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Ole Miss Women’s Basketball Preseason Media Day

9702023.jpgThe Lady Rebels basketball team gears up for the 2016-17 season opener Friday night against Mississippi College in an exhibition game inside the Pavilion at Ole Miss. Coach Matt Insell and two key players sat down with the media on Monday for the first press conference.

Coach Insell thanked everyone for coming out for the start of another season:

“It’s a new year, and it’s an exciting time for us. We’re about 20 practices into our October camp. We’re into a game week, as we play an exhibition on Friday. I couldn’t be happier with where our team is at; we’re a lot further ahead than we have been at this point in a long time. We have a very well-rounded team, and for the first time in my tenure here we’re going to be able to put a team on the court that actually looks like a SEC team, from your starters to the players that come off the bench and we have a lot of depth in a lot of different areas. I’m really excited about this basketball team and where we are going. We’re pretty healthy right now with just one injury to Alissa Alston, one of our point guards, is out with a shoulder injury right now we think she’ll be back for the first game, but we’re unsure about that and we’re day-to-day with that but everyone else is full go. Chrishae Rowe won’t be eligible to play until December due to the NCAA transfer rule. She’ll be eligible to play the Louisiana Monroe game on Dec. 10. We’re excited about our team and where we’re at, we’ve had two scrimmages and I’m very happy with the results of both situations.”

What excites you most about this team?

“Our depth. We have a well-rounded team. Previously we relied so much on our guard play, but this year our post play is really strong and just the energy and enthusiasm that they bring every single day. We don’t’ have a lot of issues. I don’t have to raise my voice too much in practice and I don’t have to get them going. They just know what is expected and they come out each day and work extremely hard. This team has a huge chip on their shoulder, they think they are a lot better than where the media has picked them and I feel we’re a lot better than where we’ve been picked. We’re going to play with a chip on our shoulder all year and we’re excited about that.”

How is the depth of this year’s squad?

“One thing that doesn’t get mentioned a lot is that we have recruited as well as anybody in the SEC and women’s basketball the last three years. We have signed one of the top three classes in our league for three straight years. Now those players are juniors, sophomores and freshmen with four seniors included with them, so that’s really where it is. It’s recruiting each and every year and following them up with good classes. Outside of South Carolina, we’re recruited just as well as anyone in this league if not better. You could see that when at SEC Media Day, they spoke about teams with top 100 players on them, we are second in league with top 100 players in the league that is on our roster and that’s exciting. Our players have grown up. Last year, you felt like every game we were a player her or a player there away and we have two exciting transfers joining in with our returners and along with that we signed three outstanding prospects in the three freshmen so we just keep adding depth. We’re not a small team; we have good size this season.”

Oxford native Erika Sisk outlook on her senior season:

“Our expectations are very high. In the summer, as a player and as a leader, we have been in the gym more than we have ever been. We have been working out a lot and we just have the want to get better mentality. 40-50,000 shots were taken over the summer and at one point we had 15,000. Our team this year has great size down on the block. Taylor Manuel, Kate Rodgers, Shelby Gibson, Bretta Hart and Shequila Joseph. Once the ball goes inside, I feel like 75 to 100 percent of the time something good is going to happen. The ball goes inside and then out, something good happens when we play inside.”

Sisk looks to break the 1,000 career points in Rebel uniform before graduating.

“I really don’t ask about it and it’s not that I don’t think about it because I do care, but really it’s about the team. I’m here for the team. If I get it or I don’t, whether it takes 10 games or 20 games I just play my role as a point guard and a leader on this team to help this team be successful in winning games.”

The Conference has South Carolina sitting a top of the SEC.

“South Carolina is really good in our league but outside of that it’s anybody’s ball game from 2-14. Who’s going to step up and take control of that? That’s something I challenge our team with, I ask them to step up and see what happens. We have an experienced team so let’s go do something special,” Insell said.

Be sure to come out and support the Rebels as they go through the grind of a tough slated season in the SEC.

Adam Brown sports editor of HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at adam.brown@hottytoddy.com.

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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