Sunday, June 29, 2008

The DM Updates on Basketball

(Jacob Threadgill)When initial plans for the basketball practice facility were announced more than a year ago, there were many who speculated the project would never come to fruition- but Ole Miss men's basketball coach Andy Kennedy was not one of them.
"A lot of people were wondering if this was going to be a reality, and we never doubted that it was," he said. "We're just pleased that we can finally see progress."
The UMAA Foundation's acceptance of Yates Construction's $ 10.6 million bid for the 51,000 square foot facility disproved the doubters and came at the approval of Kennedy.
"I could not be more excited that Yates Construction is handling that development," Kennedy said. "They are well respected and have done a lot of great work on our campus already. They're working on the law school, we're less than a mile down the road, and so we'll always know where to find them. Our expectation is that over the next two weeks we'll start seeing some new progress."
Signee Updates
Incoming freshmen Terrence Henry, Will Bogan and Terrico White were enrolled for the first session of summer school and have gone through conditioning and pick-up games with the rest of the Rebels.
With any luck, freshman forward Murphy Holloway and JUCO transfer forward DeAundre Cranston will be able to join them for the second session. At the start of the second session on Thursday, Kennedy said the staff was still waiting on grades to get them enrolled.
"We can't do anything until we get the grades, so we're at the mercy of the schools in which they are currently at," he said.
It appears 6-foot-5 guard Brandon Wilson will have to wait to join his high school teammate, Henry in Oxford. Wilson is expected to enroll at Jones Community College in Ellisville, Miss. after failing to qualify academically out of Carroll High School in Monroe, La.
Kennedy is not able to spend any time on the court with his team until the start of individual instruction periods in July, but he has already been impressed with what he has seen from Henry, Bogan and White.
"They are great kids that are working hard," Kennedy said. "We're getting grades back from the first session, they've all done well, and they're working hard at their weight training and conditioning in the areas that we can be involved. I've been really pleased with the transition they have made."
Henry, Holloway and Cranston will be counted on to provide an immediate impact, as the Rebels' only return sophomore Malcolm White and red shirt freshman Kevin Cantinol along the frontcourt.
"There is a lot of opportunity for Terrence Henry, Murphy and DeAundre," Kennedy said. "Hopefully we can get them in here this summer and start to get them acclimated to just the change in life from going from one place to another."
Bogan will have a chance to fill the void left by Brian Smith's graduation as the back up to starting point guard Chris Warren. White will have to find playing time with returning wing players David Huertas, Eniel Polynice, Zach Graham and Trevor Gaskins.
"With the returning guys we have in the perimeter, that should take some pressure off of Terrico and Will," Kennedy said.
Sorting out the Schedule
Kennedy and staff have completed the non-conference schedule and are awaiting the SEC portion, which will be announced in late July.
"We set it up to where we think it will prepare us for the rigors of league play," Kennedy said. "It will be highlighted with a home date against West Virginia. Coach Huggins and I, obviously our relationship goes way back, so we've decided to play a home and home series. He will come to Oxford in early December."
In addition to hosting the Mountaineers, Ole Miss will have home dates against South Alabama, Central Florida and open the season against former LSU head coach John Brady and his Arkansas State Red Wolves.
The Rebels will travel to Albuquerque to finish a home and home series with New Mexico and make up last season's cancelled date at the University of New Orleans. The rest of the non-conference schedule includes a neutral site game against Southern Miss in Biloxi, in the second year of a three-year series. The Rebels will also take place in an exemption tournament in Daytona Beach, Fla. where they are scheduled to play Marshall, Utah and a third team that will be determined on the Rebels' performance.
Kennedy will return to the city of his former job to take on Louisville as a part of the Big East / SEC showdown in Cincinnati as apart of an ESPN broadcast.
Unlike last season where the Rebels went almost the whole month of December without playing a game in Oxford, the Rebels will have to play at Tad Smith Colisieum while the student body is off for winter break.
"We couldn't make it work as efficiently as we did last year as we will have a few home games sprinkled in December," Kennedy said. "We've always tried to be cognizant of the face that we want to schedule as many games as we can around football weekends, and we also want to try to play as many as we can when our student are still on campus."

Monday, June 09, 2008

Will It Happen

Is there anyone that actually thinks this new scoreboard will be up and operational in time. I will go ahead and predict they will be working on this thing the Friday before the Memphis game and only half of it will work by kickoff time. This is how most things go down in the Ole Miss athletic department. This has taken way too long to resolve.

On the flip side, I was glad to see Telesouth step up and do this. The new scoreboard is a much needed improvement to a part of Vaught Hemingway that is pretty unattractive. It is going to be a major upgrade to VHS.

(UMAA)OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss has chosen to partner with Daktronics Inc., to design, manufacture and install a $6 million integrated system featuring a large high definition video display at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium/ Hollingsworth Field.
"We are very pleased to have teamed with an industry-leader in Daktronics,” said Ole Miss athletics director Pete Boone. “With their experience and state-of-the-art technology, the company has shown their ability to handle large projects, particularly in our time sensitive situation.
“What we’re most excited about is how this board will enhance the gameday experience and entertainment for our fans. Longevity was also a major key, and Daktronics has proven the board’s clarity will maintain for the next 10 years.”
The video display will be the largest true high definition display in the Southeastern Conference. Scheduled to be installed and operational for the home opener on August 30, 2008, the display incorporates the latest HD technology from Daktronics, which is based out of Brookings, S.D.
Daktronics HD-X technology and its control system allows for complete flexibility in programming. The video board can serve as a single giant display or be divided into multiple zones (windows) to show a wide variety of statistics, information, graphics, animation and live and recorded video.
The seamless display of scoring, timing, statistics, out-of-town game scores, public service messages, in-game promotions, graphics, animation, video replays and live video, delivered through a truly integrated system, provides fans with a more entertaining game experience.
Daktronics PS-X video display technology will also be featured in the stadium, both on the front of the display and greeting visitors on the back of the display. Light emitting diode (LED) video displays from Daktronics use the latest in red, green and blue (RGB) LED technology to present live and recorded video images, colorful animation and vivid graphics with incredible brightness and wide-angle visibility.
A complete sound system from Daktronics Sportsound® division completes the integrated system. The sound system speakers will be based in a cabinet above the video display. The video, scoring, timing and sound components will be integrated through Daktronics proven control system.
“Daktronics is excited to bring the largest true high definition video display in the SEC to Ole Miss,” said Brent Stevens, Daktronics regional sales manager. “Ole Miss has been a strong supporter of Daktronics over the years and we look forward to continuing our successful partnership with them.”
Ole Miss joins a number of SEC schools that have chosen Daktronics for integrated video and scoring systems including Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, South Carolina and Vanderbilt.
The video board will be paid for through increased rights fees to TeleSouth Communications, Inc.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Nutt to Make TV Debut with Rebels

(UMAA) OXFORD, Miss. ­- The Southeastern Conference announced Tuesday that the Sept. 6 game between Ole Miss and Wake Forest will be carried by ABC, beginning at 2:30 p.m. CT from BB&T Field in Winston Salem, N.C.

“We’re excited that ABC chose to pick up our game with Wake Forest and proud to have this early opportunity to be on TV,” said Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt. “It will certainly be a challenge on the road for us as we play a Wake Forest team which has won 20 games over the last two years.”

Scheduled to be shown regionally by ABC, the Ole Miss-Wake Forest game is also being televised to areas outside of the regional window, expanding the coverage to most of the nation on ESPN2.

Pom Gets PostSeason Awards

(UMAA) OXFORD, Miss. – Freshman southpaw Drew Pomeranz was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America selection by Collegiate Baseball, the publication announced on Wednesday.

Pomeranz joins a long line of Rebels who have been named Freshman All-America selections, including current teammates Jordan Henry and Zach Miller who were named to the honor last season.

“This is a tremendous honor and one that Drew certainly deserves,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “He had a great season for us with some impressive wins over some good Southeastern Conference teams after moving into the starting role a couple of weeks into league play.”

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Finally an End

Finally an end to what was a long season, that was full of frustration with a bit of excitement every now and then. We will take a final look at the season later in the week. The Rebs bounced back today in the first game to beat Missouri with the help of Logan Power's grand slam in the eighth inning. A second game followed with overall number one seed Miami. Miami was just too powerful for Nathan Baker, who surprisingly started for the Rebs. It was an up and down day and many fans of the Rebs hated to see the season come to an end, but were glad the frustrations are now over.

(UMAA)CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The Rebels fought hard but ran out of gas in the second game of the day as Ole Miss (39-26) fell to No. 1 Miami (50-8) by a score of 11-2 in the Championship game of the NCAA Coral Gables Regional on Sunday.Juniors Cody Overbeck and Logan Power were named to the All-Tournament Team for the Coral Gables Regional after their performances on the weekend.Ole Miss fought through a tough elimination game with No. 12 Missouri earlier in the day before taking the field 45 minutes later to face the top-ranked and top-seeded Hurricanes.Nathan Baker (3-6) suffered the loss for the Rebels as the sophomore allowed six runs on eight hits with a walk and a strikeout in 2.1 innings of work.Eric Erickson (8-1) picked up the win for the Hurricanes as he worked 7.0 innings and allowed two runs on six hits with a walk and five strikeouts. Both runs allowed came on a two run home run from Cody Overbeck.“It’s always tough at the end like this,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We just played a very good Miami team. I’m proud of the way we competed and the way we got to this point. It’s been a crazy year. There were a lot of expectations coming into this season and for whatever reason, we seemed to struggle all year.“I am so proud of this team because three weeks ago no one thought we would be in a regional championship playing the number one team in the country,” Bianco said. “Eric Erickson was good for them today. I thought we could get to him early, but then he settled in.”
Miami scored early, pushing three runs across to take the quick lead as the Hurricanes used a walk and three hits – including a solo home run from Ryan Jackson – to jump out of the gates.