BLOG — Just how big was Ole Miss’ 64-49 win over the No. 10 Missouri Tigers anyway? That was one of the questions asked of coach Andy Kennedy this morning during the weekly Southeastern Conference teleconference with reporters.The victory made the Rebels 2-0 in SEC play, their best start to a season in league play under Kennedy, and 13-2 overall. Kennedy downplayed that the win was a statement or alert to other teams in the SEC and nation.
“I know it was an opportunity for us to play the 10th-ranked team in the country, a team that I think is outstanding. They didn’t play their best basketball. Laurence Bowers didn’t play and he is a very, very good player,” Kennedy said. “For us it was just an opportunity that we needed to take advantage of if we’re going to be taken seriously. I was proud that our guys came out and took the right approach. We didn’t play our best game. We were 20 points below our scoring average and we scored 92 at Tennessee and only scored 64 in our building so it’s not like it was an A-plus game.”
Kennedy added he did appreciate the way his players approached the matchup with the Tigers.
“We just did what you’re supposed to do and that’s protect your home floor,” Kennedy said.
As for the growing excitement amongst Ole Miss fans, Kennedy was very pleased with the turnout Saturday.
“We had a sellout which was great. There was a lot of energy in the building and my hope is that the people will continue to support this team,” Kennedy said. “We’ve got a group of guys that are playing hard, trying real hard, and my hope is that will continue and I think our people acknowledged that by their presence here Saturday.”
For more from Kennedy and his thoughts on Vanderbilt, see Tuesday’s Sports section. (January 14, 2013)