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
    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Sneak Peak

      Monday, August 18, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football 2014: Episode 1 Sneak Peak from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Wallace: 'It's My Offense'

      Monday, August 18, 2014 - Football

      The dean of Southeastern Conferences quarterbacks and the league's leading returner in total offense, passing yards and passing touchdowns, senior Bo Wallace is as healthy and confident as ever, and he's also assumed a more vocal leadership role on the... read more

    • VIDEO: We Are Ole Miss

      Saturday, August 16, 2014 - Athletics

      We Are Ole Miss from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.In case you missed it, "Forward Together: We Are Ole Miss" from earlier this year: Forward Together: We Are Ole Miss from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Football: Fins Up (Part 2)

      Saturday, August 16, 2014 - Football

      In case you missed it, Fins Up (Part 1) from last year:... read more

    • Rebels Battle Injuries on Defense

      Friday, August 15, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze confirmed that junior cornerback Carlos Davis suffered a torn ACL and will likely have surgery Monday. Davis joins sophomore cornerback Tee Shepard and junior safety Chief Brown on the list of players expected to miss... read more

    • Recapping the SEC Network Launch

      Friday, August 15, 2014 - Athletics

      The launch of the SEC Network shows the growth and vision of the 14 schools in the conference. #OleMiss-- Coach Alex (@apsimms2) August 15, 2014 That was fun! And the @SECNetwork is only getting started. #SECStoried finished strong. Great... read more

    • Ole Miss and the SEC Network Launch

      Thursday, August 14, 2014 - Athletics

      Tonight is the night!! #SECNetworkLaunch pic.twitter.com/73UYs8B0Hg-- SEC Network (@SECNetwork) August 14, 2014 Historic day for SEC & #OleMiss as we celebrate the launch of the @SECNetwork at 5pm CST! Congrats to everyone who made it happen!-- Ross Bjork (@RossBjorkAD) August... read more

    • Luke Breaks Down the Offensive Line

      Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - Football

      The center and right tackle position battles have been two of the biggest story lines of fall camp, but as the Rebels prepped for their second preseason scrimmage Wednesday night, they are closer to solidifying the depth chart along the... read more

    • Attitude, Effort are Front and Center in Process

      Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - Volleyball

      "Buy-in" is a common term thrown around by coaches. How will first-year Ole Miss head volleyball coach Steven McRoberts measure buy-in, as the team continues its preseason work for the upcoming season? Attitude and effort. "If we bring those two... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Soccer Day One

      Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - Soccer

      THE SEASON: Soccer - Day One from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Kennedy Recaps Trip, Talks New-Look Roster

      Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - Men's Basketball

      The Ole Miss men's basketball team wrapped up its Bahamian exhibition tour with a perfect 2-0 record. Head coach Andy Kennedy recapped the trip, talked about the chemistry, depth and experience of a new-look roster heading into the fall. The... read more

    • Looking at CB, OL, WR and RB Depth

      Monday, August 11, 2014 - Football

      Sophomore defensive end Fadol Brown and sophomore cornerback Kailo Moore returned from their respective injuries, while sophomore Tee Shepard remains out with a toe injury. The results from Shepard's MRI performed on Saturday are being sent to Birmingham, head coach... read more

    • Ole Miss Programming on SEC Network

      Monday, August 11, 2014 - Football

      The SEC Network will debut on Thursday, August 14 with a three-hour SEC Now that will visit every SEC school and the 21 sports within the SEC. The first two weeks of the network will also feature customized programming to... read more

    • The Week That Was: Ole Miss Football

      Sunday, August 10, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss continues its preparations for the the 2014 season with the second full week of fall camp starting Monday. Here's a look back at the first full week of fall camp with some observations and takeaways, as well as... read more

    • Center, Right Tackle Position Battles to Watch

      Thursday, August 7, 2014 - Football

      An extended portion of the team drills were open to the media. Gameplay-wise, the highlight of the period was a pair of deep throws from senior quarterback Bo Wallace, one to sophomore wide receiver Laquon Treadwell and another to junior... read more