GAME 25: Ole Miss (13-11, 4-6) vs. Tennessee (16-8, 7-3)
Wednesday 02.18.09 | 7 p.m. CT
Oxford, Miss. | C.M. Tad Smith Coliseum (9,061)
Live TV: Raycom (Tom Hammond, play-by-play; Larry Conley, analyst). Click here for special affiliate info
Pay-per-view TV: ESPN Full Court
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 201
OLE MISS HOSTS FIRST OF TWO STRAIGHT AT HOME
Ole Miss suffered its second straight loss on the road, dropping a 73-66 decision at LSU Saturday, despite owning a lead for most of the game. Four Rebels scored in double figures against the Tigers, led by David Huertas' 15 points. SEC Freshman of the Year candidate Terrico White added 13 points, including three 3-pointers. Murphy Holloway posted his second double-double of the year (and the second by a Rebel this season) with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Huertas tops the team with a 19.1 scoring average, which is on pace to be the highest by a Rebel since 1992. The Rebels host a pair of games at Tad Smith Coliseum this week with Tennessee on Wednesday and Georgia on Saturday. The Rebels are 42-5 at home in three seasons under Andy Kennedy, including a 10-2 mark this season.
SCOUTING THE VOLUNTEERS
Tennessee comes to Oxford carrying a two-game win streak. The Volunteers’ 69-50 win over Vanderbilt on Saturday improved their record to 16-8 overall and 7-3 in league play. They remain in a three-way tie atop the SEC East standings with Kentucky and South Carolina. UT owns the second-highest scoring offense in the SEC at 79.7 ppg. Tyler Smith tops all scorers with 17.7 ppg, while Wayne Chism adds 13.0 and J.P. Prince 10.0. Chism is the squad’s top rebounder with 8.5 rpg. Bruce Pearl has compiled a 93-32 record in his fourth season with the Vols, leading them to NCAA Tournament appearances each of the last three years and Sweet 16 berths in each of the last two.
OLE MISS-TENNESSEE SERIES
Tennessee owns a 65-37 lead in the all-time series, which began in 1924. Each team has earned a victory at home over the past four seasons. Last year, the 8th-ranked Vols narrowly escaped with an 85-83 win over the 15th-ranked Rebels in the SEC opener in Knoxville. Chris Warren led all scorers with 24 points in the contest, and Eniel Polynice dropped in 20. The Vols enjoy a 24-21 all-time edge in Oxford, although the Rebels are 3-1 in the last four games at the Tad Pad. Ole Miss overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to claim an 83-69 win over the Vols in the last meeting in Oxford.
LEAST EXPERIENCED TEAM IN THE NATION
Departures and injuries have led to Ole Miss being ranked as the least experienced team in the nation, according to statistics published on KenPom.com. The Rebels rank No. 344 of 344 on the list, which calculates the accumulated experience of all the team’s players who have logged minutes on the floor this season. Also among the least experienced squads in the country are fellow SEC teams Arkansas (339) and Vanderbilt (338).
Currently, Ole Miss has no seniors among its scholarship members, while the team features an active roster with just three scholarship players who had any Division I experience prior to this season (junior David Huertas and sophomores Zach Graham and Malcolm White). The remainder of this year’s significant contributors is made up of four freshmen and a junior college transfer.
OLE MISS ALL-CENTURY TEAM ANNOUNCED
Ole Miss athletics officials proudly announced on Thursday the CellularSouth All-Century Team. The team highlights the season-long celebration of the “First 100 Years of Ole Miss Basketball.” The honorees will be publically recognized during halftime of Saturday’s home game vs. Georgia.
The All-Century Team was selected following a vote of fans on OleMissSports.com and a committee of officials from the athletics department and the M-Club Alumni Chapter. The fans’ top 10 choices automatically qualified, and the remaining spots were chosen by the committee.
OLE MISS ALL-CENTURY TEAM (alphabetical order)
Coolidge Ball (F, 1972-74); Rod Barnes (G, 1985-88); Denver Brackeen (C, 1954-55); Keith Carter (G, 1996-99); Carlos Clark (G/F, 1980-83); Joe Gibbon (F, 1954-57); Gerald Glass (F, 1989-90); B.L. "Country" Graham (F, 1936-38); Joe Harvell (F, 1990-93); Cob Jarvis (F/G, 1952-54); Don Kessinger (G, 1962-64); Rahim Lockhart (F, 1998-2001); Johnny Neumann (F, 1971); Justin Reed (F, 2001-04); Ansu Sesay (F, 1995-98); John Stroud (F, 1977-80); Sean Tuohy (G, 1979-82); Elston Turner (F/G, 1978-81); Jack Waters (F/G, 1959-61).
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.
Wednesday will be a family reunion of sorts for one Rebel and one Vol. Ole Miss sophomore Malcolm White and Tennessee freshman Renaldo Woolridge are cousins. Woolridge’s father and White’s uncle, Orlando Woolridge, was an All-American hoopster at Notre Dame before enjoying a 13-year NBA career.
IN THE POLLS
Ole Miss is not receiving votes in either national poll, while Tennessee is receiving two votes in the AP poll and one vote in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.
DEFENDING HOME COURT
Winning at home has been a trademark of Andy Kennedy’s squads since he took the reins in 2006-07. Ole Miss is 42-5 in games played at Tad Smith Coliseum over the last three seasons, including a 10-2 mark this year. The Jan. 17 loss to LSU snapped a four-game home winning streak over SEC opponents, while the 80-78 loss to West Virginia on Dec. 3 snapped a 25-game home win streak over non-league foes.
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. 19 in the nation on RealTimeRPI.com’s list. With a 13-11 record, Ole Miss ranks No. 69 on that RPI list, sixth among SEC schools. Four teams the Rebels have already seen are ranked in the top 40 - Utah (11), West Virginia (16), Louisville (18) and South Carolina (40) - while two more are in the top 50 - LSU (43) and Florida (46).
HITTING THE BOARDS
Ole Miss has established itself as one of the most physical teams on the boards in SEC play. The Rebels rank first in the conference in offensive rebounds per game (13.9), second in total rebounds per game (39.4) and third in rebounding margin (+3.8) in league contests. Ole Miss has out-rebounded seven of 10 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 6.1 rebounding average in all games and 6.5 mark in league outings, both of which rank him 15th among SEC players. Sophomore forward Malcolm White is second on the squad with 5.1 rpg in all games and 5.7 rpg in league play.
FREE-THROW SHOOTING EXPLOITS
Ole Miss ranks second among SEC teams and 34th in the nation with a 73.9 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 80.0 percent (112-of-140), while Zach Graham boasts an 88.0 percent mark from the line (44-of-50) 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).
The Rebels put together a three-game winning streak, tied for their longest this season, prior to a defeat at Vanderbilt. The wins included an 85-80 triumph 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).
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
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 8-11 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.
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 11-5 this year when having the same or fewer number of turnovers as its opponent, while just 2-6 when giving the ball up more than the other team.
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 Feb. 2. 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.
REBELS ON TV
Wednesday’s game vs. Tennessee on Raycom is the 13th 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 have seen face time on three national broadcasts this season (twice on ESPN, once on CBS). Ole Miss followed up a school-record 22 TV appearances in 2006-07 with 20 more last year.
RUNNING THE POINT
Freshman Terrico White has proven himself more than capable since taking over the starting point guard duties seven games ago. The Memphis native was 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 seven games as the primary ball handler, he has put up 16.3 ppg and 4.4 rpg while dishing out 21 assists to just 13 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.
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 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. His 17.6 ppg in SEC play ranks seventh among league players. He ranks third in the SEC overall in 3’s per game (2.8) and second in 3-point percentage (36.9). 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 2/16)
Category SEC/NCAA Rank Statistic
Points 4th/37th 19.1/game
Rebounding 28th 4.7/game
FG Percentage 14th 42.7
FT Percentage 4th 80.0
3-pt FG Percentage 2nd 36.9
3-pt FGs Made 3rd 2.8/game
Minutes Played 5th 32.5/game
TERRICO TURNS IT UP A NOTCH
Freshman guard Terrico White has turned up his scoring output since league play began. His 16.1 scoring average in league games ranks eighth among all SEC players and first among league freshmen. He also ranks 12th in field-goal percentage (44.2), fourth in 3’s per game (2.7) and fifth in 3-pt FG percentage (37.0). The superb athlete known for highlight-reel dunks has also drained 3+ field goals from downtown in eight of the last nine contests. He has led the Rebels in scoring in four of the last five games, including a career-high 23 at Vanderbilt. He had 19 points and a career-high 8 rebounds in the win over Auburn. He had 18 points (12 in 2nd half) to lead the Rebels to victory at Mississippi State. 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 then-career highs with 18 points against Arkansas and 22 vs. LSU.
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 week, White ranks fourth among league freshmen in scoring at 11.3 ppg, while Holloway is 11th at 8.2 ppg.
White is making the fourth-most 3-pointers among freshmen with 1.6 per game and handing out the seventh-most assists with 2.1 per game.
Holloway, the team’s top rebounder, ranks third among league freshmen and 15th among all players with 6.1 rpg. He is second among SEC freshmen with a 55.4 FG percentage and fourth with 1.2 steals per game.
HUERTAS LANDS ON SEASON TREY CHART, AGAIN
For the second time in his two seasons at Ole Miss, David Huertas has shot his way onto the school’s all-time single season chart for most 3-pointers made. With his 66 trifectas this season, he has vaulted into eighth on the list and sits just one trey behind Aaron Harper’s 2004 season total of 67. Huertas’ 75 3’s last season currently ranks sixth.
OLE MISS SEASON 3-POINT FIELD GOALS
1. 103 Chris Warren (35 games, 2008)
2. 96 Clarence Sanders (34 games, 2007)
3. 83 Aaron Harper (31 games, 2002)
4. 79 Joe Harvell (28 games, 1992)
5. 77 Keith Carter (33 games, 1999)
6. 75 David Huertas (35 games, 2008)
7. 67 Aaron Harper (28 games, 2004)
8. 66 David Huertas (24 games, 2009)
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 currently 6.7 ppg and 5.1 rpg. He has scored double figures in five of the last six games, while his shot blocking has been a constant all year as he ranks ninth in the SEC with 1.2 bpg.
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 66 treys this year, Huertas has moved all the way up to sixth place on the all-time list with 141. Warren nailed 25 from downtown prior to his season-ending injury this year and now sits in eighth with 128.
OLE MISS CAREER 3-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. 141 David Huertas (59 games, 2008-present)
7. 131 Joezon Darby (81 games, 1996-98)
8. 128 Chris Warren (46 games, 2008-present)
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.
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-20 3-pt FGs on the season).
Zach Graham: Playing with a partially torn patella tendon in his right knee ... Has hit 44-of-50 free throws (88.0 pct.) through 24 games ... Career-high 4 assists to go with 7 points and 6 boards at LSU ... 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 6.1 rebounding average ... Leads team and ranks fifth in SEC with 3.0 offensive boards per game ... Posted second double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds at LSU ... 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.