Here's The Point

Will Bogan had an "A-Plus" game, according to Andy Kennedy, against Florida A&M when he was thrust into a role he couldn't have seen coming until Chris Warren was lost for the season.

That was in Cincinnati against Louisville when the Rebels' sophomore starting point guard went down with a knee injury in the game's final half a minute.

Bogan, the freshman starter at point guard, spent Christmas in Mississippi. His parents have a place in Oxford now, and rather than Will attempting to get to his homestate of Idaho last Tuesday and back for practice Friday, Mississippi was the obvious choice to spend some down time. So they joined him here.

But this weekend it was back to work for the Rebels as they prepare for the Clash on the Coast Tuesday night, a meeting with Southern Mississippi at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum.

Bogan will be a big part of that contest and whatever success the Rebels, currently 8-4, will have the rest of the way.

In their 86-63 win over the Rattlers, Bogan did what his team needed him to do. He took care of the basketball, with just two turnovers in 32 minutes. He scored six points on two of three from 3-point range. He had a steal and three assists, and said he might not necessarily give himself an A-Plus as his head coach had done. But it was obvious he felt pretty good about his time on the court.

"I'm just coming in and doing what the team and coaches need me to do," said the 6-foot-1, 167-pounder, who was averaging 1.7 points and 7.5 minutes per contest through the Rebels' first 11 games.

In the game against FAMU, he did exactly that. Obviously more will be demanded against better teams, but the parameters remain the same – take care of the ball, direct the offense, limit miscues, score when the opportunity presents itself, and play defense.

"I guess I did OK," said Bogan of his defensive effort against the Rattlers. "There's always room for improvement, and I know there are several things I can keep improving on the rest of the year."

The rest of this year the Rebels will look around and not see three familiar faces – veterans that would have made a difference. Now those three sit behind the bench and cheer their teammates on.

"It's been weird missing Chris out there and also EP (Eniel Polynice) and Trev (Trevor Gaskins), too," Bogan said. "Now that Chris is gone, it's another guy who is not there with us. You look around the locker room and see the empty chairs. It's tough not having the whole team there."

Southern Mississippi, also 8-4, will be playing its third consecutive game on the Gulf Coast. The previous two games, wins last week over Spring Hil College and Weber State University, were played at Gulfport High's Bert Jenkins Gymnasium.

Last season Ole Miss defeated USM 78-58 before an announced 7,200 in Southaven at the DeSoto Civic Center.

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