Rebels Return To Action Saturday Against Tennessee

Jan. 27, 2011

Complete Ole Miss Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

GAME 21: Ole Miss (13-7, 1-4 SEC) vs. Tennessee (13-7, 3-2 SEC)
Saturday 1.29.11 | 3:00 p.m. CT
Oxford, Miss. | Tad Smith Coliseum (9,061)

Live TV: SEC Network (Carter Blackburn, play-by-play; Mark Gottfried, analyst)
Live Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network (David Kellum, play-by-play; Keith Carter, analyst).
Satellite Radio: SIRIUS 214, XM 199
Live Video:

A week after the Rebels’ 78-51 triumph over LSU in Baton Rouge, Ole Miss returns to action to face Tennessee in the first of two pivotal home games. A second straight SEC East foe, nationally ranked Kentucky, will visit Oxford on Tuesday. The Rebels’ win at LSU was the Rebels’ biggest margin of victory (27) in an SEC road game since 1952 and the Tigers’ worst SEC home loss since 1996. It also snapped a four-game losing skid for Ole Miss, which was the longest since the team dropped its last six games of the 2006 season, Rod Barnes’ final year in Oxford. Ole Miss is 1-4 in SEC play for the first time since 2009.

- The Rebels and Vols are meeting for the 106th time, with Tennessee holding a 67-38 lead in the series. The home team has won every regular-season matchup since 2004.
- In its last two home games against Tennessee, Ole Miss has won by an average of 15 points.
- Ole Miss ranks third among SEC teams with a 76.7 scoring average.
- Ole Miss leads all SEC teams with a 47.0 FG percentage and a 74.7 FT percentage.
- Andy Kennedy is in good position to have the first staff to lead Ole Miss to five straight winning seasons since R.L. Sullivan (1920-25). He is also just two wins shy of 100 at Ole Miss.
- Chris Warren leads the nation in free throw percentage (94.8) and is on pace to set the school and SEC record for a season.
- Warren ranks 6th in SEC history with a school-record 293 career 3-pointers and is the active SEC leader in points, assists, 3s and 20-pt games.

Tennessee owns a 13-7 record and finds itself tied for second place in the SEC East with a 3-2 league record entering the weekend. The Volunteers are receiving votes in the AP national poll. Head coach Bruce Pearl will not be on the court in Oxford as he is in the midst of an eight-game suspension by SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. Associate head coach Tony Jones will serve in his place during Saturday’s game. The Volunteers average 73.2 ppg and allow 68.3 ppg to opponents for a scoring margin of +4.9. They are one of the top rebounding teams in the SEC, ranking third with a +5.4 margin on the boards (38.9-33.5). Two players average in double figure points, led by Scotty Hopson’s 16.5 average. Tobias Harris adds 15.1 ppg and 7.5 rpg. Cameron Tatum is just shy of double figures at 9.9 ppg. Brian Williams tops the squad with 7.6 rpg, and Melvin Goins is the leading assist man with 3.1 per contest.

The Rebels and Vols have met 105 times, with Tennessee holding a 67-38 lead in a series that began in 1924. The home team has won every regular-season matchup since 2004, including UT’s 71-69 overtime win in Knoxville on Jan. 16 last season. In the last two meetings in Oxford, Ole Miss has won by an average of 15 points (83-69 in 2007, 81-65 in 2009). The two teams met in the second round of last year’s SEC Tournament, with Tennessee claiming a 76-65 victory in Nashville despite trailing the Rebels at halftime. Andy Kennedy is 2-3 against the Vols in his career.

Members of the Ole Miss baseball team will be on hand to sign autographs and posters prior to Saturday’s game. Fans can get a 2011 poster schedule and have it signed by members of the squad and coaching staff. Signing begins at 2 p.m. on the concourse level of the Coliseum behind the student section, and will continue through halftime of the basketball game. Fans who purchase a ticket to the Ole Miss Baseball Alumni game and a season ticket package on Saturday will receive a baseball autographed by the Diamond Rebs, while supplies last.

The Ole Miss Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame will honor former Rebel All-SEC guard Jimmy “Tank” Crawford with its Distinguished American Award at halftime. The Distinguished American Award is presented each year by the Ole Miss Chapter to individuals who have carried the lessons learned on the football field into a life of service to their community and fellow man.

During Saturday’s game, Andy Kennedy and the Ole Miss coaching staff will be wearing sneakers with their usual game attire to show their support of the American Cancer Society’s mission to save lives from cancer. During Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers awareness weekend, a collaborative initiative of the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the American Cancer Society, coaches across the country will be showing their support, too. To learn more, visit or call 1-800-227-2345.

With a 13-7 record, Ole Miss is on its way to yet another winning season. If the Rebels finish with a record above .500, Andy Kennedy and his staff will be the first to achieve five straight winning seasons since R.L. Sullivan led Ole Miss to six straight winning seasons from 1920-25. Ole Miss did have six straight winning campaigns from 1997 to 2002 under two different head coaches.

With 98 wins in his fifth season as the Ole Miss head coach, Andy Kennedy is two 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 .632 winning percentage (98-57) is significantly better than Graham’s (.462) or Barnes’ (.564). Kennedy is 119-70 in his sixth year overall as a head coach (includes one season at Cincinnati).

Senior point guard Chris Warren leads the nation with a 94.8 free throw percentage. He has made 92 of 97 attempts on the season and has converted 50 of his last 51 and 35 straight from the line. Among the nation’s top 50 in FT percentage when the week began, Warren was one of only 11 players with 97 or more attempts. At his current pace, he would set the school and SEC record for FT percentage in a season and would rank among the all-time best seasons in NCAA history.

Senior guard Chris Warren enters the Tennessee game with a streak of 35 straight free throws made. The school record is 37 straight by Dave Rhodes in 1972. Warren’s streak of 35 is tied for 15th-longest in SEC history.

The Rebels lead all SEC teams and rank 27th in the nation with a 74.7 FT percentage. They have shot 80 percent or better in seven games this season, including 87.5 (14-of-16) at Vanderbilt. Their 95.7 FT pct. against Murray State (22-of-23) was the second-best mark in school history for a game with at least 20 attempts.

The Rebels lead the SEC making 47.0 percent of their shots from the field. They have shot better than 40 percent in all but two games and better than 50 percent in six outings. The Rebels shot a season-high 62.2 percent at LSU this past Saturday. Reginald Buckner leads the league with a 61.7 FG percentage. Terrance Henry ranks eighth in the league at 51.1 percent. Every regular in the Rebels’ lineup is hitting shots at better than a 40 percent clip.

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 (18.3), first in FT percentage (94.8), third in assists (4.1), third in 3-pointers made (2.7), third in assist-turnover ratio (2.1) and third in minutes (34.0). He has scored 20+ points in nine games (most among SEC players) and has led the Rebels in scoring 13 times and in assists 16 times.

With a career high-tying seven 3-pointers against Mississippi State, Chris Warren surged past Aaron Harper to set the school record for most career triples. Warren enters the Tennessee game with 293, which is sixth-most in SEC history. With three more, he will tie Ronnie McMahan (Vanderbilt) for fifth-most in league history at 296. Warren also holds the school record for career 3-point attempts. All-Time SEC 3-Point Leaders
1. 431 Chris Lofton, Tennessee (2005-08)
2. 367 Shan Foster, Vanderbilt (2005-08)
3. 366 Pat Bradley, Arkansas (1996-99)
4. 346 Allan Houston, Tennessee (1990-93)
5. 296 Ronnie McMahan, Vanderbilt (1992-95)
6. 293 Chris Warren, Ole Miss (2008-pres.)

Chris Warren continues to fly up the Ole Miss career points list. Entering the Tennessee game, he stands in sixth place with 1,738 career points. Justin Reed is next on the list in fifth place with 1,785.

Chris Warren served up his 400th career assist vs. Vanderbilt, becoming the fifth player in school history with 400 career assists. The next player on the Rebel career list for Warren to catch is Jason Harrison, who ranks fourth with 427.

If senior guard Chris Warren can reach 2,000 points, he will become only the fourth player in SEC history with 2,000 points and 400 assists in a career, joining LSU’s Pete Maravich, Tennessee’s Allan Houston and Georgia’s Litterial Green. At his current scoring pace of 18.3 ppg, Warren would need 15 more games to join that elite company.

Senior guard Zach Graham has been solid and steady in his final campaign. He ranks 14th in the SEC with a 14.4 scoring average and third with an 86.1 free-throw percentage. He averages 4.3 rebounds per game. 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. He tallied 13 points and 8 boards at SMU. He scored 13 points with 5 boards vs. MSU. He poured in 21 points (8-13 FGs, 5-5 FTs) against Georgia, one off his career high. He had 14 points and 5 boards at Vanderbilt. He scored 17 (7-9 FGs, 3-3 3-pt FGs) at LSU.

Zach Graham became the 32nd player in school history to reach the 1,000-point plateau when he scored 13 points at SMU. He enters the Tennessee game in 27th place with 1,079 career points. 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 14.4 as a senior). He joins Chris Warren as current 1,000-point scorers at Ole Miss.

Zach Graham = WINNER
Senior guard Zach Graham has made winning a habit since he arrived in Oxford. With 77 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.

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 Tennessee game with 120 blocks in his career, which is third-most in school history. His 56 swats this year are tied for second-most in a season in school history behind his own record of 64 he set last year. He ranks third in the SEC and 13th in the country with 2.9 blocks per game and has recorded five or more swats in six games this year, including a career-high seven vs. ETSU and six in the most recent outing at LSU.

Junior forward Terrance Henry has gotten more aggressive and productive in the Rebels’ last two games. At Vanderbilt, he scored 11 points with four blocks and a career-high four steals. He followed that performance with his first career double-double at LSU, collecting 13 points and 10 rebounds.

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 19 of 20 games, he is averaging 8.0 points and 4.2 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. He had his best performance in SEC play with 14 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists at LSU. In the preseason, he was named one of the top 25 impact transfers in the country by Athlon Sports.



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