Georgia Bulldogs will face toughest SEC test of young season against Ole Miss


The Georgia Bulldogs will welcome the Ole Miss Rebels, who will be looking to avenge last season’s tournament near miss at the hands of the Dawgs.

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Ole Miss visits Georgia Tuesday night for a pivotal early season SEC contest. Both teams stand at 2-2 in conference, sport eleven wins on the young season and have top 50 RPI ratings (Georgia 27, Ole Miss 46.)

On Saturday, Ole Miss handed Arkansas its head in Fayetteville 96 – 82, and Georgia snapped Florida’s 24 game SEC win streak in the Stegeman Coliseum 73 – 61.

The Rebels and Dawgs are near statistical twins. Georgia holds a 2.5 percent advantage in field goal shooting, Ole Miss a 1.7 percent advantage in 3-point shooting. Both teams average 38 rebounds, 13 assists, per game.

But the Rebels present the greatest yet challenge to the Bulldogs this season. Where Georgia is strong – on defense and creating opponent fouls – Ole Miss is the equal or greater. Where Georgia is weak – shooting free throws and turning the ball over – Ole Miss dominates.

Date: 1/20/2015

Tipoff Time: 7:00 PM EST

Venue: Stegeman Coliseum, University of Georgia

Radio: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network from IMG, in Atlanta WSB (750 AM) and WSBB (95.5 FM). In Athens: WRFC (AM 960) Sirius 119 and XM 192 – Scott Howard, Chuck Dowdle


Coach: Andy Kennedy accepted the Ole Miss head coaching position in March 2006. From 2001 to 2006, Kennedy served as assistant coach at Cincinnati for head coach Bob Huggins, leading the Bearcats to the NIT as interim head coach.

Kennedy served as assistant coach at University of South Alabama and the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Kennedy is s former Parade All-American, Mississippi Player of the Year, and played at NC State and Alabama-Birmingham. He is the UAB all-time scorer..

Last year: Despite a 14-5 start, the Rebels were 19-14 (9-9) last year and lost to Georgia twice by a combined three points. Marshall Henderson dominated the show last year for Ole Miss and his passion and personality – not to mention skill – is missed by SEC fans this year.

The Game: Ole Miss ranks 25 nationally in field goal percentage defense; Georgia ranks 50.  Ole Miss is the top free throw shooting team in the country, shooting 80 percent on free throws. The Bulldogs shoot 66 percent.

And where the Bulldogs have held a huge statistical advantage in free throw attempts over past opponents, the Dawgs only get to the line a little less than 6 times more per game than Ole Miss (21.9 to 27.25) does

The Ole Miss offense runs in, through and out of guards senior Jarvis Summers (14.5 points, 3.87 assists, and 1.88 turnovers per game), junior Stefan Moody (14.9 points, 2.18 assists, and 1.88 turnovers per game) and senior Ladarious White (11.95 points, 1.353 assists, and 2.00 turnovers per game). Summers and Stefan get to the line more than any other Rebels and shoot a combined 83%.

Against both Vanderbilt and Florida, Georgia gave a clinic on defensive rotation, maintaining man-to-man contact in loose ball and broken court situations. With the Ole Miss big men working to feed the Rebel backcourt, the Bulldog guards must play their best defensive game of the season.

Jan 10, 2015; Oxford, MS, USA; Mississippi Rebels guard Jarvis Summers (32) sets the play during the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at C.M. Tad Smith Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia also played well offensively in the last two games. But Ole Miss will present the biggest challenge yet to the Georgia offense.

The Dawgs recipe for a home victory is even simpler. Georgia must control the Ole Miss guards and limit Ole Miss free throws. Then the Bulldogs must shoot their average from the stripe.

The Rebels are 3 -2 at opponents gym’s and 3-0 on neutral courts, and the veteran Ole Miss team will not be impressed by Georgia’s home advantage. But assuming big men Marcus Thornton, Nemi Djurisc, and Yante Maten are themselves, the Dawgs can win.

This game is a tossup.

Next: Dawgs Snap Gator's SEC Win Streak