OM signee leads team to State Championship

One of Ole Miss' key basketball signees had a story book ending to his high school career.

"We won the State Championship (Idaho 5A SIC–large schools) this season," added an excited Will Bogan.

When asked to put into words on just how it feels to win a state championship in his last season. One word came to mind.

"Amazing, just amazing. My freshman and sophomore years, we did not make state. Then my junior year, we lost in the 1st round of the playoffs. In the offseason, we dedicated ourselves to doing what it took to win it all and we did it. It does not get any better than this. It is definitely the biggest accomplishment in my life so far, but I hope to achieve even bigger things at Ole Miss."

The 6' 1", 175 pound combo guard averaged 15 pts, 3 steals, 3 rebounds, and shot 42% from 3 point land as a junior. Bogan increased all of those numbers this past season.

"I averaged 16.5 points, 4.5 assists, 5 rebounds, and 4.5 steals a game this year. I shot 41% from 3 point, 78% from the free throw line, and 41% overall."

But it was one stat that he was most excited about.

"I shattered the school record for steals in a year by 20. I pride myself in steals. Defense allows your offense to get in transition and get easy baskets."

The state awards have not come out yet but Bogan was named the Conference Player of the Year for the second year in a row.

"It feels good to get the awards, but the only thing I was worried about was getting that state championship. No award feels like this."

And just how did they earn the state championship?

"We finished 23-3. We lost in the District Championship game by 2 points and came into State and played three area teams and beat them all. In our semifinal game, we played the #1 ranked team that beat us in District. We beat them by 10. It was a shooting contest. We won 82-72. I scored 31 points, had 6 or 7 assists, and had a tournament record 7 steals in that game against Eagle. It was my best game of the year. Then in the championship game, we were down by one at half and came out and won by 22."

The Ole Miss signee spent most of his time at point but got in a lot of minutes at the shooting guard position.

"I think my overall composure on the floor improved the most. My confidence was really high, but just being able to manage the game from the point was the biggest thing."

The Rebels have been sending their point guard signee a lot of their game film to watch, and he got a chance to see them play Arkansas on ESPN.

"Their tempo is up and down, very similar to ours. They put a lot of pressure on their opponents and get up a lot of shots."

What will Bogan bring to the table that maybe the Rebels are lacking?

"I will bring some perimeter shooting and be able to handle the ball. I will be another guard who can handle the ball. The games I watched, it looks like they could use another guy who can fill it up from the outside that has my ball handling skills."

While breaking down the college game, Will saw a few things he will need to improve on so he can make an impact on the SEC level.

"Definitely my quickness and strength. I need to get bigger, and I will probably have to improve my defense a little more. You have to be able to handle the pressure on that level because they are more athletic and quicker than they are here. That is where hopefully my ball handling skills will come into play."

Bogan will report to Ole Miss on June 4th for summer school. The Ole Miss staff has a few goals for Will before he arrives.

"They want me to gain around 10 pounds and improve on my strength and probably my ball handling skills a little more. I am working out really hard in the weight room now, and I hope to add at least 15 pounds before I arrive. My strength numbers have already increased a bunch since I got on their program. It is exciting seeing the results so quickly."

The Rebels are graduating their back up to Chris Warren this year so Will be looked upon to give "Little C" a breather next year.

"They want me to play the one and the two. I will be a combo guard, more or less. I played the one and two this year too. I have played point my whole life, but I feel like the two is probably more natural for me because I can score coming off screens. I am pretty good and catching and shooting. But my ball handling skills and vision has always landed me at point guard."

Will has set some pretty realistic goals for his freshman season at Ole Miss.

"I just want to come in and compete and give them some minutes next year and get in some quality minutes. Hopefully I will get a few starts too. I just do not want to come in and sit on the bench."

The excitement of making the transition from the high school level to the SEC is peaking about right now.

"I am very/very excited. It is one of the most exciting transitions in my life. In the State Championship game, there were eight thousand people in the stands, and I was just looking around thinking this will be a low to medium crowd next year. It is going to be fun. I am really looking forward to it."

Will had one last message to the Ole Miss fans.

"Do not underestimate me by my looks or size. I am going to come in and work hard and keep improving. I think I am going to surprise some people down there. Not too many people know about some country boy from Idaho down there but they are about to."

Bogan should have no problems qualifying as he carries a 4.2 GPA.

To get a glimpse of Bogan's midrange game, click here and to watch him from three point land, click here.

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