Alabama forward James Rojas (33) blocks a shot from Kentucky forward Oscar Tshiebwe (34) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

Alabama vs. Ole Miss Preview

In action Wednesday night, the Ole Miss Rebels host9 the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Sandy and John Black Pavilion at 7:30. Last weekend both teams lost to conference opponents.

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Alabama

At the start of the season, the Crimson Tide ranked No. 14 in the preseason AP poll. They quickly started working their way up the rankings. After week three, they went undefeated and moved up to the top 10. The Tide seemed to be on a rollercoaster in week four they dropped back to down No. 16 but made their way up to No. 6 in week six of the AP polls. Flash forward to now, the team is no longer ranked.

The Crimson Tide have been wildly inconsistent in their schedule. They beat high-ranked teams and then right after – losing. An example of this was when they beat Tennessee 73-68 and a week later they lost to Missouri 92-86. When the team is on a winning streak they upset themselves with a loss. They were on a two-game winning streak, and then lost 82-76 last ranked in the SEC to Georgia Bulldogs.

Dependent on Jaden Shackleford, he averages 17.1 points per game and plays the most time in a game compared to the rest of his teammates.

In the game against Kentucky, the Crimson Tide could not perform on offense, so they looked to play defense more and caused 15 turnovers, five steals and four blocks. The Wildcats took off when Alabama missed 12 shots in a row and gave Kentucky the advantage to take the lead by 11 points.

For Wednesday’s game, Alabama will need to work on scoring to help them take the lead early. This will be its first game against an unranked team in two weeks.

Ole Miss

Getting back from a tough loss in Gainesville, the Rebels took the Gators all way to overtime. With 54 seconds left, Tye Fagan tied up the game.  The Gators won 62-67 in overtime.

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Right before this game, Ole Miss relied on Daeshun Ruffin to help create plays and get them to win against LSU. However, during the game, Ruffin had a season-ending knee injury and will need surgery. Before the injury, he helped lead the team in making plays and scoring due to Jarkel Joiner being out from an injury.

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Now the team looks toward Matthew Murrell to step up and become the team’s lead scorer. He got pushed up to top scorer for the team after the Florida game. Before injuries, Head Coach Kermit Davis put Ruffin and Austin Crowley together to create plays, but now Murell and Crowley will be able to create plays for the Rebels and give them leverage to a win against the Crimson Tide.

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