Final Road Test For Rebels On The Plains

Feb. 28, 2011

Complete Ole Miss Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

GAME 30: Ole Miss (18-11, 6-8 SEC) at Auburn (9-19, 2-12 SEC)
Wednesday 3.2.11 | 7:00 p.m. CT
Auburn, Ala. | Auburn Arena (9,121)

Live TV: SEC Network (Clay Matvick, play-by-play; Will Perdue, analyst)
Live Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network (David Kellum, play-by-play; Keith Carter, analyst).
Satellite Radio: XM 199
Live Video:

Ole Miss makes its final road trip of the regular season to take on Auburn Wednesday night. The Rebels, 6-8 in league play, need to win their final two games and have Mississippi State lose its final two in order to receive the West’s No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the SEC Tournament. Ole Miss is also looking to tally 20 wins for the fourth time in five seasons under Andy Kennedy. Chris Warren has been spectacular in the last two outings with a career-high 33 points at South Carolina followed by 25 in a win over Alabama. He ranks second in the league with 19.0 ppg. Ole Miss closes the regular season with a home game against Arkansas on Saturday.

- This is the 122nd meeting between the two schools, with Auburn holding a 71-50 lead in the all-time series.
- With 103 wins, Andy Kennedy has the most victories by an Ole Miss coach in a five-year span.
- Kennedy is the first coach to lead Ole Miss to 5 straight winning seasons since R.L. Sullivan (1920-25).
- Ole Miss leads the SEC and ranks 23rd in the nation with a 75.6 FT percentage. The Rebels rank 17th in the nation with 5.6 blocks per game.
- Chris Warren leads the nation in free throw percentage (93.7) and is on pace to set the school and SEC record for a season.
- Warren ranks 2nd in the SEC with 19.0 points per game and seventh with 3.6 assists per game.
- Warren ranks 5th in SEC history with a school-record 317 career 3-pointers and is the SEC’s active leader in career points, assists, 3s and 20-pt games.
- Zach Graham will play in his 131st game for Ole Miss on Wednesday. The school record for career games played is 132 (Jason Harrison).

Auburn has a 9-19 overall record and 2-12 mark in SEC play. The Tigers have lost four straight since a thrilling 65-62 comeback victory over Mississippi State on Feb. 12. The first of those four losses was a 90-59 defeat at Ole Miss. Since then, Auburn has fallen in its last three games by an average margin of only 2.3 points per game. 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 62.4 ppg and gives up 66.4 ppg. The defense creates havoc, as evidenced by its 8.3 steals per game (2nd in SEC) and a +1.5 turnover margin (2nd in SEC). Earnest Ross paces the squad with 13.3 ppg and 6.6 rpg, while Kenny Gabriel posts 9.8 ppg and 5.6 rpg. Junior G Frankie Sullivan is out for the year.

Wednesday’s game will be the 122nd meeting between the two schools in a series that dates back to 1928. The Tigers hold an all-time series lead of 71-50. Ole Miss owns a 12-9 edge in the last 21 meetings and has won three in a row. Two weeks ago in Oxford, the Rebels routed the Tigers 90-59 behind Zach Graham’s career-high 30 points and seven 3-pointers. It was Ole Miss’ largest margin of victory in an SEC game since 2001. The Tigers own a 47-11 all-time advantage in Auburn.

Ole Miss enters the week in fourth place in the SEC West with a 6-8 league record but just a game behind Arkansas and Mississippi State (who are both 7-7) for second place. The No. 2 seed from each division receive a first-round bye in the SEC Tournament. If Ole Miss wins both of its last two games and Mississippi State loses both, the Rebels will receive the first-round bye. Any other scenario will result in a lower seed for Ole Miss, which was the No. 2 seed in the West last year.

With an 18-11 overall record, Ole Miss needs just two more victories to reach the 20-win plateau for the fourth time in five seasons under Andy Kennedy. The program had reached 20 wins a total of seven times prior to Kennedy’s arrival. No Ole Miss coach has ever recorded four 20-win campaigns.

Andy Kennedy and his staff are 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.

With 103 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.

Reginald Buckner leads the league with a 60.1 FG percentage. Seven of the nine regulars in the Rebels’ lineup are hitting shots at better than a 40 percent clip.

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 .628 winning percentage (103-61) is significantly better than Graham’s (.462) or Barnes’ (.564). Kennedy is 124-74 in his sixth year overall as a head coach (includes one season at Cincinnati).

The Rebels lead the SEC and rank 23rd in the nation with a 75.6 FT percentage. They have shot 80 percent or better in 11 games this season, including 92.9 (13-of-14) at Arkansas, 87.5 (14-of-16) at Vanderbilt, 84.6 (22-of-26) against Tennessee and 84.4 (27-of-32) vs. Auburn. 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 17th 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 12th in the NCAA and third in the SEC with 3.1 bpg, while junior Terrance Henry adds 1.1 bpg.

Senior guard Chris Warren scored a career-high 33 points and tied a school record with eight 3-pointers at South Carolina last Tuesday. The Orlando, Fla., native tied Keith Carter’s school record of eight 3-pointers in a game (which had held since Dec. 29, 1998). In doing so, Warren set a new standard for treys in an SEC game.

Zach Graham scored a career-high 30 points in a 90-59 rout of Auburn in Oxford. The Suwanee, Ga., native tied the then-school record of seven 3-pointers in an SEC game, one off the overall school record. The 31-point victory was the largest winning margin for an Ole Miss team in SEC play since beating Alabama 105-71 on March 3, 2001. Ole Miss also tied the school record for team 3-pointers in an SEC game with 13. The Rebels shot 56.8 percent from the field, 52.0 percent from 3-point land and 84.4 percent from the foul line.

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

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 (19.0), first in FT percentage (93.7), seventh in assists (3.6), fourth in 3-pointers made (2.7), third in assist-turnover ratio (1.8) and fourth in minutes (34.4). In league games only, he ranks second in scoring (19.5), first in FT percentage (93.2) and second in 3-pointers made (3.1). Overall, he has scored 20+ points in 13 games (2nd-most among SEC players) and has led the Rebels in scoring 21 times and in assists 20 times.

Senior point guard Chris Warren leads the nation with a 93.7 free throw percentage. At this pace, he will set the school and SEC record for FT percentage in a season and rank among the all-time best seasons in NCAA history. The current school record is 90.1 by David Rhodes (1971-72) and the SEC record of 91.2 is shared by three players - Kentucky’s Kyle Macy (1979-80), Tennessee’s Scooter McFadgon (2003-04) and Kentucky’s Travis Ford (1993-94). Warren has made 148 of 158 attempts on the season. He has the third-most attempts among the top 30 FT shooters in the country.

With a spectacular senior seson, Chris Warren has vaulted into third place on the all-time Ole Miss scoring chart with 1,922 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 317 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 fourth in league history with 847 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. 317 Chris Warren, Ole Miss (2008-pres.)

Chris Warren has scored 500 points and dished out 100 assists this season. He also reached those totals in both of his other two full seasons (2007-08 and 2009-10). Only three other players in school history have ever reached those totals for a single season: Gerald Glass in 1989-90, Rod Barnes in 1987-88 and Dave Shepherd in 1974-75.

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 429 and can overtake Todd Abernethy (431) for third place in school history with three more.

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 at least three games left, Warren would need to average 26.0 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 85 so far this year. In just his second year, Buckner already ranks second in school history with 149 blocks in his career. The Memphis native is 31 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 12th in the country with 3.0 blocks per game. In league games only, he is second with an average of 3.1. He has recorded five or more swats in eight games this year. Ole Miss is 11-5 when Buckner records at least three blocks in a game.

Senior guard Zach Graham has been solid and steady in his final campaign. He ranks 10th in the SEC with a 14.7 scoring average and third with an 86.8 free-throw percentage. He averages 4.5 rebounds per game. In SEC play, he ranks 11th with 15.2 ppg. He posted 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. He shattered his previous career high with 30 points against Auburn, the most points by a Rebel this year. He drained 7-of-11 from downtown to finish one shy of the school record for 3s in a game. He posted his second career double-double with 17 points (11-12 FTs)and 10 boards in the win over Alabama.

Zach Graham became the 22nd player in school history to reach the 1,200-point plateau when he scored 17 points vs. Alabama. He enters the Auburn game in 20th place with 1,216 career points and is 17 points shy of passing Dwayne Curtis for 19th place. 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 14.7 as a senior).

Senior guard Zach Graham has been a mainstay in the Rebels’ lineup since stepping foot on the Ole Miss campus, and he is approaching a school record to show for it. Entering the Auburn game, Graham has suited up for 130 games in his career, which is two shy of tying Jason Harrison’s school record of 132 games played.

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. He scored 14 points (8-of-8 FTs) against Auburn. He tied for team-high honors with 13 points and grabbed 8 rebounds at MSU. His season averages are up to 9.0 ppg (third on the team) and 5.9 rpg (second on the team).

With 25 points vs. Alabama, Chris Warren posted his 13th 20-point game this season, second-most among SEC players. His 39 career 20-point games leads all active SEC players. He also leads all active league players in career points, assists and 3-pointers.



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