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Georgia at Ole Miss hoops preview and open thread

NCAA Basketball: Georgia State at Mississippi Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia will look to build a winning streak in Oxford, Mississippi tonight when they face the Ole Miss Runnin’ Rebels at 7 on ESPN U. The game represents another chance to revive their slim NCAA dreams after they split a two game homestand with South Carolina and Missouri over the past week.

Both teams enter the contest at 10-5, with Georgia having faced the tougher non-conference schedule. For Mark Fox’s crew, expect JJ Frazier and Yante Maten to once again be asked to do a lot of the heavy lifting, while junior Juwan Parker, sophomore Derek Ogbeide, and freshman Jordan Harris join them in the starting lineup. Guard Turtle Jackson, wings Pape Diatta and Magnolia state native Kenny Paul Geno, and big men Houston Kessler and Mike Edwards likely provide most of the minutes off the bench. Georgia has struggled in their desired half court sets of late, and looked better when they’ve pushed the pace using a trap defense to force turnovers with their depth, length, and athleticism. It will be interesting to see how they handle a difficult road environment.

The 48 yr old Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy is now in his 11th season for the Rebels, having routinely finished around .500 in conference. They’ve generally been good but never great, with this season looking no different. They lost their first two SEC games before winning 88-85 in Auburn Saturday, but those two losses came against Kentucky and Florida. Mark Fox is 6-4 against Kennedy head to head, with the Dawgs coming out on top in 5 of the last 6 meetings between the schools.

As for this year’s Rebels, expect them to look to score a lot since they’ve been much better offensively this season than defensively, and have topped 80 points in all but two of their wins so far (and failing to hit that mark in each loss). Senior big man Sebastian Saiz has joined junior forward Marcanvis Hymon and junior guard Deandre Barnett in the starting lineup in all 3 SEC games. Guards Cullen Neal and Terrance Davis, along with forward Justas Furmanavicius have joined them twice among the first five on the floor in those three games, coming off the bench in the one they didn’t start.

Similar to us, they rely heavily on a talented inside-outside combo to provide their scoring, with Saiz and Barnett averaging over 15 each. Saiz vs. Maten should be the decisive match up on the floor, and one that will certainly have a few NBA scouts in attenendance. Like Maten, Saiz can score inside, step outside and knock down a jumper, is a beast on the glass, and does work all over the floor defensively.

The 6’2 Barnett, a transfer from Miami, is their leading scorer with an expansive arsenal from long range (37% from 3 making more than 2 per night) or in the lane as he’s getting to the FT line more than 8 times a night making over 90% of his shots from the charity stripe. Davis, Neal, and senior backup guard Rasheed Brooks will also provide perimeter shooting when on the floor, so the Dawgs limiting makes as well as long offensive rebounds will be critical for Georgia to come away a winner.


  • Opponent: Ole Miss
  • Records: Georgia (10-5, 2-1), Ole Miss (10-5, 1-2)
  • Rankings: Georgia NR, Ole Miss NR
  • Tipoff: Wednesday, January 10 at 7:00 p.m. ET
  • Location: The Pavilion at Ole Miss (9,500) in Oxford, Miss.
  • TV: ESPNU (Kevin Fitzgerald, pbp; Kyle Macy, analyst)
  • Video Stream:
  • Radio: Georgia Bulldog Network by IMG (Scott Howard, PBP; Chuck Dowdle, Color; Tony Schiavone, Producer)
  • Flagship: WSB AM 750 | Affiliates
  • Audio Stream: | Mobile
  • Live Stats: GameTracker