Moving On

Ole Miss lost two of its first three SEC games and still finds itself among the ranked teams in college basketball.

The Rebels, who lost to Mississippi State and Tennessee and sandwiched a win at Georgia between those two, are No. 22 in AP and No. 24 in ESPN/USA Today.

MSU is 3-0 in league play while Tennessee is 2-0. The Volunteers are only 2-0 because the first weekend of conference play they hosted then-No. 1 Kansas and beat the Jayhawks.

Part of the reason Ole Miss lost two of three to date is not playing as well down the stretch in both setbacks. Also those losses came at the hands of pretty good teams.

The Rebs host South Carolina (11-6, 2-1 SEC) Wednesday at 8 p.m. and travel to LSU (9-8, 0-3) for a game Saturday afternoon. The Tigers host Auburn (9-9, 0-3) Wednesday night.

Chris Warren said the Rebels haven't lost confidence through two league losses but during games sometimes do lose their train of thought.

"I believe we have one of the better teams in the SEC," said the junior point guard. "We just lose focus and teams come back. Once we put it together and play a whole game that (record) will flip."

Warren is 3-for-16 on two-point attempts in SEC games. The Orlando native said he's trying to improve those numbers.

"Just probably lack of focus again and getting to the paint and (not) finishing," he said. "I'm working on it. Hopefully the percentages will play out and I'll be 16-for-19."

Warren leads the Rebels in scoring at 16.6 points per contest, while sophomore guard Terrico White is next at 16.2 points per outing. Last year, White took over at point guard when Warren went down with a season-ending knee injury a third of the way through the campaign.

Warren is scoring 15.3 points per game in league contests through three games. White, however, is only scoring 11.3 points. Warren said he knows how valuable White is to the Rebels' production.

"Rico is a great player and we need him for us to be successful," Warren said. "He's going to continue to come on. I try to get him the ball. He's going to do well."

The Rebels now face one of the country's best guards in Devan Downey of South Carolina. In his last game, a USC loss at home to Vanderbilt, Downey scored 35 points and was his team's leading rebounder – at all of 5-foot-9.

Warren said while the task of going against Downey might appear to be a daunting one for most, he looks forward to it.

"I wouldn't say hard," he said. "I would just say fun. It should be a good game."

Random Notes

* Ole Miss is ranked in the polls for the seventh consecutive week.

* Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy coached Downey when the point guard was a freshman at Cincinnati and Kennedy was interim head coach. Following that season Downey transferred to USC, in his home state, and Kennedy took the job with the Rebels, in his home state.

* Kennedy is 0-4 against the Gamecocks as a head coach.

* At 82.5 points per game, Ole Miss leads the SEC and ranks 12th in the nation in scoring offense.

* The Rebels rank second in the SEC and 13th in the nation with 8.9 three-pointers per contest. They have drained eight or more treys in 10 of the last 11 outings.

* Ole Miss has won the turnover battle in 12 of its 17 games and is 10-2 when committing an equal number or less turnovers than its opponent.

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