Saturday, December 13, 2008


The game today against New Mexico is being televised on Versus at 3 p.m. Big game for the Rebels. New Mexico is 5-4 on the season, but they're always tough at the Pit. Their loss to UCF earlier in the season broke a 33 game home court winning streak. It will be tough to win on the road in a hostile environment, but we really need to pull out a win today. We really can't afford many more pre-conference losses if we hope to have a shot at the NCAA tourney. We've still got tough neutral site games with Lousville and Southern Miss left. Hopefully we'll follow up on our solid showing in New Orleans and come away with another road win.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Sorry for the lack of updates to ye' old Strands of Crepe Paper blog. Work, travel, and Christmas obligations have left little time for Juha to spend on the blog. I apologize and will try to do better in the new year. As for the hoops squad...big win in the Big Easy on Saturday. It was our first true road game of the year, and I was very glad that our young team was able to come away with the win. UNO isn't a very good team, but fans of Ole Miss basketball know that no road game is ever a guaranteed win. I wasn't didn't attend the game and couldn't listen, but Chris Warren looks to have played a terrific game. Chris scored 29 to set a career-high scoring mark, including 5 of 8 from deep. Good to see Chris bounce back and play very well after the tough finish he had against West Virginia. David Huertas scored 12, and I believe that all of those points came in the last 10 minutes of the game. Terrico White was the other double digit scorer with 11. I know I'm a broken record, but we've got to find that consisted 3rd scorer who is going to give us 12-15 a night. Terrico looks like the best candidate to fill that spot right now.

I won't comment much on the West Virginia game because I imagine that anybody who reads this blog saw the game. Frustrating to say the least. We all knew that rebounding was going to be a problem this year, but the WVU game was ridiculous. I have never seen a team give up so many offensive rebounds off of free throws. I'm sure that practice on Wednesday and Thursday was not very fun for our bigs. It's going to be long year if we can't find a way to rebound better than we did last Wednesday. Luckily, WVU is probably one of the better rebounding teams that we will face this season. Disappointed in the loss, but encouraged that we played well enough where we could have and should have beaten a quality team. The Rebs are off this week for finals and will return to action Saturday against New Mexico in the Pit. It will be tough game on the road, but one that we could and should probably win. New Mexico is 4-4 on the year with a home loss to Central Florida and a narrow 2 point home win over Southern Miss. We can't drop too many more in the pre-season if we want to have any chance at an NCAA bid.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

West Virginia (4-1) at Ole Miss (5-1)

Ole Miss will have their toughest test of the season on Wednesday night when Bob Huggins and the West Virginia Mountaineers come to town. As we all know, AK was interim coach at Cinci after Huggins was unceremoniously ousted from his job there. AK was Huggins' top assistant for several seasons and credits Huggins with being his most influential basketball mentor. WVU has a good team whose one loss came to Kentucky in the finals of the Las Vegas Invitational last Saturday. Their best win of the season came against Iowa in the semifinals of the same tournament. West Virginia was a sweet 16 team a year ago. The Mountaineers are led by senior guard Alex Ruoff who averages 15.8 ppg and is the team's best long-range shooter. Junior forward Da'Sean Butler (12.4) and freshman guard Daryl Bryant (10.6) are WVU's other double digit scorers. The Ole Miss big men will have to step up their rebounding if we are going to have a chance to win. WVU is a very good rebounding team who will kill us with second-chance points if we let them. Ole Miss will once again be looking for a consistent 3rd scorer to take some of the burden off of Warren/Huertas. Terrico White and Zach Graham have been that player in spots, but neither have given us consistent scoring on a game by game basis. We'll also be looking for 2 guys to step up and solidify our frontcourt play which can be described as disappointing at best so far. I'm still looking for the Malcolm White to step forward that we had heard such good things about in the preseason. Cranston, Henry, and Holloway have shown flashes, but none of the three have played well for an entire game. That needs to change soon or the losses are going to start piling up as our schedule toughens. Hopefully we will have a good crowd for this marquee out of conference game. Tip is at 8 and will be televised by FSN.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ole Miss 78 Central Florida 46

It was another tale of two halves for the Rebels. The Rebs played a first half reminiscent of the Arkansas State game and saw themselves trailing by as much as 14 at one point in the early going. The Rebel defense tightened after the shaky start, and we played pretty well the rest of the way. We held UCF to 20 second half points and a 35% shooting percentage. Daveed continues to be the man, scoring 24 points which included 4 3-pointers. We're still looking for that consistent 3rd scorer. Zach Graham had another nice performance (9 points, 5 rebounds), but he tends to disappear at times. I thought that DeAundre Cranston played really well tonight. Cranston hit for 8 and grabbed 12 rebounds. Cranston is looking like our most consistent frontcourt player at this point. Chris Warren scored 10 and Terrico White added 8. The Rebels have got to find a way to stop having these 5-10 minute lulls where we dig ourselves a big hole. We've already done it 3 times this season. We were able to come back against ASU and UCF, but a bad 5 minutes led to the loss to Utah. It's not going to be as easy to recover from a bad start against Louisville, West Virginia, or our SEC foes. The Rebs return to action on Saturday against Morgan State.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Central Florida (2-1) at Ole Miss (3-1)

The Rebs return home to Oxford Wednesday after going 1-1 in Daytona Beach last weekend. The Rebels take on a 2-1 Central Florida team who are coming off of a 1 point win on the road over New Mexico. They have another win over NC A&T and a loss to the team that will always live in Ole Miss infamy, Valpo. The Knights only have one player averaging double digit scoring. That player is pre-season all-CUSA pick and boxing legend Jermaine Taylor. Taylor leads UCF in both scoring (21.3) and rebounding (6.7). UCF looks to be another decent test for the young Rebel team. It's definitely a game we should win, but it's another game that we can lose if we don't come to play. The Rebels are still looking for a third scorer to take the pressure off of Warren and Huertas. Hopefully Zach Graham will follow-up on the good performance that he had against South Alabama in our last game in Oxford. The Rebs will also be looking for some consistent play from our inexperienced front court group. Wednesday's game is the first of three at home for the Rebels before they head to New Orleans to take on UNO on December 6th.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Weekend Recap

Well...the Rebs went 1-1 on the weekend with a win a loss to Utah and a win over Marshall. While I was certainly hoping to go 2-0, I'm happy to be returning home with at least one victory. The Utah game, which the Rebs lost 83-72, showed that we are going to miss Eniel almost as much defensively as we will offensively. Eniel was our best perimeter defender and his absence was evident by Utah's outstanding outside shooting. Utah hit 12 3-pointers while shooting 48% from deep. We actually faired pretty well against a much bigger team. We outrebounded the Utes by 1 and held their 7-2 center Nevill to 10 points. If we could have avoided the 5 minute lull where Utah was able to build a double digit lead, we probably would have won the game. Today's game against Marshall, an 82-78 win, was too close for comfort, but we were able to pull out a win. Marshall isn't a very good team, but I'll take a win any way we can get it. Chris Warren and David Huertas continue to carry the Rebs on their shoulders. We have got to start getting some consistent offensive production from a couple of other players, or this is going to be a tough season. Murphy Holloway was the only other double digit scorer in either game besides Warren or Huertas. Murphy scored 11 against Utah. Not a great weekend for the Rebels, but not terrible either. We need to win the next 2 at home against UCF and Morgan State before Bob Huggins and WVU come to town a week from Wednesday.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Trenton Marshall's new home

If you would have asked me six months ago where Trenton Marshall would have signed, I would have told you probably an SEC school, in particular, Ole Miss, MSU or Alabama. After numerous twists and turns, he has finally signed with the basketball mecca of Jacksonville State University (aerial view of Jacksonville, Alabama pictured).

Why JSU? Who really knows. We have been emailed by readers about possible legal charges pending for Marshall. I think it's is safe to say that a rising prospect does not sign with a school of that stature when he had many other avenues at one time to bigger and better programs without reasons forced on him. While former Jones coach Kyle Roane is on staff at JSU, it is evident Marshall had baggage and it will probably come out publicly.

Best of luck to Trenton. James Green is a solid coach. Maybe he and Ryan Perriloux can turn their lives around for the better.