Polar opposites? These two teams might be just that.
When Alabama hosts Ole Miss on Tuesday night (8 p.m. CT, SEC Network), in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams, the high-paced Crimson Tide will have a different kind of Rebels at Coleman Coliseum.
Statistically, Ole Miss has the nation’s best scoring defense, with opponents averaging just 52.7 points per game. It leads the SEC in scoring defense (52.7), turnovers forced per game (20.5) and field goal percentage defense (35.6).
The Rebels have allowed the fewest points (316) over their first six games since the 1980-81 season (307).
Under third-year coach Kermit Davis, Ole Miss leads the SEC in turnovers forced (20.5 per game) and field goal percentage defense (35.6), ranking sixth and eighth nationally, respectively.
Opponents have shot a combined 27.9 percent (41 of 147) against Ole Miss in the first half, scoring only an average of 19.7 points. The Rebels have kept the opposition to single digits on made first half field goals in all six games this season.
Alabama is averaging 76.8 points per game. However, the Crimson Tide's field-goal percent is only .416, which ranks 12th in the conference.
Ole Miss at Alabama
Where: Coleman Coliseum
When: 8 p.m. CT, Tuesday
TV: SEC Network (Dave Neal play-by-play, Daymeon Fishback, analyst)
Radio: Crimson Tide Radio Network (Play-By-Play: Chris Stewart, Analyst: Bryan Passink, Sideline: Roger Hoover), Sirius/XM Channel: NA/190
Online: Live stats
Series: Alabama leads 123-58. Tuesday’s game will be the 182nd meeting between the two schools. The series dates back to 1921. Alabama has won five of the past six, including three straight.
Last meeting: Alabama won 103-78 on Feb. 22, 2020. Ole Miss ran into a hot shooting Alabama team in The Pavilion. Kira Lewis Jr., John Petty Jr., and Jaden Shackelford combined for 56 points, including 10 of 16 shooting from three-point range. Overall, the Crimson Tide made 13 from beyond the arc. Breein Tyree had 28 points before fouling out at the 8:50 mark. He shot 66.7 percent (8 of 12) from the field and was 12 of 12 from the free-throw line. Devontae Shuler tallied 21 points and shot 50 percent (3 of 6) from three. Khadim Sy pulled down a career-high eight rebounds to go along with seven points. The Rebels had a 54.2 field goal percentage (26 of 48). Overall, Alabama shot 56.1 percent (37 of 66).
Last time out Alabama: The Crimson Tide used a big second half to beat East Tennessee State by a score of 85-69 last Tuesday night at Coleman Coliseum. Alabama scored 49 points and shot 55 percent from the field and 41 percent from three-point range in the second half to secure the 16-point win. Sophomore guard Jaden Shackelford led the way with a career-best eight three-pointers (8-of-13) on his to scoring a game high 26 points. Sophomore guard Jahvon Quinerly had 14 points to go along with a career-best nine assists compared to only one turnover, while graduate forward Jordan Bruner added eight points, eight rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals. Alabama (5-3) improved to 5-0 this season when it scores 80-or-more points. The Crimson Tide used a 39-29 advantage on the glass and outscored the Buccaneers 21-2 in second chance points on the night.
Last time out Ole Miss: The Rebels are coming off a 90-43 win over UT Martin (Dec. 22), their largest margin of victory since a 92-45 victory over Morris Brown (Nov. 28, 2001).
Scouting Alabama: The Crimson Tide concludes a four-game homestand. Alabama leads the SEC in three-point field goal attempts (242), averaging more than 30 per game. Jaden Shackelford, the Crimson Tide’s leading scorer at 14.0 points per game, also paces the conference with 19 made threes. Alabama has three others averaging double figures in scoring: Herbert Jones (13.3), John Petty Jr. (12.0) and Jahvon Quinerly (11.8); Jones leads the team in rebounding (6.8), while Quinerly tops in assists (3.6).
Scouting Ole Miss: The Rebels are 5-1, with the loss at Dayton, 65-62. Devontae Shuler was named Preseason Second Team All-SEC by the conference’s coaches. He averages 2.0 steals per game, which ranks second in the SEC. Shuler has 154 career steals to rank eighth in program history alongside Rod Barnes. He's one away from Elston Turner (155) for seventh and three away from Joe Ayers (157) for sixth. Shuler and Romello White are both four points away from 1,000 for their respective careers. KJ Buffen (13.0) and Jarkel Joiner (12.0) are averaging double figures in scoring over the past three games.
Buffalo connection: Ole Miss assistant coach Levi Watkins and Alabama head coach Nate Oats were assistants under Bobby Hurley at Buffalo (2014-15). In two seasons, the pair helped guide the Bulls to a 42-20 record that included two MAC titles (one tournament, one regular season) and the school’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament. Nate Oats is in his second season as Alabama head coach after spending four seasons as the head coach at Buffalo.