Moody's Take

The Rebels have been in some fierce battles all season. Close games began from the start with a one-point loss at home to Charleston Southern.



The latest game was another one-point loss, this time to Arkansas at home last Saturday night. That, unfortunately, ended an impressive six-game winning streak for the Rebels.

Now Ole Miss, 17-8 overall and 8-4 in Southeastern Conference play, heads to Mississippi State for a Thursday night game. It will likely be another close one.

Starkville hasn’t been kind to Ole Miss through the years. Only once in his prior eight games there has an Andy Kennedy coached Rebel team claimed a win, and that was 67-63 in 2008-09.

The Rebels won the first meeting this season between the two back on January 28 in Oxford by a 79-73 margin. State’s been playing better recently and won at Missouri 77-74 last Saturday. The Bulldogs are 12-13 overall and 5-7 in the league.

Stefan Moody has never played in Starkville. The Rebels have had a lot of road success this season, and away from Oxford they are 4-2 in SEC play.

They’ll have to continue that type play to be successful Thursday night. MSU will, as usual, go all out to beat Ole Miss.

“We have to value possessions,” said the junior guard. “Every possession counts. It’s the little things we have to focus on.”

That’s a word Moody said has been key to the nice record the Rebels have put together since losing four home games this season by early January. The loss to Arkansas was the fifth setback inside the friendly confines of C.M. "Tad" Smith Coliseum.

“Just focus,” he said. “Everyone’s locked in and not worried about what’s going on outside. Just being who we are.”

Moody said he is aware, as the entire team is, that no team is much better or much worse than any other in the SEC.

"There’s a fine line between the Kentuckys, us, the States. It’s a fine line. You’ve got to take every game like it’s the last one.”

MSU defended him well in the first game, but Moody said it was pretty much nothing he hasn't seen before.

“Really just like a matchup defense. They kind of guarded me just straight up.”

Moody, who had 14 points in the earlier game against the Bulldogs, was 5-for-15 from the floor including 0-for-5 from 3-point range. He was 4-for-4 from the free throw line and had 3 steals.

He’s actually looking forward to going on the road again, even knowing the environment will be hostile for the Rebels.

“We look forward to any game, but for some reason we get up for road games,” Moody said. “As long as we just stay focused on the goal ahead and the task at hand, we should be good.”

Moody said the Rebels are putting the recent loss to the Razorbacks behind them. They have some time to get ready for MSU since it is a Saturday to Thurdsay break between games.

Last week there was a quick turnaround from a win at Florida Thursday night to hosting Arkansas Saturday night.

They’ll actually have that same scenario again this week. Tennessee is in Oxford Saturday for a 6:30 p.m. game.

“When it comes to losing, I guess you always have to learn something from it,” Moody said. “We haven’t been through this much. But we usually bounce back after a loss. This time should be the same. We’ve got to start up another run.”


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