By Parrish Alford and Logan Lowery
College basketball season tips off today for the men’s and women’s basketball teams at both Ole Miss and Mississippi State.
There’s a doubleheader in Oxford, while the MSU men play at home and the women on the road.
Ole Miss: A season-opening doubleheader tips off with Matt Insell’s first game at women’s coach at 5 p.m. The men will take on Troy at approximately 7:30 p.m.
Insell most recently worked as an assistant at Kentucky. He is the fourth head coach in three years for the Ole Miss women, a span that included the sudden termination of Adrian Wiggins and most of his staff amid allegations of academic misconduct.
The women beat Christian Brothers 74-59 in an exhibition game last Sunday.
The Rebels survived an exhibition scare from South Carolina-Aiken to win 75-70 in overtime.
Ole Miss will again play without Marshall Henderson, who led the SEC in scoring last year. Henderson will return for the Rebels’ second game, Nov. 16 at Coastal Carolina and will also be suspended for the first two SEC games.
Under new coach Phil Cunningham, a long-time MSU assistant, Troy returns three starters from a team that was 12-21 last season.
Mississippi State: Both Rick Ray and Vic Schaefer tip off their second seasons as Bulldog head coaches today. The women tip off at Houston at 5:30 p.m., while the men host Prairie View A&M at 7 p.m.
It is the second straight season MSU have opened the season against Houston. Schaefer won his debut against the Cougars 72-66 in Starkville last season behind 23 points and 18 rebounds from Martha Alwal and 22 points from Kendra Grant.
It’s the first time since 2003 the Lady Bulldogs have opened on the road. State has won nine straight season-openers.
Ray lost his opening game at Troy last season. The Bulldogs haven’t lost back-to-back seasons openers since 1950-51.
SU returns seven players this season including all five starters. True freshman I.J. Ready is expected to start at point guard.
Prairie View A&M lost four starters from a squad that went 15-19 a year ago.