Tue May 07 12:15pm EDT
OXFORD, Miss. -- Ole Miss freshman right-hander Brady Bramlett will need surgery to repair a torn labrum, head coach Mike Bianco told RebelGrove.com on Tuesday.
Bramlett was shut down last week due to discomfort, and Ole Miss recently got the MRI results revealing the tear in his throwing shoulder. The recovery is typically eight to 12 months, and surgery will happen soon, though an exact date hasn't been set.
"It's a long thing, more like Tommy John from a time standpoint," Bianco said. "You want to get the surgery done and start the recovery, but it could cost him next season, as well."
Bramlett is 5-1 on the year with a 3.00 ERA in eight appearances with four starts. He's struck out 11 and walked eight in 24 innings. Opponents have hit .198 off him.
Ole Miss senior right-hander Tanner Bailey had a similar injury in 2010 at Texarkana Community College and redshirted the 2011 season at Ole Miss to complete rehab.
Bramlett was the No. 202 player nationally, according to Perfect Game, in the 2012 class.
Wed Apr 24 08:39am EDT
Ole Miss scored 11 runs on 11 hits Tuesday night and rolled Arkansas State 11-1 in Jonesboro to sweep the season series and pick up its 20th non-SEC win of the season.
That number is normally seen as the benchmark for a successful nonconference season and has now been accomplished in seven of Mike Bianco's 13 seasons as head coach. Ironically, however, out of the three previous six teams to hit 20 wins, three hosted regionals and three didn't. The 2006 (17 SEC wins) and 2007 (16 SEC wins) teams each hosted with 19 wins.
Here's a rundown of the regular season nonconference wins during Bianco's tenure.
The Rebels still have a shot to match the 2005 team's total, as No. 18 Ole Miss (30-12) hosts St. Louis on May 1 and travels to USM on May 14. Despite the impressive slate, it's been somewhat of a disappointing mark due to other teams' failures and losses in recent rivalry games.
Ole Miss dropped games to MSU and USM at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss., and dropped the season series to Memphis, one game in Oxford and one at AutoZone Park.
The Rebels noteworthy non-league series is a sweep against TCU, which began the season in the top 15 but is only 19-21 overall and 7-8 in the Big XII. The Horned Frogs have won five of their last six, including series wins over Baylor and Oklahoma State. A strong TCU finish would help Ole Miss' RPI which is already in the top 20.
Ole Miss also swept nonconference series from Rhode Island (22-17, 9-3), Florida International (22-17, 10-8) and Lipscomb (14-28, 4-11).
COMATOSE CATS?: While you were sleeping, Kentucky was losing an 18-inning game at Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers hit a solo home run in the 18th to beat the Wildcats 3-2.
It was 1-1 after regulation, and each team scored a run in the 13th to keep playing. The game lasted 5 hours, 57 minutes. Kentucky was getting on the bus at 2 a.m., give or take 42 hours before facing Bobby Wahl and his 0.82 SEC ERA on ESPNU. The Wildcats have to be kicking themselves, as the Hilltoppers' 13th-inning run was unearned.
Kentucky threw closer Trevor Gott 70 pitches on Tuesday, so that will be something to watch if the game is close on Thursday.
Kentucky enters the three-game series in Oxford having lost seven in a row - two to Tennessee, one to Louisville, three to South Carolina and one to Western Kentucky.
Thu Feb 28 10:43am EST
OXFORD, Miss. -- Chris Ellis may resume his Sunday spot in the rotation this week, though it would be a predetermined shorter-than-normal appearance.
The sophomore right-hander missed his most recent scheduled start due to an abdominal strain that has lingered for several weeks now. Ellis first injured the muscle two weeks prior to the season opener but started against TCU and went four innings while allowing two hits and one run.
During the latter part of that outing, he aggravated the abdominal and exited after 74 pitches. After wearing a support brace and resting last week, Ellis threw a flat ground session on Wednesday and is scheduled for a bullpen on Thursday.
Should that go well, the Birmingham, Ala., native will start the No. 8 Rebels’ (8-1) series finale against Florida International in Miami.
“He’ll probably only throw a couple innings to just work him back into it,” Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said. “It’s not necessarily pitch count, though that’s part of it. It’s so we don’t push him and go too far with the pulled ab.”
Sam Smith started in Ellis’ place against Rhode Island and took a no-decision, allowing five hits and three walks in 3.1 innings.
While Ellis is on the mend, Ole Miss is dealing with arm issues with two other pitchers.
Freshman Jacob Waguespack has been dealing with elbow tendonitis since January, and Ole Miss is shutting him down for two weeks before testing the ailment. Since that’s complete rest, even if the pain has stopped, it’ll take more time to have him ready for game participation.
Waguespack, who the Pirates took in the 37th round last summer, was rated the No. 426 prospect nationally out of Dutchtown (La.) High School by Perfect Game.
Sophomore right-hander Hawtin Buchanan is dealing with shoulder soreness and inflammation, according to Bianco, and won’t travel to FIU.
Buchanan has one appearance this season. He allowed two runs in an inning against UT-Martin on Feb. 20. He allowed two hits and two walks and had two strikeouts. As a freshman, the 6-foot-7 right-hander had a 3.98 ERA in 20.1 innings.
GATLIN GETTING BETTER: Senior captain John Gatlin continues to work his way back from a shoulder separation before the season.
Gatlin was the likely starter at second base but suffered a severe separation while diving during the first intrasquad of the semester. He fielded ground balls last week and swung a bat 100 percent for the first time this week.
“Gatlin has done well,” Bianco said. “He swung 100 percent, and he’s had some good days and bad days with how it’s felt. He’s starting to field balls, and I don’t think he’s that far away from possibly getting on the field.”
Gatlin hit .255 in 28 games last season but had a .397 on-base percentage.
Lance Wilson has started four games at second base, including all three opening weekend, and has made three errors in 14 chances. He has two hits in nine at-bats. Preston Overbey is errorless in four starts at second base and is 7-for-25 with two doubles offensively. Jake Overbey started at second base Wednesday and was 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
Wed Jan 23 08:13am EST
OXFORD, Miss. -- Senquez Golson will not be a member of the Ole Miss baseball team this season, instead concentrating on football from this point forward, UM head baseball coach Mike Bianco told me Tuesday morning.
“Senquez and I met recently and talked about his future and he has decided at this time that he wants to focus on football,” Bianco said. “As such, he will not be participating in baseball this spring and will instead be going through spring drills and continue to work with the football team in preparation for the 2013 season."
Golson is coming off a successful sophomore season on the football field, as the cornerback had interceptions in the last three games to help Ole Miss to a 7-6 season and a BBVA Compass Bowl win over Pittsburgh.
On the baseball field, Golson hit .204 in 54 at-bats as a freshman, including one hit in his final 32 at-bats of the season. He was not on the travel roster during the postseason. He did, however display his elite athleticism several times in the outfield. Golson also had the game-winning RBI in Ole Miss' series-clinching victory over then-No. 1 Florida on April 1.
Golson arrived at Ole Miss with much publicity, as the Red Sox took him in the eighth round of the 2011 MLB First Year Player Draft and offered a seven-figure signing bonus, spread out over five years, to bypass college. The Pascagoula, Miss., native's negotiations went down to the deadline and even flew to Boston on the final day but ultimately turned down the offer and enrolled at Ole Miss.
Ole Miss baseball begins its season on Feb. 15 against TCU in Oxford. With Golson's decision, the Rebels have reached their required 35-man roster limit. Right-handed pitcher Connor Jordan and two-way player Casey Greene also recently left the program.
"(Golson) is a tremendous young man and has been a pleasure to work with this past year," Bianco said. "We know he will continue to be successful on the football field and will be watching with excitement when Coach Freeze and the Rebels start their season again this fall.”
Wed Jan 09 07:50pm EST
Ole Miss and Tennessee are set to square off in Knoxville, Tenn., for the Southeastern Conference opener for both schools. Volquest.com's Grant Ramey is covering the game for us tonight in Knoxville. We at RebelGrove.com will return the favor on Jan. 24 when the Volunteers play in Oxford.
LaDarius White, Marshall Henderson, Jarvis Summers, Reginald Buckner and Aaron Jones start for Ole Miss. No Murphy Holloway, no Nick Williams in the starting lineup. Interesting. (Note: We've since learned that Holloway has been sick lately, too sick to practice earlier this week. It's an Andy Kennedy rule: No practice, no start. However, Holloway didn't sit long; he entered the game two minutes in.)
Ole Miss is known for daytime fireworks. Tennessee, it appears, should be known for indoor fireworks. The announcers are blaming those fireworks for the first-possession slippage by Summers and UT's Trae Golden.
The good news for Ole Miss early: The Rebels are getting plenty of good looks close to the basket. The bad news for the Rebels: Ole Miss is missing bunnies and converting just half of its attempts from the free throw line. Ole Miss leads, 14-10, early, but this has all the signs of a last-minute nail-biter.
Allow me to vent: My ESPN3.com connection sucks. The game is blacked out locally on ESPN Full Court and is not on any local television affiliate. Dear SEC: You're bigger than this. The solution is simple; tell every affiliate if they want to televise football on the weekends in the fall, they'll televise basketball during the season. Period. The End.
Sat Dec 08 05:09pm EST
GoMiddle.com's Matt Hagen is covering today's game in Murfreesboro, Tenn., for RebelGrove.com. If you can't count on family, who can you count on?
That doesn't mean I can't share some thoughts as today's critical game unfolds. So, away we go:
In many ways, the start was perfect for Ole Miss. The Rebels fed Murphy Holloway and Reginald Buckner in the post from the beginning and got both big men going. Middle Tennessee's Jason Jones Jr. is going to have his hands full with Buckner. That's obvious immediately. Marshall Henderson has no conscience. He's missed his first three 3-pointers, but he's not sulking. Instead, he's been solid on defense early on. Really, he's been solid all year. That was not his reputation when he arrived in Oxford. That's a pleasant surprise for the Rebels so far this season.
Jarvis Summers picked up his second personal foul with 13:12 left in the first half. Not good for the Rebels. Derrick Millinghaus' return is a big deal for Ole Miss, but this isn't the way Andy Kennedy wanted to use him. Millinghaus is two-plus weeks removed from knee surgery. To be back on the floor this quickly is amazing, but the rust is obvious early. Just know Kennedy loves this kid. Also, make note that Millinghaus' availability allows Kennedy to use LaDarius White on the wing, where his length creates problems for opponents on both ends of the floor.
Millinghaus' second quick foul forces White to move to the point. Either Henderson or Nick Williams is going to have to hit some shots today. That said, damn, Holloway and Buckner are good on the post as a tandem. They'll be sorely missed next season -- except at the free throw line.
Random thought: Advantage to blogging from home instead of covering on site -- cold Stella Artois. That is all.
Back to hoops: If you thought this trip to Murfreesboro was going to be a walk in the park, you're nuts, you don't understand Kermit Davis Jr. and you underestimate the top shelf of Sun Belt Conference basketball. I covered the Sun Belt tournament a couple of times when I was in Mobile. Once it was in Murfreesboro. It was quality, quality basketball on the final two days.
It's halftime. The Blue Raiders lead, 33-29, and it could easily be a lot worse for the Rebels. Middle Tennessee scored 18 first-half points off turnovers. Ole Miss got four, if I'm counting correctly. Two things I noticed down the stretch of the first half: 1. Ole Miss got away from looking for Henderson. It doesn't work that way. He's not a threat if he's not getting touches. 2. There were some body language issues after Millinghaus' long shot hit nothing but oxygen and nothing resembling iron or a net. This team is facing some adversity today. Kennedy knew this trip would bring a test. He was right.
Ole Miss dominates the first four minutes of the second half to take a lead. Why? Pardon me while I pat myself on the back here, but if Henderson is on the floor, he must be an integral part of the offense. Let. Him. Shoot. Sometimes you'll get burned, sure, but he's on the floor to shoot. He stresses defenses, opens up the middle, gives teammates confidence, etc.
Turnovers are killing Ole Miss. The Rebels' offense is sloppy right now, and against a veteran team on the road, that won't work. Despite that, Ole Miss is down just five points, very much within striking distance.
Down 8 with 5:37 left, Ole Miss is just being beaten in every phase of the game right now. The Rebels are turning the ball over, taking bad shots, committing stupid fouls, etc. Ole Miss is very much on the ropes right here. These next few possessions will be critical.
The first possession out of that break: a long, running 3-pointer Henderson that missed. The second: a Henderson layup off a turnover. Rebels now trail by six with 4:17 left and Middle Tennessee running out of shot-clock time. Third possession after falling down 8: a wild Henderson 3-pointer that misses. Buckner gets the rebound and a trip to the line, but shot selection clearly is an issue Kennedy will address this week.
I didn't like the no-call on Henderson on the defensive end near the end of the game for Ole Miss. But Holloway's 3-point attempt from the left wing was just awful shot selection. Awful.
For those who will make this end of the world stuff, know you're wrong. This was a missed opportunity, certainly, but a road loss at Middle Tennessee won't kill Ole Miss' tournament chances whatsoever. What today did do, however, was expose a myriad of problems. It will be an intense week of practice this week as the Rebels prepare for East Tennessee State Friday in Oxford.
Fri Aug 03 09:03am EDT
I received an email recently from an Ole Miss fan (I'd call it hate mail, but I received much, much worse during my days as a columnist/radio talk show host in Mobile, Ala.) criticizing me for tweeting about things other than Rebel athletics.
He told me he was tired of reading my thoughts on the Oklahoma City Thunder, and more recently, my thoughts on the Chicago Cubs as the Major League Baseball trade deadline approached. At the conclusion of his lecture regarding how he believed I should use Twitter, he took a gratuitous slap at the Cubs, a team I've followed passionately since childhood and a franchise that doesn't appear all that close to winning its first World Series since that glorious autumn of 1908.
While I'm confounded that people actually are bothered by what I tweet on a personal Twitter account, I tried to come up with a clever response. When it comes to responding to Cubs insults, it's difficult. For example, the other day, my good friend/Circle of Trust expatriate/St. Louis Cardinals fan Kyle Veazey tweeted "1908" at me. All I could do for a response was send him a clip of Anthony Rizzo's walk-off two-run homer against the Cards on Sunday in Chicago. I elected to just let it go, but I couldn't stop thinking one prevailing thought: At least right now, Ole Miss and the Cubs have a lot in common.
The Cubs, after decades of mismanagement, are rebuilding. As of this writing, they're 43-60, some 20 games out in the National League's Central Division. They're tearing down the team down to the studs (that's a construction metaphor, not a commentary on the talent level of the remaining players) and building around youth and prospects. The Cubs finally moved away from traditional scouting and are now embracing statistical analysis as a huge part of player evaluation and development. The owner, Tom Ricketts, hired Theo Epstein away from Boston and Jed Hoyer away from San Diego and has taken a hands-off approach. Novel concept, huh? Hire good people, give them carte blanche and then judge them on their jobs.
There finally seems to be an understanding on the North Side that having just enough big names to fill the beer garden that is Wrigley Field isn't enough. Instead, actually winning a championship finally seems to be the franchise's mission, as difficult as that will prove to be.
To Ole Miss fans, that should sound familiar. After decades of mismanagement and neglect, the athletic program appears to be in good hands -- hands that seem to be attached to young, energetic people focused more on winning than on their status inside the country club culture that _ at least in my opinion _ prevented Ole Miss from keeping pace with the rest of the Southeastern Conference during the 1970s, 80s, 90s and the first decade or so of this century.
New coach Hugh Freeze, who is charged with rebuilding a wrecked program inside the toughest division of the toughest conference in America, is similar to Cubs manager Dale Sveum. He's a focused, process-oriented leader without a sexy pedigree. Cubs fans wanted a big name; Sveum has a lot to prove. That rings true for a portion of the Ole Miss fan base as well as it pertains to Freeze, though he seems to be doing an amazing job of winning fans' confidence already.
Anyway, here's the point: For fans, this rebuilding thing is tough. I've been a Cub fan forever. I have friendships that are built around Cub fandom. I've talked to those friends less this summer than I have in years. I no longer watch games with any real interest. I harbor no expectations that the Cubs will contend for the National League Central Division crown for at least three more years. I hope prospects such as Albert Almora, Jorge Soler and Shawon Dunston Jr., change the fate of the organization, but I fully realize they're just kids. I tell myself Rizzo's winning National League Rookie of the Month is a good sign for the future. I've read the Cubs' goal is to contend by 2015, 2016 at the latest. I wonder if I'll care by then.
Ole Miss fans, at least those who don't consume red and blue Kool-Aid in mass quantities, know the rebuilding of the Rebels' program is going to be a long process. Realistically, like the Cubs, Ole Miss is three years away from title contention, and that's if all goes well. Fans are going to find it difficult to remain engaged at times. They'll have to take solace from great effort at times, from recruiting victories that bring the promise of better days ahead. They'll have to have patience. As we all know, that's easier said than done.
The similarities don't stop there. Epstein and Hoyer have talked about changing the Cubs' culture. They've instituted something called the "Cubs Way" in the minor league system. Don't ask me what that is; I have no idea. Freeze has a culture to change as well. He has to get kids who haven't won football games the past two years to believe they'll win now. He needs a larger percentage of players to buy in to his program. A program insider told me recently that will happen; it's just a matter of when. It's a chicken-and-egg thing, really. Once something good happens (i.e., an upset of Texas or Auburn or Texas A&M), guys will buy in. However, the sooner players buy in completely, the sooner that good thing happens. It's a fine line. The script isn't written.
Bottom line: Rebuilding is tough, both for teams and the fans who cheer for them. There's nothing remotely fun about it. But if it's done right, the results should be worth the pain and the wait. At least that's what I'm telling myself these days about the Cubs. I suspect you Ole Miss fans can relate.
Wed Jul 18 12:02pm EDT
OXFORD, Miss. -- Ole Miss and Memphis will resume its football rivalry with a four-year contract that will include games in Oxford in 2014 and 2016 and contests in Memphis in 2015 and 2017, both schools announced on Wednesday.
The longstanding rivalry, which included annual games from 2002-2009, will now be a matchup of teams from major conferences, as Memphis joins the Big East in 2013. Ole Miss has won five straight in football and has a 47-10 overall advantage.
The new agreement will also feature a renewal of the basketball series between the two teams "as soon as the scheduling permits," per the Ole Miss release. The basketball home-and-home was halted by former Memphis coach John Calipari following the 2006-2007 season. The teams did meet in the NIT in 2010. The Tigers lead the basketball series, 27-12.
"It's exciting for our fans both in Memphis and here in the state to see this natural rivalry resume in both sports," Ole Miss athletics director Ross Bjork said in the release. "The Memphis community is a priority, and this series is important for our growing alumni base in the area.
"From a football standpoint, Coach (Hugh) Freeze and I have the same scheduling philosophy and agreed it was imperative to continue to brand our program and put the Ole Miss flag in Memphis."
Ole Miss was scheduled to play Clemson in 2015 and 2016, but that contract has been terminated.
"The city of Memphis was a wonderful home to my family and me, and I look forward to playing in front of the many great fans we have there," Freeze said. "I'm thrilled to see the Ole Miss presence in Memphis continue to grow."
Mon Jul 16 10:19am EDT
OXFORD, Miss. -- Ole Miss will begin the season with three home night games, including a nationally-televised bout with Texas, the Southeastern Conference announced on Monday morning.
The Rebels will open the season -- and the Hugh Freeze era -- against Central Arkansas on Sept. 1 at 6 p.m. That'll be a pay-per-view telecast. On Sept. 8, Ole Miss will host UTEP on Fox Sports Net at 6 p.m. And the best news of the day for Ole Miss fans, the Rebels' much-anticipated game with Texas on Sept. 15 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium will be an 8:15 p.m. kickoff on ESPN.
There's a good chance that date with the Longhorns will feature two 2-0 teams, Texas opens with home games against Wyoming and New Mexico. UTEP could be a tricky game for the Rebels, but it's highly winnable.
Ole Miss' visit to Tulane on Sept. 22 has already been announced as an 11 a.m. start on FSN.
Here are the SEC times and stations for the first three weeks from the SEC official site:
Sun Jul 15 10:49pm EDT
OXFORD, Miss. -- Cody Reed, a 2013 left-handed pitcher from Northwest Mississippi Community College, committed to Ole Miss on Sunday night.
Reed, a rising sophomore with the Rangers, will sign in November and have three years to play two for the Rebels. This past season for Northwest, Reed was 8-2 with a 3.78 ERA. He struck out 65 and allowed 56 hits and 32 walks in 64.1 innings.
On March 31, he threw a seven-inning no-hitter against Mississippi Delta Community College, needing just 81 pitches for the noteworthy outing.
From what I heard on Sunday, Reed was somewhat of a late riser, throwing in the low-to-mid 80s out of Horn Lake High School, but is now pushing into the low 90s and could be a draft consideration next June.
Reed is Ole Miss' first JUCO commit for the 2013 signing class. The Rebels have nine high school commits -- eight of which are ranked in the top 300 nationally by Perfect Game.
Reed's teammate, Jeremy Massie, will be a member of the Ole Miss team this coming academic year. He's a left-handed pitcher, as well.