GAME NOTES: Rebels Travel To Arkansas State
GAME 7: Ole Miss (5-1) at Arkansas State (3-2)
OLE MISS FACES FIRST TRUE ROAD TEST
The Rebels travel to Jonesboro, Ark., this week for Wednesday's game against Arkansas State. It's the first true road game of the year for Ole Miss, which is 3-0 at home and went 2-1 in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off just before Thanksgiving. The Rebels are coming off a 73-58 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in which Chris Warren and Terrico White led the way with 19 points apiece, and Terrance Henry added a career-high 12 points. Andy Kennedy's squad is one of six SEC teams with one or fewer losses, but sits atop the SEC West as the only one-loss team in the division.
- Ole Miss is receiving votes in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today coaches poll for the fourth straight week.
- The Rebels lead the all-time series with the Red Wolves 19-9, including last year's 65-52 season-opening win.
- Ole Miss is 55-22 all-time against current members of the Sun Belt Conference, with Arkansas State serving as the Rebels' most frequent foe from that league.
- Ole Miss has a 43-11 record against non-conference opponents under Kennedy.
- Ole Miss leads all SEC teams with 9.8 steals/game, ranks second with a +5.0 turnover margin and third with 82.8 points per game.
- Preseason All-SEC point guard Chris Warren ranks fourth in the league with 17.8 ppg and is averaging 21.5 points over the team's last four outings.
- Preseason All-SEC and preseason Naismith and Wooden Award candidate Terrico White ranks fifth in the SEC with 17.0 ppg.
- Ole Miss averages 7.3 blocked shots per game, led by freshman Reginald Buckner's 2.8 swat average.
SCOUTING THE RED WOLVES
Arkansas State enters Wednesday's contest with a 3-2 record after losing a 77-72 decision against Indiana State in its most recent outing. Former LSU head coach John Brady is in his second season with the Red Wolves after leading them to a 13-17 record in his debut last season. The team returns just two starters and five lettermen from that squad. Reserve guard Daniel Bryant leads the team in scoring with 16.4 ppg and is followed by the only other player in double digits, Brandon Reed at 13.4 ppg. ASU is out-scoring opponents by an average of 74.8-64.2 and out-rebounding them 40.0-36.0.
OLE MISS-ARKANSAS STATE SERIES
Ole Miss owns a 19-9 record against ASU in the all-time series, including a 65-52 victory in last year's season opener in Oxford. David Huertas led the Rebels with 24 points and Chris Warren added 14 in last year's matchup. The Red Wolves have a 5-4 advantage in games played in Jonesboro.
OLE MISS VERSUS SUN BELT FOES
Ole Miss owns a 55-22 all-time record against teams currently in the Sun Belt Conference. Arkansas State is the most frequent Sun Belt foe, and the Rebels hold a 19-9 edge in the series. Ole Miss defeated UALR 92-64 in the season opener in its first of two games vs. Sun Belt foes this year. The Rebels went 3-0 against Sun Belt teams last season.
HOMECOMING FOR NUTT
Junior non-scholarship player Logan Nutt is returning to familiar territory for this game against the Red Wolves. Nutt is a graduate of Jonesboro HS and was a member of the ASU hoops team as a freshman under then-head coach Dickey Nutt, Logan's father. Logan transferred to Missouri St.-West Plains after his freshman year and spent last season there before walking on at Ole Miss this summer.
REBELS IN THE POLLS
Ole Miss is receiving votes in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today coaches poll for the fourth straight week. The last time the Rebels were ranked in the top 25 in one of those two polls was Jan. 28, 2008, when they were No. 24 and 22, respectively.
Ole Miss boasts a 43-11 record against teams outside the SEC since Andy Kennedy took over in 2006-07, which includes a 15-10 record in games played outside of Oxford. This year's team is 5-1 against non-league foes after the squad went 9-5 a season ago. The 2007-08 Rebels finished the regular season with a perfect 14-0 record against non-league foes, becoming the second Rebel squad to accomplish that feat (1948-49).
In four seasons under head coach Andy Kennedy, Ole Miss has racked up a 22-3 record in November games and finished with a 5-1 mark this year.
REBELS 'D' TURNS UP THE HEAT
Ole Miss has proven itself as a high-pressure defensive squad this season. The Rebels lead all SEC teams with 9.8 steals/game and rank second with a +5.0 turnover margin. The defensive intensity has also forced teams into a lot of bad shots, as the team has limited opponents to a 39.4 percent field-goal percentage, fifth-best among SEC teams.
PROLIFIC OFFENSE IN THE EARLY GOING
Fast-break buckets, slashing drives and a nice outside touch have been key components to Ole Miss averaging 82.8 points per game, which is third-highest among SEC teams. The team has put up 80+ points in four of the first six games and 90+ in two contests so far. The Rebels have done it with balanced scoring, as four players average in double figures, led by Chris Warren's 17.8 average and Terrico White's 17.0 average.
SULTANS OF SWAT
There's a new strength on this year's team that the Rebels have not featured much in years past - the blocked shot. The intimidating presence of freshman Reginald Buckner, who leads the team and ranks third in the SEC with 2.8 blocks per game, has helped the Rebels average 7.3 swats per contest. The 12 blocks against Indiana in San Juan were one shy of a school record.
REBS HAVE SUCCESS IN PUERTO RICO
Ole Miss advanced to the championship game of the O'Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off before falling to No. 5 Villanova 79-67 in the title game. Chris Warren led all players in San Juan with 22.3 ppg on his way to All-Tournament honors. The Rebels had wins over "BCS" conference schools Indiana (Big Ten) and Kansas State (Big 12) in the first two rounds.
BIG WIN OVER K-STATE PROPELS TEAM TO FINAL
Ole Miss used a résumé-building 86-74 win over the Big 12's Kansas State Wildcats to advance to the title game of the O'Reilly Auto Parts Pueto Rico Tip-Off. Preseason All-SEC guards Chris Warren and Terrico White led the way with 27 and 25 points, respectively. Ole Miss made 22-of-27 free throws in the game, including 16-of-17 in the second half.
WARREN BACK TO HIS OLD WAYS
He set the Ole Miss record for 3-pointers in a season as a freshman and then averaged 19.6 ppg as a sophomore before being injured. Now, Chris Warren is providing his magic again. The junior point guard currently ranks fourth in the SEC with 17.8 ppg. He had 19 points in Sunday's win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and is averaging 21.5 ppg over the last four outings. He was named to the Puerto Rico Tip-Off All-Tournament Team after he led all scorers in San Juan with a 22.3 average. He had 16 in the win over Indiana before putting together back-to-back 20-point games against Kansas State (27) and No. 5 Villanova (24). He has hit three or more 3-pointers in each of the last four games, including a season-high 5 treys against 'Nova.
POLYNICE FILLS UP THE STAT SHEET
When junior guard Eniel Polynice is at his best, he's filling up every area of the stat sheet. He currently averages 10.2 ppg, 4.0 rebounds/game, 4.0 assists/game (6th SEC) and 2.2 steals/game (T-3rd SEC). Against Kansas State he put up 13 points, 5 boards and 2 steals. Against Indiana, he posted 10 points, 7 assists, 2 blocks and a steal, while against Alabama State, he had 17 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals and a block.
HOLLOWAY PRODUCING MONSTER GAMES
Sophomore forward Murphy Holloway posted a career-high 26 points against Indiana at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. He did what he does best by tipping in loose rebounds and finding a soft spot in the defense for Eniel Polynice to find him on several occasions. Holloway finished 12-for-18 from the floor and added seven rebounds in the win.
Holloway followed that up with 10 points and 10 rebounds against Kansas State, his second double-double of the year. He missed the Texas A&M-CC game while resting an ankle injury that is not expected to be serious.
Expected to boast one of the top backcourts in the SEC, and perhaps the country, Ole Miss has already displayed its prowess among the guards, as Chris Warren leads the team with 17.8 ppg (4th in SEC) and Terrico White is right on his heels with 16.6 ppg (5th in SEC). Eniel Polynice (10.2 ppg) and Zach Graham (7.0 ppg) have helped fill up the stat sheet in a number of areas.
The backcourt has been ranked as high as ninth in the country by one national preseason outlet (Lindy's) and best in the SEC by another (Blue Ribbon). Warren, White, Polynice and Graham have all been a full-time starter during the last two seasons, while Trevor Gaskins was an SEC All-Freshman team member with Warren in 2007-08 before Gaskins missed last season with an ACL injury.
OTHER PLAYER POINTS
- Reginald Buckner: Made his first career start vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and scored 8 points ... Ranks third among SEC players and first among freshmen with 2.8 blocks per game ... Season-high 12 rebounds with 3 blocks vs. Indiana ... Posted 7 points, 8 rebounds and 5 blocks vs. Alabama State ... Had 4 blocks and 4 rebounds in collegiate debut vs. UALR ... Tennessee high school record holder for career blocked shots.
- DeAundre Cranston: Career-high 21 points (8-9 FGs, 3-4 3-pters) with 7 boards in season opener.
- Trevor Gaskins: Ranks third on the team in assists (10) and steals (7) ... Played in his first game since 2007-08 after missing last year with injury and scored 7 points with 3 boards and 3 assists in opener.
- Zach Graham: Scored 11 points in back-to-back games vs. Alabama State and Indiana ... Scored in double figures 12 times (10 times in SEC play) a year ago.
- Terrance Henry: Scored a career-high 12 points (5-5 FGs, 2-2 3pt FGs) with 4 rebounds and 3 assists vs. TAMU-CC ... Returned from injury to post 2 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks in just 5 minutes of play in his first action of the season vs. Indiana ... Injured his hand slipping on stairs on campus and missed the first two games.
- DeAngelo Riley: Made his Rebel debut in the opener and had 5 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks in 10 minutes of action.
- Terrico White: Ranks fifth among SEC players with 17.0 ppg ... Shared team-high honors with 19 points (made 6-of-7 FTs) in the win over TAMU-CC ... Had 14 points and a career-high 9 rebounds vs. No. 5 Villanova ... Season-high 25 points with 7 rebounds vs. K-State ... 9-point outing against Indiana snapped a string of 14 straight double-digit scoring games ... Led the team with 19 points vs. Alabama State.
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