Ole Miss Visits California In NIT First Round

March 15, 2011

Complete Ole Miss Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

NIT FIRST ROUND: No. 5 seed Ole Miss (20-13) at No. 4 California (17-14)
Wednesday 3.16.11 | 6:00 p.m. PDT
Berkeley, Calif. | Haas Pavilion (11,877)


MEDIA
Live TV: ESPN2 (John Saunders, play-by-play; Miles Simon, analyst)
Live Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network (David Kellum, play-by-play; Keith Carter, analyst).
Live Video: ESPN3.com

OLE MISS BEGINS NIT AT CALIFORNIA
The Rebels are making their fourth postseason appearance in the last five years as they travel to California for the first round of the NIT. Andy Kennedy is the second coach in school history to lead Ole Miss to four postseason berths and the first to guide the team to four 20-win campaigns. Ole Miss is 13-9 all-time in the NIT and 6-2 in its last two appearances (2008, 2010), which both ended with a trip to the NIT Final Four in New York City. The winner of Wednesday’s first-round matchup will advance to play the winner between No. 1 seed Colorado and No. 8 seed Texas Southern at the site of the higher seed.

QUICK NOTES
- With 105 wins, Andy Kennedy has the most victories by an Ole Miss coach in a five-year span.
- Kennedy is the first coach in school history to lead Ole Miss to four 20-win seasons.
- Chris Warren is the first Rebel to get All-SEC first team since Justin Reed in 2004, while Reginald Buckner was chosen to the SEC All-Defensive team.
- Warren leads the nation in free throw percentage (93.3) and is on pace to set the school and SEC records for a season.
- Warren is two points shy of becoming the fourth player in SEC history with 2,000 points and 400 assists.
- Ole Miss has a 13-9 record in NIT games, including 6-2 in the last two appearances and 7-3 under Kennedy.
- Ole Miss and California are meeting for the first time. The last Pac-10 opponent for the Rebels was UCLA in the 2002 NCAA Tournament.
- Ole Miss leads the SEC and ranks 19th in the nation with a 75.7 FT percentage, which is on pace to set the school record.

FOUR POSTSEASON BERTHS IN FIVE YEARS
With its selection to the 2011 NIT, Ole Miss has earned its fourth postseason berth in the last five seasons. Andy Kennedy is just the second coach in school history to lead the Rebels to four postseason appearances. Ole Miss also made NIT appearances in 2007, 2008 and 2010 and reached the Final Four in New York the last two times.

KENNEDY LEADS REBELS TO 20 WINS ... AGAIN
With a 20-13 overall record, Ole Miss has reached 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. Kennedy is the first coach in school history to register four 20-win campaigns.

KENNEDY HAS MOST WINS IN FIVE-YEAR SPAN
With 105 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.

OLE MISS IN THE NIT
The Rebels are making their 10th overall NIT appearance and fourth in the last five seasons. Ole Miss has a 13-9 record in all NIT games, including a 6-2 mark in its last two appearances. The Rebels are 2-6 in NIT road games, including a win in the most recent one at Virginia Tech in the 2008 quarterfinals (81-72). Ole Miss is 7-3 in NIT games under head coach Andy Kennedy.

NEXT ROUND
A victory Wednesday would advance the Rebels to a second-round meeting with the winner between No. 1 seed Colorado and No. 8 Texas Southern, which would take place at the site of the higher seed on either March 18, 19, 20 or 21.

FASTEST OLE MISS COACH TO 100 WINS
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 (now 105), trailing only B.L. “Country” Graham (144 wins in 13 years) and Rod Barnes (141 wins in 8 years) on the school’s career coaching victories chart. Kennedy’s .625 winning percentage (105-63) is significantly better than Graham’s (.462) or Barnes’ (.564).

FIVE STRAIGHT WINNING SEASONS
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.

SCOUTING THE GOLDEN BEARS
California enters the NIT as a No. 4 seed with a 17-14 overall record. The Golden Bears went 10-8 in league play to finish tied for fourth in the Pac-10. Led by head coach Mike Montgomery, Cal won its last four regular-season games to surge into the postseason. The Bears are 11-6 at home this year and 6-9 away from Berkeley (5-5 road, 1-3 neutral). They share one common opponent with Ole Miss - they lost to Southern Miss 80-78 on 12/12 (Ole Miss beat Southern Miss 86-81 on 12/4). Four players average double-figure points - Harper Kamp (14.3), Jorge Gutierrez (14.3), Allen Crabbe (13.3) and Mark Sanders-Frison (10.9). Gutierrez leads the club in assists (4.5/game), while Sanders-Frison is the leading rebounder (7.4/game).

OLE MISS-CAL SERIES
Wednesday’s game will be the first meeting between the two schools.

REBELS VERSUS PAC-1O FOES
Ole Miss has a 3-2 record all-time against current members of the Pac-10 (1-1 vs. Arizona, 1-0 vs. Oregon State, 0-1 vs. UCLA, 1-0 vs. USC). The last matchup with a Pac-10 team was against UCLA in the first round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament. The last time Ole Miss traveled to California was for a non-conference tourney in San Diego in December 1986.

Chris Warren LEADS THE WAY
For the 2010-11 Rebels, most things run through senior point guard Chris Warren. Already having received all-league and all-district accolades, he currently ranks second in the SEC with a 19.0 scoring average - the highest by a Rebel since Joe Harvell averaged 25.0 in 1991-92. He is first in FT percentage (93.3), fifth in assists (3.8), fourth in 3-pointers made (2.7), third in assist-turnover ratio (1.8) and third in minutes (34.7). In league games only, he finished second in scoring (19.3), first in FT percentage (92.8), second in 3-pointers made (3.0), fifth in assist-turnover ratio (1.8) and ninth in assists (3.4). Overall, he has scored 20+ points in 16 games (2nd-most among SEC players) and has led the Rebels in scoring 24 times and in assists 24 times.

WARREN LEADS NATION IN FREE THROW SHOOTING
Senior point guard Chris Warren leads the nation with a 93.3 free throw percentage (166-of-178). 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). Remarkably, Warren also leads all SEC players in total number of free throws made.

CAN WARREN JOIN SUPER ELITE?
If senior guard Chris Warren can score two more points and reach 2,000, 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.

WARREN MOVES UP SEC 3-POINT 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 NIT with 329 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 3rd in league history with 886 career 3-pt 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. 329 Chris Warren, Ole Miss (2008-pres.)

WARREN CRACKS TOP 3 IN CAREER POINTS
With a spectacular senior seson, Chris Warren has vaulted into third place on the all-time Ole Miss scoring chart with 1,998 career points - two shy of the 2,000 mark. 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.

20-POINT PERFORMANCES
With 20 points vs. No. 15 Kentucky in the SEC Tournament, Chris Warren posted his 16th 20-point game this season, second-most among SEC players. His 42 career 20-point games leads all active SEC players. He also leads all active league players in career points, assists and 3-pointers.

WARREN MOVES INTO UM TOP 3 IN ASSISTS, FTs
Chris Warren has moved into the top three in the school record books in both assists and free throws made. He enters the NIT with 450 career assists, six shy of tying Rod Barnes (456) for second place. Warren has made 417 free throws, which is second most in school history.

WARREN SECURES 500-POINT, 100-ASSIST YEAR
Chris Warren has scored more than 500 points and dished out more than 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.

NON-CONFERENCE SUCCESS
Ole Miss concluded regular-season, non-conference play with the SEC West’s best record at 12-3, fourth-best overall in the league this year. The Rebels boast a 65-16 record (.802 win pct.) against teams outside the SEC since Andy Kennedy took over in 2006-07, including a 45-2 mark at home.

FREEBIES FALLING AT HIGH RATE
The Rebels enter the NIT leading the SEC and ranked 19th in the nation with a 75.7 FT percentage, which is on pace to break the school record (75.2 in 1970-71). They have shot 80 percent or better in 12 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, 84.4 (27-of-32) vs. Auburn and 83.3 (20-of-24) at 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.

BLOCK PARTY
Led by some very athletic big men, Ole Miss enters the NIT ranked 17th in the nation in blocked shots per game. The Rebels average 5.4 swats per contest. They have blocked eight or more shots eight times this year. They set a school record for blocks in an SEC game with 12 at Arkansas and then posted 11 in the second meeting with the Razorbacks. They also had eight at LSU and at Alabama. Sophomore Reginald Buckner ranks 13th in the NCAA and second in the SEC with 3.0 bpg, while junior Terrance Henry adds 1.1 bpg.

GRAHAM ACHIEVES LONGEVITY RECORD
Senior guard Zach Graham has been a mainstay in the Rebels’ lineup since stepping foot on the Ole Miss campus. When Graham touched the floor in the first game of the SEC Tournament, he established a school record with his 133rd career game played. He has now played in 134 games entering the NIT. The previous record was 132, held by Jason Harrison (1999-2002).

GRAHAM REACHES 1,200 POINTS
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 NIT in 19th place with 1,257 career points and is three points shy of passing B.L. “Country” Graham (no relation) for 18th. 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 14.1 as a senior).

GRAHAM EXCELS AS A SENIOR
Senior guard Zach Graham has been solid and steady in his final campaign. He boasts a 14.1 scoring average (15th in SEC) and an 87.1 free-throw percentage (3rd in SEC). He averages 4.5 rebounds per game. In SEC play, he ranked 15th with 14.7 ppg and 5th with an 86.8 FT percentage. 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. He had 15 points (5-6 3-pt FGs) in the Senior Day win over Arkansas.

BUCKNER SWATS HIS WAY INTO RECORD BOOK
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 95 so far this year (ranks 16th in SEC history). In just his second year, Buckner already ranks second in school history with 159 blocks in his career. The Memphis native is 21 swats shy of the career record, set by Sean Murphy, who had 180 blocks in 117 games from 1988-91. Buckner enters the NIT ranked 13th in the country with 3.0 blocks per game. In league games only, he was second with an average of 3.1. He has recorded five or more swats in nine games this year. Ole Miss is 12-5 when Buckner records at least three blocks in a game and 8-8 when he has less than three or doesn’t play.

HENRY STEPS IT UP
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. He had 13 points and 5 boards at Auburn. He scored 13 points with two blocks vs. Arkansas. He posted back-to-back double-doubles at the SEC Tournament with 14 points and 11 boards in the win over SC and 17 points (season high), 12 rebounds (career high) vs. UK. His season averages are up to 9.6 ppg (third on the team) and 6.1 rpg (second on the team).


 

 

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