMA SERIES Ole Miss leads the all-time series against the Jaguars 2-1, including last year’s 82-72 Rebel win in Mobile. Tuesday’s game will be the first meeting between the two schools in Oxford. Ole Miss won 80-61 on Dec. 30, 1969, and South Alabama prevailed 70-54 on Dec. 30, 1975.
REBEL-JAGUAR COACHING TIES For the second straight year, Rebel head coach Andy Kennedy will face the program that gave him his first coaching position. After playing professionally for three years, the 26-year-old Kennedy served one year as an assistant coach for the Jaguars during the 1994-95 campaign. Bob Weltlich manned the Rebel sidelines for six years (1977-82) and directed Ole Miss to the SEC Tournament title and the program’s postseason debut in 1981. Weltlich later took the reins of USA for five seasons (1998-2002) and recorded an 81-65 record. He also took the Jags to the NCAA Tournament and managed three 20-win seasons.