Bogan ready for hoops games to begin

Will Bogan of Idaho adjusted to Mississippi and to college this summer when he arrived at Ole Miss right after high school graduation. Now the guard for Rebel basketball is getting to know the game at the Division I level.

Bogan, at 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds, is basically the backup point guard for Rebel sophomore Chris Warren, who had a stellar first season at Ole Miss, leading the team in scoring at 15.8 points per game. He was a part of a basically entirely new backcourt after the departure the previous year of Todd Abernethy, Bam Doyne, and Clarence Sanders.

Warren learned a lot about basketball at the D-I level last season, along with his freshmen teammates like Trevor Gaskins, Zach Graham, and Malcolm White. All played significant roles in the Rebels' 24 win NIT Final Four year.

Now Bogan joins a group of newcomers going through that process. So far so good, says Bogan.

"It's been going good, and it's obviously a lot different than high school," said the Caldwell, Idaho (Vallivue High School) product. "It's a lot more intense. Practices are a little bit longer. There's some different things on defense that we do. It's mentally and physically demanding."

Bogan said currently he's been all point guard at the early practices.

"Right now it's looking like I'm point guard strictly," said the Class 5A state of Idaho Player of the Year. "That's a little different, because in high school I played the one and the two. I played on and off the ball."

Being a point guard in a program with Warren is a great learning experience, according to Bogan.

"He's a great player, really quick," said Bogan, who averaged 16.7 points per game as a high school senior along with 3.8 assists and 3.7 steals. "I'm getting better going against him every day and learning things. That's helping me out a lot, going against him every day. That's really good for me."

That's defensively as well as offensively, since he guards Warren in practice.

"I'm trying to really work on my defense, stopping quick guys like Chris and stronger guys like Trevor," said Bogan, whose father, Bill, competed in track and field and mother, Janelle, was in the gymnastics program, both at Boise State. "I'm trying to tighten up my handles a little bit, playing strictly the point guard, especially in the SEC. So I'm working on those two things the most and also getting the offensive and defensive concepts of the team down."

The three point line is back a foot this year for men's basketball. Bogan, a good outside shooter, said he's adjusting but that it really hasn't been that much of a change for him.

"I haven't really noticed that it makes a big difference really," said Bogan, who had a 4.0 GPA in high school and was a member of the National Honor Society. "I haven't really noticed it at all. I haven't seen that much difference."

Bogan said he can already tell there's a lot of freedom in the Rebel offense to make things happen and score points. He, obviously like most players, likes that.

"So far from what I've heard and seen, that will hold true," he said. "We have the freedom to let the ball fly. That seems to be our philosophy."

Bogan said after about five months of being in Oxford, he feels he's made the adjustment quite well.

"I've realized you don't have as much free time," he said. "Your time management is much more important. If you're not in a workout or practice or class or tutor, then you're probably trying to catch up on sleep."

He's also gotten stronger than when he arrived.

"I've put on about 10 pounds, and I've noticed a change in my strength," he said. "I feel I've gotten stronger since I've been here."

With the busy hoops season approaching, having those priorities in order means even more, according to Bogan. He's already looking forward to the Rebels' exhibition game against North Alabama at 4 p.m. on Oct. 31 at Tad Smith Coliseum.

"I'm extremely excited about that," he said. "That's what I'm here for. That's what I've been waiting for."


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