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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Hard work paying dividends for Gavin Ware

Jacob Follin

Senior Gavin Ware finishes a monster dunk during Saturday’s game against Ole Miss. 


Coming into the season fans were so excited for two star freshman guards, that many seemed to forget some of the seniors.  Now,  halfway through the season, the player performing best is not one of the freshman guards, but senior Center Gavin Ware. 

Ware is a 6-9, 260 pound Center from right here in Starkville. He was a 4-star recruit according to He played for former Bulldog basketball player and current Starkville High School head basketball coach ,Greg Carter. 

Ware spoke highly of Carter saying, “Every offseason during the summer when our coaches can’t work with us, I always work with him.  He is where I’m trying to get to. He has been on that professional level.”

While Carter has taught Ware, he has improved as well. Carter mentioned some of the changes and improvements he has seen from Ware.“He has changed a lot. He changed his body and he has gotten in great physically shape,” Starkville High Head Basketball Coach Greg Carter said. 

“He refined his game, he is even a better low post scorer and has added a perimeter shot to his game.”

Getting in shape was something both Ware and Carter mentioned in interviews. His freshman year he was listed at 270 pounds, 10 pounds heavier than he is currently. This may seem minor but makes a big difference when running up and down a court a hundred times a game.

“It (getting in shape) was real important. In high school he could still be able to play a lot of minutes and dominate. But on the college level, in order to play for that amount of minutes you have to be in great shape. He made a commitment to that and it shows in his game,” Carter said. 

Ware is leading the Bulldogs this season in points, rebounds, blocks and shooting percentage. Ware is averaging 16.2 points per game, 7.5 rebounds a game, 1.3 blocks a game and is hitting 63 percent of his shots.  Those numbers are good for third in the SEC. 

This shows marked improvement from the last three seasons. Going into this season he averaged 9.5 points a game along with 6.9 rebounds and was shooting 54 percent from the field. Those are significantly lower numbers than what he is producing this season.

Before the season, Ben Howland spoke multiple times about making Ware the focal point of the offense.  Now at the midway point of the season, while things have gone as planned, Howland still sees room for improvement.

“He has got to stay out of foul trouble,” Howland said.  “I did not even realize till the last game that he had had 16 games in a row shooting in double figures (10 or more points).”

Ware now has a streak of 17 games in a row scoring 10 or more points after his 14 point in MSU’s 83-77 win against Ole Miss Saturday.

Ware is also part of the 2011 recruiting class that brought in Craig Sword and Fred Thomas. The three have been the focal point of the team the last three seasons. Ware said he has gained invaluable experience during his time at State. 

“Team chemistry is great. If we have a problem, I can go straight to them and we will solve it right then and there. Just coming in with these guys I have learned a lot. Just being with them has been a great experience,” Ware said on their growth over the years.

Ware will finish out his college career this year as it is his last season at Mississippi State. With MSU starting out 1-4 in SEC play, it has been a bit of a rough start.  However,   Ware feels that his team has vast potential. 

“We see it first hand, that if we come together and stay together we can get leads and hold leads. When we get a lead we need to stay together, not go our individual ways and everybody try to be the hero,” said Ware on how they can improve going forward. The Bulldogs  accomplished  the feat Saturday against Ole Miss in their 83-77 victory and will try to do the same again against South Carolina. The game will tip at 6:00 p.m .and will broadcast on SEC Network. 

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Hard work paying dividends for Gavin Ware