Gaskins: 'Some things happened last year'

When looking back at the 2009-10 season, Trevor Gaskins, like everyone else, recognizes the obvious.

A vastly talented team, led by recently-drafted guard Terrico White and then-junior Chris Warren, again fell short of expectations. Ole Miss was 24-11 overall and seemingly missed the NCAA Tournament by one game.

"It makes me mad, but like coach always says, we are what we are," he said. "We get what we deserve. We deserved the NIT last year."

Trevor Gaskins

Gaskins would rather not focus on what went wrong or the mass exodus of five players this offseason. Those stories have long been written.

But as he stands surrounded by three new teammates in summer workouts, with two more on the way in July, he recognizes a more mature, one-track-minded team. There's no longer an obsession with personal goals and statistics.

"I think people are looking at it like they want to get to the NCAA Tournament," said Gaskins. "That's what we want to do. Everybody wants to experience it. I watched it when I was a little kid. I always dreamed about it."

Gaskins, always a leader, admitted "some things happened last year," though he chose not to expand on chemistry problems or call former teammates out by name who may have been a distraction. He isn't wired that way.

But the renewed sense of maturity around the new-look version of Ole Miss basketball has him excited.

"It's really important, because you've got to know how to act on the court in certain situations," he said. "Like when the game is tied or you're down 15 points in the second half, you've got to maintain your composure. It's good to have maturity, because people are looking at you."

Gaskins, like his fellow upperclassmen Warren and Zach Graham, is doing what he can to help early enrollees Steadman Short, Demarco Cox and Isaiah Massey. Dundrecous Nelson and Donald Williams, who round out the incoming class, arrive later.

Trevor Gaskins

"(Head coach Andy Kennedy) wants us to be their role models, because we've been here," Gaskins said. "We've been through the nitty-gritty and the grind. They're starting to catch on a little bit."

He's been most impressed with Cox, who he calls "a beast," and was surprised to hear the Yazoo product weighed in at 320 pounds, considering his athleticism. Cox was said to have run a legitimate 4.7 40-yard dash.

As a junior, Cox, a three-star center according to, averaged 15 points and eight rebounds per game. He followed his senior year with 18 points and 10 rebounds per game, along with 2.6 assists, 1.6 steals and two blocked shots on average.

"People have been talking about how we need a big man. I guess we got our big man," he said.

Mostly, though, Gaskins is committed to the continued rehabilitation of his knee this offseason. He had two surgeries before last season, but returned to appear in all 35 contests, making one start against Alabama in February.

He averaged 4.7 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 14.2 minutes of action as a redshirt sophomore.

"I feel 100 percent, but I'm still rehabbing just to be cautious," he said. "You never want to be hurt or have nagging injuries. It feels good. I'm looking forward to this year."

OM Spirit Top Stories