Seniors Help Begin Process To Restore Women's Basketball Program

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Valencia McFarland and fellow seniors, Kenyotta Jenkins and Diara Moore will play their final home game on Sunday.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Valencia McFarland and fellow seniors, Kenyotta Jenkins and Diara Moore will play their final home game on Sunday.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Feb. 28, 2014

By Austin Miller, OleMissSports.com

OXFORD, Miss. — It is not the senior campaign they envisioned, but nevertheless, they have made their mark as the first senior class under first-year head coach Matt Insell. Ole Miss will honor seniors Valencia McFarland, Kenyotta Jenkins and Diara Moore before the regular-season finale vs. Auburn on Sunday.

“This group of seniors will always have a special place for me,” said head coach Matt Insell. “They are the foundation for what we will do and how we do it, moving forward. When we win the SEC Championship, Valencia McFarland, Kenyotta Jenkins and Diara Moore will all get a ring because without them and their commitment to remodeling this program, we don’t get to where we are trying to go. They have laid the groundwork for many future successes.”

McFarland and Jenkins, both Mississippi natives, from Potts Camp and Edwards, respectively, entered the Ole Miss program together as freshmen before the 2010-11 season. They have played for three different head coach in Renee Ladner, Brett Frank and Matt Insell.

“We’re the only two seniors who have been together for four years,” McFarland said. “It’s been great having her around and going through everything, and now we’re going out together.”

“It’s been a good experience,” Jenkins said. “I call Valencia my best friend. We have been through everything. We push each and motivate each other. It’s been a good experience, even though we have had some ups and downs.”

Moore joined McFarland and Jenkins before their junior seasons in 2012-13. Coming into the program by herself as a transfer from Independence (Kan.) Community College, her fellow seniors helped her adjust and know she was not there on her own.

“The Ole Miss pride has always been very special to me,” Moore said. “The people here have been so welcoming to me. Even though I came here last year and I have only been here for two years, I felt like I have been here all four years. This place is always going to have a special place in my heart, and I’m always going to be a Rebel.”

Throughout the season, Insell has talked about the process and continuing to fight, despite the results, to restore the once-proud program, and his first senior class has helped lead that effort, as they prepare for their last collegiate games in the Tad Smith Coliseum.

“I knew we had a new coach coming in and we only had one year with him, so we came out to set some standards for the years to come and the players to come,” McFarland said. “The season hasn’t been what we wanted it to be or what we expected it to be, but we want to finish strong.”

“A lot of people, this year, have told us that they love that we fight,” Moore said. “They love that we don’t quit. If you do that, good things will eventually happen. We don’t know when it will happen, but you have to keep believing and don’t give up.”

Austin Miller is a writer and blogger for OleMissSports.com. He joined the staff in June 2013 after serving as sports editor of the Daily Mississippian. Follow him on Twitter @austinkmiller

 

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • Striking The Right Balance Offensively

      Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss has been held under 100 yards rushing in each of its last meetings with Alabama, a 33-14 loss in 2012 and a 25-0 loss in 2013. Running the ball effectively and finding a balance is one area, the... read more

    • 3 Things About Gameday - Ole Miss vs. Alabama

      Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Sept. 22-28)

      Monday, September 29, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewSept. 22-28, 2014Football- No. 10 Ole Miss used a dominant defensive effort to put away Memphis 24-3 on Saturday, setting up one of the biggest games in recent history this coming Saturday against the Alabama... read more

    • PHOTOS: Week-Long Timeline of Powder Blues

      Monday, September 29, 2014 - Football

      1. Tuesday 9/23 at 4PM @CoachHughFreeze reveals the helmets to the @olemissfb team at team meeting. pic.twitter.com/8jpVCvny4p— OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) September 29, 2014 2. Wed 9/24 at 4PM @OleMissFB practice hidden indoors so that team practice in helmets for safety reasons. pic.twitter.com/vA0Oo6Ps7S— OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) September... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House

      Sunday, September 28, 2014 - Athletics

      It's Sunday, so that means it's time for this week's Observations from the Best Seat in the House. I'll handle the bulk of the notes this week, but we also have some insight from Austin Miller here as well. Let's... read more

    • Upset Bid Falls Short Against No. 10 A&M

      Sunday, September 28, 2014 - Soccer

      Seeking its first win over a top-10 team since 2009, Ole Miss took a 1-0 lead but fell short to No. 10 Texas A&M, 2-1, Sunday afternoon. "I'm really happy with the team's performance," head coach Matt Mott said. "I'm... read more

    • Defense Honors Mullins with Dominant Effort

      Saturday, September 27, 2014 - Football

      Wearing the lighter blue helmets for the first time since 1994 to honor the late Chucky Mullins, the Ole Miss defense also honored his memory with perhaps the most dominant defensive performance of the Hugh Freeze Era. "Chucky would have... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss-Memphis Motivational

      Saturday, September 27, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss vs Memphis: Official Team Motivational from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-Memphis

      Saturday, September 27, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 10 Ole Miss faces Memphis Saturday. Battle of the Quarterbacks Ole Miss and Memphis have both gotten steady quarterback play, as both teams rank inside the top-15 nationally in scoring offense.  Senior quarterback Bo... read more

    • Rebels Rebound with Hard-Fought Draw

      Thursday, September 25, 2014 - Soccer

      Playing in their fourth overtime game of the season, the Ole Miss soccer team played Arkansas to a 1-1 double-overtime draw on Thursday night.  The teams combined for 30 shots, including 13 on goal, but the game was characterized more... read more

    • 3 Things About Gameday - Ole Miss vs. Memphis

      Thursday, September 25, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • Freeze Stresses Focus, Attention Ahead of Memphis

      Thursday, September 25, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's time on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of the Rebels' matchup with Memphis on Saturday (6:30 p.m. CT, Fox Sports Net). Freeze's time on the call begins at the 1:21:20 mark. For... read more

    • Memphis Not Fazed by Big Stage

      Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - Football

      Memphis is 2-1 heading into Saturday's matchup with wins over Austin Peay (63-0) and Middle Tennessee (36-17) and a 42-35 loss at No. 11 UCLA. The Tigers scored two early fourth-quarter touchdowns to tie the Bruins at 35-35 with 13:44... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Sept. 15-21)

      Monday, September 22, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewSept. 15-21, 2014Volleyball- Ole Miss went 4-0 to capture the Rebel Classic and improve to 14-0 on the season.- Through four weeks of the season, the Rebels have equaled last year's win total (14-17).- Sophomore... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House - Sept. 21

      Sunday, September 21, 2014 - Athletics

      This is the fourth installment of Observations from the Best Seat in the House. The idea of this weekly feature will be to bring you all some of our observations from the previous week in Ole Miss Sports. This week... read more