Primer: Ole Miss - Georgia Tech

Ole Miss (4-0) is in Brooklyn, N.Y., for the Barclays Center Classic. The Rebels face Georgia Tech (5-1) today at 3:30 p.m. What to watch for? We take a look.

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Game: Ole Miss - Georgia Tech
Date: Nov. 29, 3:30 p.m.
Location: Brooklyn, N.Y.
TV/Radio: NBC Sports Network/Ole Miss Radio Network

The Lede:

Ole Miss (4-0) faces Georgia Tech (5-1) Friday as part of the Barclays Center Classic in Brooklyn. The Rebels face either Penn State or St. John's Saturday. Ole Miss has a 91-24 record (.789 win pct.) against teams outside the SEC since Andy Kennedy took over in 2006-07, including a 62-2 mark at home.

Ole Miss is playing in New York City for just the third time in program history and the first time in the Barclays Center. The Rebels played at Madison Square Garden during the 2008 and 2010 NIT Final Fours and played at St. Johns in the first round of the NIT in 1989.

Scouting Georgia Tech:

Aaron Jones
USA TODAY images

Georgia Tech is 5-1 on the young season with the only loss coming at the hands of Dayton. The Jackets are averaging 77 points per game and hitting 47 percent of their shots from the floor so far. Tech also has outrebounded each opponent by an average of 9.0 per game and demonstrated vast improvement at the free throw line (70.8 pct.) over last year. Former Tennessee point guard Trae Golden transferred to Georgia Tech for his final season. Golden averaged 9.0 points and 3.0 assists per game in two game versus the Rebels last year. The Yellow Jackets have played two common opponents with Ole Miss defeating Mississippi Valley State 76-59 and knocking off North Carolina A&T 78-71.

Ole Miss is 8-11 all-time versus Georgia Tech, but haven't faced the Ramblin' Wreck since the Yellow Jackets left the SEC in 1964. The Rebels are 2-0 versus Penn State winning both game of a home-and-home series in 2011 and 2012. Ole Miss lost its only meeting with the Red Storm at St. John's during the 1989 NIT.

The Rundown:

Ole Miss has four wins in four games played so far this season. Marshall Henderson hasn't started in any of them.

Will that change in Brooklyn, N.Y., where Ole Miss is participating in the Barclays Center Classic? The Rebels face Georgia Tech (5-1) today at 3:30 p.m. When Ole Miss was last in New York, in 2010, it was for the NIT Final Four.

It's a question worth asking.

The argument can be made Ole Miss is at its best when Henderson, Derrick Millinghaus and Jarvis Summers are on the floor together. Millinghaus led Ole Miss in scoring in each of the last two games, including a career-high 21-point performance in an 111-82 win over Mississippi Valley State a week ago today.

Millinghaus fits the mold of a traditional Kennedy point guard. He's small - generously listed at 5-foot-10 in the Ole Miss media guide - but aggressive in attacking the basket, and he's capable as a 3-point shooter.

"Derrick has made a big transformation from year one to year two," Kennedy said. "He's much stronger with the ball, in my opinion. We're trying to get him to play fast.

Marshall Henderson
Bruce Newman

"He's typically going to be the smallest guy on the floor, so if you're the smallest guy on the floor, you've got to play lower than most and you've got to play faster than most, because you've got to create space. I think he's done a good job with that day-in and day-out."

So far, Summers has been used off the ball. He's responded by leading the team in scoring with 17.3 points per game. He poured in a career-high 28 points, including 22 in the first half, on a career-best 5 of 10 shooting from 3 in the 69-54 season-opening win over Troy.

Meanwhile, Henderson, who topped all scorers in the SEC last season, is averaging all of 14.0 points per game in 21 minutes. He's made 10 of his 22 3-point tries. He played only one minute in the second half against North Carolina A&T, but in the first half, Kennedy had his three guards on the floor together for extended minutes.

Foreshadowing for Brooklyn? Not necessarily. But if we can take much from the first four games, it's that the Rebels' top three scoring options are Henderson, Summers and Millinghaus.

Expect to see more of them with the Rebels now facing the meat of their all-important non-conference schedule.

"It's the next step for us. I'm excited to see how we respond against another BCS opponent on Friday night," Kennedy said of the Barclays Center Classic. "A team much like ourselves, trying to find themselves a bit. But we know Georgia Tech has quality players. It'll be a big challenge for us, and one in which I'm looking forward to seeing how we respond."

Spirit's Pick:

Ole Miss

Ole Miss Logo
I'm not really one for comparative analysis in sports. You know, Team A blew out Team B. So, naturally, Team A should beat Team C, assuming Team C squeaked by Team B. But here, I'll make an exception. North Carolina A&T was a bad basketball team. Ole Miss easily handled the Aggies, 84-50, at home. Georgia Tech beat A&T by seven. Ole Miss smoked MVSU, 111-82. Tech 76, MVSU 59. Further, the Yellow Jackets are a limited offensively. Ole Miss is solid on the defensive end. The Rebels are holding opponents to 64 points per game and 36.2 shooting from the floor.

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