Thursday, January 17, 2008

Rebs Travel to Ugliest Village on the Plains

The Rebels take their show on the road this weekend as they travel to Auburn to take on the Jeff Lebo coached Tigers. Auburn has struggled this year. I really thought Auburn was going to be a very good team coming into the season. However they have lost their two best players to injuries and a playing with a very thin roster.

These are the teams you have to be worried about. You go on the road and you have to make sure your team is focused. It is very easy for a team like Auburn who has struggled to get up for a big home game like this and come out hot against the Rebs.

The Rebels need to get out there and take care of business early. Two freshman I really wanted to play well and step up have done so over the past several games in Malcolm White and Trevor Gaskins. Now it is Zach Grahams turn. He has the game and the potential, he just needs the confidence to bust it open. This is a great opportunity for Zach.

The atmosphere at Auburn basketball games is terrible. I kid you not, the place is worse than the Tad Pad. No one goes to the games and it is like a funeral when you go in there. However Jeff Lebo in my opinion is a very good coach and is getting a tough break at Auburn. The Tigers are coming off a win on the road at LSU, so it should be interesting to see how they respond to their first SEC win.

All in all the Rebels should win this one and it should be a good segway into the off week before taking on $tansbury next week at "The Hump"

(UMAA)REBELS TRAVEL TO DIVISIONAL RIVAL Coming off Wednesday’s hard-fought 89-87 victory over defending national champion Florida, Ole Miss will make its first trip of the season to an SEC Western Division rival with Saturday’s 4 p.m. game at Auburn. At 15-1, the Rebels are off to their best start since the 1925-26 squad began 16-1. Ole Miss is 2-1 in league play while trying to defend last year’s SEC West title campaign in which the Rebels compiled an 8-8 league record. Dwayne Curtis paced the Rebels with 20 points and 12 rebounds against the Gators to post his seventh double-double, second most in the SEC. Trevor Gaskins racked up 19 points with several big shots to stave off Gator runs in the second half. Auburn won at LSU 74-67 Wednesday, but had lost its previous three games to Xavier, Arkansas and Florida.

SCOUTING THE TIGERS Auburn enters the weekend with a 10-5 overall record and 1-2 mark in the SEC after their most recent victory, a 74-67 win over LSU in Baton Rouge. The Tigers have lost to Arkansas and Florida in league play. The Tigers rely on a stout defense allowing 67.1 ppg to opponents while racking up 9.5 steals per game, second-most in the SEC. Auburn features four players that average double-figure points, led by Quan Prowell and Korvotney Barber with 13.8 each and Rasheem Barrett with 13.5. Barber is currently out with a broken hand. Leading the charge defensively are DeWayne Reed and Quantez Robertson, who rank second and third in the SEC with 2.5 and 2.2 steals per game, respectively. Jeff Lebo is 53-53 since taking over the Auburn helm in 2004. He guided the Tigers to a 17-15 mark (7-9 SEC) last season.

OLE MISS-AUBURN SERIES Saturday’s game will be the 115th meeting between the two schools, with the Tigers holding an all-time series lead of 68-46. Ole Miss holds an 8-6 edge in the last 14 meetings and beat the Tigers in both meetings last year (82-59 at Auburn and 83-79 on Senior Day in Oxford). Ole Miss swept the 2004-05 season series, but Auburn came back to take both meetings in 2005-06. The Tigers own a 46-13 advantage in Auburn, but Ole Miss has won two of the last three meetings at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.

TIGER TIES The Rebels’ starting center will be battling a familiar foe this weekend. Senior Dwayne Curtis spent his freshman season at Auburn in 2003-04, before transferring to Ole Miss in May 2004. Curtis played in 19 games, starting five, in his one year on the Plains and tallied 11 points and 6 rebounds at Arkansas and 10 points and 9 boards at Mississippi State. In addition, Rebel senior Kenny Williams signed with Auburn out of high school as part of the Tigers’ 2003 football recruiting class. A first-team all-county tight end from Miami, Williams opted for hoops instead at St. Petersburg Community College.