Ole MIss Georgia

Georgia at Ole Miss: The Best SEC Basketball Rivalry of the 2010s

Georgia and Ole Miss should deliver an exciting game at The Pavilion at Ole Miss.

Georgia visits Ole Miss in a game that both teams need in order to remain relevant to any postseason discussion.  Ole Miss got their first conference win at Auburn this past weekend and it required quite a fight to get there.  The UGA-Ole Miss series has been very tight lately as far as the scoring margin of each game played.  The series has experienced comebacks, horrible officiating, buzzer beaters, big defensive stops and Marshall Henderson.  The last one should be enough, but of course it never is when Andy Kennedy and Mark Fox face off.

Ole Miss Basketball

Ole Miss comes into this game 10-5 and needing to beat Georgia and South Carolina this week to prop themselves back up.

Ole Miss is a team that could get to the Free Throw Line a lot and make them. They do have their issues with turning the ball over and struggle to force turnovers themselves.  Ole Miss has let opponents have a rather good assists per game rate, which suggests that their zone defenses are not effective enough in closing off the holes and they leave open three point shooters on defense.  Ole Miss is letting opponents score from the perimeter, but they are doing a good job inside the perimeter.  Ole Miss mixes it up on defense from 1-3-1 and 2-3 Zone, junk defenses and man-to-man they really will test an opponent’s offensive preparation.

Back to the Offense for a moment…

Ole Miss really likes to shoot threes and they will try their hardest not to attempt shots in the non-money zone (89th best at doing this).  Sebastian Saiz is the most frequent shooter in the mid-range and he happens to be the best at it.  Ole Miss likes to dribble drive quite a bit and Deandre Burnett is the lead culprit here.  Burnett gets to the Free Throw Line a lot and he can knock his shots down as well.  How about 90.9% from the Free Throw Line?  If Rasheed Brooks took more Free Throws at the same rate, he would be scary too.

These Rebs do like to run up and down the floor, they take 22.9% of their shots in transition (118th in the country).

Onto the Ole Miss defensive efforts and it is a bit discouraging to see how that two point Field Goal percentage really plays itself out when one digs deeper into the metrics.

If it were not for Ole Miss’ top three shot blockers (Hymon, Saiz, Furmanavicius), this team’s interior defense would be a sieve.  In fact, they are very vulnerable in the money zones since they allow a good amount of shots there (241st in the country).  Their top shot blockers are also very susceptible to committing fouls, which makes getting them out of the game a good game plan.

Opponents can feel free to run on the Rebs, 23.9% of all shots taken against Andy Kennedy’s squad are in transition.

Ole Miss has trouble with turnovers and fouls.  Blocked shots are resulting in second chance scoring opportunities and Ole Miss is a rather average defensive rebounding team.

Where Ole Miss can burn an opponent is with second chance scoring opportunities.  Justas Furmanavicius is an offensive rebounding machine.  Sebastian Saiz gets his work done on the defensive glass, but he has been known for his offensive rebounding prowess.

What can Georgia do to win tonight?

  1.  Take away driving lanes from Deandre Burnett, Breein Tyree and Terence Davis.  Georgia’s not a good man-to-man defensive team and the concept of help defense is still rather foreign.  Make Ole Miss win by shooting.  Force drivers to go wide or risk their dribble and do not commit cheap fouls by guarding with the hands.  Georgia needs to take on a pack-line approach to deny the dribble drive.
  2. Ole Miss had trouble with full court pressure against Florida.  Forcing a turnover-prone team to commit turnovers with full court pressure is always a good idea.  Make Ole Miss have good ball movement for an entire possession.  Make Deandre Burnett and Breein Tyree try to do too much to break the pressure.
  3. After a rebound, secondary break immediately without any stopping.  Ole Miss lets opponents get out into transition with ease and Georgia takes 24.3% of shots in transition (89th highest).  In transition, Georgia plays more naturally and it gives the defense a lot of energy.  Attack and try to score, but do not assume that a foul will be called.
  4. Don’t get into half court offense.  If Ole Miss scores, rush back and try to beat them down the floor on the other end.  The half court offense has no energy and Mark Fox has stated that he has no explanation for the turnovers, which are typically committed in the half court offense.  Georgia is a terrible team at moving without the ball, which seems to be by design.  Screens are set terribly and the cuts are hardly existent.
  5. Don’t be afraid.  Jordan Harris, Pape Diatta and Turtle Jackson cannot be afraid to make an offensive play when it is presented to them.  Finish the drives, take the open three point shot and take advantage of the team’s reputation of having a two-on-five offense.
  6. Pretend that Kent Davison got into a fight with an Ole Miss assistant coach or graduate assistant before the game even started.

This game should be a tightly contested game.  Georgia will commit plenty of turnovers and have trouble with the multiple defenses that Ole Miss will play.  Ole Miss will struggle with fouls and have a better night on the glass than anticipated.  This game should end up being like the Oakland game and last season’s game at The Pavilion at Ole Miss.  This time will likely find Georgia not being able to come through in the last minute of the game.

Prediction:  Ole Miss 81  Georgia 77


  1. You’re probably correct with this prediction, HWT.

    I can’t stand Ole Mi$$ as is, but they were inssuferable when Henderson was there. I sure am glad he’s gone.

    Saiz is always the player on that team that seems to be in the right places at the right time.

    I think we have a decent chance if we have a good day at the charity stripe and Yante stays out of foul trouble.

  2. the fact that OM likes to run is to UGA’s advantage….granted the proper personnel is on the court. not trying to jump on a guy, but if UGA and OM are running, Kessler has no business getting any min tonight.

    fully expect saiz to have a good game. he’s traditionally had some pretty good performances in the past against UGA, while if I were kennedy, I’d have him averaging more than 10 shots a game. as you pointed out, he’s got a solid perimeter shot. In addition, he’s likely to cause several defensive fouls by the opposing team in the paint and he’s got a great FT %. It’s deceptive how good of a player he is.

    I believe burnett is the key component in whether OM wins or loses. I’ve seen box scores where his fg % is atrocious, while others where he’s been lights out. his 36% FG and 37% 3pt FG % is deceiving in that he’ll likely either be under 30% or above 45% and not there in the middle.

    I’d like to circle back to a topic discussed following the Mizz win. with what was learned specifically from the 2nd halves at aub and home against mizz……and should have been enforced the whole game against a short-handed Clem, do you expect to see any 3/4 press in this game? I’m pretty confident that we won’t see any for the first 10 min of the game, but curious as to your honest thoughts whether we’ll see any in the latter part of the 1st half or 2nd half? I don’t fault fox for not running it against thornwell and SC, as thornwell proved to have little rust and is an even better player than he gets credit for (I understand that he was pre-season 1st team), but no one in OM’s backcourt strikes fear and should be above approach.

  3. Here is the problem, We will play man to man the first 20 min because that is what we do. Game goes back and forth until 17 min mark in first half when Kessler and Geno hit the floor together. ( I agree that I hate jumping on a player, the kid is a great kid, just not D1) Then Saiz will amazingly get hot with UGA starters on bench. UGA front court will turn ball over multiple times standing around. Dawgs fall behind double digits. Coach Fox yells at everyone and takes off jacket. We come out in 2nd half and Coach finally coaches. We then hope and pray we make enough of a comeback to win by no more than 3. That is best case scenario. More likely is that we play man to man for 35 min, Coach gets T’d up on the road and we have that same feeling as the South Carolina game.

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