Rebels Tipoff 2013-14 Season on Friday

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Ole Miss kicks off the Matt Insell era on Friday against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks.
Ole Miss kicks off the Matt Insell era on Friday against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks.

Nov. 7, 2013

Ole Miss Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader Jacksonville State Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Ole Miss opens the 2013-14 season and the Matt Insell era when it hosts Jacksonville State on Friday (Nov. 8) at 5 p.m. at the Tad Smith Coliseum. The game is the first of a doubleheader with the men's team, who will take on Troy at 7:30 p.m.

Game 1: Ole Miss (0-0) vs. Jacksonville State (0-0)
Date: November 8, 2013
Location: Oxford, Miss (Tad Smith Coliseum)
Ole Miss leads, 1-0
Streak: Ole Miss has won one

Starting Five
1. Ole Miss officially opens the Matt Insell era in Friday's season-opener. Insell, 31, was named the eighth head coach in program history on March 28, 2013. He comes to Oxford from Kentucky where he served as the top assistant for the last five years and helped lead the Wildcats to thee Elite Eight appearances.

2. The Rebels open their 40th season of women's basketball on Friday. Friday's game will be No. 1,194 since the first varsity season back in 1974-75. Ole Miss has an all-time record of 754-439.

3. Ole Miss is looking for its sixth consecutive season-opening victory on Friday. The last time that the Rebels dropped a season opener was during the 2007-08 season at Nebraska. The last time Ole Miss dropped a season opener at home was during the 1998-99 season when they fell to Clemson, 76-54.

4.  Ole Miss' home and season opener on Friday marks the fifth consecutive season Ole Miss has opened the season at home. The last time Ole Miss opened the season on the road was during the 2008-09 season in the preseason WNIT. The Rebels have an all-time record of 36-3 in home openers.

5. Senior guard Valencia McFarland enters Friday's game having started each of the last 78 games. McFarland has started each game of the last two seasons and has started 86 of her 87 career games.  

Ole Miss vs. Jacksonville State Notables
-This will be the second ever meeting between the Rebels and Gamecocks. The last time the teams meet was back during the 1981-82 season. Ole Miss defeated Jacksonville State, 102-54. Ole Miss last played a team from the Ohio Valley Conference last season when they took on Belmont.

-In addition to Jacksonville State, Ole Miss will take on Austin Peay and Tennessee State from the Ohio Valley Conference in non-conference action this season. The Rebels are 27-5 against teams from the OVC.

-Friday's meeting will be a matchup between two coaches in their first year at their respective institutions. Jacksonville State head coach Rick Pietri, like Ole Miss head coach Matt Insell, is entering is first season with the Gamecocks after spending the last 13 season as head coach at South Alabama. Also a team the Rebels will face during the non-conference slate.    

A Win Would
-Give head coach Matt Insell, 31, his first career win as a head coach. Insell enters the season as the youngest head coach in the SEC and the youngest head coach of a BCS conference school.

-Give the Rebels their sixth consecutive season-opening victory and their ninth home-opening victory.

-Move Ole Miss to 28-5 against teams from the Ohio Valley Conference.

A Loss Would
Hand the Rebels its first season-opening loss since the 2007-08 season and only the second since the 2002-03 season.

Scouting Jacksonville State
The Gamecocks will also open the 2013-14 slate when they travel to Oxford for Friday's contest. The Gamecocks return eight players from the 2012-13 squad, led by juniors Miranda Cantrell and Candace Morton.  Cantrell finished her sophomore season as JSU's leading scorer at 8.9 points per game and bolstered that scoring average by finishing the season with seven consecutive double figure scoring games.  The 6-foot-0 post player established a new career high with 18 points against Morehead State on Feb.18.  The College Park, Ga., native tallied 12 double digit scoring games a season ago.  Morton, a guard from Lexington, Ky., came on strong during conference play last season averaged over eight points per OVC match and scored in seven of the 16 league games.

About Ole Miss
Ole Miss returns four starters from last year's squad including its top five scorers. The Rebels return eight letterwinners and welcome four newcomers in rookies, Tianah Alvarado (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Bretta Hart (Poplarville, Miss.), Shequila Joseph (London, England) and Claudia Ledesma Ortiz (Carolina, Puerto Rico). Matt Insell is in his first season with Ole Miss and has a career record of 0-0. 

Let's Get It Started
The Rebels will tip off the 40th season of women's basketball on Friday against the Gamecocks of Jacksonville State. Overall, Ole Miss is 33-6 in season-openers and have won 10 of their last season openers dating back to the 2002-03 season.

Home Cookin'
The Tad Pad is a tough place to play in and the Rebels have created a home court advantage. Entering the 2013-14 season, the Rebels have a 379-111 record (.773) on their home court. Ole Miss has only had two sub. 500 home records in the last 12 seasons. The numbers get even better for home-openers, as Ole Miss has only dropped a home opener three times in the last 39 seasons.   

McFarland Named Preseason All-SEC
Senior guard Valencia McFarland picked up her second consecutive preseason All-SEC accolade as she earned a spot on the second team. The Edwards, Miss., native earns her second consecutive preseason accolade, also earning second-team honors last season. McFarland, a second team All-SEC selection as a sophomore, enters her senior season second among active SEC players in career assists (420) and fifth among active players in scoring with 1,107 career points.

Youth Be Served (And We Aren't Talking About The Players)
Ole Miss head coach Matt Insell, told his parents that he would be a head coach in the SEC by age 30 when he was 13 and well ... he was right. When Insell was hired on March 28, 2013, he was 30 years old. At the tipoff of the 2013-14 season, Insell is the second youngest coach in Division I, trailing only High Point's DeUnna Hendrix who is 29 years old. Insell is the youngest coach in the SEC and is the youngest coach of a BCS conference school. The next youngest coach of a BCS program is Colorado's Linda Lappe who is 33.  

Recapping The Exhibition Win Over Christian Brothers
The Rebels picked up a 74-59 win over Christian Brothers University in exhibition action on Sunday (Nov. 3). Senior Valencia McFarland led the Rebels with a team-best 15 points, while Tia Faleru posted a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds. Also in double figures for Ole Miss were freshman Shequila Joseph (12), Diara Moore (11) and Gracie Frizzell (10). Joseph was two rebounds shy of a double-double, while Monique Jackson added eight boards off the bench. Ole Miss held a 54-47 rebounding edge and dished out 18 assists while holding the Buccaneers to just 30 percent (16-of-53) shooting.

Rebels on the Airwaves
Ole Miss' regular-season games can be heard on WTNM Supertalk Mississippi (105.5 FM) or Q93.7 FM with the pregame show starting 15 minutes before tipoff.  Graham Doty, in his third season calling Ole Miss women's basketball games, will be on the call. Game updates via Twitter will be available all season at @OleMissWBB. All home games that are not on TV will be streamed online through the subscription-based RebelVision.

Rebels in the SEC Preseason Polls
Ole Miss was picked to finish 13th in both the preseason SEC Media and Coaches Polls. The Rebels have won the SEC regular-season title in the 1991-92 season and have yet to win the SEC Tournament title.

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