Sunday, January 07, 2007

Rebs Blow Another Lead

The Ole Miss Rebels blew their second half time lead in a row as they lost to Kentucky 68-58 in a close game in Oxford. Things started off well for the Rebels as the lead was back and forth for a while before going into halftime with a two point lead. The Rebels came out cold in the second half and played very streaky. Kentucky led for most of the second half but by only a couple of possessions each time. The Rebs kept trying to cut into the lead, but the Cats had an answer for every shot by the Rebels. In the end it was the more experienced, confident, talented team that one.

The Rebels played well but when you shoot 33% in the second half you can not beat a good team like Kentucky. I felt like they had good looks at times, but when Bam Doyne and Clarence Sanders do not score in the second half, this team is not going to have a chance to win any game. Kennedy says this team does not have the mental confidence it needs. You can see this when guys are contemplating on taking a shot and double clutching all the time. This is something that will take time to overcome, and Kennedy is still trying to convince this team how to handle a loss. They are so used to losing that it does not effect them. But this is only something that comes with time.

Coach Kennedy is getting alot of this team, alot more than Barnes could have. But you can tell that he is frustrated with his talent. As I watch the post game press conference the one thing he says that can help this team is recruiting. And he is right, but that is not going to change the way this season goes.

This team is going to win a couple of big games, mark my word, but they will also lose alot of games also. I just hope the fans will continue to support the team like they did last Saturday. There were times where the Tad Pad was rocking and it felt like years when the Rebels were competing for titles. I would love to see this type atmosphere for the rest of the season. And the players and Kennedy deserve for it to be this way. As long as they are playing hard there is no excuse for the "fans" to give up on them just yet.

As far as the lights go in the Tad Pad, I was somewhat impressed. Projection lights projected the Ole Miss script and the logo onto the season the whole game. During the player lineups all lights were cut off and red and blue lights were flashed all over the court. In addition a video was showing on the "video board" of former great teams and players like Sean Tuhoy, Elston Turner, Raheem Larkhart and Keith Carter. After the announcements, the perimeter lights above the stands were left off and only the bright lights were turned on over the court. It made the court brighter and easier to view. Aside from the minute or so delay where there was nothing but silence in the pre game show, I was pretty impressed with the show. Finally I was glad to see the Ole Miss marketing/game day crew do something impressive, I was afraid the only thing they knew how to do was throw out t-shirts.