Grove-Side Q&A

This is the second installment of OleMissSports.com's Grove-Side Q&As and features Ole Miss head men's basketball coach Andy Kennedy. Questions were sent in by fans through OleMissSports.com over the last two weeks and touch on a variety of topics. Grove-Side Q&As are a regular feature on OleMissSports.com and provide Rebel fans interactive opportunites with some of the key figures in Ole Miss athletics.

Q: Will you hold back any on the tempo of your offense due to perhaps not having the desired personnel to run, or do you think you can play fast with this team?
A: We certainly want to explore all possibilities to push the ball at every opportunity. However, we must also play to the strengths of our personnel, and we are currently lacking in overall ball-speed.   Q: If a player is having an off day, do you pull him or just let him play if he does not ask to sit it out?
A: Players, like all of us, have good and bad days. I try to focus on their effort and their attitude. These two areas MUST be consistent in order to EARN consistent minutes. Shots come and go (I wish that wasn't the case but have to be realistic), but effort and attention to detail must be a given.   Q: Could you comment on the need for a basketball practice facility?
A: First and foremost, we currently have only one facility on our campus in which we can have a controlled practice -- Tad Smith Coliseum -- and we share this facility with our women's team, which forces both programs to address major scheduling issues as it relates to our players' academic responsibilities. People often overlook the fact that we are the only major sport that shares their facility, which certainly handicaps your scheduling ablilities. Also, as we are attempting to recruit the type of student-athletes that it takes to compete at the highest level, the SEC, kids are going to compare facilities when making a decision. I have been told by numerous recruits (and their people) that facilities speak to the commitment to your program, and we NEED to let everyone know that we are truly COMMITTED at Ole Miss.   Q: What is the number one improvement over last year's team that we can look forward to this season?
A: More wins!   Q: What specific improvements on offense and defense are you expecting to see in the non-conference games in preparation for SEC play in January?
A: With a new and young team that is in complete transition as it relates to approach in how we do things and why we do things, our non-conference schedule will enable us to learn what guys can and can't do. It will also let us see what style is in the best interest of our current team to enable us to have a real chance to be successful in league play.   Q: How do you think we match up with UConn, particularly their big man in the middle?
A: UConn is one of the premier programs in the country and is led by a Hall of Fame Coach in Jim Calhoun. They had four players drafted in the first round of last year's NBA Draft, so they are now depending on a group of new and talented players that, like all of us, are searching for their identity early in the season.   Q: What are your thoughts on improving the gameday experience for Ole Miss fans?

A: Our gameday experience certainly leaves a lot to be desired. When I first got the job, I had many people tell me how apathetic our gamedays had become. I have had many meetings on just this concern and have expressed my desires. Now that the season is here, my TOTAL FOCUS is on coaching our team and recruiting SEC-caliber student-athletes. That is my job, and more importantly, my obligation to you, our fans. I ask everyone to give this team the opportunity to earn your support. Come to the games and support these kids who are working extremely hard in our efforts to represent this University and its people in the manner in which they deserve.

 

PREVIOUS GROVE-SIDE Q&A:
Athletics Director Pete Boone (October 18, 2006)

 

 


 

 

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