OXFORD, Miss.- For a team that limped it’s way into the NCAA tournament this past season, the Ole Miss Rebels basketball is far from the worst shape it’s ever been in. Before Andy Kennedy became the head coach in 2006, the Rebels had won 21 games in a season just times in their 96-year history. They’ve averaged just that in Kennedy’s nine seasons as head coach.
And that’s the same number of games they won this past season, finishing up at 21-13, limping their way into the NCAA Tournament, where they were able to squeeze out a win over BYU before falling to Xavier in the very next game.
Coach Kennedy interviewed with Richard Cross this week,
“We’ve certainly had more talented teams,” Kennedy said, “I’ve had more talented teams that didn’t get to the tournament, and this one found a way in, even though we didn’t play exceptionally well down the stretch. We lost seven games in Tad Smith Coliseum. We were 9-7 at home, which is very uncharacteristic for this team.”
With the improvement in the team over the past nine years, that must call for a new venue to play in.
The Pavillion is going to be the name of their new arena, taking the place of Tad Smith Coliseum, which has served as the home of Rebel Basketball for the past 49 years.
“I think it’s going to take our program to another level,” Kennedy added. “It’s going to increase visibility. It’s going to help us create a culture for basketball that we’ve never had before.”