Power forward Sebastian Saiz capped off his final college home game in style, posting 19 points, 15 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and a block.
Although Ole Miss dropped the NIT quarterfinal to Georgia Tech, 74-66, Saiz still made history, becoming just the seventh player in SEC history with 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 100 blocks in a career.
Sebastian Saiz is the seventh player in SEC history with 1,000 career points, 1,000 rebounds and 100 blocks. #OleMiss
— Davis Potter (@DPotterOE) March 22, 2017
Furthermore, his double-double gave him 23 this season, which also is a school record. He broke the previous program record in the first game of the NIT against Monmouth. Saiz averaged 17.3 points and 12.7 rebounds in the three games of the tournament. He posted a double-double in all three contests.
Ole Miss failed to reach the NIT semifinals, which would have earned the team a trip to Madison Square Garden, but it still was a great season for the Rebels. Coach Andy Kennedy posted the ninth 20-win season of his 11-year tenure at Ole Miss. The Rebels had just seven 20-win seasons in program history prior to Kennedy arriving in 2006.
In conference play, Ole Miss went 10-8, which was fifth best in the SEC, a conference that is having a great postseason. Ole Miss defeated Missouri in the SEC Tournament and then fell to Arkansas, a team that played top-seeded North Carolina very tough in the Round of 32, losing by only 7 points after leading late in the game.
Losing at home is always tough, but Ole Miss picked up two impressive road wins to begin the NIT. First, the Rebels beat the Monmouth Hawks, a team that went 18-2 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, 91-83, and a very tough home squad in Syracuse at the Carrier Dome, 85-80. Duke, Virginia, and Florida State — three teams in the NCAA Tournament — all lost at the Carrier Dome this season.
While Saiz was the senior leader of the team, junior guard Deandre Burnett, who led the squad in scoring, will be back. Fellow guard, sophomore Terence Davis, averaged 14.9 points per game and will return, too. The future remains bright for Ole Miss, who will be searching to return to the NCAA Tournament since making it in 2015.