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Sunday, December 8, 5 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Frank Haynes, Senior College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Tad Smith Coliseum (8,867) -- Oxford, Mississippi. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Oregon 6-0, Ole Miss 3-0. Away Record: Oregon 0-0, Ole Miss 1-1. Neutral Record: Oregon 1-0, Ole Miss 2-0. Conference Record: Oregon 0-0, Ole Miss 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The 13th-ranked Oregon Ducks play their first true road game of the season, as they challenge the Ole Miss Rebels on Sunday evening at Tad Smith Coliseum.
Oregon is 7-0 for the first time since starting the 2006-07, with six wins coming at home and the seventh in a neutral-site affair versus Georgetown (82-75) in the season opener over in South Korea. The Ducks have been idle since taking out Cal Poly last Sunday, 82-61, and each triumph outside of the opener has come by double digits. Oregon still has tough non-league bouts with Illinois and BYU before embarking on Pac-12 Conference action at Utah on Jan. 2, 2014.
Ole Miss had opened the season at 6-0, but recently suffered its first loss in a 61-58 verdict at Kansas State on Thursday. The Rebels are 3-0 at home, and this bout marks the first of four straight they will play in Oxford. Ole Miss is currently riding a 23-game non-conference home court winning streak, and the Rebels are 3-1 at home versus ranked foes not in the SEC since 1997-98. The last home win against a non-conference Top-25 opponent was a 71-67 victory over No. 22 Memphis in 2001.
Oregon and Ole Miss are facing each other for the first time.
With four players averaging double digits, the Ducks are scoring a robust 88.0 ppg in hitting 52 percent of their field goal attempts, which includes a 41.3 percent showing from 3-point range. Joseph Young has been a man possessed in the early going, netting 20.3 ppg behind typical shooting efforts of .539 overall and .424 from beyond the arc. Mike Moser (13.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg), Jason Calliste (11.0 ppg) and Elgin Cook (10.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg) have all performed well for an Oregon team that also gets solid contributions from guys like Damyean Dotson (9.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg) and Johnathan Loyd (9.4 ppg, 6.3 apg). Defensively, the Ducks are permitting 70.4 ppg, with foes shooting 40.5 percent overall and 26.6 percent from downtown. Cook and Richard Amardi both came off the bench to score 14 points in the recent win over Cal Poly, while the trio of Young, Loyd and Dotson tallied 13 points apiece.
Ole Miss fell for the first time this season, dropping a three-point decision at Kansas State as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge. The Rebels lost despite getting 18 points from Jarvis Summers and 13 from Marshall Henderson, as the team as a whole made good on only 37.9 percent of its field goal attempts, which included a dismal 3-of-18 showing from 3-point range. K-State didn't shoot any better (.365 overall, .250 3-point FG percentage), but the Wildcats scored 19 points at the foul line, despite missing 15 free throws. Summers continues to pace the Rebels in scoring with his 16.0 ppg, doing so behind sensational shooting percentages of .564 overall and .520 from downtown. He also has a team-high 22 assists, but also 15 turnovers. Henderson adds 14.8 ppg despite his poor shooting (.333 FG percentage), while Derrick Millighaus chips in 14.0 ppg. As a collective unit, Ole Miss is averaging 78.6 ppg while allowing 65.7 ppg. The Rebels are +3.3 in turnover margin, and they are holding the opposition to just 37.9 percent shooting from the field overall.
Both teams have performed well in the early stages of the 2013-14 campaign, although outside of the opener against Georgetown, Oregon hasn't played any one yet. Just how the Ducks take to facing a quality opponent on the road will tell a lot about the kind of season they can expect. The Rebels are awfully tough to beat at home, but the visitors in this case will do just enough to come out on top and keep their perfect record intact.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oregon 77, Ole Miss 74
12/08 10:37:51 ET