Ole Miss beat Louisiana Monroe on 83-60 on Saturday in front of just over 6,000 people at The Pavilion. Breein Tyree led the Rebels in scoring with 20 points and freshman Blake Hinson complimented that with 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting.
Ole Miss shot 52 percent from the field and overwhelmed the Warhawks with its size on the glass. The Rebels won the rebounding margin 41-24, which was largely the difference in the game.
Here are three observations from a win that got the Rebels to 5-2 on the season.
Olejniczak plays season high in minutes:
Dominik Olejniczak played a season high 21 minutes in the win. The seven footer grabbed three rebounds, made all four shots he took for eight points, blocked two shots and recorded a steal.
Kermit Davis has made it plainly clear that the Rebels need Olejniczak to play well if they want to be a good team. The physical nature of the SEC calls for size in the post, and Olejnicak certainly possesses that. His ability to stay on the court is predominantly determined by how he defends and contributes on the glass.
“I thought he got us off to a good start,” Kermit Davis said. “We went right to him early and he made a nice jump hook early in the game.”
This game was one of his best so far in this young season. The coaching staff keeps a point system between Olejniczak and forward Bruce Stevens in practices and games. Olejniczak has been trending in the right direction and earned a start on Saturday because of it. The Rebels will need both of them to play heavy minutes when they enter SEC play.
It’s been an up-and-down start to the season for Olejniczak, who often struggles with staying confident through his mistakes. Sometimes the most accurate way to gauge how he played on a given night is how long he was on the floor.
“Our team does a good job of really trying to encourage him,” Kermit Davis said. “If you fumble a ball, next play. Go try to make a really good defensive play. I think our players are good with Dom with that. They know we are trying to win and Dom can be a huge part of what we are trying to do.”
Hinson continues to play into bigger offensive role
Freshman combo wing Blake Hinson affords Ole Miss some versatility with his 6-foot-7 frame and his to play both on the perimeter and in the post. Hinson followed a 15 point game on Wednesday night with 17 points in the win on Saturday. He has started every game for Ole Miss this season and has steadily become a heavier contributor in the Rebels’ half court offense.
“He’s starting to score in different levels,” Kermit Davis said. “Offensive rebounding, four assists to one turnover is really good.. He is just going to keep getting better. When you are that talented as a young kid and you are the first guy in the gym every single day, great things are going to happen to you. You can’t beat him to the gym.”
Hinson pulled three rebounds and was 4-of-5 from three point range.
Tyree scoring at efficiently high level
Breein Tyree led Ole Miss in scoring for a second consecutive game with 20 points in the win over the Warhawks. The junior is scoring efficiently and playing at as high of a level offensively as he has in his Ole Miss career. He made 8-of-15 shots and was 4-of-9 from three point range. Tyree has never shied away from shooting the basketball aggressively, but recently has become option 1-B b next to Terence Davis in terms being the guy to get the ball to when the team needs a basket.
“If it is within Coach Davis’ offense, I am going to take it,” Tyree said. “As everyone knows, I like to shoot the ball. That is just part of growing up. When I was a freshman, I was kind of playing behind Deande Burnett and now it is my time to step up.”
Tyree played point guard his first two season under Andy Kennedy. Kermit Davis has challenged Tyree to play off the ball more because of the fluidness of Kermit Davis’ rotation and his style of offense. That is something that can be tough transition, but Tyree has made it rather seamlessly.
“It is really a bunch of combo guards on the floor and when Kermit told me I was going to play predominantly off the ball, I took the challenge,” Tyree said. “He has been coaching for more than twice my age. He knows best and whatever he says, I am going to go out and do it.”