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Ole Miss carries its four-game winning streak into Wednesday night's game at Tennessee (7 p.m. CT, SEC Network), where the Rebels routed the Volunteers, 92-74, in last year's meeting.

As of Tuesday, Ole Miss is No. 57 in the RPI, according to ESPN.com. The Rebels are 2-4 against the RPI top 100, with wins over LSU and Vanderbilt and losses to Kansas State, Oregon, Mercer and Dayton. A win over Tennessee, currently rated No. 53 in the RPI, would be the their fifth road win and their best RPI win of the season, with LSU currently the highest rated win at No. 65 in the RPI.

"We're a pretty confident group," said head coach Andy Kennedy in Monday's media opportunity. "We have won four straight. It's just the next game for us. It's obviously a huge opportunity anytime you get a chance to play a team in the top 60 in the RPI. We all know how the RPI is balanced where they give you a lot more weight if you find a way to break through on the road because everyone realizes how difficult that is." 

Different Tennessee Team From Last Year

With the return of Jeronne Maymon from injury and the addition of Memphis transfer Antonio Barton, it's a different Tennessee team from last year's two meetings, which were both Ole Miss wins. Jordan McRae leads the team, averaging 18.5 points per game, while Maymon and Jarnell Stokes combine for 24.6 points and 17.8 rebounds per game.

Stokes and Maymon are ranked second and third, respectively, in the Southeastern Conference in rebounding. As a team, Tennessee ranks second in the SEC in rebounding margin at +8.9 rebounds per game, and leads the league limiting opponents to 30.6 rebounds per game. The Volunteers also lead the league in defensive rebound percentage (71.5 percent), and rank second in offensive rebound percentage (41.7 percent).

"This (Tennessee) group has experienced a lot, and they're big and physical, so we have to make sure we buckle that chinstrap and understand that there will be nothing easy in Knoxville," Kennedy said.

Ole Miss' Formula For Success

For Ole Miss, the formula for success, as Kennedy said Monday, is pretty simple. It starts with Marshall Henderson and Jarvis Summers, who are both ranked in the top eight among scorers in the SEC. 

Henderson leads the SEC and ranks third in the nation averaging 4.19 3-pointers per game, and has hit a 3-pointer in a school record 52-straight games. Summers has increased his scoring by 8.9 points per game from last season, and ranks in the top five in the SEC in both assists (3.6 assists/game) and field goal percentage (51.7 percent).

"Marshall and Jarvis are playing as well as any guards not only in the SEC but in college basketball," said Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin on Monday's SEC teleconference. "Jarvis is putting up tremendous numbers, as far as 55 percent from 3-point line and 50 percent from the field at the point guard position. He's physically strong. Marshall does what he's good at doing, which is making shots, getting open and making plays."

Ole Miss also has to get contributions from a number of different guys, particularly in the frontcourt. Anthony Perez has averaged 14.7 points per game over the last three games, including a career-high 22 points at South Carolina. 

Aaron Jones is ranked third in the SEC with 2.6 blocks per game, and has pulled down double-digit rebounds in three of the last four games, while Sebastian Saiz has averaged 8.0 rebounds per game over the last four games.

Replacing Newby

Martavious Newby, another one of those contributors, will be out at least this week as he recovers from a hand injury suffered in Saturday's win over Mississippi State. With Newby's injury, LaDarius White, Derrick Millinghaus and Janari Joesaar will have expanded roles on the perimeter, and it could also mean more minutes for the players in the frontcourt. 

"There's an opportunity there," said Kennedy on Monday's SEC teleconference. "And as we discussed after the (Mississippi State) game, even though his numbers don't jump off the page at you, people who cover us understand the importance of Newby and the energy and toughness that he brings. He's probably our best on-ball defender on the perimeter, so there are a number of different areas that he was very helpful to us. We will have to do it by committee, whether that's a guy playing a few more minutes here or there in different combinations, or opportunities for new guys. That will all be determined moving forward."

VIDEO: Andy Kennedy Media Opportunity

Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy met with members of the media Monday, ahead of the Rebels traveling to Knoxville, Tenn., to play the Tennessee Volunteers on Wednesday night (7 p.m. CT, SEC Network).

On Tennessee being comparable to Ole Miss:

They're a little different that us. They're really physical up front. Last year, they didn't have (Jeronne) Maymon, and now he's back. When you talk about him and (Jarnell) Stokes, that's a heck of a tag team. They're both built, physical kids. They're skilled. It's a little different matchup for us, as it relates to the physicality that they're going to present up front. 

And then when you throw in Jordan McRae in there, you're talking about two of those guys are seniors and a junior who has played a lot of minutes. Jordan McRae is probably as explosive a scorer from the wing as there is in our league. He's a guy who has a chance to be Player of the Year in the league. They picked up a fifth-year guy in Antonio Barton, who transferred from Memphis. He's experienced and has played in big games before. 

They have a number of different weapons. They have size off their bench. We had success in there last year simply because we went in and made a bunch of baskets. We scored 92 points, and if we can do that again this year, I would feel better about our chances, but that remains to be seen.

On what Florida did to limit Tennessee offensively in the Gators' 67-41 win on Saturday:

They really struggled shooting the ball. Florida is the best defensive team in our league and one of the best in the country. They don't lose many in Gator Alley. The best of the best have been in there and left with their heads down simply because they take you out of offense and they don't give you second-chance opportunities. Tennessee is very good off the offensive glass, so Florida was good in their first-shot defense, limiting them getting any second-chance opportunities and kept them out of rhythm the whole game.

On defending Tennessee compared to defending LSU:

It's different based on the physical makeup of their team. When you think LSU, I think long and athletic. They have smaller guards, but their frontline with Jordan Mickey, (Johnny O'Bryant) and Jerrell Martin are all very long and athletic, and really inexperienced with two of those kids being freshmen. This (Tennessee) group has experienced a lot, and they're big and physical, so we have to make sure we buckle that chinstrap and understand that there will be nothing easy in Knoxville.

On what a win at Tennessee would do for the team's confidence:

We're a pretty confident group. We have won four straight. It's just the next game for us. It's obviously a huge opportunity anytime you get a chance to play a team in the top 60 in the RPI. We all know how the RPI is balanced where they give you a lot more weight if you find a way to break through on the road because everyone realizes how difficult that is. 

Florida and us are the only two teams in the league with multiple road wins to this point. That again speaks to how difficult it is to go in and win on the road. We'll formulate a game plan, and hopefully when the moments arise, our players will rise up and make a play and that will ultimately decide it.

On the four-game winning streak dating back to the win over LSU:

Our formula is pretty simple, and you will hear me say this all year. Jarvis has established himself as one of the best guards in the league, and he's playing that way. He's playing with a lot of confidence, and we have a lot of confidence in him. He's given us leadership that is above and beyond. Marshall is Marshall. Marshall is the only guy in the country who can go 4-for-15 and be the lead story. He's the only guy can go 2-for-12 and be the MVP of the game. He's a different guy. He has an ability to make shots, and he made a lot of them in there last year, so I'm sure a lot of attention will be paid toward him, and we have to do a good job of playing off that. He has to make his share, and then we have to play the way the defense determines. 

We have to get contributions from a number of different guys, and we're getting those. Anthony Perez has put together the best three-game run of his early career. Sebas(tian) (Saiz) is continuing to produce for us. AJ (Aaron Jones) is getting more and more confident as we approach the year anniversary of his knee injury. He's getting more confident in understanding his role, not as a spot guy, but a guy who is instrumental in us winning or losing. Dwight Coleby is starting to help us a little bit more. Bear (Demarco Cox) is showing he's certainly capable. We got to get Snoop (White), Derrick (Millinghaus), and Janari (Joesaar) will have an expanded role with the injury to Newby, so we have to continue to get contributions from a number of different guys.

On any discipline for Marshall Henderson from his exchange of words with Mississippi State head coach Rick Ray:

Rick, at the end of the game in the hallway, when I was done with the media, he came up to me and apologized and said that he had said something to Marshall. I didn't even know what he was talking about. I see it on the tape, and the camera caught him mouthing something. That's not an issue for us. I don't foresee anything happening moving forward from our standpoint.

On players' awareness of the RPI:

I got the United Nations in my locker room. I hit them with the APR, GPA, and I'm not even sure they know what NCAA is, most of them. You're inundated with it. They watch college basketball like we watch college basketball, and it's talked about 24/7. They obviously understand. Now, they probably don't get the formula; I don't get the formula. Sometimes I think I figured it out, and then something happens, and the line shifts on me sporadically. 

We're through a third of the SEC season. That's hard to believe, and it's easier to break it down that way. We're through 6 of the 18 (league games). We went 5-1, and if we can do that in the next two quadrants, we'll be in pretty good shape. We understand the importance of the game. The guys know that Tennessee is a good basketball team, and they will know it exponentially after we go through it the next 48 hours.

On Sebastian Saiz and Aaron Jones being more assertive and physical inside:

We are getting more physical. AJ is becoming more confident in his ability to bounce up and get out-of-area rebounds, which is something we needs to do for us. Sebas is getting more experienced in understanding what he needs to do to grab them at this level. Our guards are getting better. Anthony is helping us in that regard. Sometimes we play him at the 3, and sometimes we play him at the 4. Marshall and Jarvis's rebounding numbers have gone up since we have gotten into league play. We're second in the league -- one blocked shot behind LSU -- for the blocked shots lead in the league in SEC play and leading the league in field goal percentage defense, from an efficiency standpoint, in league play. We're doing a lot of good things on that side of the ball with turnover margin, and rebounding percentages have gone up. 

We were trying to block too many shots and taking ourselves out of position. We didn't understand when to go and when not to go. Many times you get blocked shots off the ball. If it's an off-the-ball big, and he doesn't get it, then you're pretty naked on the other side of the rim, and that's where we were really getting hurt with second shots. Our guys are doing a better job of understanding when to go, and we have really tried to emphasize guards getting to the level of the ball, so when they do go to block a shot, we have bodies on bodies on the other side of the ball.

On Dwight Coleby's minutes changing with the injury to Martavious Newby:

I'm trying to get more out of him because he gives us an athleticism and a big physical body who's probably more similar to Reggie, from his ability to block a shot than even AJ, even though AJ blocks a lot of shots. Coleby gives us more of that Reggie basket protector, and so I'm trying to get him to go. He's a freshman, and these are high-level games, and I'm not quite as patient as I am right now.

On Jarnell Stokes and Jeronne Maymon being a measuring stick for the Ole Miss frontcourt:

It's going to be a challenge. They're two of the best in the league, and they're going to present some issues for us. Through six games, we know who we are, and we have to do a better job of being disciplined and playing to our strengths.

SEC MBB Teleconference 1.27

Full transcript of Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy's time on the SEC teleconference Monday, as well as selected questions and answers from Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin and South Carolina head coach Frank Martin. The Rebels travel to Knoxville, Tenn., to play the Volunteers on Wednesday (7 p.m., SEC Network) and then return home to play the Gamecocks on Saturday (12:30 p.m., SEC Network).

Ole Miss Head Coach Andy Kennedy

Opening statement:

It's a big challenge going into Knoxville Wednesday night. Cuonzo has a very good basketball team, anchored by those two big boys up front. Jordan McRae is having a Player of the Year-type season to this point, so we know there will be a number of challenges that we will have to face.

On Martavious Newby's surgery and timetable for his return:

We don't know as far as timetable. The surgery was successful. They put a plate in his hand. If it was a football player, they would tape it up, pad it, and he could probably play within a week or so based on pain tolerance. With it involving the ability to catch the ball, that's not an option for us. It will be a day-to-day thing. He will certainly be out this week, and honestly it will be week-to-week depending on how quickly he responds to the procedure.

On replacing Martavious Newby:

There's an opportunity there. And as we discussed after the (Mississippi State) game, even though his numbers don't jump off the page at you, people who cover us understand the importance of Newby and the energy and toughness that he brings. He's probably our best on-ball defender on the perimeter, so there are a number of different areas that he was very helpful to us. We will have to do it by committee, whether that's a guy playing a few more minutes here or there in different combinations, or opportunities for new guys. That will all be determined moving forward.

On Ole Miss leading the SEC with 7.1 blocked shots per game:

Last year, we lost the all-time leading shot-blocker in the history of our program and a guy who I think finished in the top five in the SEC's history in Reginald Buckner. This year, it's a little different. We're doing it by committee. Aaron Jones is leading our team. He is very active, he has quick hands, and he is long. He's a different shot-blocker than Reg, though, in that he probably does as much on the perimeter as he does at the basket. He's really quick off his feet and he has the ability to get his hand on a lot of balls. 

And then the rest of our guys, everybody just has that skill set. Juan Sebastian Saiz, one of our true freshmen, is really long and has good timing. Dwight Coleby is starting to round into shape after an early season injury, and he's athletic at the basket. Demarco Cox, our other big, has length and size at the rim. It's just really who we are. We have to make good decisions, as to when do we try to block the shot and when to stay in rebounding position. We had some real issues leading into conference play. We have gotten a little better once we have gotten in league play about taking ourselves out of rebounding position by trying to block too many shots. As we have garnered more experience, because we're relatively young up front, guys are having a better of sense in when to go try to block the shot.

On riding a wave of momentum with four straight wins:

The numbers say that we have won four in a row, so I certainly like those numbers. Other than that, we're just trying to get a little better. We're getting contributions from different guys, whether it is some of the young guys I just mentioned or Anthony Perez, who played very little last year. He's probably had his best three-game stretch in his career, as he's garnering more confidence. He's being more productive. As a whole, we're getting contributions from new guys, and as a result, we're playing a little better.

Tennessee Head Coach Cuonzo Martin

Opening statement:

We play a very talented Ole Miss team. They're playing very well, 5-1 in league play. They're shooting the ball well. Marshall and Jarvis are playing as well as any guards not only in the SEC but in college basketball. Jarvis is putting up tremendous numbers, as far at 55 percent from 3-point line and 50 percent from the field at the point guard position. He's physical strong. Marshall does what he's good at doing, which is making shots, getting open and making plays. They are a very talented team and do a great job of using their big guys diving to the basket and making plays.

On Jarnell Stokes:

He's done a great job. He comes in and watches film. He was in the gym this morning working out. He's seeing the floor a lot better and making plays. He's better off the dribble. He's aggressive in making moves to the basket. He's rebounding the ball well on both ends of the floor. He's always been a good offensive rebounder, but he's doing a better of getting defensive rebounds and boxing out. He's playing good basketball overall.

South Carolina Head Coach Frank Martin

Opening statement:

Once again, we're excited to play at home. It feels like we have played at home one time all month. Getting around our fans will be great for our players. We play (Texas) A&M, which we just went head-to-head with here shortly ago and then have to turn around, travel again and play at Ole Miss. I'm coaching against two guys with whom I have great personal relationships with and respect tremendously. Both have really good teams. It's an exciting week for us, as every day is, when we realize how lucky we are with what we get to do every day.

On the team's sense of urgency with a 0-6 SEC record:

That is what my job title is directly tied to. I can't put winning games above winning people. Right now, we have to continue to make our guys understand that we're trying to win people. If we can figure out a way to keep our kids excited and connected with who we are, and that we're not that far off, rather than solely focused in on winning and losing games, then that will happen. And eventually, when you win one, your kids feel better because we're so young that you don't them to get discouraged because everyone who reaches out to them in social media is probably discouraged that we're not winning. 

My job is to make sure that our guys continue to stay encouraged because we are close. You're at Missouri, and you are down two possessions with 50 seconds to go, so you're right there. You get a stop, make a shot, and now it's a one-possession game, but it didn't happen. We're fighting our tails off to put ourselves in the same place where we could have two, three or four conference wins right now, so we have to keep our kids focused on that.

On progress when looking at the game within the game:

I'm extremely proud of my kids. I have been unhappy after one game, and that was the Georgia game. We did not fight and we never gave ourselves a chance to win. That's the only game that I have been unhappy about. Early in the year, we went into Oklahoma State, and they made the run in the first half, and we fell apart. We just went into Missouri, which is very comparable and very similar to Oklahoma State, and an equal home-court environment. We got down I think 11-0, and next you thing know, it's 20-16, so we have grown as a team. 

That's my job. It's to keep my guys focused. My kids are really young, and they don't understand anything yet. I don't have any upperclassmen to make them understand reality. It's my job to get them connected with the fact that even though we might not be getting the results from a win-loss standpoint that we are a better basketball team and these are the reasons why. That way they stay excited about what we're doing, which they are right now, and we can continue to progress.

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