by: Knox Bardeen
The Texas A&M Aggies travel to face the Ole Miss Rebels Wednesday in Southeastern Conference Basketball action carried on CSS. Tip-off is slated for 9 p.m. ET at Tad Smith Coliseum in Oxford, Miss. with Matt Stewart and Daymeon Fishback calling the action.
Texas A&M (16-11, 6-8 SEC) is coming off a four-overtime loss to the surging Tennessee Volunteers on Feb. 23. In each of the Aggies last four losses the team has rebounded with a win, including a win over the Rebels two weeks ago after A&M lost to Georgia.
Ole Miss (20-7, 9-5 SEC) beat Auburn by 33 in its last outing but has lost five of its last eight games dating back to Jan. 29. The Rebels NCAA tournament resume has been called into question and needs a win Wednesday to begin repairing the damage caused by its latest four weeks of basketball.
The Rebels are in fourth place in the SEC standings, but would fall into a tie with Tennessee with a loss Wednesday. The Aggies are one game outside of the dreaded bottom four spots in the conference standings that would require them to play on Wednesday of the SEC Tournament weekend. A&M cant lose any ground to Vanderbilt, who is nipping at its heels.
Five Reasons to Watch
1. The classic, age-old question will be answered Wednesday: Which is better a great offense of a great defense? Ole Miss scores more points (79.1) than anyone in the SEC. Texas A&M has the fourth-best defense and gives up just 61 points per game.
2. This battle could be played out beyond the 3-point arc. Texas A&M senior guard Elston Turner ranks fourth in the SEC with a 36.7 percent accuracy rate on three-pointers. Ole Miss junior guard Marshall Henderson ranks sixth, shooting 36.3 percent from three-point range.
3. Is Marshall Henderson still in the coaches dog house? Henderson didnt start on Saturday because of an Andy Kennedy decision to sit the controversial guard. Henderson still scored 28 points, but how much better could he have been with the extra minutes. We wont know until near game time about Hendersons status.
4. When Texas A&M beat Ole Miss on Feb. 13 Elston Turner poured in a career-high seven 3-pointers and scored 37 points. The Aggies held Marshall Henderson to just 10 points. This is surely a recipe for a second win for the Aggies over the Rebels this year.
5. Ole Miss loves playing at home at Tad Smith Coliseum where the team is 14-1 this season. But watch the halftime score Wednesday as an indicator of whether or not the Rebels will be in trouble against Texas A&M. Ole Miss is 12-2 when leading at the half and 8-5 when behind.
by: Knox Bardeen