Archive for October, 2008|Monthly archive page

Thoughts 10/30/08

According to David Brandt of the Clarion-Ledger Greg Hardy is coming back for his SR year.

http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20081030/SPORTS030103/810300354/1109
Here are the Ole Miss football signees. (So far)

Ferbia Allen DE/TE, 6-5, 225, Pine Bluff (Ark.) Dollarway
Aaron Hawkins OL, 6-3, 315, Lithonia, Ga., Martin Luther King
Brandon Bolden RB, 5-11, 208, Baton Rouge, La. (Scotlandville HS)
Brandon Green OL, 6-2, 315, Senatobia (Northwest Miss. CC)
H.R. Greer FB, 6-0, 225, Olive Branch (SBEC HS)
Gerald Harris TE, 6-5, 245, Corsicana, Texas (Navarro JC)
Melvin Harris WR, 6-7, 185, Buford, Ga. (Buford HS)
Lekenwic Haynes S, 6-3, 195, Rosenberg, Texas (B.F. Terry HS)
Derrick Herman CB, 5-11, 185, Cleveland HS
Jason Jones LB, 6-2, 220, Albany, Ga. (Westover HS)
Demareo Marr CB, 6-2, 185, Senatobia (Northwest CC)
Hunter Miller QB, 6-0, 185, Sherwood, Ark. (Sylvan Hills HS)
Jared Mitchell S, 6-3, 190, Chatham, Va. (Hargrave Military Academy)
Gerald Rivers DE, 6-5, 240, Ellenwood, Ga. (Cedar Grove HS)
Brandon Sanders CB, 5-11, 188, Suwanee, Ga. (Peachtree Ridge HS)
Justin Smith DT, 6-4, 270, Alpharetta, Ga. (Chattahoochee HS)
Emmanuel Stephens DE, 6-2, 220, Brenham, Texas (Blinn JC)
Josh Tatum OL, 6-6, 315, Marbury (Ala.) HS
Devin Thomas RB, 5-11, 180, San Antonio, Texas (Madison HS)
Patrick Trahan LB, 6-3, 225, Senatobia (Northwest Miss. CC)
Kermit Tyler OL, 6-3, 320, Marrero, La. (L.W. Higgins HS)
Julian Whitehead CB, 5-10, 180, Chatham Va. (Hargrave Military Academy)
Chris Wilkes QB, 6-4, 220, Orlando, Fla. (Dr. Phillips HS)
Horatio Williams WR, 6-2, 175, Oxford HS
Andre Sterling QB, 5-10, 200, Knoxville, Tenn., Farragut HS
Rudy Wilson DB, 6-0, 200, Port Orange, Fla., Hargrave Military Academy
Andrew Harris WR, 6-2, 195, St. Petersburg, Fla., St. Petersburg Catholic, Hargrave Military Academy
Nathan Stanley QB, 6-5, 195, Tahlequah, Okla., Sequoyah HS
Enrique Davis RB, 6-1, 215, Lynn Haven, Fla. (Hargrave Military Academy)
Randall Mackey Athlete, 6-1, 180, Bastrop, La., Bastrop
E.J. Epperson TE, 6-3, 230, Humboldt, Tenn., Humboldt

Former Ole Miss receivers coach Hugh Freeze is doing quite well in his new job as the head coach at Lambuth, an NAIA school in Jackson, Tenn.

The Eagles, who play Belhaven on Saturday at Newell Field, have won six straight games and are ranked No. 17 in the country with an offense averaging 43 points per game. (Taken from www.clarionledger.com)

Advertisements

BLUE ‘EM OUT!!!

If you are going to the Ole Miss game, HDN wants everyone to wear BLUE to the game. Come Early and Come Loud!!!

ESPN’s Chris Low ranks Ole Miss at 7th in the SEC

Here is what he had to say:

7. Ole Miss: The Rebels are that team in the SEC with a ho-hum record (4-4, 2-3 SEC), but significantly better than that record suggests. They’re two crippling fumbles away from being 6-2 after holding on to win in the “Houston Nutt Bowl” last Saturday against Arkansas. It’s a team that’s still learning how to win, but six or seven wins and a bowl game look realistic this season.

Here is the link for the full rankings:

http://myespn.go.com/blogs/ncfnation?tag=power%20rankings%209 

Nutt Weekly Press Conference 10/27/08

Opening Statement

I was really proud of the effort Saturday on both sides of the ball. Special teams continue to really help us. The coverage teams’ effort has just been outstanding. We are still getting good yardage with our return game with Mike Wallace. We will continue to work on out punt return game, but Marshay had one really good run. He’s getting some help and it’s getting better. There were some very good parts of that ballgame that you want to bottle up. On top of that, you want to be able to put a game away. We talked to our team about that yesterday. When you are up 20-7 and have opportunities, you have to take advantage of them. Our league is so tough. When you don’t, you let them back in the game. If you score, it’s 27-7 and there is a lot more pressure and they’re the one that has to score. We have got to learn how to finish and put games away. We have to take advantage of turnovers and miscues, instead of helping them with turnovers and miscues. Overall, it was a very tough week, but we’re really proud of it. We are proud of the victory because they are hard to come by, so we’re excited. Now we’re getting ready for a very tough Auburn football team. They have an excellent defense that is very physical and athletic. Offensively I know from my experience with Auburn that they’re always big and fast. It’s always a battle.

Q: Was Saturday you offensive line’s best performance?

A: It was. I’ll tell you what I really love about our offensive line. It’s not easy with the new coaches and terminology. I just thought that you could really see some running lanes in there. Cordera (Eason) really did a good job of hitting that hole, being physical and protecting the ball. I think it was our second highest game as far as knockdowns of the year. We are getting better in that area and we need to.

Q: Is this team heading towards being able to move the ball on the ground, more straightforward?

A: We have always been able to really try to emphasize being physical, going north to south, in every game plan. Sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. Then you try to mix it up a little with zone or going sideways. The characteristics of our staff have always been north and south, being physical, and running downhill. Of course having play action and things to try to mix up formations to help your running game.

Q: Is there a desire to play better football in Oxford?

A: Absolutely. We really owe our home fans a 60 minute, four quarter football game. We’ve let some games slip here and it’s hard to get out of my mind. You play so good at times, and then there is a stretch where you basically gift wrap a game. You want to play good at home. I can’t say enough about our road fans. I’ve just been so impressed with them. Seeing and hearing our fans the other night in a very tough environment was just impressive. I know our players and coaches appreciate it.

Q: Update on Greg Hardy and Jamarca Samford’s injuries

A: Greg Hardy has been working real hard to get back out on the field. The foot is still bothering him a little bit. We tried to get him in there at the end to rush the passer and give us a life. He still struggled with it a little bit. Hopefully this week he will be close to 100%, but we won’t know until later in the week. Jamarca (Samford) got a helmet right under the deltoid muscle on his arm and couldn’t really raise his arm or wrap up. It was evident on a couple of plays. You love his heart, he was wanting to get back out there. Hopefully it is something that can heal pretty quick and we can get him back out there and ready to go.

Q: Was Saturday Peria Jerry’s best game of the season?

A: Probably so. Peria has been the most consistent of all or guys, especially on the defensive line, of just being a big playmaker. He is playing football. He is playing so hard and with excellent intensity. The guy that’s blocking him has a hard time each Saturday because he is so relentless. I’ve just been very proud of him. He is a captain and one of our true leaders. He has been playing at a very high level.

Q: Why did you put Dexter McCluster at tailback with all of the recent fumbles?

A: We knew that question would be brought up. ‘Why in the world would coach Nutt put Dexter McCluster at the “I” tailback after he’s been fumbling the ball?’ We believe in him so much and we spent more time than any other time I can remember on him protecting the ball. From the moment that he stepped on the field, until he leaves the field, there was nothing but a 100% emphasis on protecting the football. There is no one that wants to take care of protecting the football more than he does. The thing that we’ve been trying to get across to him, something that Derrick Nix has done a great job of, is that nothing is more important that what we give you – and that’s the ball. In order to stay on the field and contribute to the football team, you’ve got to protect the call. We put him at tailback for a reason because he gives us a few more steps of speed and presents some problems for opponents in the passing game. We’ll keep him going from wide receiver to tailback. He’s going to be ball conscience just like he was Saturday night and he’s going to be fine.

Q: How do you decide who gets the nod in the secondary?

A: We go by practice. Dustin will be back in the rotation, competing this week. Marshay brings a lot of fight and a competitive spirit each day. Sometimes the size factor gets him. We’re going to keep working those three – Cassius Vaughn, Dustin Mouzon and Marshay. Those are the guys that we have and hopefully we are going to get better at playing that ball.

Q: Was Ted Laurent hurt against Arkansas?

A: Not seriously hurt, but just enough to not be playing at his full potential. Of course, Lawon (Scott) is giving us a big lift right now where he’s in there. Hopefully we will get Ted back to 100% this week and he’ll be ready to go. The way Peria is playing right now, it’s really hard to take him out. We do roll them. I’ve been really proud of Lawon. It’s that time of year really.

Q: What is Bradley Sowell’s current role on the team?

A: We’ve used Bradley Sowell as a second tight end since David Traxler has gone down with a back injury. He came in and was just outstanding with pass protection, run protection. He got five or six knockdowns. That really helped us. He’s going to be a player for us. He will take over that right or left tackle here soon. Right now we have a role for Bradley, and that roll will increase.

Q: What do you see from Auburn’s offense?

A: It’s a little bit different look compared to the years past. They’re working a few things out. I know how good there offensive line is. I recruited some of those guys and I know they’re very physical and athletic. I know how good of a back Lester and Tate are. I have a lot of respect for them. The worst thing you can say is that they’re struggling. I’ve seen them go. I’ve seen them have breakout games. You watch that LSU film and you get real nervous in a hurry. I have a lot of respect for their athleticism and the things they can do. Have they done it every game? No. A lot like our offense, sometimes they look very good, and sometimes you sputter around, turn it over and don’t execute. In this league we’re in, defenses can make you look bad.

Q: Do you feel that the players are feeling closer to your goals and beginning to sense a bowl game?

A: We talk about all of those goals before the season. They are smart enough to realize that we’re turning the corner and going into November. Our theme, like I’ve told many teams, is people remember November. November is a real football month. That’s where a lot of things can happen. They know and they sense what can happen. We can only look at the next 60 minutes, and no where past that. We have to look at this ball game. It’s a home, will be a great atmosphere and we are playing a very good football team. It’s important that we put four quarters together – offense, defense and special teams. It’s the only way that you can have a chance to win a game. It’s not worth talking about all of you goals unless you take care of the next 60 minutes.

Q: Do you think it was a case of early celebration of letting your guard down against Arkansas late in the game?

A: I don’t know if it’s early celebration, but I do know that when you win one like that you did finish. What we did was let them back in the ball game. When you’ve got them 20-7 and they’re on the minus three, they’re not supposed to be able to go the length of the field in 50 seconds or less. You can’t let them out of a hole that quickly. We’re in a good coverage. Tyrone (Nix) can’t put them in a better coverage than the one we were in. We’ve got to make a play. We jumped too soon and the safety didn’t quite get there in time. All of sudden they’re at midfield. Things like that have hurt us all year. Whether it be on offense, defense or special teams. Hopefully with a win, we learn that it’s easier to teach on Sunday with a victory. When you can get a victory like that on the road, they’re precious wins. Let’s not let anyone back in the game. Finish when you have an opportunity. If not, you let them stay in the game and give them confidence. I didn’t see that much celebration on the sideline. We’re always telling them it’s never over until it’s over. They were pretty much in the game. I just think we had a real bad case of a mistimed jump. Hopefully next time the safeties are intercepting the ball or splattering the guy so hard, he doesn’t want to catch it. Keep them pinned up.

Q: What makes Peria Jerry so effective on the field?

A: There a couple of things. He has excellent quickness. That offensive lineman has to get out of his stance in a hurry or he’ll beat you the punch whether it is inside or outside, he has great moves. The other thing is that he has great perseverance. He doesn’t ever get discouraged. If somebody knocks him down, which doesn’t happen very much, he’s back up in a hurry. He’s relentless. He’s constantly moving and is very strong. When you’re that quick and that strong, you’re a handful. A lot of teams will put four hands on him to make sure they cover him up and keep him occupied. If you don’t, something negative is going to happen. He’s a disrupter.

Q: Are you down to three guys at cornerback, and was that one of your goals heading into the season?

A: Yes it was probably one of the thinnest positions. Whenever you have to move two offensive players over, that tells you a lot right there. I think they have done some very good things. What they did the second half against Alabama with Julio Jones and some of those guys. I’ve seen them defend very well. On the same hand, you see some things that you can’t give up. That’s kind of what we’re fighting. We have basically those three guys. Marcus Temple is another guy that comes in as a nickel that could possibly be a corner for us. Those are our guys. We are going to play with them and they’ve got to get better and keep fighting.

Q: What is your decision making process with the running backs as to who gets the carries?

A: It’s a feel. The way he was running with power and authority, there is no question in my mind that he gets to stay. I’m giving the ball right back to him. If you go in there and dance around, you’re probably going to be over here next to me. It’s the guys that’s hitting the hole, making a play and giving us the best chance to win. Enrique Davis was hitting it hard in Alabama. What I like about what Cordera did, instead of sulking, he came in that Sunday after Alabama and went back to work, where I’ve seen some players stop playing. He really had a good week of practice and competed hard. You go with the hot hand and I don’t know who it’s going to be this week. We’ll start out with Cordera and we’ll see what happens. You go with the guy that’s running.

Ole Miss Hosts Basketball Media Day

Here is what the two Basketball coaches had to say:

Ole Miss Men’s Basketball Head Coach Andy Kennedy

Q: How have the new players meshed with the older players?

A: The most frightening thing for us as coaches is that six of our 12 scholarship players have never played in a Division I game, so there is a great deal we have to learn. I am pleased with how our young guys have approached not only the first couple weeks of practice, but the entire preseason, starting for a majority of them this summer when they came for summer school. Their attitude has been great. Their effort has been consistent, which allows us as coaches to do our job. We have not had one day in which we have had to coach effort, and that allows us to lay the foundation for what I believe is going to be a pretty good basketball team. We are certainly more versatile than we have been in my last three years. We have added some pieces that are going to give us an opportunity to play in a variety of ways, and it’s just a matter of gaining that much needed experience, which none of us can project until they get in those types of games.

Q: Is it easier to get frontcourt players ready than it is players in the backcourt who have to handle the ball?

A: I don’t know. It’s a different thing that they have to learn. More than anything with those guys is that we have five guys competing for 80 minutes on the frontline and only one has been in a Division I game, which is frightening. At the same time, they are talented kids, and they have a high basketball IQ as a group. Their effort has been great. Their attitude has been good, which allows us to grow pretty quickly. We feel like we are a little ahead of schedule comparing to the two prior years, and a lot of that is that we are in year three and the foundation to what we are trying to get accomplished has been laid. I think these kids have an opportunity to make an immediate impact, and that’s what we need because there is certainly an opportunity.

Q: What do you think of the SEC West, and do you think this is a good time to be a program on the rise?

A: Certainly. Since I have been here, with the exception of Florida who was coming off their second year of back-to-back championships during my first year, the league has been up in the air. Tennessee has become more stable in the east, but in the west, I think top to bottom it is anybody’s game. A lot of us are depending on new players making impacts, and I think those that make the transitions more readily will have a chance to transcend, especially on our side. There are quality players across the board. Last year, it was a very young league, and I think lots of those kids are coming back ready to make the next step. Many of those kids on our team are ready to do so.

Q: Talk about Malcolm White and Kevin Cantinol’s progress.

A: Kevin was in the program last year. He is the biggest presence we have had since I have been here. He is legitimately 6-10 and around 235 or 240 pounds, depending on what he had for lunch. He is a kid that is relatively new to basketball. He was in the states for a couple of years, being originally from ISLAND. I have joked before that he is fluent in seven languages, but unfortunately English is not one of them. He’s getting better. He is a tremendous athlete who has made the most improvement of any kid since I have been here. He’s got a lot of things that he needs to learn. The speed of the game is the biggest deterrent for him, but he’s only going to get better with him growing under more experience. He’s a big, physical presence. He’s got a better skill level than people realize, and just his sheer size is going to be a contributing factor. Malcolm White is a kid that is going to be a key for us to be able to sustain any productivity along our frontline. He is the only kid that has been in a Division I game. Last year, he was the fourth rotation in a three-player rotation, and he was playing behind three seniors that were physically from an experience standpoint better than him. This year, Malcolm is going to be given an opportunity much like Eniel Polynice was, and I hope that he takes advantage of it like EP did. EP came in as a freshman and was playing behind three senior guards. When he had his opportunity to show who he was, he just wasn’t performing at that level. Obviously you are more comfortable with seniors when you have that sense of urgency. Mac was in that situation last year. When EP got the opportunity last year with the departure of the seniors, he has a tremendous sophomore year based on opportunity and his readiness. So we hope that the same can be said for Mac this year, which will certainly stabilize our frontline since that is our biggest question mark. Through our first ten days, Mac has far exceeded my expectations. He has been our most consistent performer at this point. If he will continue that, he will have a tremendous year.

Q: What have you seen from Chris Warren’s leadership so far in practice?

A: I have said this, and I’m not the only coach who has said this, but typically you see the greatest improvement between your first and second year. I really believe that. A lot of times, people don’t think you are talking about players like Chris, who led us in scoring, broke all the freshmen records, was one of the leading freshman contributors in the country, and made 103 three-pointers that broke the Ole Miss record. They say, ‘They must be talking about guys who don’t play much. They can’t be talking about this guy.’ Chris is also in that category. He has made tremendous improvements in a couple of areas. Number one, mentally. He’s much more confident about what he can accomplish than year one. He’s much more assure of himself. He knows what is around the next corner, unlike freshmen who don’t know what’s behind door number two. Chris does now. He understands the demands that are going to be placed on him by his staff and the commitments that come with being consistently good at this level. Physically, he’s stronger than he has ever been. He doesn’t get knocked off the ball. He is quicker, more explosive and more determined. What we have tried to do is get him more vocal. He is much more vocal in the locker room. He understands the ownership he must take for this team. Last year he was more worried about what he should do. Now, he’s beyond that. Now, he’s worried about what his team should do, and what he can do to accomplish that. We have seen that growth in him already. He has to continue to grow, and he will as he gets more comfortable in his role on the floor. He is a fiery competitor, and he has never lacked confidence. His efforts have always been consistent, and that has never changed.

Q: Do any of the guys on the team seem to be effected by the new three-point line?

A: We haven’t seen any effects. Our most consistent three-point shooters, as it relates to percentage and volume, would be Chris, David (Huertas), Trevor (Gaskins), Terrico White and Will Bogan, and the line doesn’t affect them at all. I think it will effect those ‘tweener guys—the small forwards, power forwards who shoot 25-35 a year. You may see that number go down a little bit, but it doesn’t really effect us at all at this point. It really doesn’t effect Zach (Graham) that much. We have four guys in our program now, including Terrence Henry and Murphy Holloway who are both three point shooters, that if the line was a foot closer, their volume numbers may go up a little more, and my acceptance of their volume may be up a little more. At this point, though, it hasn’t really come into play.

Q: What do Terrence Henry and Murphy Holloway bring to the post?

A: They bring a skill set that we haven’t had since I have been here. They bring versatility with their ability to face the basket. They are two different players that are going to give us two different options at that spot. Terrence is 6-9 and about 192. Physical strength is going to be an issue with him. He’s incredibly fast from baseline to baseline. He’s got ball skills that we are comfortable with him initiating offense off the bounce. He also can shoot the ball at the three. They are both exceptional passers that will allow us to do things away from the basket with them, which is going to isolate whoever is opposite them in the low post and will take away some of the help side responsibility of our opponent. Murphy is much stronger at 225, but not quite as tall though equally long. I think their reach is both around seven feet. He doesn’t shoot it quite as good, but good enough that you have to guard him where he can get it at the basket. Those two guys are going to allow us to play a different style and get a few more pitches in the arsenal.

Q: What will it take to go the NCAA Tournament?

A: For me, it’s crystal clear. We have been pretty good at home as we are 32-3, and I think that’s good enough to get us to our ultimate goal of the NCAA. We have to breakthrough on the road. How do you do that? You have to be mentally and physically tough enough to get it done away from home. You have no external motivation when you are on the road. It has to come from within. Until we are able to breakthrough, and we weren’t able to do it until the end, our guys didn’t understand what it was going to take to consistently breakthrough. From my view, we are 2-0 on the road going into our first road contest, which comes pretty quickly for us. We won our last road contest at Georgia in SEC play and obviously the breakthrough at Virginia Tech, which I think will do wonders for the psyche of our team, especially the guards that are all back now and having went into that environment and played that quality of team and know they are capable if they take the right approach.

Q: Talk about your early season challenges?

A: Everything comes quick. They moved practice back on us. It seems that everything has moved up, and it’s hard to believe that we have an exhibition here in a few days. It’s going to be good to see us against someone other than ourselves, and I know our players are excited about it, but it’s awfully quick. As a coach, you never feel like you are quite prepared, and with the newness of so many guys on the team, no experience and with no seniors, I certainly don’t feel like we are where we need to be. We have to learn quickly. It’s Arkansas State and then a South Alabama team that won 20 + games last year. Then we go to Daytona Beach and play a Utah team that is going to be just as good as they have been in a few years. Then we play a good Marshall team from Conference USA and a Central Florida team from Conference USA, and then before you know it I’m starring at Coach Huggins and West Virginia. Then we take our act on the road for some very challenging games: at UNO, at New Mexico and then playing Louisville. We have to be ready quickly. I think this non-conference schedule will show us where we are and where we need to be so that we can make the adjustments prior to the rigors of SEC play.

Q: Where does Terrico While fit in with the experienced backcourt?

A: We have more depth in our backcourt than we have ever had since I have been here. We have seven guys that I think can really be comfortable in a game with the five guys returning plus Terrico and Will Bogan, who have both been tremendous. Terrico is about 6-5, 210 pounds. He is a monstrous athlete, and that’s an affectionate term for those of you who don’t understand monsters or athletes. Put together, it’s a huge compliment. He is a tremendous athlete. He has to figure out as a freshman that he has to bring it everyday. He can’t be the best player on the floor Tuesday and not bring it on Wednesday. The great thing about our practices right now is that they are really competitive. Our guys understand that we have great players, so they are really working hard to find their niche. Terrico is going to have a lot of opportunities. He can really score. His athleticism is going to impact the game on both ends of the floor. He’s as athletic a kid as we have had here, and I think people are going to realize that pretty quickly.

—-

Ole Miss Women’s Basketball Head Coach Renee Ladner

Q: How do you feel more comfortable coming into year two?

A: I’m not sure if you ever feel more at ease, but I do feel more comfortable in my role as head coach. When you are coming off of an exciting year of 13-16, you have a lot to build on. I feel very fortunate that we are a year wiser and have a year of experience, and our kids have an idea of what we are trying to do. So I’m real excited about the year and the group of kids that we have together.

Q: Talk about having a team with more size.

A: We are real excited about that too because for the very first time since I have been at Ole Miss, we have a post presence, and it’s one that you can see coming out on the floor. I got in the huddle today and stood in the middle, and it was like an umbrella. So we are big. For the very first time, we have Kayla Holloway back who is 6-4. She’s been out two years with a knee injury. We have Shawn Goff and Nikki Byrd who are both 6-3. We have Katorra Lewis and Tori Slusher who are 6-2. When you look down the floor, we aren’t all the same size, and we plan to utilize that as well. We have been so guard oriented for so long, that we are trying to create a lot of shots for them: two-man games, high-lows, opportunities that put them in position to rebound weak side. We are just trying to get the guards to understand that you throw it inside now, relocate and expect a shot and have two people in position to score at all times. This is something that we aren’t used to, and at the scrimmage on Sunday, it was almost as if we had a Christmas present. We went from the small bite to the large bite is how I feel right now.

Q: What did you learn from last year?

A: Everything. You can be in an assistant position for a long time as I was, six years—and as I called myself an old rookie, and I learned from the best. I sat beside Carol Ross for a number of years. When you change hands and become head coach, you have to put all the pieces of the puzzle very quickly, and at the time, I don’t think I was as prepared, and I don’t think I had my kids as prepared as they should have been. There were some variables: the schedule was much too challenging for a team that had not played, and they were a group of youngsters where two people had experience and no one else had any. If I could turn back the clock, I would have changed the schedule, I would have changed the pace at which I prepared us, we would have played less games on the road and I would have settled them in a comfort level where they felt good about themselves. They also had the added weight of being the Elite Eight team, and the bulk of that team left. They could never grasp why they couldn’t get it done, myself included. I learned to delegate a little better. I have learned my role as head coach better because for a long time I was still the assistant because we were all in this thing together. I think I’m better and I think they are better, and I’m just excited about this group of kids because their work ethic is phenomenal.

Q: What is Alliesha Easley bringing to the team, and is she 100 percent better?

A: Yes, she is 100 percent back. What Alliesha brings is competiveness and a swagger you missed drastically. She plays to win. Fatigue is never a factor for her. She may get tired, but she will continue to play until that last horn blows. She also plays with confidence, and our kids who played a lot last year didn’t have that because they were thrust into that role. She is vocal, verbal, competitive and can score. Scoring can always help when you have a player on the wing that you can depend on.

Q: You had good conference play later in the season last year. Can you carry that over this season?

A: That is one of the things that we talk about a great deal. We try not to talk about last year, but through the discombobulation of the year where we would be in the game for 36 minutes and lose it in the last four, and we just kept putting our heads together and point fingers about who is not doing their job, ultimately it came back to the player who was in the right position to carry that load. This year, you see a nucleus of kids that are working toward a common goal. They know that they got better as the season went on, but at one point during the year, I was fearful that we would not win a SEC game or that we would quit working. They did not ever let that happen to them. They kept pressing on and pushing. So, I think they are hungry. I think we can build on being a contender again during postseason play.

Q: How will you keep on pressing and running the court with more post players?

A: For the most part, our posts are pretty quick. Shawn Goff can run like a guard. We can get her down the floor quickly. The key is getting the ball. Where we used to have to fight to get the ball and have five people in the paint, now I think we can get up on the glass, fan out and hit our spots in the fastbreak and move. Surprisingly, some of our biggest kids have pretty good speed. Naturally, this is an all-points bulletin, if Nikki Byrd, Shawn Goff, Kayla Holloway or Tori Slusher need us to wait, we will, especially if they are in double figures midway through the season. We will change our game to suit those players that put the ball in the hole.

Q: How do you view this year’s schedule?

A: We still have 13 teams that made postseason play. You are not playing a soft schedule by any stretch. We are going on the road early and play three teams, two of which made it to the WNIT and one scored 74 points on South Carolina. That immediately gets my attention. That alone is a little bit daunting. We do have 16 home games, and we tried to put our kids in situations where they could build from each game. It is almost pro-like. We will get back from a game, have two days of practice, play, day of practice, play, day of practice, play. We are gong to have to be prepared early, and I hope we are prepared with a lot of people so that they can get into the rotation. We ran Shawn Goff into the ground last year. She played 39 minutes a game, and that is asking a lot from a post player. So where I have depth at all positions now, I think that we can stay fresh and play an up-tempo style of game whether it is defensive or offensive.


SEC DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK IS……..

PERIA JERRY, he had a heck of a game…

Jerry was credited with five total tackles, including two sacks, and two quarterback pressures in Ole Miss’ 23-21 win at Arkansas.
Ole Miss’ defense held Arkansas to 104 net rushing yards with 38 yards lost on tackles for losses.

http://www.secsports.com/index.php?s=&url_channel_id=2&url_article_id=11690&url_subchannel_id=&change_well_id=2

Ole Miss is 4-4

Ole Miss is 2 wins away from being back in a bowl since 2003. Ole Miss will be the favorite when they play host to Louisiana-Monroe and Mississippi State, both games should be W’s. Auburn is a very winnable game and so is LSU.

Is it too soon to start the “bowl talk”….I don’t think so. We could win out and end the season at 8-4. Wouldn’t that be great?

Ole Miss beats Arkansas 23-21

What a game? I am setting there in GA visiting some family and I can’t take my eyes off the laptop in front of me. Is there something wrong with that? Most likely but hey! This is SEC Football.  Arkansas starts out by missing a FG, Ole Miss then drives and nails a FG to go up 3-0. Arkansas would score to make it 7-3. Jevan Snead would later nail a pass to Shay Hodge to the left for a TD to make it 10-7 and then right before the half Ole Miss would pick off the Arkansas QB and nail a FG to make it 13-7 at half. The 2nd half was full of drama. Ole Miss would score a TD in the 4th and then the Razorbacks would score a TD to make it 20-14. Ole Miss would then kick a FG to make it 23-14. This is when things get interesting. The Razorbacks would score a quick TD, kick the Onside kick AND GET IT BACK!!. They would then toss a LONG pass that would have put them in a position to win the game but they were called for pass interference. Ole Miss would hold and get the win 23-21.

Like I said…What a game.

Game Tomorrow

Well one more day until Coach Nutt returns to Arkansas to coach against the team that he coached for 10 years and won 2 Sec west titles. Scott Cacciola of the commercialappeal* says that he will get some Boos and will continue to hear the Boos all game long. I guess I am ok with that as long as the Arkansas fans hear “Hotty Toddy” all game long. I still can’t get over the fact that the Arkansas fans hated him so much. Before Nutt came along it had been since Ken Hatfield (1989) that a coach left Arkansas with a winning record (at Arkansas).  Dexter McCluster is stil going to run the wild rebel and Greg Hardy is expected to play. 8**

* http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2008/oct/24/roasted-nutt/

** http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20081024/SPORTS030103/810240339/1287/SPORTS

Ole Miss Basketball FREE Game

Ole Miss will play host to North Alabama on Halloween in a FREE Exhibition Game. The game is at 4 p.m.  Admission is free, but fans are also encouraged to bring canned goods as donations for the annual SAAC Canned Food Drive. The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee will be collecting the canned food items for the Oxford Food Pantry as part of the Fall Canned Food Drive.