Gaskins, Warren ready to step up for Rebs

For four years guards Todd Abernethy and Bam Doyne were a part of Ole Miss men's basketball. Clarence Sanders joined them to make an impact the last two seasons.

But now those three players are gone. In their place at the guard spots will be several newcomers including freshmen Trevor Gaskins and Chris Warren.

Gaskins, a 6-foot-2, 205-pounder, arrives after a successful high school and AAU career in the Atlanta area. He lists Tennessee and Florida State among the schools who offered him a scholarship. Fellow Rebel freshman Zach Graham was an AAU teammate.

Warren, a 5-11, 170-pounder, was rated the nation's 22nd best guard prospect in the Class of 2007 by His Dr. Phillips High team in Orlando was the state runnerup in Florida's Class 6A. Chris scored 38 points in the title game. He was named a finalist for Florida's Mr. Basketball.

"Trevor Gaskins is physically very gifted," said Ole Miss men's head basketball coach Andy Kennedy. "He's a power guard. He's left-handed and I think left-handed players have a natural advantage in our sport. He shoots the ball better than advertised. He's a physically tough kid."

"Chris Warren is extremely fast with the ball," Kennedy continued. "He is a very good shooter out at the 3-point range. He has a good understanding of the game. He has a toughness to him that will help our team."

The new players know there are spots available at guard, and they know they are needed for this team to have success.

"We just have to work hard," Gaskins said. "It's up to us in practice every day; it's up to me to work hard and help this team."

Gaskins says there have been some adjustments.

"I've never had to work this hard. But I feel better than I ever have," he said.

"I believe I've adjusted to college well so far," Gaskins continued. "Basketball-wise, Coach AK is tough to please. But I feel I've adjusted well there too."

Gaskins says he's ready to give the Rebels what they need at guard, and that he feels he has some attributes to help out immediately.

"I can push the ball, dribble, shoot, rebound, play D, anything and everything that's needed," said Gaskins, confidently. "My shot has improved so much since I've been here. My ball-handling and my dribbling skills have gotten a lot better."

Warren said he, too, feels he's adjusted well during his time at Ole Miss.

"It's everything I thought it would be," he said. "I'm just in here trying to learn as much basketball as I can, and get adjusted to classes so I won‘t have to worry about that as much during the season."

Warren says he likes the style of play that Kennedy's program allows.

"I like the system. It's an up and down pace, which I prefer," he said. "I'm one of the smaller guards, so I like to run up and down. Once I learn everything, I'll be allright. So far I feel I'm learning it all."

Warren says he's excited about the fact that there are some open spots among the guard positions.

"It's a great opportunity for me," he said. "I'm glad I'm in this position. In practices and workouts, I've just tried to do as much as I can so when the season gets here, I can be as big a help to the team as I can possibly be."

Warren says he can already see some improvement in his game since arriving in Oxford.

"I'm getting stronger," he said. "My off ball moving and screening and my defense are all a lot better. If you don't play defense here, you're not going to play. I've heard that over and over."

Returning senior guard Brian Smith said the two new players are excellent additions to the squad.

"Chris is really fast. Trevor has a strong body. They'll both play a lot this year. They'll help me and the other backcourt players. They're very talented."

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