GAME 26: Ole Miss (14-11, 5-6) vs. Georgia (10-16, 1-10)
Saturday 02.21.09 | 4 p.m. CT
Oxford, Miss. | C.M. Tad Smith Coliseum (9,061)
Live TV: Fox Sports South (Dave Neal, play-by-play; Daymeon Fishback, analyst)
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 199
OLE MISS CELEBRATES A CENTURY OF HOOPS
Coming off an 81-65 win over SEC East leader Tennessee, Ole Miss will celebrate the First 100 Years of its hoops program with festivities during Saturday’s game vs. Georgia. Highlighting the celebration is a halftime ceremony honoring the members of the Cellular South All-Century Team. SEC Freshman of the Year candidate Terrico White led the Rebels with 21 points against the Vols, while Murphy Holloway posted his second straight double-double with 18 points (career high) and 13 rebounds. David Huertas added 16 points. Ole Miss earned its third straight win against an SEC division leader (Kentucky, Mississippi State). The Rebels now boast a 43-5 record at home in three seasons under head coach Andy Kennedy, including an 11-2 mark this year. Three of the team’s remaining five regular season games are in Oxford.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
In the midst of a difficult season, Georgia pulled off a stunning 88-86 victory over rival Florida for its first league win of the season this past Saturday before dropping a 59-71 game to Auburn on Wednesday. The Bulldogs are 10-16 overall and 1-10 in league play. The team is 1-5 under interim head coach Pete Herrmann since he took over for the departed Dennis Felton. Terrance Woodbury paces the Dogs with 13.9 ppg, while Trey Thompkins is the only other in double figures with 12.6 ppg. Georgia’s defense allows just 68.8 ppg to opponents, but the offense averages a league-low 65.4 per game.
OLE MISS-GEORGIA SERIES
Saturday's game is the 103rd meeting between the two schools, with Georgia holding a 65-37 lead in the series. Ole Miss has prevailed in three of the last five encounters. The teams squared off twice last year, with the Rebels earning a 76-62 triumph in Athens before the Bulldogs pulled off a 97-95 win in an overtime thriller in the first round of the SEC Tournament in Atlanta. Ole Miss owns a 24-23 advantage in games played in Oxford, including wins in each of the last two encounters at Tad Smith Coliseum.
CENTURY CELEBRATION FESTIVITIES
There will be a number of activities surrounding Saturday’s 4 p.m. game vs. Georgia as the celebration of the “First 100 Years of Ole Miss Basketball” comes to a head this weekend. On Friday evening, former Rebels from all eras of the school’s hoops history will gather for a celebration reception on campus. The alumni will also visit with this year’s team during practice prior to Saturday’s game.
Fans will have the opportunity to personally meet the greatest basketball players in Ole Miss history Saturday, as the Cellular South All-Century Team will be signing autographs beginning at 3:15 p.m. The Rebel hoops greats will be available to the public in the East Concourse of Tad Smith Coliseum. Fans will receive a FREE mini-replica of the commemorative All-Century Team poster, on which they can obtain these once-in-a-lifetime signatures.
The All-Century Team will be showcased at halftime, but in addition, all former Rebels will be honored throughout the game.
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.
DIVISION LEADER KILLERS
Ole Miss has played the spoiler role in a trio of recent games against teams that were at least tied for an SEC division lead at the time of the matchup. In the last three contests against such teams, Ole Miss won 85-80 at home over No. 24 Kentucky, 67-63 at Mississippi State and 81-65 over Tennessee in Oxford on Wednesday. That means the Rebels have more SEC wins over division leaders (3) than non-division leaders (2) this season.
Two members of the Rebel hoops program call the Peach State their home. Sophomore guard Zach Graham and injured guard Trevor Gaskins both hail from the Atlanta area. Gaskins attended Chattahoochee High School in Alpharetta and Graham came to Ole Miss by way of Peachtree Ridge High School in Suwanee. They were AAU teammates with the Georgia Hurricanes.
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 43-5 in games played at Tad Smith Coliseum over the last three seasons, including an 11-2 mark this year. The Rebels have won three straight SEC games at home since a Jan. 17 loss to LSU snapped a four-game home winning streak over league foes. The 80-78 loss to West Virginia on Dec. 3 snapped a 25-game home win streak over non-conference opponents.
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. 14 in the nation on CBSSports.com’s RPI list. With a 14-11 record, Ole Miss ranks No. 55 on that list, fifth among SEC schools. Five teams the Rebels have faced are ranked in the top 40 - Utah (12), West Virginia (15), Louisville (16), Tennessee (22) and LSU (34) - while two more are in the top 50 - Florida (44) and South Carolina (45).
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).
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) and second in rebounding margin (+4.7) and total rebounds per game (39.8) in league contests. Ole Miss has out-rebounded eight of 11 league opponents. The Rebels dominated Florida on the glass with a 46-22 advantage (second-largest margin by a Rebel squad this season) and out-boarded Tennessee on Wednesday 44-30.
Freshman forward Murphy Holloway leads the team with a 6.4 rebounding average in all games (15th-best in SEC) and 7.1 rpg in league outings (10th in SEC). Sophomore forward Malcolm White is second on the squad with 5.0 rpg in all games and 5.4 rpg in SEC play.
80 POINTS = OLE MISS WIN
The Rebels boast an unblemished 6-0 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 32-3 record (.914 win pct.) when scoring at least 80.
REBELS ENJOY LEADING AT THE HALF
Ole Miss has been known for a few comeback wins, but the Rebels seem to be at their best when they are leading at halftime. This year, the squad has an 8-1 record when up at the break and a 6-10 mark when trailing.
FREE-THROW SHOOTING EXPLOITS
Ole Miss ranks second among SEC teams with a 73.2 free-throw percentage this season. 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 fifth in the SEC statistics at 79.9 percent (119-of-149), while Zach Graham boasts an 82.1 percent mark from the line (46-of-56) 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).
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 - 19.0 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
77.6 percent of minutes played 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
TERRICO WHITE, BUDDING SUPERSTAR
Freshman guard Terrico White has been hitting on all cylinders since league play began and is making a push for many postseason accolades with his outstanding body of work. His 16.5 scoring average in league games ranks eighth among all SEC players and first among league freshmen. He also ranks 11th in assists (2.9/game), fourth in 3’s per game (2.7) and fifth in 3-pt FG percentage (37.0) in SEC outings. The superb athlete known for highlight-reel dunks has also drained 3+ field goals from downtown in nine of the last 10 contests. He has led the Rebels in scoring in five of the last six games, including 21 in Wednesday’s win over Tennessee. He poured in 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 weekend, White ranks fourth among league freshmen in scoring at 11.6 ppg, while Holloway is 11th at 8.6 ppg.
White is making the fourth-most 3-pointers among freshmen with 1.7 per game and handing out the seventh-most assists with 2.2 per game.
Holloway, the team’s top rebounder, ranks third among league freshmen and 15th among all players with 6.4 rpg. He is second among SEC freshmen with a 57.0 FG percentage and third with 1.2 steals per game.
HUERTAS TAKES GAME TO A NEW LEVEL
David Huertas has been a scoring machine for the Rebels this season, averaging 19.0 points, good for fourth among SEC players and 42nd 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 17.5 ppg in SEC play ranks seventh among league players. He ranks third in the SEC overall in 3’s per game (2.7) and second in 3-point percentage (36.2). 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 2/19)
Category SEC/NCAA Rank Statistic
Points 4th/42nd 19.0/game
Rebounding 29th 4.6/game
FG Percentage 15th 42.4
FT Percentage 5th 79.9
3-pt FG Percentage 2nd 36.2
3-pt FGs Made 3rd 2.7/game
Minutes Played 6th 32.3/game
RUNNING THE POINT
Freshman Terrico White has proven himself more than capable since taking over the starting point guard duties eight games ago. The Memphis native has been the team’s leading scorer in five of those eight contests, including all four wins during that span. White began the season working on the wings, but in the last eight games as the primary ball handler, he has put up 16.9 ppg and 4.5 rpg while dishing out 27 assists to just 14 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 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 67 trifectas this season, he has vaulted into a tie for seventh on the list with Aaron Harper’s 2004 season. 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 David Huertas (25 games, 2009)
67 Aaron Harper (28 games, 2004)
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) with 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 5.0 rpg. He has scored double figures in five of the last seven games, while his shot blocking has been a constant all year as he ranks ninth in the SEC with 1.2 bpg.
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. White averaged 19.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in Rebel wins over No. 24 Kentucky and at Mississippi State. 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 2nd half to help Ole Miss win in Starkville. He was also SEC FOW on Jan. 19.
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 67 treys this year, Huertas has moved all the way up to sixth place on the all-time list with 142. 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. 142 David Huertas (60 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 seven 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 tied his season high with 9 points against Tennessee, while pulling down six boards ... Recorded 7 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks in the win over No. 24 Kentucky ... 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 (7-for-22 3-pt FGs on the season).
Zach Graham: Playing with a partially torn patella tendon in his right knee ... Regularly guards the opposing team’s top offensive threat on the perimeter ... Has hit 46-of-56 free throws (82.1 pct.) through 25 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 and ranks 15th in the SEC with a 6.4 rebounding average ... Fifth in SEC with 3.0 offensive boards per game ... Posted second straight double-double with a career-high 18 points to go with 13 rebounds in win over Tennessee ... Recorded 13 points and 11 rebounds at LSU ... Five straight double-figure scoring games from 1/3 to 1/21 ... 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 ... Tallied 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 ... Had 4 steals vs. Marshall.