The 11-2 Rebels' ranking of 14th, coming off last week's 90-75 win over Jacksonville State in Oxford, is the highest since the 2000-01 team advanced to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA.
Ole Miss has gotten to this point in the season by doing the things it does well while waiting on some other aspects to develop.
"It's kind of who we are," Kennedy said of his backcourt leading the way. "We're a team that's guard heavy at times. We want to play to the strengths of our personnel. We have guys in Chris Warren and Terrico White and also Zach Graham who have been shooting the ball very effectively for us early. Overall as a team we've shot it well."
Ole Miss ranks first in the SEC and 10th in the country in point production with an average of 84.2 points per game. The team has scored 80 or more points in nine of the first 13 games, and 90 or more in five contests, with a season-high 108 against Centenary.
Five players average 10 or more points per game with Chris Warren's 17.1 average leading the way, followed by Terrico White at 17.0 points.
Kennedy said his team continues to improve in the rebounding department. But it's still the proverbial work in progress.
"Reginald Buckner is playing more and more minutes, and he's a true freshman. So every day is a new experience for him. Murphy Holloway started out the season with his approach. When you get more deeply into scouting and you have more of a body of work and people start seeing eight, nine, ten rebounds a game, obviously now their focus is on him. So he's had to change the way he approaches the game. DeAundre Cranston has been fairly effective in his role. We've got to get our wings to rebound more aggressively."
Kennedy said the Golden Knights (8-5) are a good basketball team.
"Kirk Speraw has been there a long time and has a good program," Kennedy said of the longtime UCF head coach. "He's always done a tremendous job. They've got a couple of impressive early wins. They'll be ball control and very disciplined. They aren't going to do anything to beat themselves. We need to come out with the right approach."
Among UCF's wins this season is an 84-74 victory over the Auburn Tigers at the Glenn Wilkes Classic in Daytona Beach, Fla., on Nov. 20. The Knights are 6-1 at home but have an 0-3 record in road games.
Speraw is in his 17th season with Central Florida and has led the team to three straight winning seasons. UCF is averaging 67.8 points per game and is allowing 64.2 ppg.
Sophomore guard Isaac Sosa leads the Golden Knights with 12.1 points and averages 2.6 three-pointers per contest. Junior forward A.J. Tyler adds 10.9 ppg, while freshman forward Keith Clanton contributes 8.8 ppg and pulls down a team-high 7.3 rebounds per game.
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