Dec. 2, 2010
Complete Ole Miss Game Notes
GAME 6: Ole Miss (3-2) vs. Southern Miss (5-0)
Saturday 12.4.10 | 7:00 p.m. CT
Oxford, Miss. | C.M. Tad Smith Coliseum (9,061)
Live TV: ESPNU (Clay Matvick, play-by-play; Mark Gottfried, analyst)
Live Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network (David Kellum, play-by-play; Keith Carter, analyst).
Satellite Radio: XM 201
Live Video: ESPN3.com
Ole Miss returns to Oxford to host an undefeated Southern Miss squad in a bout for in-state bragging rights. The Rebels are coming off an 86-73 loss at Miami in which they nearly came all the way back from a 30-point halftime deficit. Chris Warren has produced back-to-back 20-point efforts and paces the Rebels with 18.0 ppg. Also averaging double-figure points are Zach Graham (14.6), Nick Williams (12.8) and Trevor Gaskins (10.2). Founded on solid guard play, the Rebels have won the turnover battle in all five games and lead the SEC with a 76.1 FT percentage. The Golden Eagles are 5-0 and are out-scoring opponents by an average of 27.8 points.
- The Rebels are 56-15 against non-league foes under Andy Kennedy, with a 40-2 record at home.
- Ole Miss boasts a 62-12 record at Tad Smith Coliseum since Kennedy's arrival in 2006-07.
- The Rebels and Golden Eagles will be meeting for the 23rd time, with Ole Miss holding a 17-5 overall advantage and 8-0 lead in games played in Oxford.
- Ole Miss has a 15-6 record versus current C-USA teams since the league was formed in the spring of 1995.
- With 88 wins as the Ole Miss head coach, Andy Kennedy has moved into third place on the school's all-time coaching victories list.
- Ole Miss ranks second in the SEC in fewest turnovers, turnover margin and assist-turnover ratio.
- Preseason All-SEC point guard Chris Warren is tied for second on the Ole Miss career 3-pointers chart and is the active SEC leader in points, assists, 3-pointers and 20-point games.
- Warren is a preseason candidate for the Naismith Award and the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN EAGLES
Southern Miss comes into Oxford with a spotless 5-0 record. Larry Eustachy's squad is averaging 84.4 points per outing and boasts a 27.8 margin of victory, allowing just 56.6 ppg to opponents. The Golden Eagles are out-rebounding their foes by an average of 12.4 (49.6-37.2) and are winning the turnover battle by an average of 3.6 per game (11.0-14.6). Gary Flowers leads four players in double figure points with a 21.0 average. R.L. Horton adds 15.6 ppg, Josimar Ayarza 11.6 and D.J. Newbill 11.2 and a team-best 7.6 boards per game. The Golden Eagles are 4-0 at home and 1-0 on the road (at USF).
OLE MISS-SOUTHERN MISS SERIES
The Rebels and Golden Eagles will be meeting for the 23rd time in the history of the series, with Ole Miss holding a 17-5 overall advantage and 8-0 lead in games played in Oxford. Ole Miss rallied from a six-point deficit in the final minute to beat Southern Miss 81-79 last year in Oxford. Chris Warren hit a 3-pointer to tie the score with 40 seconds left, then after a Golden Eagle miss, Warren hit a streaking Eniel Polynice for the winning dunk with two seconds left.
OLE MISS VERSUS CONFERENCE USA FOES
In non-SEC play, Conference-USA is Ole Miss' most faced league. Southern Miss is the first of two scheduled C-USA foes this year (along with SMU). The Rebels have an all-time record of 80-98 (.449 winning percentage) against current members of Conference USA. Ole Miss has a 15-6 record versus current C-USA teams since the league was formed in the spring of 1995.
TOUGH EARLY SLATE
Ole Miss has opened the 2010-11 campaign with a challenging slate of non-league opponents. The first three games - Arkansas State, Murray State and Dayton - featured 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. Following a matchup with Big Ten foe Penn State (at home) and ACC squad Miami (on the road), the Rebels are back at home against unbeaten Conference USA upstart Southern Miss before traveling to UALR.
PROTECTING THE ROCK
With veteran guard play at the core of the 2010-11 Rebel squad, Ole Miss has proven to be very good at limiting its turnovers. The team ranks second in the SEC in fewest turnovers (11.6/game), turnover margin (+2.2) and assist-turnover ratio (1.2). The Rebels have won the turnover battle in each of their five games so far.
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 and rank among the nation's leaders with a 76.1 FT percentage. Their 95.7 FT percentage against Murray State (22-of-23) was the second-best mark in school history for a game with at least 20 attempts. Zach Graham leads all SEC players with a 95.2 percent mark at the line (20-21), while Chris Warren ranks third at 91.7 percent (22-24). Nick Williams has missed just one attempt and sits at 90.0 percent (9-10).
KENNEDY MOVES UP OLE MISS WINS CHART
With the Rebels' win over Penn State, Andy Kennedy earned his 88th victory as the Ole Miss head coach, passing Cob Jarvis as he moved up to third on the school's all-time coaching victories list. In his fifth year at the helm, he now trails only B.L. "Country" Graham (144 wins in 13 years) and Rod Barnes (141 wins in eight years).
Chris Warren LEADS THE WAY
For the 2010-11 Rebels, most things will run through senior point guard Chris Warren. A candidate for numerous accolades, he currently ranks fourth in the SEC in scoring average (18.0), fifth in assists (4.2), third in free-throw percentage (91.7) and fifth in minutes played (33.8). He has scored 20+ points in three of the first five games, including 23 in the most recent outing at Miami.
CAREER 3-POINT RECORD IN SIGHT
At his current pace, Chris Warren will set the Ole Miss record for most career 3-pointers around mid-season. With five treys at Miami, he tied Keith Carter for second place all-time at 249.
1,500 POINTS ALSO IN SIGHT
With 38 more points, Chris Warren will become the 11th player in school history to reach the 1,500-point plateau. He enters the Southern Miss game ranked 11th in the Rebel record books with 1,462 career points.
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. He is averaging 12.8 points and 4.4 rebounds and ranks 10th among SEC players with a 51.1 field-goal percentage. His 21 points against Murray State were a career high (including Indiana and Ole Miss). Against Penn State, he scored 15 points with career highs of three treys and four assists. In the preseason, he was named one of the top 25 impact transfers in the country by Athlon Sports.
GRAHAM LOOKS SHARP
Senior guard Zach Graham has gotten off to a solid start in 2010-11. He is averaging 14.6 points (13th in SEC) and leads the league with a 95.2 free-throw percentage. He posted a career-high 22 points against Murray State and led the Rebels with 16 vs. Dayton. He also contributed 19 points at Miami.
Zach Graham = WINNER
Senior guard Zach Graham has done nothing but win since he arrived in Oxford. With 67 career wins, he needs 20 more to become the winningest player in school history. Jason Flanigan (1998-2001) currently holds the record with 87 career victories.
BLOCKING SHOTS, BUCKNER STYLE
Just a few games into his sophomore year, Reginald Buckner has already vaulted into seventh place on the school's career blocked shots list with 79. He ranks second in the SEC with 3.0 blocks per game and has recorded five swats in two games this year (Arkansas State, Penn State). 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.
There are two Mississippi natives running the floor for the Rebels this year in freshmen Demarco Cox (Yazoo City) and Dundrecous Nelson (Jackson). They are the 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 ... Tied career high with 5 blocks vs. Penn State.
Demarco Cox: Saw his first career action in the season opener vs. Arkansas State ... Scored first career basket against Dayton ... Made first career start vs. Penn State (2 pts, 4 rebs).
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 ... Poured in career-high 24 points vs. Penn State, making 9-of-14 FGs and 6-of-11 3s.
Zach Graham: Posted double-figure points in each of first three games (12 vs. Arkansas State, 22 vs. Murray State, 16 vs. Dayton) ... Scored 19 at Miami.
Terrance Henry: Posted 8 points and 6 rebounds vs. Arkansas State ... Scored 12 points with a team-high 7 boards vs. Dayton ... 13 points (7-8 FTs), team-high 6 boards vs. Penn State.
Dundrecous Nelson: Saw his first career action in the season opener vs. Arkansas State ... Scored first career basket against Murray State ... Tallied 12 points (5-8 FGs, 2-5 3-pt FGs) vs. Dayton ... Career-high 3 assists tied for the team lead at Miami.
Steadman Short: Saw his first action as a Rebel in the season opener vs. Arkansas State ... Pulled down 6 boards vs. Murray State and Dayton.
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 ... 11 points, 6 assists vs. Dayton ... 20 points, 4 assists vs. Penn State ... 18 of his 23 points in second half at Miami.
Nick Williams: Has started his first five games in a Rebel uniform ... Career-high 21 points vs. Murray State ... 14 points (6-9 FGs, 2-4 3-pt FGs) vs. Dayton ... 15 points (3-4 3-pt FGs), 4 assists, 4 rebounds vs. Penn State.