From the mother ship this morning, two more basketball items.
The frustration factor is something that’s always considered at NIT time … who wants to be there and how hard will they play after not reaching the NCAA tournament goal?
The Rebels have successfully dealt with the frustration before, having failed to advance past the NIT first round just once, that being last year on a road trip to Cal.
Tonight at 8:30 the Rebels have Illinois State at home. They say they’ll be ready to play, but that’s a question that really isn’t answered until 8 or 10 minutes after the tip.
The Rebels do, though, have a recent success story to draw upon in terms of focus and intensity. Responding to the miracle heave of Skylar McBee, the 3-pointer that allowed Tennessee to force overtime in the SEC quarterfinals, wasn’t an easy thing, but the Rebels responded with a vengeance. Trumping McBee
In other news, after a highly successful four-year run at Tupelo, former Ole Miss assistant Grant Pate is taking over at Itawamba Community College.