Women's Hoops At SEC Media Days

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Nikki Byrd at SEC Media Day (Kristen Saibini)
Nikki Byrd at SEC Media Day (Kristen Saibini)

Oct. 27, 2011

Photo Gallery | Video

Birmingham, Ala. - Ole Miss women's basketball head coach Renee Ladner and senior forward Nikki Byrd met with the media Thursday afternoon at the SEC Basketball Media Day at the Wynfrey Hotel.

The Rebels will open the 2011 season on November 11 at 11 a.m. versus North Florida.  The team returns four starters and welcomes five newcomers to this season's team.

Below is a transcript from the event. A photo gallery from the event can be found by clicking on the photo gallery link at the top of the page.

Nikki Byrd, Ole Miss Women's Basketball Player
On how they look to improve from last season...
"It's a group effort. We need everybody. We have to work together as a team."

In regards to 2012 schedule...
"This year, I feel we have more of a bond. We're looking forward to this season's schedule. It's decent schedule, and we like it a lot. We are in the SEC. We have to play SEC-caliber basketball."

On role on team (as a senior)...
"This year in comparison to last year, I'm taking on more a leadership role. I will have to lead and I'm leading by example, not words."

On team's trip to Canada and incoming class of freshman...
"Our trip to Canada was good for bonding. We needed the [bonding] experience. We realized the potential of our freshman."
"A lot of them [freshmen] stepped up. They showed a lot of things we can expand on."
"Our freshmen will impact us a lot this season. They showed us what we'll have and what we can build on."

On being pick 12...
"Our motivation is the fact that we're pick 12. We have a large freshmen and sophomore class, so we're looking forward to playing well this season."

Renee Ladner, Ole Miss Women's Basketball Coach
On the 2012 season...
" Athleticism. Quickness. Speed. Those are the things we recruited for. This year, we'll have 10 underclassmen, 3 seniors and 2 juniors."

On what they will improve on...
"We have a young team. Scoring will have to come from defense. We'll have to find points in running the floor."

"We'll have more depth this year."
"Nikki Byrd has the most size on the team and she'll have to step up."

On the incoming class...
"We have 5 newcomers. They were a surprise. They have no fear. They compete at a high level. They stepped out on the court [in Canada] and made a difference. Our freshmen (have) changed our game."

On Valencia McFarland...
"She's athletic, long and lean. She's a very versatile player."

On Gracie Frizzell...
"She's injured her ACL, so we're unsure when she'll be able to start."

On Monique Jackson...
"She's a banger...loves physical play. She's undersized, so she'll have to step it up."

On Danielle McCray...
"She's our quietest asset...an efficient player. She will be a stand out."

On Amber Singletary...
"She'll be playing back-up point guard. She's a great on-ball defender with 3-point range."

Will the newcomers start?
"We will play a lot of our young players early on."
"A new batch of kids, a new attitude and kids who love to play."

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