After a 20-point effort in the 66-55 win over South Carolina, Ole Miss guard Chris Warren is 22 points from 2,000 for his career.
TIip against East No. 2 seed Kentucky today is 2:30 p.m., and the game will be televised by WCBI.
Barring injury, Warren will pass 2,000 points and will become just the fourth player in SEC history to achieve 2,000 points and 400 assists for his career. LSU’s Pete Maravich, Tennessee’s Allan Houston and Georgia Litterial Green are the other three.
Warren doesn’t talk about scoring, records and such, but winning against South Carolina was huge in pursuit of this elite club.
Had Warren scored 20 and the Rebels lost on Thursday, he’d have to have scored 22 in the NIT. That would be highly likely, but depending on the draw, Warren could face a tough defensive team in the first round and come away with 15 or 19 points. If the Rebels were to lose a first-round game, in that scenario, he’d have come up short.
Having a second game in Atlanta makes 2,000 points for Warren much more likely.
Twenty-two is what he scored in the 71-69 win over Kentucky, getting there with 2.9 seconds left on his game-winning 3-pointer.
That doesn’t mean he’ll score in the 20s again. It does mean that a good coach in UK’s John Calipari will work to make Warren less a factor than he was in the first meeting.
That’s what Darrin Horn tried to do yesterday, and he was able to get Warren off to a slow start. Ultimately, it was a 13-point gain for Horn. His team held Warren to 20 after he went off for a career-high 33 against them in Columbia.
We’ll see this afternoon what Calipari can do with him in a second meeting.