How to watch Ole Miss vs. South Carolina basketball: Preview, TV schedule, and more

Laimonas Chatkevicius slams it home against Texas A&M. - Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina avenged an 8-point loss in College Station with a 28-point drubbing of Texas A&M on Wednesday. Can they get the Rebels back for their one-point win in Columbia in January?

Some described the win as representative that Carolina had "turned a corner" in the second year of its rebuild under Frank Martin.  That goes too far, but Carolina's 80-52 demolition of Texas A&M did represent a much-needed win for a team that suffered bad fortune throughout the early part of its schedule, from a series of close losses to a frustrating injury to its starting point guard.

Carolina takes to Oxford to try to grab its second-straight revenge win of the season against an Ole Miss team that barely escaped Columbia with a 75-74 win a few weeks ago.  In that game, the Rebels rode a 48-37 second-half performance to a fast-paced victory over the Gamecocks.  Since then, Ole Miss grabbed a road win at Vandy and avenged a rivalry loss to Mississippi State, though in their last outing they got blitzed early by Tennessee and never really competed in an 86-70 loss in Knoxville, which dropped the Rebels into a surprising tie for second place in the SEC with the Kentucky Wildcats.

The Four Factors (Pomeroy Rankings)
When USC has the ball When Miss has the ball
USC Off. Miss Def. Edge Miss Off. USC Def. Edge
220 78 MISS Big eFG% 168 151 Push
310 58 MISS Big TO% 62 54 Push
21 314 USC Big OReb% 131 242 MISS
40 157 USC FTR 156 350 MISS
Shooting (percentages)
When USC has the ball When Miss has the ball
USC Off. Miss Def. Miss Off. USC Def. NCAA Avg.
69.9% - FT% 69.5% - 69.7%
45.6% 44.2% 2P% 46% 50.1% 48.5%
37.2% - 3P% 37.2% - 34.3%
27% 35.3% 3PA% 35.9% 35.3% 32.8%

As we all know from last game (and just generally), Mississippi lives and dies by Marshall Henderson normally, who struggled shooting in Columbia by only going 5-17 from the field, though still scoring 19 points.  The other guy who hoists most of the shots for the Rebels - Jarvis Summers - also scored 19 that night, though did so more efficiently by going 5-9 from the field (and 9-13 from the line) while also handing out 6 assists.

Of course, Carolina will also remain concerned about the Rebels' leading scorer that night, Anthony Perez, who poured in 22 against the Gamecocks thanks in large part to 10-12 free throw shooting.  The 6'9" sophomore presents a physical problem for a Carolina team that's struggled to shut down the paint.

He and Demarco Cox look the most likely to trouble the Gamecocks on the interior offensively, given both get to the foul line on a regular basis.  They've combined for 106 free throw attempts this season in less than 10 minutes per game per player (or over 5 free throws per 40 minutes), whereas the other three post players - starters Aaron Jones and LaDarius White, along with reservist Sebastian Saiz - have taken only 130 free throw attempts, barely more than the Cox and Perez, despite the fact they collectively average 2.5 more minutes per game, and, well, there's three of them.

One other area where Mississippi really excels in the post comes on the defensive end.  The Rebels love to block shots - they sent back 5 against the Gamecocks last time, or 18% of the 2s that Carolina tried - and lead the SEC with 8.3 blocks per game, or 17.6% of 2s shot against them (the former stat is 4th in the nation; the latter is 3rd).  Since South Carolina struggles to hit 2s in any event (and gets quite a lot of their shots blocked), they may look more to outside shooting to try to score in Oxford.

For the Gamecocks, it seems likely they'll continue to run out a starting five of Sindarius Thornwell, Brenton Williams, Duane Notice, Michael Carrera, and Demetrius Henry.  Henry has struggled late, playing fewer than 24 minutes in every SEC game but the 'Cocks match-up in Missouri, and has failed to register more than 4 points in a conference game this season.  His minutes may continue to move to Laimonas Chatkevicius, who tied a career high with 12 points against Texas A&M.

If Chatkevicius replaces Henry, the starting five will have scored 77 of the 80 points that Carolina put up against Texas A&M last Saturday.  It seems these five clearly represent the Gamecocks' best chance of scoring against the Rebels.  The question is - can they defend the Rebels well enough to make it matter?

The game tips off at 1:30pm ET, and can be seen where available on either SEC TV or ESPN3.com.

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