Ole Miss' Rod Barnes Chats On ESPN.com

Nov. 5, 2001



Rod Barnes: Hello everyone. Glad to be here. I'm ready for your questions!


rebelfan (oxford): Coach Barnes, I would just like to say that the Tad Pad is really amazing now. It looks so much different now. Do you feel this freshman class is as strong as it was last year? What are you general thoughts about this season?

Rod Barnes: That's a difficult question to answer. I like this freshman class because we have every position except center. They are a hard working group that we really like. They will be here and win lots of games.


WEAVEMAN: IS JOHN GUNN OUT FOR THE SEASON? IF SO HOW ARE YOU GOING TO REPLACE HIS SIZE? IT IS HARD TO WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP WITH JUST GUARDS AND FORWARDS. THE SEC LOOKS STRONGER THAN EVER THIS SEASON. WATCH OUT FOR KENTUCKY AND FLORIDA. IF WE HAVE GOOD GUARD PLAY I THINK WE CAN WIN.....BECAUSE OUR GUARDS ARE GOOD SIZE. WADE WILL BE A BIG KEY TO THIS SEASON.....HAVE YOU THOUGHT OF POSTING HIM DOWN ON SMALLER PLAYERS? GOOD LUCK AND GO REBS!!!!!!

Rod Barnes: Right now we don't know. We hope it's just 3-4 weeks but he will have surgery this Thursday and we hear it will be a 3-4 week recovery period.


Win (Leland, MS): Who will step it up for the Rebels in the absence of Rahim Lockhart if John Gunn's ailment prevents him from playing?



Rod Barnes: I think it will have to be a group effort. We have several guys who can step up. Everyone can see Sanders and Reed are playing better. Wade and Kirkland are also guys who will have to step it up. It will have to be a team effort.


Adam Huff, SC: How is it going Coach Barnes? Who in the SEC do you think will cause your team the most problems and which players do you expect to have breakout years?

Rod Barnes: I think there are a lot of teams that are very good. But Florida and Kentucky have so much experience. Alabama and Arkansasa also are very good. But Kentucky and Florida could win a national championship.


Kyle-Atlanta: Who is going to be Rahim Lockhart's replacement in the middle? How is Derrick Allen progressing into that role now that Gunn is out?

Rod Barnes: Derrrick is doing well. He had several rebounds the other day and he is just getting better all the time. I have been impressed with his work ethich. He works hard all the time and is so consistent.


Marc (Dallas): As a graduate of Arizona State, I am really impressed with Rob Evans. How much of an influence has he been on your career?

Rod Barnes: I think he's the guy who gave me my first chance as a D1 coach. He has had a great influence. Our philosohpy comes from what I've been taught by him. We are best of friends and talk on a regular basis.


Greg (Kentucky): So how you think your teamm will do this year in the tough SEC conference. I am a Kentucky fan, but I like to see you guys win the west. Good luck and beat Arkansas.

Rod Barnes: We have a very young team with lots of sophomores and freshman. We have lots of guys who don't have the experience but we have more talent. I see us growing. It will be a season of many challenges because the conference is so good. But we hope to be in a position to get back to the NCAAs.


Jeff (Leawood): Can you have another great run last this year like you did last year?

Rod Barnes: I think it's a possibility. I'm unsure if we can win 27 games or not. Our league is tougher but hopefully by run you mean getting to the Sweet 16 or further because that is what we want to do. We want the chance to play for a national championship. It is a definite possibility.

Thanks for chatting with me today and asking about our program. We are really looking forward to the season and we expect some great support. We hope to get out to a great start .. be patient, this is a young team. But we will grow into a great basketball team.

 

 

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