GAME 23: Ole Miss (13-9, 4-4) at Vanderbilt (14-8, 3-5)
Saturday 02.07.09 | Noon CT
Nashville, Tenn. | Memorial Gymnasium (14,316)
CBS (Greg Gumbel, play-by-play; Bill Raftery, analyst)
Live Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network (David Kellum, play-by-play; Keith Carter, analyst). Listen Online through RebelVision
XM Radio: Channel 200
HOT REBELS OPEN ROAD SWING AT VANDERBILT
Ole Miss will put its three-game conference winning streak to the test on Saturday when the Rebels visit the Vanderbilt Commodores in the first of two straight road tilts. The Rebels’ streak ties the longest of their season and also ties with LSU for the longest current streak among SEC schools. Andy Kennedy’s squad is coming off a 78-59 drubbing of Auburn, which was the largest margin of victory in a home SEC game in his three-year tenure. Terrico White, the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week, again led the Rebels in scoring with 19 points vs. the Tigers. David Huertas added 16, Zach Graham had 11 and Terrance Henry and Malcolm White both chipped in 10 points. Vanderbilt has won 45 of the 50 games between the two teams in Nashville, with the Rebels’ last victory there coming in 2001.
SCOUTING THE COMMODORES
After winning each of its last two games, Vanderbilt enters the weekend with a 14-8 overall record and 3-5 mark in SEC action. The Commodores snapped a four-game losing skid with an 82-75 win at Auburn before downing Alabama 79-74 on Thursday. A stingy Vandy defense allows just 63.9 ppg to opponents, third-best among SEC teams. Four Commodores average in double figures, led by sophomore center A.J. Ogilvy’s 14.7 ppg. Ogilvy also tops the squad with 7.0 rebounds per contest. Junior point guard Jermaine Beal leads the club with a 14.5 scoring average in league play. Kevin Stallings owns a 184-124 record in his 10th season at Vanderbilt. He has led VU to the NCAA Tournament three of the last five years, including Sweet Sixteen berths in 2004 and 2007.
OLE MISS-VANDERBILT SERIES
Saturday’s game will be the 109th meeting between Ole Miss and Vanderbilt on the hardwood. The Commodores hold a 69-39 lead in the series, which began in 1925. The Rebels snapped Vanderbilt’s six-game win streak in the series when No. 22 Ole Miss defeated the 18th-ranked Dores 74-58 in last year’s meeting of ranked teams in Oxford. Chris Warren paved the way with 20 points and Eniel Polynice added 18 in the Rebel victory. Vanderbilt holds a commanding 45-5 advantage in games played in Nashville and has held court in the last three encounters there. The last Ole Miss victory at Memorial Gym was 81-68 on Jan. 6, 2001, in the team’s first win there since the 1982-83 season. Rebel head coach Andy Kennedy is 2-1 against Vandy in his career. In addition to a win and a loss over the last two seasons with Ole Miss, he picked up a 92-83 victory at Vanderbilt during the 2005-06 campaign, his lone season as Cincinnati mentor.
The Ole Miss-Vanderbilt series has been all about location in recent years. In fact, the home team has prevailed in 19 of the last 22 meetings. From 1989 through 2000, the home team held court in 14 straight games.
Ole Miss has a pair of Tennessee natives on this year’s roster in senior guard Patrick Spach and freshman guard Terrico White, who both hail from Memphis. The Rebels’ lone 2008-09 signee, Reginald Buckner, is also a Memphis native.
The Rebels enter Saturday’s contest with a three-game winning streak, tied for their longest this season. It is also tied with LSU for the longest current win streak among SEC teams. They include an 85-80 win over then-SEC East leading No. 24 Kentucky (first over UK since 2001), a 67-63 victory at then-SEC West leader Mississippi State (first in Starkville since 1998) and a 78-59 triumph over Auburn (largest margin of victory at home vs. SEC team under Andy Kennedy).
T. WHITE: SEC FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK AGAIN
For the second time in three weeks, guard Terrico White was named SEC Freshman of the Week, the league office announced Monday. The Memphis, Tenn., native averaged 19.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in Rebel wins over No. 24 Kentucky at home and Mississippi State on the road. He scored 21 points with 5 boards, 7 assists and just 2 turnovers vs. UK, then had 12 of his team-high 18 points in the second half to help Ole Miss win in Starkville. White also earned the honors on Jan. 19.
OLE MISS WINS IN STARKVILLE
Road wins are always precious in the Southeastern Conference, but Ole Miss made a truly substantial statement with its 67-63 come-from-behind win in Starkville this past Saturday. It was the Rebels’ first win at Mississippi State since the 1997-98 season, snapping a 10-game losing skid. In fact, it was just the third Ole Miss win in Starkville since 1984. The Rebels improved to 2-4 in away games this year and 1-3 in league road games.
80 POINTS = OLE MISS WIN
The Rebels boast an unblemished 5-0 record this season when scoring 80 or more points. The team’s record is 8-9 when it does not reach the 80-point mark. In three seasons under Andy Kennedy, Ole Miss owns a 31-3 record (.912 win pct.) when scoring at least 80.
IMPROVING ON THE GLASS
After eight SEC games, Ole Miss ranks first in the conference in offensive rebounds per game (14.0), second in total rebounds per game (40.0) and third in rebounding margin (+4.8) in league contests. Ole Miss has out-rebounded six of eight league opponents and 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 a 5.8 rebounding average in all games and league outings. Sophomore forward Malcolm White is second on the squad with 5.0 rpg, while he and junior guard David Huertas both average 5.5 in SEC play.
FREE-THROW SHOOTING EXPLOITS
Ole Miss ranks second among SEC teams and 17th in the nation with a 74.9 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 fourth in the SEC statistics at 81.0 percent (111-of-137), while Zach Graham boasts an 89.1 percent mark from the line (41-of-46) and Terrance Henry is hitting at a 79.5 percent clip (31-of-39).
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 nearly tripled the games in which it shot 80 percent or better from the charity stripe this year (8) compared to all of last season (3).
TURNOVER BATTLE KEY
The team that has the better result in the turnover column has usually been the one to come out with the victory in the Rebels’ games this season. Ole Miss is 11-4 this year when having the same or fewer number of turnovers as its opponent, while just 2-5 when giving the ball up more than the other team.
Despite facing just two ranked teams this season, across the board the Rebels have pitted themselves 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 13-9 record, Ole Miss ranks No. 55 on the RPI list, fifth among SEC schools. Four teams the Rebels have already seen are ranked in the top 30 - Utah (12), Louisville (13), West Virginia (19) and Florida (28) - while two more are in the top 50 - South Carolina (47) and LSU (49).
WHAT OLE MISS IS PLAYING WITH...
2 juniors, 2 sophomores and 5 freshmen among
3 scholarship players who saw playing time a year ago
(David Huertas, Zach Graham, Malcolm White)
SEC’s 4th-leading scorer (David Huertas - 19.3 ppg)
2 SEC Freshman of the Week selections (Murphy
Holloway, Terrico White twice)
Last year’s So. Carolina and Tennessee Mr. Basketball
honorees (Murphy Holloway, Terrico White)
WHAT OLE MISS IS PLAYING WITHOUT...
77.0 percent of scoring from last year
79.7 percent of rebounding from last year
3 key backcourt members with knee injuries
(Chris Warren, Eniel Polynice, Trevor Gaskins)
Any scholarship seniors
4 of last year’s 5 primary starters
REBELS ON TV
Saturday’s game at Vanderbilt on CBS is the 11th of at least 15 games scheduled for TV this season, marking the 11th straight season that the Rebels will have played 10 or more TV games. The Rebels are playing in their third nationally televised contest of the season on Saturday and are 1-1 in the previous two games, both on ESPN. Ole Miss followed up a school-record 22 TV appearances in 2006-07 with 20 more last year.
REBELS SOAR OVER WILDCATS
In the midst of a trying season full of injuries, Ole Miss showed it still has plenty of talent and toughness, as the Rebels earned an 85-80 win over No. 24 Kentucky on Jan. 27 in front of a national TV audience on ESPN. Four Rebels scored in double figures, led by Terrico White and David Huertas, who poured in 21 apiece. Ole Miss held the SEC’s leading scorer and the country’s third-leading scorer Jodie Meeks to 21 points on just four field goals, including a pair of late three’s after the game had been all but decided. The Rebels out-rebounded the Wildcats 45-40 and led by as many as 13 points with 58 seconds left in the game. Ole Miss improved to 3-2 in its last five games against top-25 teams and 1-1 this season.
THREE REBELS SCORE 20 IN ONE GAME
It doesn’t happen often, but against No. 24 Kentucky, three different Ole Miss players eclipsed 20 points. Freshman point guard Terrico White, who was a game-day decision because of a bruised knee, scored 21 points and had a highlight-reel dunk over two of the SEC’s top shot blockers, Patrick Patterson and Perry Stevenson. David Huertas also scored 21 and Malcolm White tallied a career-high 20 points. The last time a trio of Rebels accomplished this feat was Nov. 24, 2006, when Todd Abernethy scored 23 points and Clarence Sanders and Bam Doyne added 20 apiece in a 100-80 win over Nicholls.
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 11 unique lineup combinations through 22 games. Junior guard David Huertas is the only Rebel to have started every contest.
RUNNING THE POINT
Freshman Terrico White has proven himself more than capable since taking over the starting point guard duties five games ago. After a pair of road defeats, the Memphis native has been the team’s leading scorer in three straight league wins, including victories over then-division leaders Kentucky and Mississippi State. White began the season working on the wings, but in the last five games as the primary ball handler, he has put up 15.6 ppg and 5.4 rpg while dishing out 18 assists to just 9 turnovers. Following the season-ending injury to preseason All-SEC PG Chris Warren on Dec. 18, the team turned to freshman Will Bogan, who had served as Warren’s backup for the season’s first 11 games. Bogan received the starting nod in the first six games after the injury and is averaging 20.7 minutes in the 11 games since the injury after logging just 7.5 mpg in the first 11.
HUERTAS TAKES GAME TO A NEW LEVEL
David Huertas has been a scoring machine for the Rebels this season, averaging 19.3 points, good for fourth among SEC players and 37th in the nation. At his current pace, Huertas would finish with the highest season scoring average by a Rebel since Joe Harvell scored 25.0 ppg in 1991-92. The junior guard has scored 20 or more points in 12 contests, including three of the last five outings. His 17.8 ppg in SEC play ranks sixth among league players. He ranks second in the SEC overall in 3’s per game (2.8) and third in 3-point percentage (37.4). He tied a season high with 27 points at South Carolina. He had 20 against No. 9 Louisville and set or tied career highs with 8 free-throws, 2 blocks and 4 steals against the Cardinals. Against South Alabama, he poured in 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 2/2)
Category SEC/NCAA Rank Statistic
Points 3rd/34th 19.4/game
Rebounding 27th 5.0/game
FG Percentage 12th 43.5
FT Percentage 3rd 80.6
3-pt FG Percentage 3rd 37.9
3-pt FGs Made 3rd 2.8/game
Minutes Played 4th 32.4/game
HUERTAS APPROACHING SEASON TOP-10 CHART
With his 61 3-pointers made this season, David Huertas needs just two more to crack the top 10 in school history for treys in a season (for the second time). The junior guard would tie Aaron Harper’s 2001 mark and Keith Carter’s 1996 tally of 63 for ninth place on the list. Huertas’ 75 3’s made last season currently ranks sixth.
TERRICO TURNS IT UP A NOTCH
Freshman guard Terrico White has turned up his scoring output since league play began. His 15.6 scoring average in league games ranks 11th among all SEC players and tops among league freshmen. He also ranks 11th in assists (2.9), 12th in field-goal percentage (44.3), fifth in 3’s per game (2.5) and fourth in 3-pt FG percentage (36.4). The superb athlete known for highlight-reel dunks has also drained 3+ field goals from downtown in six of the last seven contests. He has led the Rebels in scoring in each of the last three games, including 19 at home against Auburn. He also grabbed a career-high 8 rebounds vs. the Tigers. He had 18 points (12 in 2nd half) to lead the Rebels to victory at Mississippi State last Saturday. His 21 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds helped Ole Miss upset No. 24 Kentucky. In that game, he had a highlight-reel dunk that landed on Sportscenter’s top plays when he skied over 6-foot-9 post men Patrick Patterson and Perry Stevenson. He captured back-to-back career highs with 18 points against Arkansas and 22 at LSU. 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.
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 fifth among league freshmen in scoring at 10.6 ppg, while Holloway is 12th at 8.2 ppg.
Holloway, the team’s top rebounder, ranks fourth among league freshmen and 20th among all players with 5.8 rpg. He tops all SEC freshmen with a 56.1 FG percentage and is third with 1.3 steals per game.
White is making the fifth-most 3-pointers among freshmen with 1.5 per game and handing out the seventh-most assists with 2.1 per game.
MALCOLM TURNING HEADS
Entering the Kentucky game, sophomore forward Malcolm White was averaging 5.7 points and 4.9 boards per outing, but he exploded for a career-high 20 points (8-of-12 FGs) and 6 rebounds in a season-high 36 minutes of action against the 24th-ranked Wildcats. Since Dec. 13, White’s season averages have gone from 3.0 ppg and 4.1 rpg to 6.8 ppg and 5.0 rpg. He has scored double figures in each of the last 4 games, while his shot blocking has been a constant all year as he ranks ninth in the SEC with 1.2 bpg.
TERRICO WHITE NAMED FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Memphis native Terrico White earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors on Jan. 19 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.
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 was 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 61 treys this year, Huertas has moved all the way up to sixth place on the all-time list with 136. Warren nailed 25 from downtown prior to his season-ending injury this year and now sits in eighth with 128.
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. 136 David Huertas (57 games, 2008-present)
7. 131 Joezon Darby (81 games, 1996-98)
8. 128 Chris Warren (46 games, 2008-present)
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 Chris Warren’s injury, averaging 25.5 minutes per start ... Served as Warren’s back-up through first 11 games ... Has dished out 3 assists on six occasions ... 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 recorded 7 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks in the win over No. 24 Kentucky ... 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 (6-for-19 3-pt FGs on the season).
Zach Graham: Playing with a partially torn patella tendon in his right knee ... Has hit 41-of-46 free throws (89.1 pct.) through 22 games ... Fourth straight double-digit scoring game with 11 points vs. Auburn (3-of-4 from downtown) ... 13 points at MSU ... 11 points and 5 rebounds with 3 trifectas against Kentucky ... Scored 11 points, all in 1st half, at South Carolina, adding 7 rebounds ... Had 12 points and 5 rebounds vs. Arkansas ... Notched 14 points with 5 boards at Florida ... 8 points with 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 79.5 percent clip (31-of-39) ... Set a season high with 10 points in start against Auburn, adding 5 rebounds and 3 assists ... Had 9 points at New Mexico, also blocked 3 shots ... Scored 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 5.8 rebounding average ... Leads team and ranks sixth in SEC with 2.9 offensive boards per game ... Five straight double-figure scoring games from 1/3 to 1/21 ... Had 7 points and 9 rebounds at South Carolina ... 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.
OLE MISS ALL-CENTURY CELEBRATION
As part of the celebration of the First 100 Years of Ole Miss Basketball, the athletics department will be naming a Team of the Century, which will be honored at the Feb. 21 home game vs. Georgia. Fan voting ended on Jan. 31. The top 10 fan vote-getters will be guaranteed a spot on the All-Century team, while the athletics department will determine any remaining members of the squad after consultation with the M-Club Alumni Chapter.