GAME 19: Ole Miss (10-8, 1-3) at South Carolina (13-4, 2-2)
Saturday 01.24.09 | 8 p.m. ET
Columbia, S.C. | Colonial Life Arena (18,000)
Live TV: FSN South (Dave Neal, play-by-play; Eddie Fogler, analyst)
Live Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network (David Kellum, play-by-play; Keith Carter, analyst). Listen Online through RebelVision
Live Video: ESPN360.com (Free on-campus viewing at all U.S. colleges and universities)
XM Radio: Channel 200
REBELS TUSSLE WITH GAMECOCKS ON THE ROAD
Ole Miss will be looking for its first league road win of the season when it travels to South Carolina for Saturday’s game. The Rebels were narrowly defeated by Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Wednesday by a 76-73 score. Zach Graham, Terrico White and Murphy Holloway all had shots in the final 30 seconds to give the Rebels the lead, but they did not fall. David Huertas led all scorers in the game with 26 points and is now averaging 19.1, good for third in the SEC right behind SC’s Devan Downey (19.6). Ole Miss is 1-1 in SEC games at home and 0-2 away from Oxford. The all-time series between the Rebels and Gamecocks is tied at 12-12, but Carolina owns a 7-1 record in games played in Columbia. Carolina is coming off a thrilling 70-69 home win over No. 24 Florida in which Zam Fredrick scored a layup as time expired.
INJURIES PILING UP IN UNPRECEDENTED FASHION
To call the 2008-09 Ole Miss basketball season “injury-plagued” would be an understatement. Before conference play began, the Rebels were already down three key members of the backcourt to season-ending knee injuries. In an 11-day stretch during the first two weeks of play, the Rebels lost sophomore Trevor Gaskins (torn ACL in left knee) and junior Eniel Polynice (extensive cartilage damage and loose fragments in left knee). And then on Dec. 18, sophomore point guard Chris Warren suffered a torn ACL in his left knee on the Rebels’ last offensive possession of the 77-68 loss to No. 9 Louisville.
Gaskins and Polynice are both in the midst of their rehab programs, while Warren underwent a successful surgery last week. All three are expected to be ready before the start of next season.
The team is applying for, and expects to be granted, medical hardship waivers for Gaskins and Polynice, which would give each an extra year of eligibility, while it is doubtful that Warren will be eligible for the medical redshirt based on the number of games he had already played (11).
SCOUTING THE GAMECOCKS
After upsetting No. 24 Florida 70-69 on a buzzer-beating layup by Zam Fredrick on Wednesday, South Carolina enters the weekend with a 13-4 overall record and 2-2 mark in conference play. The Gamecocks have won both of their league games at home (Auburn, Florida), but dropped both on the road (LSU, Tennessee). They boast an 11-1 home record for the season. SC’s 79.5 points per game ranks second in the league, while allowing an average of 67.6 points to opponents. Junior guard Devan Downey ranks second in the SEC with 19.6 ppg and leads four Gamecocks that average double-figure points. Fredrick scores 16.2 ppg, while Mike Holmes adds 11.2 ppg and Dominique Archie 11.1. Downey tops the SEC in steals (3.0/game) and ranks fourth in assists (4.3/game). Holmes is the squad’s top rebounder with 8.1 boards per contest. Darrin Horn is in his first season with SC after guiding Western Kentucky to four straight 20-win seasons and a berth in last year’s NCAA Sweet 16.
OLE MISS-SOUTH CAROLINA SERIES
Saturday’s game will be the 25th time the two schools have faced each other on the hardwood. The all-time series is currently knotted at 12-12, while Ole Miss has won eight of the last 13 meetings. South Carolina won last year’s meeting 80-77 for its first-ever victory in Oxford, despite a 25-point, 10-rebound effort by Dwayne Curtis. The Gameocks enjoy a 7-1 edge in games played in Columbia. The two schools met only once prior to South Carolina joining the Southeastern Conference in the 1991-92 season. The teams have also met in the SEC Tournament six times and have split those games 3-3.
The story of the Ole Miss-Carolina series has been a matter of location, location, location. The home team has prevailed in 15-of-17 meetings between the Rebels and Gamecocks on non-neutral courts (the other seven games were played in conference tournaments). The lone road wins in the series were Ole Miss’ 67-61 win in Columbia in 2000-01 and South Carolina’s 80-77 victory last year in Oxford.
Andy Kennedy’s final game as Cincinnati head coach occurred against South Carolina. The Bearcats lost 65-62 in the 2006 NIT quarterfinals. Mere moments after the game, Kennedy accepted the head coaching position at Ole Miss. A pupil of Kennedy on that UC squad was point guard Devan Downey, who now stars for the Gamecocks in his junior season.
HOLLOWAY RETURNS TO HOME STATE
Ole Miss freshman Murphy Holloway, last year’s Mr. Basketball for the state of South Carolina, will be returning to the Palmetto State for the first time in a Rebel uniform. The Irmo native was also selected after his senior season of high school as the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year and 4A Player of the Year. He played with current Gamecocks Devan Downey, Mike Holmes and Zam Fredrick in AAU ball. Holloway currently leads Ole Miss in rebouding (5.7 rpg) and is averaging 8.6 ppg, while making 11 starts in 18 games.
FREE-THROW SHOOTING EXPLOITS
Ole Miss ranks second among Southeastern Conference teams and 16th in the nation with a 75.1 free-throw percentage. The Rebels set a school record with a 22-for-22 performance at the line against South Alabama and shot 93.8 percent (15-of-16) from the stripe against Morgan State and 93.3 percent (14-15) vs. Florida A&M. David Huertas ranks fifth in the SEC at 78.8 percent (89-of-113), while Zach Graham has only missed two free throws in 34 attempts (94.1 percent) and Terrance Henry is hitting at a 77.4 percent clip (24-of-31).
It is a marked improvement from a year ago, when the Rebels made just 65.1 percent of their attempts. In fact, Ole Miss has already doubled the games in which it shot 80 percent or better from the charity stripe this year (6) compared to all of last season (3).
IMPROVING ON THE GLASS
Ole Miss struggled in its rebounding game throughout much of non-conference play after the Rebels ranked 12th in the nation a year ago when led by a senior-laden frontcourt. However, after four SEC games Ole Miss ranks third in the conference in rebounding margin (+3.0) in league contests. Ole Miss dominated Florida on the glass with a 46-22 advantage. That rebounding margin of 24 was the second-largest by a Rebel squad this season (25 vs. Florida A&M on 12/22).
Freshman forward Murphy Holloway leads the team with 5.7 rebounds per game. He had a monster game on the glass vs. Florida A&M as he posted the Rebels’ first double-double of the year with 15 points and 16 boards. Sophomore forward Malcolm White is second on the squad with 4.9 boards per game and is tied with David Huertas averaging a team-high 5.5 per game in league play. White had 9 rebounds against Arkansas and Huertas has had games of 9 (at Florida) and 8 (at Alabama).
Ole Miss has played just one team this year that was nationally ranked at the time of the meeting (No. 9 Louisville), but across the board the Rebels have faced off against one of the toughest slates of opponents in the nation. Ole Miss’ strength of schedule is rated as high as No. 16 in the nation on CBSSports.com’s RPI list. With a 10-8 record, Ole Miss ranks No. 62 on the RPI list, fifth among SEC schools. Four teams the Rebels have already seen are ranked in the top 35 - Louisville (11), Utah (18), West Virginia (30) and Florida (34).
PLAYING THE POINT
The loss of preseason All-SEC point guard Chris Warren in mid-December has meant a shift in backcourt duties for the Rebels in the seven games since Warren’s injury. Freshman Will Bogan, who had served as Warren’s backup for the season’s first 11 games, received the starting nod as the team’s floor leader in the first six games after the injury. Fellow freshman Terrico White has played the 1 and 2-guard spots and slowly worked his way into the starting point guard role, which he assumed in the Rebels’ most recent game at Alabama. White played 38 minutes against the Tide, while Bogan, who had been averaging 25.5 minutes in six starts, logged 11 minutes in Tuscaloosa. Senior walk-on Patrick Spach also has played a limited role as the primary ballhandler.
STARTING LINEUP = REVOLVING DOOR
Injuries and matchup issues have contributed to Andy Kennedy’s Ole Miss starting lineups showing many different looks from game-to-game this season. Every available scholarship player has earned at least one starting nod, and Kennedy has employed nine unique lineup combinations through 18 games. Junior guard David Huertas is the only Rebel to have started every contest.
TERRICO TURNS IT UP A NOTCH
Freshman guard Terrico White has turned up his scoring output since league play began. In the last three games, the Memphis native is averaging 18.0 ppg, including a career-high 22 against LSU. His 15.3 scoring average in league games ranks second on the team and 12th in the SEC. The superb athlete who can makes plays above the rim has also drained three field goals from downtown in each of the last three contests. In the most recent game at Alabama, White filled up the box score with 14 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 steals, turning the ball over just twice in 38 minutes of action.
FRESHMEN MAKING THEIR MARK
Rebel freshman guard Terrico White and forward Murphy Holloway have continued to progress in their debut season and have proven themselves as two of the top rookies in the SEC this season. Entering the weekend, White ranks eighth among league freshmen in scoring at 9.4 ppg, while Holloway is 12th at 8.6 ppg.
Holloway, the team’s top rebounder, ranks fourth among league freshmen and 19th among all players with 5.7 rpg. He also tops all SEC freshmen with a 59.8 FG percentage and ranks third with 1.3 steals per contest.
White is making the fifth-most 3-pointers among freshmen with 1.2 per game and handing out the seventh-most assists with 1.9 per game.
TERRICO WHITE NAMED FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Memphis native Terrico White earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors on Monday following his career-best performances against Arkansas and LSU. The 6-foot-5 playmaker saw time at the 1 and 2 guard spots and poured in 18 and 22 points in the contests. He is the second Rebel to earn a weekly honor, as Murphy Holloway was named freshman of the week on Dec. 29.
HUERTAS TAKES GAME TO A NEW LEVEL
David Huertas has been a scoring machine for the Rebels this season, averaging 19.1 points, good for third among SEC players and 41st in the nation. The junior guard has scored 20 or more points in 10 contests, including 26 at Alabama on Wednesday night. He had 20 agianst No. 9 Louisville and set or tied career highs with 8 free-throws, 2 blocks and 4 steals against the Cardinals. He ranks third in the SEC in 3’s per game (2.7) and second in 3-point percentage (39.5). Against South Alabama, he poured in a season-high 27 points and tied his career high with 7 three’s, which is also tied for the second-highest single-game total in school history. He ranks among the SEC leaders in several categories this year, as listed below:
Huertas’ SEC Ranks (AS OF 1/22)
Category SEC/NCAA Rank Statistic
Points 3rd/41st 19.1/game
Rebounding 28th 4.7/game
FG Percentage 13th 45.0
FT Percentage 5th 78.8
3-pt FG Percentage 2nd 39.5
3-pt FGs Made 3rd 2.7/game
Minutes Played 5th 32.6/game
HOLLOWAY EARNS SEC FRESHMAN HONOR
After posting career highs of 15 points and 16 boards vs. Florida A&M, forward Murphy Holloway was named the SEC Freshman of the Week by the league office on Dec. 29. His double-double against the Rattlers was the first by a Rebel this season. He is the first Rebel to receive a weekly honor from the league office this season.
RECORDS THAT WERE MEANT TO BE BROKEN
In just their second season playing for the Red and Blue, Chris Warren and David Huertas have both moved up Ole Miss’ career three-point charts at a break-neck pace. With 25 treys this year, Warren eclipsed Clarence Sanders for seventh place on the all-time list with 128. Huertas has knocked down 49 from long range and is now in ninth place in the Rebel records with 124.
OLE MISS CAREER THREE-POINT FIELD GOALS
1. 278 Aaron Harper (123 games, 2001-04)
2. 249 Keith Carter (117 games, 1996-1999)
3. 214 Joe Harvell (114 games, 1990-93)
4. 163 Jason Harrison (132 games, 1999-02)
5. 158 Todd Abernethy (122 games, 2004-07)
6. 131 Joezon Darby (81 games, 1996-98)
7. 128 Chris Warren (46 games, 2008-present)
8. 127 Clarence Sanders (60 games, 2006-07)
9. 124 David Huertas (53 games, 2008-present)
HUERTAS CONSISTENT FROM DOWNTOWN
Junior guard David Huertas entered rare territory with his streak of 24 consecutive games with at least one 3-point field goal, which came to an end when he did not connect from downtown against LSU. The Puerto Rico native owns the second-longest streak in Ole Miss history behind Aaron Harper’s 41-gamer and hopes to start a new one on Wednesday at Alabama. Listed below are the top three such streaks in school records:
CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH A 3-POINTER
1. 41 Aaron Harper (2000-01 to 2002-03)
2. 24 David Huertas (2007-08 to 2008-09)
3. 23 Joe Harvell (1990-91 to 1992-93)
WARREN WAS PLAYING AT HIGH LEVEL
Sophomore point guard Chris Warren, a preseason All-SEC first team selection by league coaches, will miss the remainder of the season after an MRI revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament (as well as a minor MCL sprain, medial meniscus tear and lateral bone contusion) to his left knee. The injury occurred on a layup attempt on the Rebels’ last offensive possession of the 77-68 loss to No. 9 Louisville in Cincinnati on Dec. 18.
Through 11 games, the Orlando native was following up a sensational rookie campaign in which he broke the school’s three-point record and set the freshman scoring record by showing further improvement in several areas and ranking fourth in the SEC with 19.6 points per game. He also ranked among the top SEC players in several other categories at the time of his injury, as listed below:
Warren’s SEC Ranks (AS OF 12/19)
Category SEC/NCAA Rank Statistic
Points 4th/50th 19.6/game
Assists T-9th 4.0/game
FT Percentage 4th/45th 85.5
Steals 2nd/38th 2.5/game
3-pt FGs Made T-8th 2.3/game
Assist-Turnover Ratio 8th 1.6
Minutes Played 1st 34.4/game
OTHER PLAYER POINTS
Will Bogan: Made first six career starts at PG following Warren’s injury, averaging 25.5 minutes per start ... Served as Chris Warren’s back-up at point guard through first 11 games ... Tied season high with 8 points at Florida ... Scored 8 points against Marshall.
Kevin Cantinol: Redshirt-freshman forward set career highs with 8 points (4-4 FGs), 4 rebounds and 23 minutes played in the 78-65 win at New Orleans ... Earned his first career start at New Mexico.
DeAundre Cranston: JUCO transfer scored 8 points with 5 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 steals at Alabama ... Had 9 rebounds against No. 9 Louisville ... Set a season high with 12 rebounds along with 8 points vs. UCF ... Started his first game as a Rebel vs. Marshall ... Had 9 points and 5 rebounds vs. South Alabama ... Despite a wide, 6-9 frame, has the ability to connect from long range (4-for-11 3-pt FGs on the season).
Zach Graham: Has hit 32-of-34 free throws (94.1 pct.) through 18 games ... Had 12 points and 5 rebounds vs. Arkansas ... Notched 14 points with 5 boards at Florida ... 8 points with season-high 7 rebounds vs. No. 9 Louisville ... Scored 12 points at New Mexico ... Contributed 9 points and 5 boards vs. UCF ... Just hours after learning that junior guard Eniel Polynice would miss the remainder of the season, Graham stepped into Polynice’s spot in the starting lineup vs. South Alabama and responded with a career-high 16 points, including 3-for-4 from the field, 2-of-3 from downtown and a perfect 8-for-8 from the free-throw stripe.
Terrance Henry: 6-foot-9 forward is hitting free throws at a 77.4 percent clip (24-of-31) ... Tied season high with 9 points at New Mexico, also blocked 3 shots ... Had 9 points vs. Morgan State ... Season-high 8 rebounds vs. UCF ... Earned a spot in the starting lineup for the first three games of his collegiate career ... Tallied 8 points and 7 rebounds vs. Utah ... Had 8 points and 6 boards against South Alabama.
Murphy Holloway: Leads team with a 5.7 rebounding average ... Leads team and ranks sixth in SEC with 2.9 offensive boards per game ... Fifth-straight double-figure scoring game with 11 points at Alabama ... Tallied 10 points vs. LSU ... Had 11 points vs. Arkansas ... Scored 11 points (5-7 FGs) with 7 boards at Florida ... Posted team’s first double-double of season with 15 points and 16 rebounds vs. Florida A&M ... 10 points, 5 boards vs. Nicholls ... Set career high with 15 points vs. Alabama State, including 5-5 FTs ... Earned first career start and scored 11 points with 5 rebounds vs. West Virginia ... Scored 11 points with 6 boards vs. Utah ... Picked up 4 steals vs. Marshall.
Malcolm White: Tops the team and ranks eighth in the SEC in blocked shots (1.3/game) ... Tied for team-best 5.5 rebounding average in SEC play ... Posted 8 points and 9 rebounds vs. Arkansas ... 9 points on 4-5 FGs vs. Nicholls ... Career-high 4 blocks vs. Southern Miss ... Had breakout night vs. Florida A&M, scoring career-high 18 points (8-11 FGs) with 9 rebounds and 3 blocks ... 12 points, 9 boards vs. Alabama State.
Terrico White: Posted 14 points, season-high 6 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 steals at Alabama ... Notched career-high scoring totals in back-to-back games with 18 in the win over Arkansas and then 22 vs. LSU ... Tallied 18 points with 4 assists and 2 steals against Florida A&M ... Scored 13 points on 5-of-7 field goals and 3-of-4 three’s in start vs. West Virginia ... Earned his first starting nod in the 82-78 win over Marshall ... First Memphis signee for Kennedy’s program.
OLE MISS ALL-CENTURY TEAM VOTING
As part of the celebration of the First 100 Years of Ole Miss Basketball, the athletics department will be naming an All-Century Team and are asking fans to help determine the honorees by voting online at OleMissSports.com. Click the All-Century Team link at the top right of the page.
The list of nominees includes any Rebel that earned All-SEC honors or scored 1,000 or more points in his career. Voting ends Jan. 31 at midnight. Fans must limit their selections to 10 and are asked to submit online only one ballot per person. The top 10 fan vote-getters will be guaranteed a spot on the All-Century team. The athletics department will determine any remaining members of the squad after consultation with the M-Club Alumni Chapter.
The celebration will culminate with the unveiling of the All-Century Team at the Feb. 21 game against Georgia at Tad Smith Coliseum.