Is it a game or a business? It’s both

From the mother ship, today’s column on the decision Ole Miss athletics director Ross Bjork faces with his men’s basketball coach, Andy Kennedy.

There’s really only one thing Andy Kennedy hasn’t accomplished at Ole Miss, and that’s making the NCAA tournament.

That is the all-encompassing goal of the basketball program, because that’s where Kennedy has set the bar. If he remains the Rebels coach and reaches the tournament, the talk will become about advancing in the tournament. Right now it’s about getting there.

Bjork will decide Kennedy’s fate at Ole Miss in the coming weeks, and he has an interesting track record with his two basketball coaches in his final months at Western Kentucky to consider.

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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  • JB

    I have been noticing AD Bjork’s name along with Coach Kennedy appear on this blog regularly, are we being prepared for some changing news soon at OM. This is a bit like the ole moonshiners years ago out there at my home town of Tula, when a batch of miracle juice was about to be run off. leaks started frequently to float around. Us hunters knew to stay clear of certain places. JB

  • Doug

    “There’s really only one thing Andy Kennedy hasn’t accomplished at Ole Miss, and that’s making the NCAA tournament”
    Parrish- based on that statement, what is on this list of accomplishment?

    • Parrish Alford

      Basically, he wins. He wins 20 games. He wins enough to get close. He’s competitive in the SEC. Some years that means more than others. He’s recruited some talented players. All of these things get him close to the NCAA tournament but haven’t gotten him in yet.

  • ostrogoth

    I agree, Parrish. But thing Ole Miss b-ball fans have to realize is that basketball at Ole Miss, except for maybe a few years, has always been really bad. Weltlich, Hunt, coach Rob, Ed, were good coaches and deserve recognition for their efforts. Tad Pad is a dump and all the stars from earlier years deserve respect. Andy is working with horrible facilities to recruit guys to Ole Miss.

    • JB

      you left Rod Barnes name out above, yet Barnes carried that OM basketball team further into NCAA tournament play than any other basketball coach in OM history. I would say that Mr Barnes is the one that deserve recognition. NOT those other also ran coaches. JB

      • ostrogoth

        JB~You are totally correct about Rod Barnes. I grew up in Oxford and actually got to see Coolidge Ball play. When Barnes coached I lived out of state and never saw them play, but I knew he was good, and yet forgot. Rod was the best, for sure.

  • Parrish Alford

    Yes the coliseum is a dump, but the facilities argument lost some steam with the opening of the practice facility. The new arena is going to happen, but it’s not going to happen fast. Kennedy has recruited some very talented players and has done that without being able to point to a strong program history and name and without a nice game-day gym. Because of that, you think outside the box and take chances on talented players on the rebound. Jelan Kendrick didn’t work and hurt team chemistry last year, which, I suspect, is why Jason Carter was gone so quickly this year. Other transfers have worked out, most notably Nick Williams.

    • ostrogoth

      You are dead-on right about that, PA.

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