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Men’s Basketball Preview: South Carolina vs. Ole Miss

Can the losing streak finally come to an end?

NCAA Basketball: South Carolina at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina vs. Ole Miss
Date: Saturday, February 11th
Time: 1:00 PM
Channel: SECN
Where: The Sandy and John Black Pavilion at Ole Miss - Oxford, MS

The Gamecocks are looking to terminate the eight game losing streak with a win over the Ole Miss Rebels, a team which they lost to at home last time they faced up. The Rebels currently hold a lackluster 10-14 record, and are ranked 106th in KenPom’s latest advanced metric rankings.

The last time these two squads matched up, it was Matthew Murrell who took charge for the Rebels. Murrell put up team highs in both points and rebounds, with 23 and 9. Murrell is still the leader of this Rebels team, leading the team in scoring with 14.6 points per game. Murrell is also a good defender, averaging 1.3 steals a night.

Jaemyn Brakefield is also a player to look out for on Ole Miss. The junior Duke transfer is averaging a solid 10 points and 5.4 points a night for the Rebels, on an impressive 54% field goal percentage. Brakefield had an off night the last time out against South Carolina, only shooting 2-6 from the field. However, Brakefield has been on an absolute tear in his last five games, averaging 14.8 points per game and 6.6 rebounds during this stretch.

I want to start talking about South Carolina with an insane, but embarrassing stat. The Gamecocks currently hold the largest KenPom drop off from the preseason rankings in the history of the site. South Carolina began ranked 99th at the beginning of the season in KenPom’s advanced metric rankings, and are now ranked 241th, dropping a total of 142 spots.

In their last few games, the Gamecocks have played much better, losing by two points to two good teams in Missouri and Arkansas. I expect them to continue this good play, especially against a well below average Ole Miss team. However, if you watch enough South Carolina basketball, you already know that this is the most bipolar team in the entirety of the sport.

After voicing his frustration on Instagram Live last week, GG Jackson was sat on the bench to begin the game against Missouri. However, Jackson responded very well to this role, dropping a team high 23 points on 8/12 shooting, one of his better shooting performances on the season. This was great bounce-back game for Jackson, who only put up 9 points against the Razorbacks of Arkansas.

Hayden Brown also had one of his better games as a Gamecock, putting up 19 points with 6 rebounds against Missouri. Brown will be crucial in this game as well, as he is going to be relied on heavily with absence of good guard play in the South Carolina backcourt.

KenPom is giving the Gamecocks a 16% chance to crush the losing streak with a score prediction of South Carolina 61, Ole Miss 72

My Prediction: South Carolina 65, Ole Miss 60