GAME NOTES: Rebels Head East To Georgia
GAME 16: #21/23 Ole Miss (12-3, 0-1 SEC) at Georgia (8-6, 0-1 SEC)
REBS KICK OFF 2-GAME ROAD STRETCH IN ATHENS
No. 21 Ole Miss faces its second straight game against a set of Bulldogs, this time of the Georgia variety, when the Rebels begin a two-game road stretch in Athens on Wednesday. In fact, Ole Miss plays four of its next five conference games on the road. The squad fell to Mississippi State 80-75 in its season opener at Tad Smith Coliseum on Saturday. It was the first home loss of the year for Ole Miss, which dropped to 8-1 in those games. The Rebels are 1-1 on the road with a win at Arkansas State and a loss at then-No. 6 West Virginia. Georgia is coming off back-to-back impressive outings with a home win over No. 20 Georgia Tech and a close loss at undefeated No. 3 Kentucky in the SEC opener.
- Ole Miss is nationally ranked for the sixth straight week, coming in at No. 21 in the AP poll and No. 23 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll.
- Saturday's game is the 104th meeting between Ole Miss and Georgia, with the Bulldogs holding a 65-38 lead in the series. Ole Miss has won four of the last six.
- Rebel guards Trevor Gaskins and Zach Graham return to their home state for Wednesday's matchup, while Terrico White reunites with his U.S. U19 teammate Trey Thompkins for the first time since they won the gold medal at the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championships.
- At 83.6 ppg, Ole Miss leads the SEC and ranks 11th in the nation in scoring offense.
- The Rebels rank second in the SEC and 13th in the nation with with 9.0 3-pointers per contest.
- Junior guard Chris Warren and sophomore guard Terrico White are tied for fifth among SEC players with 16.7 points per game each.
KENNEDY RADIO, TV SHOWS HIT THE WAVES
"RebTalk with Coach Andy Kennedy" tips off Monday at 7 p.m. CT at The Library off the Oxford Square. Admission is free. Rather than taking calls, fans will now send in their questions through the CellularSouth Coach's Connection at OleMissSports.com/RebTalk. Many of the affiliates on the Ole Miss Radio Network are airing RebTalk, including WTNM-FM 105.5 in Oxford. OleMissSports.com's RebelVision will also stream the show live. The hour-long weekly broadcast of RebTalk will run at the same time each Monday throughout the season. The show is hosted by the "Voice of the Rebels" David Kellum.
In addition, Kennedy and Kellum team up for another season of the weekly TV series "Ole Miss Basketball With Andy Kennedy,"which also kicks off this week. The Telly-award winning show will air Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. on CSS and is available online through RebelVision.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
Georgia enters Wednesday's contest with an 8-6 overall record and 0-1 mark in SEC play. The Bulldogs have put together back-to-back impressive performances, beating No. 20 Georgia Tech 73-66 in their final non-conference game before going to Kentucky and playing the nation's No. 3 team down to the wire in a 76-68 SEC opening loss. Georgia also has a neutral-site win over Illinois. The 'Dogs average 65.8 ppg and allow 65.3 ppg to opponents. They are shooting 44.4 percent from the field and 34.5 percent from downtown, while boasting a +3.2 rebounding margin. Trey Thompkins leads the squad with 16.3 ppg and 8.4 rpg. Travis Leslie chips in 13.4 ppg.
OLE MISS-GEORGIA SERIES
Wednesday's game is the 104th meeting between the two schools, with Georgia holding a 65-38 lead in the series. Ole Miss has prevailed in four of the last six encounters, including last year's 69-47 triumph in Oxford behind Terrico White's 19 points and Murphy Holloway's 12 points and 10 rebounds. Andy Kennedy has won three of four meetings against UGA.
REBELS IN SEC ROAD OPENERS
Ole Miss has an all-time record of 9-66 in Southeastern Conference road openers, but has posted victories in four of its last 12 SEC road openers. The last time Ole Miss won its SEC road opener was in 2006, at Alabama 71-61.
Two members of the Rebel hoops program return to their home state for Wednesday's game. Junior guard Zach Graham and sophomore guard Trevor Gaskins both hail from the Atlanta area. Gaskins attended Chattahoochee High School in Alpharetta and Graham came to Ole Miss by way of Peachtree Ridge High School in Suwanee. They were AAU teammates with the Georgia Hurricanes. The Peach State duo will face off against several UGA players from the Atlanta area who played at rival high schools and AAU programs.
TEAM USA CONNECTION
Ole Miss sophomore Terrico White and UGA sophomore Trey Thompkins were teammates on the gold-medal winning U.S. squad at the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championships this summer in New Zealand. They were both key contributors to the team, which was selected the 2009 USA Basketball Team of the Year in December.
IN THE POLLS
Ole Miss is nationally ranked for the sixth straight week, coming in at No. 21 in the AP poll and No. 23 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. Last week's No. 14 ranking was the team's highest since it was No. 9 in the final coaches poll of the 2000-01 season.
HENRY POSTS BACK-TO-BACK STRONG OUTINGS
Sophomore Terrance Henry has put together strong showings in the Rebels' last two games, showing why he was such a highly-rated prospect coming out of high school (No. 74 overall by Scout.com, No. 83 by Rivals and ESPN). The 6-foot-9 forward nearly had a double-double against UCF with 9 points and 8 rebounds, while he set a career high with 6 blocks. Against Mississippi State, he tied his career high with 12 points (4-6 FGs, 2-3 3's) to go with 6 boards and 2 more blocks.
WARREN JOINS 1,000-POINT CLUB
With 14 points against UCF, junior point guard Chris Warren became the 31st player in program history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. Warren enters the Georgia game with 1,021 career points. He reached 1,000 points in his 60th career game, which is tied for the fifth-fastest pace in school history with all-time leading scorer John Stroud. Gerald Glass is the fastest Rebel to reach the milestone, doing so in 37 games.
Ole Miss ranks first in the SEC and 11th in the country with an average of 83.6 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 10 of 15 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 Terrico White and Chris Warren's 16.7 averages.
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 enter the week 13th in the nation with 9.0 three's made per game. They have drained 9 or more three's in eight of their last nine outings. They tied the school record with 14 treys against Jacksonville State and have drained 12 against Southern Miss and UTEP.
Individually, Chris Warren leads the way with 45 3-pointers, ranking third in the SEC and 34th in the nation with 3.0/game. Terrico White has drained 32 shots from downtown and ranks fifth in the SEC with 2.1/game. Zach Graham has added 27 triples, including a career-high four in back-to-back outings at Arkansas State and vs. Southern Miss.
WARREN NAMED FINALIST FOR COUSY AWARD
Junior Chris Warren is one of 20 finalists for the 2010 Bob Cousy Award (nation's top point guard), the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced last Tuesday. The list will be narrowed down to a final 10 by Feb. 1 and final five by March 1.
REBELS VALUE THE BALL
Ole Miss has shown itself to be one of the better SEC teams at limiting its turnovers this season. The Rebels average 12.3 turnovers per game, which is the second-fewest in the SEC. They lead the SEC with a 1.3 assist-turnover ratio and rank third with a +3.9 turnover margin (25th in NCAA). They have had fewer turnovers than their opponent in 11 of 15 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.
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 and 40th in the nation with 2.2 blocks per game, has helped the Rebels average 6.2 swats per contest, fourth-best among SEC teams and 17th in the country entering the week. The team's 12 blocks against Indiana in San Juan were one shy of a school record.
The Rebels have been sharing the ball at a high rate this season and rank third among SEC teams and 33rd in the nation with 16.1 assists per game. Eniel Polynice tops the squad with 4.7 dimes per game, and Chris Warren adds 3.7 per contest. Ole Miss finished one shy of a school record with 32 assists in its 108-64 rout of Centenary.
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 173 treys in 61 career outings (2.8 per game).
CONSISTENCY FROM DOWNTOWN
Junior guard Chris Warren and sophomore guard Terrico White have entered rare territory with their streaks of consecutive games with at least one 3-point field goal. Against MSU, Warren extended his streak to 25 straight games, the second-longest such streak in school history. White had his streak of 23 straight games end when he missed all seven attempts from downtown at West Virginia.
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 in a tie for fifth in the SEC with 16.7 ppg and third with 3.0 3-pointers per game (34th in NCAA). He led the Rebels with 15 points against MSU. He reached 1,000 career points when he scored 14 (with 4 3-pointers) against UCF. 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 16.7 ppg, which is tied for fifth-best among SEC players. He poured in 21 points with 5 3-pointers against UCF. 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 eight of the last nine games. For the season, he is shooting 46.4 percent from the field (52-112) and 45.8 percent from downtown (27-59), while also playing lock-down defense on the perimeter. He posted 14 points, 7 rebounds and a career-high 4 steals vs. MSU. 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 2.2 blocks per game (40th in NCAA) ... Also ranks sixth among all freshmen in the nation in blocks per game entering the week ... His 33 blocks through 15 games are 13 shy of Sean Murphy's school freshman record (46 in 1987-88) and 23 shy of David Dean's school record (56 in 1992-93) ... 8 points (4-5 FGs), 5 boards vs. MSU ... 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: Shooting a team-best 68.6 percent from the field ... Tied season high with 12 points (4-6 FGs, 2-3 3's) to go with 6 rebounds and 2 blocks vs. MSU ... Near double-double with 9 points and 8 boards vs. UCF .... Blocked six shots against the Knights, a career high and tied for the fourth-highest game total in school history ... 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: Shooting 62.1 percent from the field ... Ranks 9th in the SEC with 6.6 rebounds/game ... Posted his third double-double with 11 points, 10 rebounds vs. UCF ... 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 10.3 ppg, 4.1 rebounds/game, 4.7 assists/game (5th SEC) and 1.5 steals/game ... Reached 100 steals for his career with 2 against MSU ... 16 points, 5 assists vs. UCF ... 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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