Bogan among players stepping up for Rebs

It's not yet Thanksgiving Day and at least one daily question surrounding Ole Miss basketball is about the health of the players.

Sure that's the norm, to ask about this player or that player or a bump or a bruise. But so far the Rebels have been bitten by the injury bug this early season more than usual.

Monday's question? How's Terrico White's right wrist, which he hurt in the Rebels' 82-78 victory against Marshall on Sunday.

"He didn't play the last seven or eight minutes of the game," said Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy of the talented freshman guard from Memphis. "He had a hard spill on a drive to the basket, jammed his wrist and wasn't able to come back into the game. They tell me it's nothing too serious."

So will he play Wednesday night when the 3-1 Rebs host 2-1 Central Florida at 7 p.m. in Tad Smith Coliseum?

"We'll see," Kennedy said.

In the first half of last week's game against South Alabama, Eniel Polynice walked in with crutches and sat down behind the bench to watch, his season done following knee surgery. Monday before practice, Trevor Gaskins did likewise, walking down the stairs from the concourse, slowly, aided by crutches, as he turned and headed into the locker room. His knee surgery was last Friday.

Now the long rehab process begins for Polynice and Gaskins, who will be junior and sophomore – again – respectively this time next year.

Freshman guard Will Bogan is one player being called upon to step in and step up perhaps quicker than expected. It was apparent he was going to play this season, but now his playing time will likely increase fairly dramatically.

"Will was big (against Marshall)," Kennedy said. "We were really concerned about playing him and and Chris (Warren) together just because of the size. We were able to do that for stretches (Sunday), and we were able to move him off the ball some. He was able to make two big shots for us when we needed them. It may be something we explore further just because of our lack of perimeter depth now."

Bogan, with eight points vs. The Thundering Herd in seven minutes, including 2-for-2 from 3-point range, said he's ready to help even more when called upon.

"Whatever minutes Coach gives me to contribute to the team, that's fine with me," Bogan said. "I didn't really have any expectations before the season on playing time, and I've taken it as it's come as far as my minutes or playing time."

Bogan said he's learned a lot and has a lot more to learn.

"Probably what I need to work on the most is my communication as a point guard on the floor," he said. "Just being an extension of the coaches on the floor and communicating to the players better."

His comfort level continues to grow.

"Definitely with each game I feel better out there," he said. "Obviously as I get more accustomed to the level of play and our style, it will get even better."

Bogan said there's been an adjustment from every-game starter and team leader in high school to role player as a college freshman.

"What I found to be difficult the first couple of games was to come right off the bench and be expected to find some rhythm in your shot when your legs aren't exactly there yet and you're thrown into the flow of the game. But as I said, with each game I feel more comfortable and how I fit into the system and understanding my role. That's helped me."

Bogan, from Idaho, has made the transtion to the South well, he said. His parents have bought a house in Oxford so they will have a place to stay when they come down for games, which Bogan feels will be fairly often. His father competed in track and field at Boise State and his mother was in gymnastics at BSU.

"It's been pretty smooth for me," he said of the transion from Northwest U.S. to the South. "Everyone treats me good, and the people are great. I like the warmer weather down here."


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