Ole Miss Basketball: NIT Preview-Rebel vs. Monmouth

Well we all saw this coming now, didn’t we? We knew we weren’t going to the NCAA Tournament this year. However, we are going to the NIT (National invitation Tournament). I didn’t believe we should have been a 5 seed. I think we should of been a 4 seed playing in Oxford. Unfortunately  we have to travel all the way to West Long Branch, New Jersey to play Monmouth University. Here are some facts to know before these two teams square off tomorrow.

Things to know about this game:

Monmouth went 27-6 and 1st in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference but was beaten by Siena in the semifinals of the MAAC Tournament. Ole Miss went 20-13 but was defeated by Arkansas in the SEC quarterfinals. Both of these teams will come in falling short of a conference championship. However, both will have a lot of confidence heading into this one.

Monmouth will be depending on there top scorer Justin Robinson who averages 19.6 per game and almost 5 assists per game. If Monmouth wants to beat Ole Miss there are going to have to depend on this guy. Don’t let his size fool you. He is on 5’8 but he can put up points. Robinson shoots 40.3% from the three point line.

As for Ole Miss we will be depending on senior Sebastian Saiz. He gives us a big boost while averaging about 14.9 points and 11.2 rebounds per game. However, the Rebels will also get production from other players like Breelin Tyree, Terrence Davis and Deandre Burnett.

Advantages for Ole Miss

I think Ole Miss can beat Monmouth in this game. We have a few favorable matchups. Monmouth has only one player averaging more than five rebounds a game. If Ole Miss can attack the boards in this game, I think we have a very good shot at taking this game over.

We need to make sure our perimeter defense is exceptional. The Hawks love to shoot the three. They have three players that shoot over 40% from the three. We have seen multiple time this year where we lost or almost lost because of defense. Monmouth is not a team you want to hang around for a late game run. We have had problems closing out games.

Monmouth is a good team. I think Ole Miss is better due to the fact that we have multiple players we can count on to have a big game at any moment. The real question is can Andy Kennedy lead our team to win this tournament? That will be answered soon. However, for now…WAOM! – The Kid


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