Nov. 18, 2010
Complete Ole Miss Game Notes
GAME 3: Ole Miss (2-0) vs. Dayton (2-0)
Saturday 11.20.10 | 6:00 p.m. CT
Oxford, Miss. | C.M. Tad Smith Coliseum (9,061)
Live TV: n/a
Live Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network (Eli Savoie, play-by-play; Richard Cross, analyst).
Satellite Radio: n/a
Live Video: RebelVision
NIT REMATCH IN OXFORD SATURDAY AT 6 PM
Ole Miss hosts Dayton on Saturday in a rematch of last year's NIT semifinal game. The game time was moved to 6 p.m. last week in order to avoid a conflict with the football team's 2:30 p.m. start at LSU. The Rebels are looking to avenge a 68-63 loss to Dayton in Madison Square Garden last year. The Flyers went on to beat North Carolina and win the 2010 NIT. Ole Miss is off to a 2-0 start after beating highly regarded mid-majors Arkansas State and Murray State. The Rebel defense is giving up just 60.5 ppg, and the team is out-rebounding opponents by 8.0 boards per contest.
- The Rebels are 55-13 against non-league foes under Andy Kennedy, with a 39-1 record at home.
- Ole Miss boasts a 61-11 record at Tad Smith Coliseum since Kennedy's arrival in 2006-07.
- The Rebels boast a 24-3 record in the month of November under Kennedy.
- This is the third meeting between the Rebels and Flyers. Dayton has won both prior matchups.
- The Rebels are 8-8 all-time against current members of the Atlantic 10 Conference.
- Ole Miss was picked to finish second in the SEC West by a panel of SEC and national media.
- Preseason All-SEC point guard Chris Warren is third on the Ole Miss career 3-pointers chart and is the active SEC leader in points, assists, 3-pointers and 20-point games.
- Senior guard Zach Graham has a chance to eclipse 1,000 career points and become the all-time winningest player in school history this season.
SCOUTING THE FLYERS
The 2010 NIT Champion Dayton Flyers are off to a 2-0 start this season with wins over Mount St. Mary's (67-52) and Akron (76-68). They are led by Naismith Watch List forward Chris Wright, who has a team-high 17.0 scoring average with 11.0 rebounds per game. Devin Searcy adds 12.5 ppg and a team-high 11.5 rpg, while Paul Williams chips in 11.5 ppg. Brian Gregory's team owns a +19.0 rebounding margin, as they pull down 48 boards per game compared to their opponents' 29. Dayton returns two starters and nine lettermen from last year's 25-12 squad that earned an NIT title by beating Ole Miss in the semifinals and North Carolina in the finals.
OLE MISS-DAYTON SERIES
This is the third meeting between the Rebels and Flyers. Dayton has won both prior matchups, including a 72-70 home win in an early-season tournament on Dec. 20, 1980 and last year's 68-63 triumph in the NIT Final Four in New York City. The Rebels pulled within one point in the final minute at Madison Square Garden, but Terrico White's team-high 19 points were not enough to overcome the eventual NIT Champion.
OLE MISS VERSUS ATLANTIC 10 FOES
Ole Miss has an 8-8 all-time record against current members of the Atlantic 10 Conference, which includes a 2-1 mark against Charlotte, 0-2 vs. Dayton, 1-0 vs. Fordham, 1-0 vs. La Salle, 1-2 vs. Saint Louis, 2-0 vs. St. Joseph's and 1-3 vs. Temple. The Rebels' last win over an A-10 foe was an 84-77 victory over La Salle in the 2007 San Juan Shootout in Puerto Rico.
TOUGH EARLY SLATE
Ole Miss opens the 2010-11 campaign with a challenging slate of non-league opponents. The first three games - Arkansas State, Murray State and Dayton - feature teams predicted to finish at or near the top of their conferences. Murray State was a second-round NCAA Tournament squad last year, while Dayton beat Ole Miss in the NIT Semifinals and won the 2010 NIT Championship. Those games are followed by a pair of power conference opponents in Penn State (at home) and Miami (on the road), then back at home against Conference USA upstart Southern Miss.
IMPRESSIVE WIN OVER MURRAY STATE
Murray State held Chris Warren to just 10 points, but Zach Graham and Nick Williams stepped up with big efforts to help Ole Miss to a convincing 77-61 win over the Racers on Wednesday. Graham scored a career-high 22 points and Williams added a career-high 21 against a team that brought most of its key contributors back from last season's 31-win team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament second round. The Rebels sunk 22-of-23 free throw attempts. The 95.7 free-throw percentage is the second-best mark in school history for a game with at least 20 attempts.
REBELS PREVAIL IN SEASON OPENER
Chris Warren scored 26 points and led Ole Miss to a 68-60 win over Arkansas State in the season opener. The Rebels trailed 32-24 at halftime, but out-scored the Red Wolves 44-28 in the second period for the comeback win. Warren scored 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting in the second half, and Zach Graham added 12 points for the Rebels. Ole Miss has won each its last seven season openers.
DEFENSIVE INTENSITY PAYS OFF
Spurred by tenacious perimeter defenders Trevor Gaskins and Nick Williams and shot blocker Reginald Buckner, the Rebels' "D" is off to a hot start. Ole Miss has allowed totals of just 60 and 61 points in the first two games and is holding opponents to a 37.4 field-goal percentage.
FREEBIES FALLING AT HIGH RATE
It's still early, but it looks like free-throw shooting will be a strength of this year's Ole Miss team. The Rebels lead all SEC teams with an 89.7 FT percentage. The 95.7 FT percentage against Murray State (22-of-23) is the second-best mark in school history for a game with at least 20 attempts. Chris Warren (13-13), Zach Graham (10-10) and Nick Williams (7-7) are all perfect at the line so far.
WARREN MAKES NAISMITH AWARD WATCH LIST
Senior point guard Chris Warren is one of 50 players that named to the 2010-11 Naismith Preseason Watch List. Warren is one of five players from SEC schools on the list. In late February, the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors will compile a mid-season team of the top 30 players in the nation. Then in March, the Naismith Trophy voting academy will vote to narrow the list to the four finalists.
WARREN NAMED CANDIDATE FOR LOWE'S AWARD
Senior point guard Chris Warren has been selected as one of 30 candidates for the 2011 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, which goes to a senior men's basketball player who exhibits the finest qualities in competition, classroom, character and community. The list will be narrowed to 10 finalists in late January.
GRAHAM LOOKS SHARP
Senior guard Zach Graham has been instrumental in the Rebels' first two wins. He is averaging 17.0 points and has made 4-of-7 3-point attempts and 10-of-10 from the free throw line. He posted a career-high 22 points against Murray State.
BLOCKING SHOTS, BUCKNER STYLE
Just two games into his sophomore year, Reginald Buckner has already vaulted into seventh place on the school's career blocked shots list with 72. He is tied for the SEC lead with 4.0 blocks per game. Last year, Buckner missed four games and was hampered by an ankle injury in SEC and postseason play, but he still managed to break the school's all-time blocked shots record for a season and be named to the SEC All-Freshman squad by the league coaches.
Nick Williams MAKES IMMEDIATE IMPACT
After transferring from Indiana and sitting out last season due to NCAA rules, sophomore guard Nick Williams has already been a big addition on the court this year. After two games, he averages 14.5 points and 5.5 rebounds. He ranks fourth among SEC players with 34.0 minutes per game. His 21 points against Murray State were a career high (including Indiana and Ole Miss). In the preseason, he was named one of the top 25 impact transfers in the country by Athlon Sports.
There will be at least two Mississippi natives running the floor for the Rebels this year in freshmen Demarco Cox (Yazoo City) and Dundrecous Nelson (Jackson). They are Ole Miss' first scholarship players from the Magnolia State to suit up for the Rebels since Oxford native Kendrick Fox roamed the court from 2002-05.
OTHER PLAYER NOTES
Reginald Buckner: Tied a career high with 5 blocks vs. Arkansas State ... 8 points, 5 boards, 3 blocks vs. Murray State.
Demarco Cox: Saw his first career action in the season opener vs. Arkansas State.
Trevor Gaskins: Scored 8 points and tied a career high with 7 rebounds vs. Arkansas State ... Had 8 points, 4 boards and 3 steals vs. Murray State.
Terrance Henry: Posted 8 points and 6 rebounds vs. Arkansas State.
Dundrecous Nelson: Saw his first career action in the season opener vs. Arkansas State ... Scored first career basket against Murray State.
Steadman Short: Saw his first action as a Rebel in the season opener vs. Arkansas State ... Pulled down 6 boards vs. Murray State.
Chris Warren: Scored 20 of his game-high 26 points in the second half vs. Arkansas State ... Dished out a game-high 5 assists vs. Murray State.
Nick Williams: Has started his first two games in a Rebel uniform.