Different year, different team? Maybe

There’s a long way to go before the Rebels find out if they will indeed break through the NCAA tournament barrier in 2013.

Ole Miss last played in the NCAA tournament in 2002.

Still, anybody watching could see a different Ole Miss team against Missouri Saturday night. That was a strong performance — not without areas to improve — stacked on top of a strong performance at Tennessee last Wednesday.

Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy (Daily Journal photo)

Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy (Daily Journal photo)

Most coaches see each season as separate and distinct, but most in the media are looking at the program, the big picture, and not necessarily taking things one game at a time as coaches and players say.

This team certainly looked different than the team that came out flat against Vanderbilt at home last year, a Feb. 16 game that was the Rebels’ last good RPI opportunity game at Tad Smith, their last real chance for a resume building win at home.

It’s easy to look at Marshall Henderson and see the element he brings — 3-point shooting — that wasn’t there last year.

There’s also another element with this team: chemistry. Henderson’s flamboyance — as long as it remains properly channeled — is a welcome change from the internal strife caused by Jelan Kendrick.

From the mother ship, What’s different about the Rebels?

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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