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2019 NCAA tournament preview: Ole Miss

Ole Miss Rebels: 20-12, 10-8 in the Southeastern Conference

Head coach: Kermit Davis (1st year)

Key players: Breein Tyree (18.2 PPG); Terence Davis (15.1 PPG, 5.8 RPG); Devontae Shuler (10.2 PPG, 39.7 3PT%)

Season recap: After an impressive 13-2 start to the year, the Rebels stumbled to a 20-12 season record, finishing sixth in the SEC before bowing out in the first round of the conference tournament. The second half of Ole Miss’ season was marred with inconsistency, featuring disappointing losses like one against South Carolina. Still, the Rebels performed impressively against several tournament favorites, losing to Kentucky by just four while forcing a tough game-winner from Tennessee. 

Ole Miss relies on several players for its offense. The starting backcourt of junior Breein Tyree and senior Terence Davis is responsible for 33.3 points per game, while the team boasts four players shooting at least 34 percent behind the arc. The team as a whole shoots an impressive 35.8 percent from three on 8.2 makes per game. However, with no single playmaker, the Rebels don’t have a player averaging more than 4.0 assists per game. As a result, the team averages just 14.3 assists per contest, with an alarmingly low assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.1.

How they make a run: Ole Miss heats up from three, shooting lights out to keep up with a higher seed and pull away in a high-scoring affair.

How they falter: The Rebels' lack of a playmaker allows opponents to play tight man-to-man defense, stifling shooters and keeping the team from exploiting mismatches effectively.

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