GAME NOTES: No. 14 Rebs Start New Year With UCF
GAME 14: #14/16 Ole Miss (11-2) vs. UCF (8-5)
UCF REPRESENTS FINAL TUNEUP FOR SEC PLAY
The No. 14 Rebels kick off the new year with their final non-league tilt of the season when the UCF Knights visit Oxford for Tuesday's contest. Ole Miss bounced back from a road defeat at No. 6 West Virginia to earn its seventh win in eight games with a 90-75 triumph over Jacksonville State in Oxford this past Tuesday. The Rebels tied a school record with 14 3-pointers in the contest, including a career-high seven from Terrico White, who tied his career high with 29 points. Star point guard Chris Warren needs eight points to become the 31st player in school history to register 1,000 points in a career. The Rebels begin the SEC slate with a home game this Saturday against in-state rival Mississippi State. Tipoff for the league opener is 12:30 p.m., televised by the SEC Network.
- Ole Miss' No. 14 ranking in the AP poll is its highest national ranking since finishing at No. 9 in 2001. The Rebels are also No. 16 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll.
- Ole Miss has a 49-12 record against non-conference opponents under Kennedy.
- The Rebels own a 2-0 lead in the all-time series with UCF, winning away and home over the last two years.
- Kennedy has directed Ole Miss to a 51-7 home record in his four seasons at the helm, including a 33-1 mark against non-league foes at Tad Smith Coliseum.
- At 84.2 ppg, Ole Miss leads the SEC and ranks 10th in the nation in scoring offense.
- The Rebels tied a school record with 14 3-pointers against Jacksonville State and rank second in the SEC with 8.8 triples per contest.
- Preseason All-SEC point guard Chris Warren ranks fifth in the league with 17.1 ppg and third with 2.9 3-pointers per contest.
- Preseason All-SEC guard Terrico White ranks sixth in the league with 17.0 ppg and tied his career high with 29 points against Jacksonville State.
SCOUTING THE KNIGHTS
UCF has an 8-5 record on the season with a notable 10-point win over the SEC's Auburn Tigers at the Glenn Wilkes Classic in Daytona Beach, Fla., back on Nov. 20. The Knights are 6-1 at home but have an 0-3 record in road games. Kirk Speraw is in his 17th season with UCF and has led the team to three straight winning seasons. UCF averages 67.8 ppg and allows 64.2 ppg. Isaac Sosa leads the squad with 12.1 ppg and makes 2.6 3-pointers per contest. A.J. Tyler adds 10.9 ppg, while Keith Clanton contributes 8.8 ppg and a team-high 7.3 rpg.
OLE MISS-UCF SERIES
Tuesday is the third all-time meeting between the schools, with the Rebels holding a 2-0 lead in the previous meetings. Ole Miss won 78-46 last year in Oxford behind 24 points from David Huertas. The Rebels earned a 76-67 victory on the road in 2007-08 with Chris Warren scoring a team-high 18 points in his hometown.
WARREN CLOSING IN ON 1,000 POINTS
With 11 points against Jacksonville State, junior point guard Chris Warren has 992 career points, needing just eight more to become the 31st player in program history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. Warren has reached this high point total at a rapid pace, having played in just 59 games. If he reaches the mark against UCF, he would tie for the fifth-fastest in school history to reach the milestone. Gerald Glass is the fastest Rebel to reach 1,000 points, doing so in his 37th career game.
A pair of Rebels will be squaring off against their hometown team when UCF comes to Oxford. Junior point guard Chris Warren and senior forward DeAundre Cranston both hail from Orlando and will go against a Knight team that features three players from the Orlando area on its roster.
OLE MISS VERSUS CONFERENCE USA FOES
In non-SEC play, Conference-USA is Ole Miss' most faced league, and UCF is the third of three C-USA teams on this year's schedule. The Rebels have an all-time record of 78-97 (.446 winning percentage) against current members of Conference USA, which includes such frequent foes as Tulane (35-55) and Memphis (11-27). Ole Miss has a 13-6 record versus current C-USA teams since the league was formed in the spring of 1995.
IN THE POLLS
Ole Miss is nationally ranked for the fifth straight week, coming in at No. 14 in the AP poll and No. 16 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. The No. 14 ranking is the team's highest since it was No. 9 in the final coaches poll of the 2000-01 season.
Ole Miss boasts a 49-12 record (.803 win pct.) against teams outside the SEC since Andy Kennedy took over in 2006-07, which includes a 33-1 record in games played in Oxford. This year's team is 11-2 overall against non-league foes after the squad went 9-5 a season ago. The 2007-08 Rebels finished the regular season with a perfect 14-0 record against non-league foes, becoming the second Rebel squad to accomplish that feat (1948-49).
DEFENDING HOME COURT
Winning at home has been a trademark of Andy Kennedy's squads since he took the reins in 2006-07. Ole Miss is 51-7 (.877 win pct.) in games played at Tad Smith Coliseum during Kennedy's tenure, including a 7-0 mark this year. An 80-78 loss to West Virginia on Dec. 3 last year snapped a 25-game home win streak over non-conference opponents.
Ole Miss has won 182 of its last 221 games (.824 win pct.) in Oxford dating back to the 1995-96 campaign. The Rebels have an all-time record of 415-186 (.691 win pct.) at Tad Smith Coliseum, which opened in 1965-66.
RECORD-SETTING NIGHT BEHIND THE ARC
Ole Miss tied the school record by knocking down 14 shots from downtown against Jacksonville State this past Tuesday. Terrico White led the way by hitting a career-high seven triples, and five more Rebels notched at least one trey. The 14 triples tied a record set on Dec. 18, 2000, against Troy.
Ole Miss ranks first in the SEC and 10th in the country with an average of 84.2 points per game. Fast-break buckets, slashing drives and a nice outside touch have been key components to such a prolific offense. The team has put up 80+ points in nine of the first 13 games, 90+ in five contests and a season-high 108 against Centenary. Ole Miss has posted a 40+ point half in every game this season. Five players average 10 or more ppg, led by Chris Warren's 17.1 average and Terrico White's 17.0 average.
IT'S RAINING THREE'S
With an abundance of shooters in its backcourt-heavy lineup, Ole Miss is getting plenty of production from behind the arc this season. The Rebels rank second among SEC teams and 17th in the nation with 8.8 three's made per game. They tied the school record with 14 treys against Jacksonville State and drained 12 against Southern Miss and UTEP.
Individually, Chris Warren leads the way with 38 3-pointers, ranking third in the SEC with 2.9/game. Terrico White has drained 26 shots from downtown, including a career-high seven vs. Jacksonville State. Zach Graham has added 23 triples, including a career-high four in back-to-back outings at Arkansas State and vs. Southern Miss.
REBELS VALUE THE BALL
Ole Miss has shown itself to be one of the better SEC teams at limiting its turnovers. The Rebels average 12.2 turnovers per game, which is currently the fewest in the SEC. They also lead the SEC with a 1.3 assist-turnover ratio and rank third with a with a +4.4 turnover margin. They have had fewer turnovers than their opponent in 10 of 13 games. Ole Miss had just five turnovers in the season opener vs. UALR and gave up the ball six times vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Jacksonville State.
Ole Miss finished one shy of a school record with 32 assists in its 108-64 rout of Centenary. The Rebels have been sharing the ball at a high rate this season and rank third among SEC teams with 16.2 assists per game. Eniel Polynice tops the squad with 4.5 dimes per game, and Chris Warren adds 3.6 per contest.
SULTANS OF SWAT
There's a new strength on this year's team that the Rebels have not featured much in years past - the blocked shot. The intimidating presence of freshman Reginald Buckner, who ranks third in the SEC with 2.5 blocks per game, has helped the Rebels average 6.0 swats per contest, fourth-best among SEC teams and 19th in the country. The team's 12 blocks against Indiana in San Juan were one shy of a school record.
CLIMBING THE CAREER TREY CHART
Junior guard Chris Warren has climbed the Ole Miss career 3-point chart at a record pace and has moved into fourth place all-time with 166 career treys.
CONSISTENCY FROM DOWNTOWN
Sophomore guard Terrico White and junior guard Chris Warren have entered rare territory with their streaks of consecutive games with at least one 3-point field goal. White had his streak of 23 straight games end when he missed all seven attempts from downtown at West Virginia, while Warren extended his to 23 straight in the last game.
Junior guard Chris Warren has already posted five games of 20+ points this season, tied for the second-most among SEC players. Warren has 19 career 20-point games, and both he and sophomore guard Terrico White rank in the top 10 among active SEC players in that category.
WARREN BACK TO HIS OLD WAYS
He set the Ole Miss record for 3-pointers in a season as a freshman and then averaged 19.6 ppg as a sophomore before being injured. Now, Chris Warren is providing his magic again. The junior point guard currently ranks fifth in the SEC with 17.1 ppg and third with 2.9 3-pointers per game. He posted his third straight 20-point game with a career-high 32 (5-of-10 3's, 13-of-15 FT's) - with 11 points in overtime - in the win over UTEP. He poured in 20 points, including a clutch pair of three's in the final minute, in the comeback win over Southern Miss, while adding six assists. He was named to the Puerto Rico Tip-Off All-Tournament Team after he led all scorers in San Juan with a 22.3 average. He had 16 in the win over Indiana before putting together back-to-back 20-point games against Kansas State (27) and No. 5 Villanova (24).
WHITE MAKES SCORING LOOK EASY
With his laid-back, smooth approach on offense, sometimes Terrico White's eye-popping scoring totals can take a person by surprise. The sophomore guard is averaging 17.0 ppg, which is sixth-best among SEC players. He tied a career high with 29 points vs. Jacksonville State, draining a career-high 7 3's and grabbing 7 boards. He led all scorers with 17 points in a rout of Centenary. He tallied 19 points, including 8-of-10 from the foul line, in the OT win over UTEP. He had 15 points with a pair of treys against Southern Miss. He poured in 25 points in a win over Kansas State and dropped in 19 points three times (vs. Alabama State, vs. Texas A&M-CC and at Arkansas State). He posted 14 points and a career-high 9 rebounds vs. No. 5 Villanova.
Junior guard Zach Graham has turned into one of the Rebels' most consistent and dependable weapons on the offensive and defensive end. The Suwanee, Ga., native has tallied 12 or more points in each of the last seven games. For the season, he is shooting 46.3 percent from the field (44-95) and 45.1 percent from downtown (23-51), while also playing lock-down defense on the perimeter. He had 14 points and 4 assists against Jacksonville State. He scored a team-high 14 at West Virginia. He had 12 points vs. Centenary, while also dishing out a career-high 5 assists. Had 14 points to go with 7 boards in OT win over UTEP. He contributed 12 points and 5 rebounds vs. McNeese State. He tied a career high with 4 3-pointers en route to 15 points vs. Southern Miss. He dropped in a season-high 17 points in the win at Arkansas State, connecting on a career-high 4 3-pointers.
OTHER PLAYER POINTS
- Reginald Buckner: Tied for third among SEC players and tops among league freshmen with 2.5 blocks per game ... Also ranks second among all freshmen in the nation in blocks per game ... His 32 blocks through 13 games are 14 shy of Sean Murphy's school freshman record (46 in 1987-88) and 24 shy of David Dean's school record (56 in 1992-93) ... 9 points, 8 rebounds, 4 blocks vs. Jacksonville State ... Season-high 11 points (5-of-6 FG's) with 6 rebounds and 3 blocks in the OT win over UTEP ... Made his first career start vs. A&M-Corpus Christi and scored 8 points ... Season-high 12 rebounds with 3 blocks vs. Indiana ... Posted 7 points, 8 rebounds and 5 blocks vs. Alabama State ... Had 4 blocks and 4 rebounds in collegiate debut vs. UALR ... Tennessee high school record holder for career blocked shots.
- DeAundre Cranston: 8 points, 6 rebounds vs. Centenary ... Posted 8 points and 5 rebounds vs. McNeese State ... Career-high 21 points (8-9 FGs, 3-4 3-pters) with 7 boards in season opener.
- Trevor Gaskins: Career-high 7 rebounds vs. Jacksonville State ... Set a career high with 4 steals at West Virginia ... 7 points and 4 assists vs. Centenary ... Played in his first game since 2007-08 after missing last year with injury and scored 7 points with 3 boards and 3 assists in opener.
- Terrance Henry: Had 9 points and 6 boards vs. Centenary ... Made his first 10 field-goal attempts of the season, including 3-of-3 from downtown, before missing a trey against McNeese State ... Career-high 12 points (5-of-5 FGs) vs. Texas A&M-CC ... Returned from injury to post 2 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks in just 5 minutes of play in his first action of the season vs. Indiana ... Injured his hand slipping on stairs on campus and missed the first two games.
- Murphy Holloway: Leads all SEC players and ranks fourth in the nation with a 63.8 field-goal percentage ... Ranks 10th in the SEC with 6.8 rebounds/game and 29th with 11.5 ppg ... 13 points (6-of-7 FGs) at West Virginia ... Turned in 12 points and 5 rebounds against Centenary ... Tallied 13 points and 5 boards against McNeese State ... Missed the Texas A&M-CC game while resting an ankle injury, but returned to tally 9 points and a season-high 13 rebounds at Arkansas State ... 10 points and 10 rebounds against Kansas State, his second double-double of the year ... Posted a career-high 26 points against Indiana at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, finishing 12-for-18 from the floor and pulling down seven rebounds ... 17 points, 10 boards in opener vs. UALR.
- Eniel Polynice: Averages 10.2 ppg, 4.2 rebounds/game, 4.5 assists/game (5th SEC) and 1.5 steals/game ... 9 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists vs. Jacksonville State ... 13 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists at West Virginia ... 13 points, 6 assists vs. Centenary ... Tied season high with 8 rebounds in OT win over UTEP ... Came up big in late rally vs. McNeese State to finish with 12 points and tie career highs with 9 assists and 4 steals ... Had 15 points, 6 assists and the game-winning dunk with 1.3 seconds left vs. Southern Miss ... Against Kansas State he put up 13 points, 5 boards and 2 steals ... Against Indiana, he posted 10 points, 7 assists, 2 blocks and a steal ... Against Alabama State, he had 17 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals and a block.
- DeAngelo Riley: Against Centenary, posted 6 points, 3 assists, 2 boards and 2 blocks ... Made his Rebel debut in the opener and had 5 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks in 10 minutes of action.
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