BEYOND THE BOXSCORE: Seniors Lay Foundation For Future Success

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Senior Diara Moore
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Senior Diara Moore
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

March 6, 2014

By Austin Miller, OleMissSports.com

DULUTH, Ga. — Year One of the process under first-year head coach Matt Insell is complete, as Auburn closed the game on a 16-2 run over the last 7:56 en route to a 70-54 win in the second round of the SEC Tournament on Thursday.

Some of it may have the quick turnaround from the emotional high of the previous day’s come-from behind win over Arkansas in the first round, some of it may have been heavy legs from back-to-back games, but progress this season, Insell said, won’t be judged by those eight minutes.

“We’re not going to judge our season on what happened in the last eight minutes of this basketball game,” Insell said. “We’re judging our season on the progress that we made throughout the whole year.

“We’ll look back on this year, Kenyotta (Jenkins), myself, Diara (Moore) and Valencia (McFarland), we’ll look back five to six years from now, pop this tape in and all get mad at each other while we’re watching it. We’ll pop this one in and have a good time. We’ll also pop that Arkansas one in and really have a good time.”

For the three seniors, Jenkins, McFarland and Moore, it marks the last games of their Ole Miss careers. The 12-20 record, Insell said, doesn’t indicate everything that they accomplished this year with those three seniors.

“We didn’t come out with the win that we wanted to, but I’m very proud of the things that we accomplished this year as a team,” Moore said. “I know that people are noticing us now and that’s all that we wanted to accomplish. People respect us now. Next year’s team is going to come back and be even better and stronger. I will always be an Ole Miss Rebel. I’m proud of that.”

“The first stage of getting a full team to buy in is your seniors have to buy in, and I couldn’t ask for a better group of seniors, on and off the floor, and the way they led our basketball team and the way they carried themselves. I have so much respect for them. They’re the ground floor of what we’re building here at Ole Miss. They’re going to come back 10 years from now, and we’ll honor what we are going to accomplish over the next 10 years, and it’s going to be a true credit to them. I’m real proud of them and I’m glad to be their coach.”

There were flashes of what the Ole Miss program could be again over the last six games, highlighted by the 73-71 overtime win over the same Auburn team on Senior Day last Sunday, followed by the 63-62 win over Arkansas in the first round of the SEC Tournament on Wednesday. And it started with those same three seniors, and then the younger players who followed their lead.

“When you’re remodeling the program, there’s so much you have to get accomplished and there’s so much you have to do,” Insell said. “We were kind of late getting going the way we started playing the last five or six games. The last five or six games, we played really well. You take out the last eight minutes of tonight’s game, and we played about as well as anybody in this league over the last five or six games.

“I have three seniors who kept fighting every single day and that will be something I use in the future with all of our seniors and continue to show them examples of what these three girls have done. They continued to bring it every single day, which then motivated the younger players to continue to bring it every single day and not quit on their season.”

With the end of one season, comes the promise of the next season, and Insell will do something special with his team to continue the process and set a precedent for future success.

“We have Spring Break this week, so our girls are going to go home,” Insell said. “We are going to rest. We are going to get away from each other. It’s been a long year for us. We’ll get back together the following Monday and we’ll begin the phases to start next year, and the first thing we will do is watch the Selection Show two Monday nights from now. We’ll get used to watching that because that’s where we’re going in our program.”

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
    • Freeze, Rebels Focused on Auburn Showdown

      Thursday, October 30, 2014 - Football

      Not only will Saturday's matchup between No. 4 Auburn and No. 7 Ole Miss feature the first-ever meeting of top-10 team in Oxford, but it will feature half of the top four of the College Football Playoff Top 25 rankings... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 9

      Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 9 -LSU (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Oct. 20-26, 2014)

      Monday, October 27, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 20-26, 2014Football- Ole Miss took its first loss of the season with a 10-7 defeat to No. 23 LSU in Baton Rouge.- The Rebels held LSU to 10 points and created four turnovers (two... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Oct. 26

      Sunday, October 26, 2014 - Athletics

      In this week's edition of Observations from the Best Seat in the House, Metz Camfield and I teamed up to give you our thoughts and opinions of the week that was in Ole Miss athletics. I was able to travel... read more

    • Rebels Fall Short in Death Valley

      Sunday, October 26, 2014 - Football

      BATON ROUGE, La. -- Ole Miss had its chances. The Ole Miss defense made seven points stand up for the better part of four quarters, forcing four turnovers and limiting LSU to just three points on its first three trips... read more

    • Three and Out: Ole Miss-LSU

      Saturday, October 25, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 3 Ole Miss travels to No. 23 LSU for an SEC West Showdown on Saturday. Stopping The Run Not just this year, but throughout head coach Les Miles' tenure, LSU's running game has been... read more

    • What They're Saying: Ole Miss-LSU Pregame

      Friday, October 24, 2014 - Football

      Ahead of a rivalry renewed on a national stage, complete with a visit of ESPN's "College GameDay" and the mystique of a Saturday night game in Death Valley, here's link roundup of videos and stories from local and national media... read more

    • Extra Emphasis on Special Teams Play

      Thursday, October 23, 2014 - Football

      Extra Emphasis on Special Teams Play Through the years, special teams play has provided a winning edge in the Ole Miss-LSU rivalry, and and you don't have to go all the way back to Billy Cannon's 1959 Halloween run. In... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 8

      Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 8 - Tennessee (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Freeze, Miles Talk Ole Miss-LSU Rivalry

      Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze and LSU head coach Les Miles on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of Saturday's game in Baton Rouge.For the full SEC teleconference, go here.Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze (starts at 1:06:12... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Oct. 13-19)

      Monday, October 20, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 13-19, 2014Football- Ole Miss rode its dominant defense to a 34-3 homecoming win over Tennessee on Saturday to improve to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in Southeastern Conference play.- The Rebels are 7-0 for just... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Oct. 19

      Sunday, October 19, 2014 - Athletics

      It's Sunday, so that means it's time for this week's Observations from the Best Seat in the House. There was no shortage of observations surrounding the Homecoming festivities this weekend. Let's get into it:1. When "College GameDay" visits Baton Rouge,... read more

    • Winning Formula for Rebels is No Secret

      Saturday, October 18, 2014 - Football

      The winning formula revealed itself as it has throughout the season: a dominant defense and a mistake-free offense. The Ole Miss defense forced four turnovers, while the Ole Miss offense did not commit a single turnover in a workmanlike 34-3... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss-Tennessee Motivational

      Saturday, October 18, 2014 - Football

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

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-Tennessee

      Saturday, October 18, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 3 Ole Miss faces Tennessee for Homecoming on Saturday.'Third Down for What'Tennessee is very dangerous, Ole Miss football head coach Hugh Freeze said, because its talented, particularly if it gets momentum and confidence during... read more