Standing at just 5-10, Ole Miss Rebels senior guard Stefan Moody doesn’t look like your typical Division I college basketball player but his game speaks volumes. Moody leads the SEC in scoring (23.5 points per game), including 3.1 three pointer made per game, second best in the conference. Moody is coming off of back-to-back 23 point games, despite shooting just 25% (11-of-43) in wins over Missouri and Vanderbilt. Like every team the Rebels face, the Florida Gators will need to know where Moody is whenever he’s on the court.
“I think he’s coming ready to play, especially because we went out there and really tried to play hard defense on him,” guard Brandone Francis-Ramirez said. “I think he’s gonna come ready to light it up tomorrow. We just got to do a good job of guarding him once again.”
Moody shot 6-of-15 (3-of-10 three pointers) against the Gators in a home loss back on January 16 but still scored 22 points. He’s a high volume shooter with no conscious who is going to get his shots up no matter what. “He shoots the ball a lot and he can shoot it whenever he wants,” said Kasey Hill.
Tuesday’s game isn’t just about Moody, it’s also the first time this season the Gators will play an opponent the second time in the season. The Rebels are coming off of two big conference wins and want to make up for the loss they suffered on their own home court at the hands of Florida. Mike White’s club is coming off of an embarrassing loss at Kentucky where their effort and intensity was lackluster and called out justly by the head coach. So much of basketball is about momentum, runs and adjustments and both coaches will need to make adjustments from their first matchup.
“I don’t know what kind of adjustments AK [Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy] will make, but I’m sure he’ll be creative. He’s a really good coach. He’s had a lot of success with getting his best offensive players in a position to be successful,” said White. “What we’re most concerned about is Stefan’s supporting cast. All those other guys are playing really well right now. Coming off a game where they played really well against Vanderbilt and defended at a really high level — and Moody goes 5-for-25 and they beat Vandy. They’ve won three out of four, won their last road game and are 5-4 on the road. We have to play well.”
Florida will be home all week, hosting Alabama after Ole Miss and could boost its NCAA Tournament résumé with two more conference wins. The Gators have enjoyed playing at home, posting an 11-1 record inside the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
“They are disappointed in our effort and the fashion in which we were beat,” White said of the Kentucky loss. “I’d be surprised if we don’t come out tomorrow night and play really, really hard.”
Florida and Ole Miss will tip off Tuesday night at 9 p.m. (ET) and the game will be televised on ESPNU.