Two-win SEC seasons aren’t often celebrated, but there are different circumstances around Ole Miss women’s basketball right now.
It’s not the 2-14 SEC finish that is celebrated. A team rebuilding from scandal, under the guidance of its fourth head coach in three years — one coached no games — measures success more from week to week right now.
There were signs of growth. There were four SEC losses by six points or fewer. There were games against ranked opponents where they were competitive deep into games but ran out of gas late.
There were signs that they continued to fight more than you would think a 2-14 team would. The Rebels were 2-1 in overtime games, the two wins at home.
Sunday’s 73-71 overtime win over Auburn was described as “devastating” by an Auburn media member. Perhaps it was if Auburn entertained NCAA hopes. Had the Tigers won they’d have finished the SEC regular season at 8-8 in a fifth-place tie with Florida.
But those watching the Rebels — admittedly few — could see this coming. It was made more impressive by the fact that Ole Miss won without one of its best players, Tia Faleru who was averaging nearly a double-double, who missed the game with concussion symptoms.
This week’s SEC tournament is all that’s left of Matt Insell’s first season as coach. A nice nucleus returns. It will be interesting to see where growth goes from here.