Ole Miss hosts Wichita State in nonconference clash

·2 min read

The week started with the Ole Miss basketball team looking forward to the start of conference play.

The weekend will start with the Rebels looking to rinse the taste of Tuesday's 82-64 SEC loss to Alabama out of their mouths with a nonconference home game Saturday against Wichita State.

In Wichita State, Ole Miss will face a team with an identical 5-2 record and a four-game winning streak. The last time out, the Shockers pummeled Newman 81-43.

Rebels coach Kermit Davis knows that if his team plays the way it did against the Crimson Tide, the rancid taste of defeat could be extended on Saturday.

"Not a lot of good things happened," Davis said of the Alabama loss.

Davis said that the thing his team will need to improve on Saturday and beyond is shooting the basketball. Against Alabama, Ole Miss hit on just 22 of 65 field goal attempts and 1 of 13 shots from 3-point range.

It's a part of the game that has been hurting the Rebels all season.

"We're not making any shots," Davis said. "We've got to be better from the perimeter."

Devontae Shuler leads the Rebels in scoring with 13.9 points per game. Romello White and KJ Buffen are also scoring in double figures with 12.7 and 10.4 averages, respectively.

What may have caused the most concern for Davis against Alabama was the poor play by a usually stout defense.

"My big concern is we gave up 82," he said.

The Shockers will arrive at Ole Miss with the big win over Newman at their backs but also with some concerns -- like their .398 percent field goal shooting on the season.

Tyson Etienne leads Wichita State in scoring with a 15.3 per-game average, but he is shooting just 35 percent from the floor.

Alterique Gilbert is adding 11.3 points per outing.

The good news for the Shockers has been strong bench play. Their subs have averaged 34.3 points per game in its last four games, all wins.

Head coach Isaac Brown singled out sub Isaiah Poor Bear-Chandler, who is averaging 5.3 points per game with lots of hustle.

"He's been playing really well for us," Brown told reporters this week. "He's always showed signs of that in practice. A guy that can score it with both hands on the low block. A guy that can make a stationary three. A guy who can rebound.

"When Isaiah is playing like that, it helps our team tremendously and gives us more depth at the (center) position."

--Field Level Media