March 7, 2009
Kennedy talking Mississippi State
The Ole Miss basketball program has seen it's share of ups and downs this season.
The Rebels have been plagued with injuries and the inconsistencies of playing with a young basketball team. But somehow head coach Andy Kennedy has been able to piece things together enough to have his team in contention for the No. 3 spot in the Southeastern Conference Western Division.
Like Mississippi State, the Rebels had shown signs of unraveling in February but responded with a big win on Wednesday night. Ole Miss knocked off Arkansas 98-91 on the road in overtime and Kennedy hopes with jump start his team down the stretch.
"It just keeps you alive," Kennedy said. "When you are dealing with young guys especially you are going to ride the emotional highs and lows. For us to play without David (Huertas Wednesday) night and to have so many guys step up and respond in a very competitive game, it's never easy in Fayetteville, I think it gives us a burst of energy so we can close this season on a right note."
One of those players who stood out in the game against the Razorbacks was freshman guard Will Bogan. Bogan has only averaged 2.5 points this season but responded with 16 points and seven assists while filling in for Huertas.
"This is a kid that prior to the season there were some conversations about him taking a redshirt just to get acclimated with what we felt was the quality of this team which was our depth in the backcourt," Kennedy said. "We thought it may be in his best interest as well as the team's to allow him to grow into his role. Obviously that changed with what we are dealing with. Then (Wednesday) night it changed again with our leading scorer not being able to play and we had to have guys step up. After reviewing the tape I thought he was tremendous. He came out and played with a great deal of confidence in a very hostile environment against a very good basketball team. I was really proud of Will and without question his best day as a Rebel."
Kennedy has also been impressed with a freshman guard that he will see more of this afternoon in MSU's Dee Bost. Bost is putting up 11.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists this season.
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