The Ole Miss Women’s basketball team is gearing up for the start of the 2013-2014 season. The team returns one of its leading scorers, Valencia McFarland.
McFarland is a senior point guard from Edwards, MS. She has been a finalist for the C-Spire Gillom Trophy that is presented annually to the best female college basketball player in Mississippi. She has been named to the coaches Pre-Season All-SEC second team and to the Winter SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Matt Insell is in his first year as head coach of the Lady Rebels. Change has come with Insell and it’s something that McFarland has noticed.
“Coach (Insell) wants us to play at a faster pace and he’s pushing us every time on defensive and offensive possessions,” McFarland said. “The game is going to be a lot quicker for us.”
The new coach has pushed McFarland hard, but that pressure s something she has embraced.
“He has been hard on me, which I like because I want him to push me to be the best,” McFarland said. “Every time we come out he wants me to lead the team in any way possible.”
Intensity and practice speed have picked up. So has team progression in understanding the offensive and defensive schemes.
“We’re still learning the offense but defensively we have progressed really fast,” McFarland said. “We’re just taking each day and coming out prepared to learn and get better.”
—Justin Taylor, Associate Editor, HottyToddy.com
—You can email Justin at firstname.lastname@example.org