The 6-foot-8 junior center, playing in just his second game back after a stress fracture in his left foot, looked like his old self as the Rebels beat visiting Louisiana-Monroe 87-53. He finished with 16 points in 18 minutes of action, going 7 for 11 from the floor and 2 for 2 at the free throw line with 11 rebounds.
"Memphis was my first game back and I was a little winded and still a little cautious on my foot," he said. "Tonight everything was better for me. I felt good out there."
"It was huge for him," said Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy of Curtis' solid outing. "He's getting his timing back and of course his conditioning will improve. He played his first time back against a top 20 team in the FedEx Forum which was tough. The speed of the game ate him up a little bit along with his anxiousness. So it was good to see him do so well tonight."
Curtis wasn't the only one who got back to his old form. Leading scorer Bam Doyne, with only seven points against Memphis on 1-for-12 shooting, tied a career high with 25 points in this one.
"Bam's still learning the mentality he has to play with when you're the leading scorer," Kennedy said. "He is a marked man and your opportunities are going to be limited. When you get them, you have to take advantage of them. He is still learning that."
The Rebels, not necessarily known for fast starts this season, got started off right in this one. Todd Abernethy nailed a trey midway through the first half for a 22-10 UM lead, and things basically snowballed from there. Ole Miss led 42-19 at halftime.
"We basically came out and took control for the first time in a while and kind of took the game to them, which is what you're supposed to do," Kennedy said. "We haven't had many games like this."
The Rebs expanded their lead quickly in the second half. Their largest advantage in the contest was 36 points at 78-42 with 6 minutes left in the contest.
"It was good to come out and just play better," Kennedy said. "We've had a hard time putting things together. We've had some good halves. Hopefully having two of them tonight shows we're improving."
Ole Miss, now 8-2 on the season, plays at South Alabama Saturday at 5 p.m.
Louisiana-Monroe, which fell to 4-6, was led by three players in double figures - Lance Brasher and Jonas Brown with 12 and Brandon Roberts with 11.