Resurgent Rebels Face LSU Wednesday

Feb. 7, 2011

Complete Ole Miss Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

GAME 24: Ole Miss (15-8, 3-5 SEC) vs. LSU (10-13, 2-6 SEC)
Wednesday 2.9.11 | 8:00 p.m. CT
Oxford, Miss. | Tad Smith Coliseum (9,061)

Live TV: CSS (Dave Baker, play-by-play; Daymeon Fishback, analyst)
Live Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network (David Kellum, play-by-play; Keith Carter, analyst).
Satellite Radio: XM 201
Live Video:

With victories in each of its last two contests, Ole Miss hopes to continue its streak with Wednesday's home game against LSU. The Rebels used a strong inside game and fantastic free-throw shooting to take a 69-60 victory at Arkansas in its most recent outing, one game after a thrilling 71-69 upset of No. 10 Kentucky. LSU is the first repeat opponent for Ole Miss this season. Andy Kennedy's squad routed the Tigers in Baton Rouge, 78-51, on Jan. 22. Reginald Buckner has been on a tear of late, nearly recording a triple-double in Fayetteville with 11 points, 12 rebounds and a school record-tying eight blocks. He also had 12 points and five blocks against UK.

- LSU leads 116-83 in Ole Miss' second-oldest active series, but the Rebels have won three straight.
- Andy Kennedy got his 100th win as the Ole Miss head coach on Saturday, becoming the fastest in program history to reach that milestone.
- 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).
- Kennedy has led Ole Miss to a 68-15 record at home during his tenure.
- Ole Miss leads all SEC teams and ranks 15th in the nation with a 76.1 FT percentage.
- Chris Warren leads the nation in free throw percentage (94.5) and is on pace to set the school and SEC record for a season.
- Warren ranks 5th in SEC history with a school-record 301 career 3-pointers and is the SEC's active leader in career points, assists, 3s and 20-pt games.
- Sophomore forward Reginald Buckner leads the SEC with a 62.6 FG percentage and ranks third with 3.3 blocks per game (sixth in nation).

LSU comes into Wednesday's game with a 10-13 overall record and 2-6 mark in SEC games. The Tigers won their first two league games (62-55 at Auburn, 56-53 over Arkansas) but have lost each of their last six, including a 78-51 home defeat to Ole Miss. They have an 8-6 overall record at home, but are just 2-7 away from Baton Rouge (2-5 road, 0-2 neutral). Trent Johnson's team does its best work on the defensive end, as the team allows just 64.4 ppg to opponents, fourth-best among SEC teams. The Tigers average just 62.9 ppg on offense, led by a pair of freshmen in Andre Stringer (13.0 ppg) and Ralston Turner (12.1 ppg). Turner was averaging 13.7 ppg before missing five games with a foot injury. Since his return, he has scored only 13 points in three games. Storm Warren is the team's top rebounder with 5.9 rpg.

The series with the Tigers, which began in 1909, is the second-longest in Ole Miss basketball history. LSU leads the all-time series 116-83, although Ole Miss holds a 17-14 edge in the last 31 meetings. The Rebels have won each of the last three meetings, including a 78-51 rout in Baton Rouge on Jan. 22. Led by Chris Warren's 18 points and five assists, that was the Rebels' largest margin of victory in an SEC road game since 1952 and the Tigers' largest margin of defeat in an SEC home game since 1996. Ole Miss swept the season series with the Tigers for the first time since 1999 last year. The Rebels hold a 51-33 lead in games played in Oxford and have won 12 of the last 17 at the Tad Pad. Andy Kennedy owns a 7-4 record against LSU in his career. He is 6-4 with Ole Miss and faced the Bayou Bengals once as the Cincinnati head coach in 2005-06, earning a 75-72 victory at the Las Vegas Holiday Classic.

In addition to the teams being familiar opponents, there are several connections among the Ole Miss and LSU players. Tiger forward Malcolm White is playing his junior season in Baton Rouge after transferring from Ole Miss following the 2008-09 season. The Baton Rouge native averaged 7.2 points and 5.7 rebounds in 27 starts as a sophomore with the Rebels in 2008-09. Ole Miss guard Donald Williams hails from Baton Rouge, along with several LSU players. There are also common player connections from Jackson, Miss. (Ole Miss' Dundrecous Nelson, LSU's Jalen Courtney and Andre Stringer) and Monroe, La. (Ole Miss' Terrance Henry, LSU's Storm Warren).

Ole Miss picked up its second straight road win with a 69-60 triumph at Arkansas on Saturday. The Rebels also beat LSU 78-51 on Jan. 22. They are 4-3 in true road games and 6-4 away from Oxford this season, including a 2-2 mark in league play. Even in the two SEC losses, they were just a couple of possessions from wins at Florida and Vanderbilt.

Senior guard Chris Warren nailed a 25-footer with 2.9 seconds left and Ole Miss upset No. 10 Kentucky last week. It was a huge win for the Rebels, who came into the contest with an 0-3 record in league home games. It was Ole Miss' first win over a top-10 opponent since beating No. 6 Alabama in 2002, making it the biggest win in Andy Kennedy's tenure as head coach. Ole Miss had a season-high 11 steals and forced Kentucky into 18 turnovers, the most by UK this season. After the game, Ole Miss earned two of the top three spots on ESPN SportsCenter's Top Plays. Reginald Buckner's block of a Brandon Knight dunk attempt was No. 3, while Warren's game-winning triple was the top play of the night.

Saturday's 69-60 win at Arkansas was the 100th victory at Ole Miss for Andy Kennedy. He reached the milestone faster than any coach in program history, doing so in his 158th game. He is the third coach in school history with 100 career victories, trailing 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 .633 winning percentage (100-58) is significantly better than Graham's (.462) or Barnes' (.564). Kennedy is 121-71 in his sixth year overall as a head coach (includes one season at Cincinnati).

With a 15-8 record, Ole Miss is well 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.

Winning at home has been a trademark of Andy Kennedy's squads since he took the reins in 2006-07. Ole Miss is 68-15 (.819 win pct.) in games played at Tad Smith Coliseum during Kennedy's tenure, including a 9-4 record this season. Ole Miss has won 199 of its last 246 games (.809 win pct.) in Oxford dating back to the 1995-96 campaign. The Rebels have an all-time record of 432-194 (.690 win pct.) at Tad Smith Coliseum, which opened in 1965-66.

The Rebels lead all SEC teams and rank 15th in the nation with a 76.1 FT percentage. They have shot 80 percent or better in 10 games this season, including 92.9 (13-of-14) at Arkansas, 87.5 (14-of-16) at Vanderbilt and 84.6 (22-of-26) against Tennessee. 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.

Ole Miss ranks third among SEC teams with 75.3 points per game and fourth with a 45.8 field-goal percentage. They have shot better than 40 percent in all but three games and better than 50 percent in six outings. The Rebels shot a season-high 62.2 percent in their 27-point win at LSU. Reginald Buckner leads the league with a 62.6 FG percentage, which would rank among the top five nationally if he had enough attempts. Terrance Henry ranks 10th in the league at 48.8 percent. Every regular in the Rebels' lineup is hitting shots at better than a 40 percent clip.

With most of its players capable of producing from long range, Ole Miss has become proficient in its 3-point shooting of late. The Rebels lead all SEC teams with 7.4 3-pointers made per game in league play, with Chris Warren making a league-best 3.4 treys per game in conference action.

Senior point guard Chris Warren leads the nation with a 94.5 free throw percentage. He has made 103 of 109 attempts on the season and has converted 61 of his last 63 from the line. 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.

Chris Warren continues to fly up the Ole Miss career points list. Entering the LSU game, he stands in fifth place with 1,795 career points. He needs 11 more to pass Elston Turner (1,805) for fourth place and 28 more to pass Carlos Clark (1,822) for third place.

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 (18.4), first in FT percentage (94.5), third in assists (3.8), second in 3-pointers made (2.7), third in assist-turnover ratio (2.0) and fourth in minutes (34.1). In league games only, he ranks third in scoring (18.3), second in FT percentage (95.8) and leads the league in 3-pointers made (3.4). Overall, he has scored 20+ points in 10 games (2nd-most among SEC players) and has led the Rebels in scoring 16 times and in assists 17 times.

Already with the most 3-pointers in school history, Chris Warren has moved into the top five in the SEC record books with another outstanding shooting display this year. Warren's game-winning 25-foot bomb against No. 10 Kentucky was the 300th triple of his career. He is one of just five players in league history to reach that total. Next on the SEC list is Tennessee legend Allan Houston, who made 346 career treys. Warren also holds the school record and ranks fifth in league history with 798 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. 301 Chris Warren, Ole Miss (2008-pres.)

Chris Warren served up his 400th career assist vs. Vanderbilt, becoming the fifth player in school history to reach 400 career assists. Warren enters the LSU game with 412. The next player on the Rebel career list for him 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. With nine games left, Warren would need to average 22.8 points per contest to reach 2,000, not counting postseason play.

Sophomore forward Reginald Buckner tied Ansu Sesay's school record for blocks in a game with eight at Arkansas on Saturday. Along the way, he also surpassed his own single-season record from last year (64) and ran his 2010-11 total to 72. In just his second year, Buckner already ranks second in school history with 136 blocks in his career. The Memphis native is 44 swats shy of the career record, set by Sean Murphy, who had 180 blocks in 117 games from 1988-91. Buckner ranks third in the SEC and sixth in the country with 3.3 blocks per game. In league games only, he is second with an average of 3.8. He has recorded five or more swats in eight games this year.

Senior guard Zach Graham has been solid and steady in his final campaign. He ranks 15th in the SEC with a 14.2 scoring average and third with an 86.5 free-throw percentage. He averages 4.4 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. He posted 16 points (7-7 FTs) and 5 boards, making a couple of key baskets in the upset of No. 10 Kentucky. He scored 17 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in the win at Arkansas.

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 LSU game in 26th place with 1,117 career points and could move into 25th with 13 or more points against the Tigers. 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 14.2 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 79 career wins, he needs nine more to become the winningest player in school history. Jason Flanigan (1998-2001) currently holds the record with 87 career victories.

Junior forward Terrance Henry has displayed his immense talent and versatility in recent outings as he has turned up his aggressiveness and production. 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. In the upset win over No. 10 Kentucky, Henry scored 12 points with 5 rebounds, and in the win at Arkansas he had 11 points, 8 boards and 3 blocks. His season averages are up to 9.0 ppg (third on the team) and 5.8 rpg (second on the team).



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