Ready Again

Chris Warren is ready to play basketball again. It's been quite a wait.

Everything seemed to be lining up for the sophomore point guard to have a second outstanding season with the Ole Miss Rebels. Then came the last few seconds of a loss to Louisville in Cincinnati in mid-December.

Warren went down with a knee injury that would require surgery and sideline him the rest of the season.

But now he's back. The 5-foot-10, 165-pound junior who wasn't able to get a medical redshirt because he had played too much said he's eager to get back on the court and into a game.

And he says he's not the only one.

"The whole team is anxious to bring all the pieces together and play our first game," said the Orlando native. "We have fun in practice and get crunk, shall I say, but we're anxious to play."

Warren was the team's leading scorer at 19.6 points per game. He played and started in 11 contests before his season ended. He averaged four assists a game and two and a half steals.

He wasn't the only Rebel injured last season. Trevor Gaskins and Eniel Polynice were able to get medical redshirts because their knee injuries were earlier. Zach Graham dealt with one later and had knee surgery after the season.

Warren said they all have a new appreciation for what it means to be healthy and hope to stay that way.

"Most of the team if not all the team know that at any given time something could happen where we don't have all our players," he said. "Somebody may get sick or whatever. So we try to take advantage of what we have right now."

Warren said he is close to getting all the way back, but he's not there yet.

"No, I can't jump as high as I used to," he said. "I still probably can dunk, but not on a consistent basis. I won't go down the lane and dunk on anybody or anything like that. They say it takes like a year before your knee is fully healed. So hopefully when my year is up in January, I'll be throwing it back down like normal."

Last year after Warren's departure, Terrico White ran the team from the point guard spot. With Warren and Polynice back, along with Gaskins, Graham, and Will Bogan, the Rebels are as loaded as they've been in a long time in the backcourt.

Warren said there won't be any problem sorting it all out and getting the ball in the hands of the right people at the right time.

"We are all good players, and we've really got that chemistry," he said. "We were all here last year as a team. We are all trying to play well. It's not about points or whatever. We're just trying to win so we can accomplish our goals."

The consensus from the polls and magazines seems to be that the Rebels have a shot to win the SEC West. Warren wants that and more.

"We want to win the SEC outright," he said boldly. "That's our No. 1 goal. We want to make it to the NCAA, and we want to go deep. If we don't make the NCAAs, we will be disappointed."

If they stay healthy, unlike last year, then they've got a chance.

OM Spirit Top Stories