Rebels Host Auburn Tigers Wednesday

Feb. 15, 2011

Complete Ole Miss Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

GAME 26: Ole Miss (16-9, 4-6 SEC) vs. Auburn (9-15, 2-8 SEC)
Wednesday 2.16.11 | 7:00 p.m. CT
Oxford, Miss. | Tad Smith Coliseum (9,061)

Live TV: SEC Network (Dave Neal, play-by-play; Mark Gottfried, analyst)
Live Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network (David Kellum, play-by-play; Keith Carter, analyst).
Satellite Radio: XM 201
Live Video:

Ole Miss returns to Oxford for Wednesday’s game against Auburn. The Rebels sit in fourth place in the SEC West with six league games left. Ole Miss was down by as many as 23 points in the second half at Alabama on Saturday, and the Rebels stormed back to within six with 2:21 left to play but could not complete the comeback in a 74-64 loss. It snapped the Rebels’ three-game SEC winning streak. Chris Warren led the team with 15 points and moved into third place on the school’s all-time scoring list, passing Carlos Clark. Warren now has 1,836 points in his illustrious career, despite missing 20 games with an ACL injury his sophomore year.

- This is the 121st meeting between the two schools, with Auburn holding a 71-49 lead in the all-time series.
- Ole Miss swept Auburn last season.
- Andy Kennedy is the fastest in program history to reach 100 wins. With 101, he now has the school record for most by one staff in a five-year span.
- 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 69-15 record at home during his tenure.
- Ole Miss ranks second in the SEC and 24th in the nation with a 74.8 FT percentage. The Rebels rank 15th in the nation with 5.6 blocks per game.
- Chris Warren leads the nation in free throw percentage (93.8) and is on pace to set the school and SEC record for a season.
- Warren ranks 5th in SEC history with a school-record 305 career 3-pointers and is the SEC’s active leader in career points, assists, 3s and 20-pt games.

Auburn has a 9-15 overall record and 2-8 mark in SEC play. The Tigers are coming off their second league win with a thrilling 65-62 comeback victory over Mississippi State. They came back from 18 down in the second half to overtake MSU. In his first season, head coach Tony Barbee has led a young team through adversity with a number of injuries to key players. Auburn averages 63.5 ppg and gives up 66.0 ppg. The defense creates havoc, as evidenced by its 8.2 steals per game (3rd in SEC) and a +1.8 turnover margin (2nd in SEC). Earnest Ross paces the squad with 13.5 ppg and 6.9 rpg, while Kenny Gabriel posts 9.9 ppg and 6.0 rpg. Junior G Frankie Sullivan is out for the year.

Wednesday’s game will be the 121st meeting between the two schools in a series that dates back to 1928. The Tigers hold an all-time series lead of 71-49. Ole Miss owns an 11-9 edge in the last 20 meetings and won both games last year. In their matchup in Oxford last year, Ole Miss stormed back from 14 down at the 11:07 mark with a 43-19 run to close the game and earn an 85-75 victory. Chris Warren scored 23 of his team-high 26 points in the second half and Terrico White added 21 points. The Rebels hold a 35-23 advantage in games played in Oxford and have won 13 of the last 17 contests at Tad Smith Coliseum.

Several members of the Rebel family call Alabama their “sweet home.” Sophomore guard Nick Williams is a native of Mobile and was the 2008 6A State Player of the Year. Assistant coach Torrey Ward and coordinator of operations Bill Armstrong are both from Birmingham and played collegiately at UAB, while coordinator of video services Robi Coker hails from Skirum. In addition, head coach Andy Kennedy spent three years playing at UAB and later served assistant coaching stints for both the Blazers and the South Alabama Jaguars.

With 101 wins under his belt, Andy Kennedy has led Ole Miss to the most wins in a five-year span by one coaching staff in school history. The record for any five-year span in school history (includes coaching changes) is 108, which occurred twice, from 1996-97 to 2000-01 and from 1997-98 to 2001-02.

The Rebels’ 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 .631 winning percentage (101-59) is significantly better than Graham’s (.462) or Barnes’ (.564). Kennedy is 122-72 in his sixth year overall as a head coach (includes one season at Cincinnati).

With a 16-9 record, Ole Miss is one victory shy of clinching 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 69-15 (.821 win pct.) in games played at Tad Smith Coliseum during Kennedy’s tenure, including a 10-4 record this season. Ole Miss has won 200 of its last 247 games (.810 win pct.) in Oxford dating back to the 1995-96 campaign. The Rebels have an all-time record of 433-194 (.691 win pct.) at Tad Smith Coliseum, which opened in 1965-66.

Senior guard Chris Warren nailed a 25-footer with 2.9 seconds left and Ole Miss upset No. 10 Kentucky on Feb. 1. 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.

The Rebels rank second in the SEC and 24th in the nation with a 74.8 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.

Led by some very athletic big men, Ole Miss ranks 15th in the nation in blocked shots per game. The Rebels average 5.6 swats per contest. They have blocked eight or more shots seven times this year. They set a school record for blocks in an SEC game with 12 at Arkansas and had eight at LSU and at Alabama. Sophomore Reginald Buckner ranks ninth in the NCAA and third in the SEC with 3.1 bpg, while junior Terrance Henry adds 1.1 bpg.

Ole Miss ranks third among SEC teams with 74.4 points per game and sixth with a 45.1 field-goal percentage. The Rebels have shot better than 40 percent in all but five 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 61.8 FG percentage, which would rank among the nation’s leaders if he had enough attempts. 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 rank third among SEC teams with 7.1 3-pointers made per game in league play, with Chris Warren making a league-best 3.1 treys per game in conference action.

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 (18.6), first in FT percentage (93.8), sixth in assists (3.7), third in 3-pointers made (2.6), fourth in assist-turnover ratio (1.8) and fourth in minutes (34.2). In league games only, he ranks third in scoring (18.7) and leads the league in FT percentage (93.3) and 3-pointers made (3.1). Overall, he has scored 20+ points in 11 games (2nd-most among SEC players) and has led the Rebels in scoring 18 times and in assists 18 times.

Senior point guard Chris Warren leads the nation with a 93.8 free throw percentage. He has made 122 of 130 attempts on the season and has converted 80 of his last 84 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.

With a spectacular senior seson, Chris Warren has vaulted into third place on the all-time Ole Miss scoring chart with 1,836 career points. Next on the list is second-place Joe Harvell, who scored 2,078 points from 1990-93 and ranks 18th in SEC history. Warren entered this season ranked 15th on the Rebels’ scoring chart.

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. He enters the Auburn game with 305 career triples. 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 810 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. 305 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 Auburn game with 417. 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 seven games left, Warren would need to average 23.4 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. He has also surpassed his own single-season record from last year (64) and has run his season total to 75 so far this year. In just his second year, Buckner already ranks second in school history with 139 blocks in his career. The Memphis native is 41 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 ninth in the country with 3.1 blocks per game. In league games only, he is second with an average of 3.3. 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 13th in the SEC with a 14.2 scoring average and third (36th in NCAA) with an 87.1 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. He also had 17 in the home win over 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 Auburn game in 24th place with 1,147 career points and could move into 22nd 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 80 career wins, he needs eight more to become the all-time 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. At Alabama, he led the team with nine rebounds and five blocks. His season averages are up to 8.8 ppg (third on the team) and 6.0 rpg (second on the team).



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