Jan. 6, 2011
Complete Ole Miss Game Notes
GAME 16: Ole Miss (12-3) at Florida (11-3)
Saturday 1.8.11 | 8:00 p.m. ET
Gainesville, Fla. | Stephen C. O'Connell Center (12,000)
Live TV: CSS (Matt Stewart, play-by-play; Bill Koss, analyst)
Live Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network (David Kellum, play-by-play; Keith Carter, analyst).
Satellite Radio: SIRIUS 121, XM 141
Live Video: ESPN3.com
REBELS OPEN LEAGUE PLAY AT FLORIDA
Ole Miss will begin its SEC West title defense with Saturday’s league opener at Florida. The Rebels closed nonconference play with four straight wins, including a 75-57 victory at SMU on Wednesday. They have won nine of their last 10 games and finished non-league play with a 12-3 record - best among SEC West teams and fourth-best overall in the league. Ole Miss opens league play on the road for the 10th time in the last 13 seasons. Against the Mustangs in Dallas, Chris Warren led the team with 19 points and Zach Graham added 13 to become the 32nd player in school history to reach 1,000 career points. Ole Miss is 2-1 in road games this season.
- Ole Miss claimed the 2010 SEC Western Division title and was picked by the media to finish second in the West this year.
- The Rebels have an overall record of 26-51 in SEC openers, with their last win coming in 2006.
- The Rebels are opening SEC play on the road for the 10th time in the last 13 years.
- The Rebels and Gators are meeting for the 101st time, with Florida holding a 58-42 lead in the series.
- Ole Miss leads all SEC teams with a 47.5 FG percentage and a 74.5 FT percentage.
- The Rebels rank third in the league and 37th in the country with a 78.1 scoring average.
- National awards candidate Chris Warren is four treys shy of the Ole Miss career 3-pointers chart. He is the active SEC leader in points, assists, 3-pointers and 20-point games.
- Sophomore forward Reginald Buckner ranks second in the SEC (11th in the nation) with 3.0 blocks per game and leads the league with a 64.6 FG%.
REBELS BEGIN SEC WEST TITLE DEFENSE
Ole Miss enters league play looking to defend its 2010 SEC Western Division title. The Rebels claimed their fifth division title by finishing with a 9-7 league record last year, tied atop the West with Mississippi State. The Rebels also won the West crown in 2007 (Kennedy’s first season), 2001 and back-to-back years in 1997 and 1998.
SCOUTING THE GATORS
The Florida Gators enter SEC play with an 11-3 record, including wins in each of their last three and six of their last seven. They have been particularly impressive in their last two games - a 71-67 win at Xavier and an 84-59 rout of Rhode Island. Billy Donovan’s club averages 70.3 ppg and ranks second in the league allowing just 59.4 ppg to opponents. The Gators lead the league with a +8.5 rebounding margin (38.5-30.0). UF returned all five starters from last year. All five of them average more than 9 ppg, including Erving Walker’s 13.9 ppg, Kenny Boynton’s 12.3 ppg and Vernon Macklin’s 10.5 ppg. Chandler Parsons adds 9.9 ppg and a team-best 6.7 rpg and 3.5 apg. Alex Tyus chips in 9.3 ppg.
OLE MISS-FLORIDA SERIES
Saturday’s game will be the 101st meeting between the two schools. Florida holds a 58-42 lead in the series, which began in 1940. The Gators lead 34-11 in games played in Gainesville. The last Rebel win over the Gators was in 2008 (89-87 in Oxford), while their last win in Gainesville was in 1999 (79-68). Florida came away from Oxford with a 64-61 win last year, despite Terrance Henry’s 17 points.
Senior guard Chris Warren (Orlando) will be making his last regular-season trip to his home state as a college player. In three prior trips to the Sunshine State, Warren has helped Ole Miss go 2-1 with a win at UCF on 12/8/07 and a 1-1 record in a Daytona Beach tournament in Nov. 2009 (loss to Utah, beat Marshall). He has averaged 22.7 points in those contests. Warren missed the UF game in Gainesville and the SEC Tournament in Tampa two years ago with a torn ACL.
REBELS IN SEC OPENERS
The Rebels have an overall record of 26-51 in Southeastern Conference openers in their previous 77 years of play in the league. The Rebels are looking for their first league-opening win under head coach Andy Kennedy. Ole Miss dropped an 80-75 decision to Mississippi State in Oxford a year ago. The Rebels are opening SEC play on the road for the 10th time in the last 13 years. The last SEC opening win came in 2005-06 when the Rebels beat Alabama 71-61 in Tuscaloosa.
Ole Miss concluded regular-season, non-conference play with the SEC West’s best record at 12-3, which is fourth-best overall in the league this year. The Rebels boast a 65-16 record (.802 win pct.) against teams outside the SEC since Andy Kennedy took over in 2006-07, including a 45-2 mark at home.
KENNEDY NEARS 100 WINS AT OLE MISS
With 97 wins in his fifth season as the Ole Miss head coach, Andy Kennedy is three shy of becoming the third coach in school history with 100 career victories. He trails only B.L. “Country” Graham (144 wins in 13 years) and Rod Barnes (141 wins in eight years) on the school’s career coaching victories chart. Kennedy’s .647 winning percentage (97-53) is significantly better than Graham’s (.462) or Barnes’ (.564). Kennedy is 118-66 in his sixth year overall as a head coach (includes one season at Cincinnati).
Ole Miss ranks third among SEC teams (and 37th in nation) with 78.1 ppg. The Rebels have eclipsed 80 points six times this year and have reached triple digits twice (101 vs. Mississippi Valley State, 100 vs. Alcorn State). Ole Miss leads the league with a 47.5 field-goal percentage (42nd in nation) and a 74.5 free-throw percentage (31st in nation).
CRASHING THE BOARDS
Ole Miss has vastly improved its rebounding numbers in the last few outings. The Rebels came into the Cancun Governor’s Cup with a -0.6 rebounding margin (which was worst in the SEC) through their first nine games. But in the last six outings, Ole Miss has out-rebounded its foes by an average of 15.8 boards, including a 45-22 advantage vs. Texas State, 42-23 vs. Saint Louis and 47-27 vs. Alcorn State. The season rebounding margin has vaulted all the way to +6.0, which is fourth-best among SEC teams. Reginald Buckner is averaging 9.6 boards over his last five games, while Terrance Henry is pulling down 9.3 per game over the last three and Zach Graham is getting 8.2 per game in the last five.
FREEBIES FALLING AT HIGH RATE
The Rebels lead all SEC teams and rank 31st in the nation with a 74.5 FT percentage. They have shot 80 percent or better in five games this season, including three of the last six. Their 95.7 FT percentage against Murray State (22-of-23) was the second-best mark in school history for a game with at least 20 attempts. Chris Warren leads the SEC and ranks fifth in the nation with a 94.1 FT percentage. He has made 80 of 85 attempts on the season and has converted 38 of his last 39 from the line. Zach Graham is third in the league at 85.7 percent.
As the season has progressed, so has the Rebels’ field-goal percentage. The Rebels lead the SEC, making 47.5 percent of their shots from the field. They have shot better than 40 percent in all but one game and better than 50 percent in five outings. That includes a season-best 59.6 percent at UALR, which was the highest mark ever allowed by the Trojans at the Jack Stephens Center. Reginald Buckner leads the league with a 66.2 FG percentage and would rank third in the nation if he had enough attempts. Terrance Henry ranks ninth at 52.1 percent. Every regular in the Rebels’ lineup is hitting shots at better than a 40 percent clip.
Ole Miss has displayed some impressive bursts of scoring this season. With feats of athleticism and sharp outside shooting, the Rebels have posted at least one 40-point half in all but one game this season, including a high of 52 in the first half against Mississippi Valley State. The Rebels have a pair of 100-point games for the first time since the 2007-08 season. The last time Ole Miss reached triple digits three times in a season was in 1998-99.
Chris Warren LEADS THE WAY
For the 2010-11 Rebels, most things run through senior point guard Chris Warren. A candidate for numerous accolades, he currently ranks second in the SEC in scoring (18.5), third in assists (4.3), first in FT percentage (94.1), sixth in 3-pointers made (2.3), sixth in assist-turnover ratio (1.9) and fourth in minutes (33.7). He has scored 20+ points in seven games (most among SEC players) and has led the Rebels in scoring nine times. He has led the team in assists in all but one game, including a season-high seven at UALR.
WARREN SOARING UP CAREER POINTS LIST
Chris Warren continues to fly up the Ole Miss career points list. With 24 points against Alcorn State, he jumped into seventh place all-time. Entering the Florida game, he has 1,649 career points. Next up is current Ole Miss Radio analyst Keith Carter, who ranks sixth with 1,682. If Warren can reach 2,000 points and 400 assists for his career, he will be only the fourth player in SEC history to do so (LSU’s Pete Maravich, Tennessee’s Allan Houston and Georgia’s Litterial Green are the others).
CAREER 3-POINT RECORD IN SIGHT
Chris Warren enters the Florida game needing four 3-pointers to match Aaron Harper’s school record of 278 for a career. Against Southeastern Louisiana, Warren moved past Aaron Harper into the all-time lead for 3-point attempts (Warren has now let it fly 731 times in his career).
WARREN PASSES HIS WAY INTO TOP FIVE
With six assists against Alcorn State, Chris Warren moved into the top five in school history with 380 career assists. He is now up to 389 dimes in his career. Next up is Jason Harrison, who ranks fourth with 427.
WARREN NAMED COUSY AWARD CANDIDATE
Senior Chris Warren has been named a candidate for the 2011 Bob Cousy Award, given to the nation’s top point guard. He was one of 20 finalists for the award last season. Warren has also been named a preseason candidate for the Naismith Award (nation’s top player) and the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award (nation’s top senior).
GRAHAM REACHES 1,000 POINTS
Zach Graham became the 32nd player in school history to reach the 1,000-point plateau when he scored 13 points at SMU. The Suwanee, Ga., native has accomplished the feat with steady improvement every year (averaged 5.9 ppg as a freshman, 8.5 as a sophomore, 9.2 as a junior and 14.1 as a senior). He joins Chris Warren as current 1,000-point scorers at Ole Miss.
GRAHAM EXCELS AS A SENIOR
Senior guard Zach Graham has been solid and steady in his final campaign. He ranks 14th in the SEC with a 14.1 scoring average and third with an 85.7 free-throw percentage. He averages 4.4 rebounds per game, including 8.2 over the last five. He posted a career-high 22 points against Murray State and led the Rebels with 16 vs. Dayton. He posted his first career double-double with 16 points and a career-high 13 boards vs. Colorado State. Graham averaged 15.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in three games in Mexico and was named to the Cancun Governor’s Cup All-Tournament team. He put up 18 points and 8 boards vs. Alcorn State and scored 14 against Southeastern La. He tallied 13 points and 8 boards at SMU.
Zach Graham = WINNER
Senior guard Zach Graham has done nothing but win since he arrived in Oxford. With 76 career wins, he needs 11 more to become the winningest player in school history. Jason Flanigan (1998-2001) currently holds the record with 87 career victories.
BUCKNER DOMINATING THE GLASS
Reginald Buckner has started to make himself a force to reckon with on the glass. The 6-9 sophomore is pulling down 9.6 rebounds per game over his last five contests, including totals of 13 (vs. Texas State), 12 (vs. Colorado State) and 11 (vs. Southeastern La.). Against the Lions, he posted his second double-double of the year with 12 points and 11 boards, after missing the Alcorn State game with a sore knee. He is tied for 13th in the SEC with 6.7 rpg for the season.
BLOCKING SHOTS, BUCKNER STYLE
Already one of the most prolific shot-blockers in school history, sophomore forward Reginald Buckner recently became the fifth player in school history to reach 100 career blocks. Buckner enters the Florida game with 106 blocks in his career and needs two more to match David Dean’s fourth-place total of 108. He also needs just one more swat to match Malcolm White’s school record for blocks by a sophomore (43). He ranks second in the SEC and 11th in the country with 3.0 blocks per game and has recorded five or more swats in five games this year, including a career-high seven vs. ETSU.
Nick Williams MAKES IMMEDIATE IMPACT
After transferring from Indiana and sitting out last season due to NCAA rules, sophomore guard Nick Williams has been a key addition on the court this year. A starter in all 15 games, he is averaging 8.6 points and 4.3 rebounds and has been an instrumental vocal leader on the floor. His 21 points against Murray State were a career high (including Indiana and Ole Miss). Against Penn State, he scored 15 points with career highs of three treys and four assists. He grabbed a season-high 8 rebounds vs. Texas State and Colorado State and scored 13 point against the Rams. In the preseason, he was named one of the top 25 impact transfers in the country by Athlon Sports.
FRESHMEN COMING ALONG
The Rebels’ freshman duo of Demarco Cox and Dundrecous Nelson, like most freshmen, took a few games to adjust to the college game. But now they are coming on quickly. The 6-8, 295-pound Cox posted career highs of 11 points and 10 rebounds against Alcorn State for his first double-double. He had seven boards in the previous game vs. Saint Louis. Nelson, a 5-11, 194-pound point guard, has been brilliant of late, putting up career bests in back-to-back games with 16 points vs. Saint Louis and then 17 against Alcorn State.
OTHER PLAYER NOTES
Reginald Buckner: Has played in 14 games, with 12 starts ... Ranks 2nd in the SEC and 11th in the nation in blocks (3.0/game) ... Leads the SEC in field-goal percentage (66.2) and would rank third in the nation if he had enough attempts ... 13th in the league in rebounding (6.7/game) ... Averaging 7.4 points and 9.6 rebounds over his last 5 games ... Missed the Alcorn State game with a sore knee ... 5 blocks vs. Arkansas State ... 8 points, 5 boards, 3 blocks vs. Murray State ... 5 blocks vs. Penn State ... First double-double of his career with 14 points, 11 rebounds at UALR, while also blocking 5 shots ... Posted yet another 5-block game vs. MVSU ... Posted career highs with 16 points and 7 blocks vs. ETSU ... 8 points, career-high 13 rebounds vs. Texas State ... 7 points, 12 rebounds, 2 blocks vs. Colorado State ... Second double-double of the year with 12 points, 11 boards vs. SE Louisiana, adding 4 blocks.
Demarco Cox: Has started 4 games and played in all 15 ... Saw his first career action in the season opener vs. Arkansas State ... Scored first career basket against Dayton ... Made first career start vs. Penn State ... Posted 10 points (5-6 FGs) and 6 boards vs. MVSU ... Made second career start vs. Saint Louis and grabbed 7 boards ... Started against Alcorn State and posted season bests of 11 points and 10 rebounds for his first double-double.
Trevor Gaskins: Has played in 12 games with 8 starts ... Ranks 14th in the SEC in steals (1.3/game) ... Returned from a three-game absence to play 19 minutes at SMU ... Averaged 13.5 points and 5.3 rebounds over 4 games prior to injuring his hamstring in the Colorado State game ... Scored 8 points with 7 rebounds vs. Arkansas State ... Had 8 points, 4 boards and 3 steals vs. Murray State ... Poured in career-high 24 points vs. Penn State, making 9-of-14 FGs and 6-of-11 3s ... Scored 11 points (4-5 FGs) and grabbed a career-high 8 rebounds at UALR ... Tallied 15 points, 4 assists, no turnovers, 3 rebounds and 3 steals vs. MVSU ... 7 points, 7 boards, 3 assists, 3 steals vs. ETSU ... Led the Rebels with 21 points, 4 assists and 3 steals vs. Texas State.
Zach Graham: Has appeared in all 15 games with 7 starts ... Ranks 14th in the SEC in scoring (14.1) and third in free-throw percentage (85.7) ... Posted double-figure points in each of first three games (12 vs. Arkansas State, 22 vs. Murray State, 16 vs. Dayton) ... Scored 19 off the bench at Miami ... Posted 16 points off the bench vs. Southern Miss (8-8 FTs) ... Had 17 points off the bench at UALR ... 14 points off the bench vs. ETSU ... 10 points off the bench vs. Texas State ... Posted his first career double-double with 16 points and a career-high 13 boards vs. Colorado State ... Averaged 15.0 points and 8.0 rebounds at the Cancun Governor’s Cup and was named to the All-Tournament team ... 18 points, 8 rebounds vs. Alcorn State ... 14 points vs. SE Louisiana ... 13 points, 8 boards at SMU.
Terrance Henry: Has started 14 of 15 games ... Ranks 9th in the SEC in FG percentage (52.1) ... Posted 8 points and 6 rebounds vs. Arkansas State ... Scored 12 points with a team-high 7 boards vs. Dayton ... 13 points (7-8 FTs), team-high 6 boards vs. Penn State ... 8 points, team-high 7 boards vs. Southern Miss ... Posted a season-high 14 points (3-4 FGs, 7-10 FTs) with 8 boards vs. MVSU ... 13 points (4-6 FGs, 5-5 FTs), 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks vs. Texas State ... 10 points, 5 boards vs. Saint Louis ... 9 rebounds and season-high 4 blocks vs. Alcorn State ... Scored 8 points and pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds vs. SE Louisiana ... 11 points, 8 boards at SMU.
Dundrecous Nelson: Has played in all 15 games ... Ranks second on the team in 3-pointers made (20) and attempted (55) ... Saw his first career action in the season opener vs. Arkansas State ... Scored first career basket against Murray State ... Tallied 12 points (5-8 FGs, 2-5 3-pt FGs) vs. Dayton ... 3 assists tied for the team lead at Miami ... 11 points (3-5 3-pt FGs), 3 assists vs. Southern Miss ... 9 points (3-4 3-pt FGs) at UALR ... 10 points vs. MVSU ... Dished out a career-high 6 assists vs. ETSU ... Had his first highlight-reel dunk vs. Colorado State ... Poured in 16 points (4-5 FGs, 6-6 FTs) vs. Saint Louis ... Second straight game with a career high in points, scoring 17 against Alcorn State, adding 4 assists and 2 steals.
Steadman Short: Has played in 14 games ... Saw his first action as a Rebel in the season opener vs. Arkansas State ... Pulled down 6 boards vs. Murray State and Dayton ... Had 8 points with 4 boards vs. MVSU ... Missed the ETSU game due to a sick stomach ... Best game as a Rebel with 8 points (4-4 FGs) and 10 rebounds vs. Alcorn State ... Season-high 10 points (5-6 FGs) with 5 boards at SMU ... Had a spectacular put-back dunk off a missed 3-pointer against the Mustangs.
Chris Warren: Has started all but one game in his Rebel career (did not start on Senior Day when he was a freshman) ... Has led the team in scoring nine times and in assists all but once this season ... Scored 20 of his game-high 26 points in the second half vs. Arkansas State ... 20 points, 4 assists vs. Penn State ... 18 of his 23 points in second half at Miami ... 15 of his 20 points in the second half vs. Southern Miss ... 18 points, season-high 7 assists at UALR ... 18 points (9-11 FTs), 5 assists vs. MVSU ... Posted 22 points, 6 assists, 1 turnover vs. ETSU ... Scored 18 points (12-12 FTs) with 3 assists vs. Texas State ... 15 points vs. Saint Louis ... Had 24 points (8-11 FGs, 3-5 3-pt FGs, 5-5 FTs), 6 assists and no turnovers vs. Alcorn State ... 22 points, 6 assists vs. SE Louisiana ... 19 points at SMU.
Nick Williams: Has started his first 15 games in a Rebel uniform ... Career-high 21 points vs. Murray State ... 14 points (6-9 FGs, 2-4 3-pt FGs) vs. Dayton ... 15 points (3-4 3-pt FGs), 4 assists, 4 rebounds vs. Penn State ... 13 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists vs. Southern Miss ... 10 points, 7 rebounds vs. MVSU ... Season-high 8 rebounds vs. Texas State ... Scored 13 points and tied a season-high 8 boards vs. Colorado State.