Who reminded him?
Well Marshall Henderson, of course.
Twenty minutes into the teams' second meeting in 15 days, Henderson, with four lone points, looked like he should have kept his mouth shut.
Then came the next 20 minutes.
Henderson, tossing in 3-pointers from as far away as Tupelo, poured in 26 second-half points to go from pathetic to prophetic.
The display earned No. 23 Ole Miss a 62-56 victory in front of a capacity home crowd at Tad Smith Coliseum.
"It was a good environment — an environment that you like playing in," said McRae, who tied his career high with 26 points, but committed nine of the Vols' 21 turnovers. "I think, for 36 minutes, we welcomed that environment and played good."
Those next four minutes were the problem. Tennessee let its potential first road win of the season swirl down the drain. Battling the resilient Rebel attack and 8,876 fans, UT came undone in the closing moments.
Trailing 58-56, four missed free throws by McRae and Armani Moore sandwiched a UT turnover. On a final possession facing a three-point deficit with under one minute left, a pair of 3-pointers by McRae and Trae Golden found the back iron.
"The good thing was that you put yourself in a position to win the game," Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin said. "Now you have to do it. We missed four free throws — make those free throws and get key stops when you need to. It's a tough lesson, but we have to learn from it and try to get over the hump."
It's a tall one. The Vols (9-8, 1-4 SEC) and have lost five of their last six games.
Fittingly, Henderson iced it for Ole Miss (16-2, 5-0) with a pair of free throws. He made all eight attempts on the night.
Beyond the arc, though, was where Henderson put on his one-man show. After being closed down in the first half, the SEC's leading scorer (19.4 points per game) came unhinged. Six of 11 3-point attempts — most contested and unwieldy — splashed down.
The crowd, there to see the Rebels play their first game as a ranked team since 2010, roared as it rained.
"It was really loud, making it hard for our play calls," McRae said."We did a good job defending through the course of the game," Martin said. "In the second half they shot 53 percent (14-for-26) from the field, but I thought we did a solid job, just had some minor breakdowns. More than anything, Marshall did a good job of making shots."
Golden (11 points) was the only other UT player in double figures.
Fifty-three fouls were called in a game often stunted by whistles. Ole Miss made 19 of its 33 free throws. The Vols were 17-for-27
"If you call the game a certain way, then that's how the game is played," Martin said. "It's understood and then the guys can make the adjustments that are necessary. It's a tough one. We feel like we had a great opportunity. We just came up short."
The packed house wallowed for nearly 10 first-half minutes as the Rebels went without a field goal from the 16:03 mark to the 6:04 mark. An early one-point Ole Miss lead turned into a 21-12 deficit over the span.
The Vols held a 25-18 halftime lead thanks to that suffocating defense. Before Thursday, the Rebels' lowest output in a half had been 29 points.
Henderson's only four points of the half came from the line."It's a credit to him, staying aggressive, staying in the game, and being ready when his time comes," Martin said. "He started coming off those screens (in the second half) and made a couple. He picked his head up. Then he's rolling."
Reginald Buckner finished with 10 points and eight rebounds for Ole Miss. Following the game, Henderson made another prophesy.
With Ole Miss now holding a three-game winning streak over Tennessee dating back to last season, Henderson stated his Rebels would beat the Vols "10 out of 10 times" and concluded, "We're just better."
"He talks a lot," McRae said. "I can't keep track (of what he says)."
Unless the two clash again at the SEC tournament in Nashville this March, UT will have to wait until next year to try to prove Henderson wrong.
The Vols return home on Saturday for date with Alabama (12-6, 4-1) at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn