Sideline View by Dale McKee

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The big news this week was the six Ole Miss Rebel basketball players who took a knee before their game Saturday versus Georgia. The Rebel players chose to kneel during the national anthem to protest a Confederacy demonstration being held on the University campus at the same time the pro-Confederate supporters were gathered to protest Ole Miss’s removal of Confederate symbols from the campus. Ole Miss head basketball coach Kermit Davis did know about players' plans before the game. Davis told the media after the game that he supported their decision. “Our players made an emotional decision to show these people they were not welcome on our campus.” Ole Miss senior player Breein Tyree, who knelt, said, “There was not any player discussion. We just wanted to show them we are sick and tired of these hate groups coming to our school.”

Hoop Action

The Rebels (9-5, 19-8) nipped the last place Georgia Bulldogs, 72-71, in the Saturday game after having lost earlier in the week at South Carolina. The Rebels remain tied with the Gamecocks at 9-5 in SEC play. LSU won in overtime at home against Tennessee, and now the two are in a three-way tie with Kentucky for the top spot in the SEC at 12-2. South Carolina and Ole Miss are next, three games back. Ole Miss will play host to Tennessee on Wednesday night in their next action. Mississippi State (8-6, 20-7) has won four straight as they downed Georgia and South Carolina this week. The Bulldogs will play host to Missouri this week and travel to Auburn. The USM Golden Eagles (9-6, 17-10) dropped an overtime decision to UAB this past week. The loss leaves USM in a four-way tie for second place in Conference USA play. The Eagles will have to wait until Sunday before getting the bitter taste of defeat out of their system as they play at Western Kentucky.

Lady Hoopsters

The Lady Bulldogs (25-2) handled Ole Miss and Vanderbilt last week to improve to 13-1 in SEC play. This week they play host to LSU on Thursday before traveling to second place South Carolina (12-2, 20-7) on Sunday afternoon. The USM Lady Eagles (8-6, 16-11) won an overtime home game against La. Tech as Quitman native Shonte Hailes exploded for 30 points. USM will play host to UTSA this Saturday afternoon. USM has now won seven of their last eight games. Ole Miss (3-11) will play at Alabama and host Tennessee this week.

Diamonds

Mississippi State (6-1) lost to USM (4-2) to begin the 2018 baseball season as they were outscored, 23-6. The 2019 Bulldogs seem to have improved in scoring runs and pitching over last year’s team. MSU outscored USM 11-4 over the three games to win twice over USM. The Bulldogs in their first seven games have scored 51 runs and allowed only a dozen runs. MSU pitchers Ethan Small, Cole Gordon and J.T. Ginn were outstanding in the Golden Eagles series. Walker Powell and Ryan Och also teamed for a superior gem in the Eagles' opening game win over the Bulldogs, a 1-0, ten-inning thriller. Ole Miss (4-2) won two of three at Tulane over the weekend.

Odds & Ends

Former MSU baseball coach Andy Cannizaro has been hired as head baseball coach at Holy Cross High School in New Orleans beginning June 1.

Former Ole Miss basketball and baseball great Joe Gibbon died this past week. Gibbon was a basketball All-American at Ole Miss. He led Ole Miss to the 1956 College World Series. Gibbon was also was a member of the 1960 World Series Champion Pittsburgh Pirates.

Tim Tebow and his older brother Robby have produced a movie “Run the Race.” The movie opened this past weekend nationwide.

Contact Dale at ddmckee18@yahoo.com