Rebel Hoops Cracks Top 25, Curtis And Warren Grab Weekly Honors

OXFORD, Miss. - On the eve of Christmas, the Ole Miss men’s basketball team received recognition for its school-record best start of 11-0 as the Rebels are ranked No. 22 and No. 24 in this week’s Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Polls, respectively.

Ole Miss, which went 3-0 to capture the tournament crown at the San Juan Shootout over the weekend, is ranked nationally for the first time since finishing the 2000-01 season ranked as high as No. 9 in the ESPN/USA Today Poll. Ole Miss is one of nine remaining undefeated teams in the country.

“It’s a long season and we have so much more to do, but I’m happy that our players have been acknowledged for all their hard work,” said Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy, whose Rebels were picked by most preseason publications to finish at the bottom of the SEC Western Division.

A pair of Rebels, freshman point guard Chris Warren and senior center Dwayne Curtis, earned some weekly honors Monday for their part in the San Juan success.

For the second time this season, Warren was named the SEC Freshman of the Week, as announced by the league office. The 5-foot-10 guard received tourney MVP distinction after scoring 41 of his 49 points in the second half of the three Rebel wins in Puerto Rico. He poured in 19 points against both La Salle and Clemson, while adding nine assists and just two turnovers against the Explorers. In Saturday's 85-82 win over previously unbeaten No. 15 Clemson, Warren tallied eight of the Rebels' 10 points in the final four minutes to claim the tournament championship.

After garnering SEC Player of the Week accolades last Monday, Curtis was honored as National Player of the Week today by CollegeHoops.Net. The senior center poured in 19 points and had nine rebounds in the final against the Tigers, and he put up 21 points and seven boards against DePaul and 14 and five against La Salle. Curtis shot 61 percent from the field and 88 percent from the free-throw line in the three games.

The Rebels wrap up 2007 in Southaven on Friday, facing Southern Miss at the DeSoto Civic Center. A win would give Ole Miss its best start in school history and tie the longest winning streak in program annals. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. CT, and tickets are avaialble through Ticketmaster.
 

 

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