Two Ole Miss basketball players will be honored in Senior Day activities Saturday, and the guy standing with Chris Warren will be Zach Graham.
Just so you’ll know.
It’s not that Graham, a 1,000-point scorer, has drifted in complete anonymity, it’s just that the program for four years has so closely identified with Warren, who has a real shot at 2,000 career points before this season is finished.
Graham, though, will join Warren as a starter, as he’s done all year, and in doing so will tie Jason Harrison for the school record by playing in his 133rd game.
Most of that time he’s spent in Warren’s shadow, and that’s been fine with Graham.
“I don’t feel any certain way about that,” said Graham, surprised when asked if the attention deficit has been a bother for him. “I just go out and try to do what I can to help the team whether I’m the first player. I think Chris and I have played well together.”
The numbers support that theory.
Earlier this season Graham moved into the top 20 among the school’s scoring leaders and now has 1,223 points for his career. He in the 20th spot and will likely climb another notch or two. He currently trails No. 19 Dwayne Curtis by nine points.
Graham has 127 3-point field goals right now, four behind Joezon Darby in the eighth spot and 25 behind David Huertas with 152 in the seventh spot.
Though Graham has at times struggled from 3-point range this season, his scoring and rebounding averages jumped in his last season.
He goes into his final home game ranked 13th in the SEC with 14.4 points on average, a figure that rises to 15.2 points in league competition. He’s shooting free throws with 86.8 percent success, third in the SEC, and is averaging 4.6 rebounds against league foes.
“I’ve seen myself mature over the years,” he said. “What I’ll remember most is every summer trying to do what I could to get better, whether it was dropping weight or trying to improve my ball-handling and shooting. I’ve seen my results increase.”