Coach Yo and the Rebels Ready for SEC Quarterfinal Action Today vs. Florida
OXFORD, Miss. — Legendary basketball coach Phil Jackson used to say, “Love is the force that ignites the spirit and binds teams together.”
Two seasons ago Ole Miss women’s hoops was winless in league play, sitting at 0-16 in the SEC and 7-23 overall.
Fast forward and head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin and her Rebels have pushed through great adversity and put the Ole Miss women’s program on a new path. Coach Yo, her staff and her players have shifted the culture and the attitude in a short amount of time. They have proven that hard work, a positive mental attitude, and a never-say-die spirit can literally change the trajectory of a program.
The Rebels now sit at 22-7 overall and 10-6 in conference play, earning themselves a double-bye in the SEC tourney.
SEC Tourney Play
Ole Miss is just three wins away from clinching a conference title. The Rebels begin their quest with a quarterfinal game vs. the Florida Gators today at 2:30 p.m. CT.
“Florida, we haven’t played in forever, but we’ve been watching them lately,” Coach Yo said earlier this week.
“We’re just excited about being in the tournament, getting this double bye, seeing what it’s all about, continuing to do what we set out to do.“
Coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin
Ole Miss defeated Florida on the road, 74-56, earlier this season. The Gators (21-7) advanced to play the Rebels today after beating Vanderbilt, 53-52, Thursday.
The winner of today’s Ole Miss/Florida game advances to Saturday’s semifinal round and will face the winner of today’s noon Arkansas/South Carolina game.
Coach Yo’s squad currently sits at No. 24 in the NET rankings and even without clinching a title, they will improve their stock come selection time for the NCAA tourney.
Even though the Rebels know it is one game at a time, no one doubts this team will get its opportunity in the postseason. They are projected to be a No.6 or No. 7 overall seed in the NCAA tournament.
“It is about better seeding now that we feel like we’re in the tournament. Before, we were just wanting to get in. We didn’t care of we were a 16 seed,” McPhee-McCuin said, smiling.
“We just wanted to get in, but now that we’re in we want to make sure that anybody who watches us feels like we’re better than a seven seed. Our NET is at 25. We have two ranked wins and we’ve been playing good basketball as of late. So we want to continue on with that and to see how high of a seed we can get that will position us to make a deep run in the tournament.“
Coach Yo on her Rebels’ NCAA tourney plans
The field of 68 NCAA Tournament teams will be revealed Sun., March 13, on ESPN.
This is just the beginning for women’s basketball at Ole Miss under Coach Yo as she has made it clear she is continuing to build today for a stronger program that will continue to attract fantastic talent to the ‘Sip.
Tip-off will be at 2:25 CT from Nashville today on the SEC Network.
Hotty Toddy !
Lee Ann is the Director of Recruiting for The Rebel Walk. She is a veteran SEC sports journalist and NFL content writer. She is also the Sr. Editor for MESPORTS digital. Herring-Olvedo is a Brown University graduate who loves good cigars, good games, and a smooth glass of bourbon — not necessarily in that order.