By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – An unexpected loss at rival Mississippi State on Saturday has brought the job security question to the surface for Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy.
After the Rebels lost 73-67 to an MSU team that had lost 13 straight – the previous two by a combined 71 points – Kennedy deferred questions about his future to Ole Miss athletics director Ross Bjork.
On Monday, Bjork did not address Kennedy specifically but spoke of support for the program as a whole with emphasis on the athletes.
“I am staying consistent with my message, that our focus is on our team and the games left to be played,” Bjork said. “My job is to support our entire program and especially our players as we face the home stretch and postseason.”
The first of those games is tonight at 8 at Tad Smith Coliseum as seniors Murphy Holloway, Reggie Buckner and Nick Williams will be honored by Ole Miss (21-8, 10-6 SEC). ESPNU will provide the television.
Alabama had rebounded from a disappointing non-conference season to position itself for an NCAA tournament run. Road losses at LSU and most recently, Saturday at No. 11 Florida, appear to have derailed those hopes.
The Rebels close the regular season Saturday afternoon at 12:30 at LSU.
Kennedy is 146-86 in his seventh season at Ole Miss. The Rebels have not played in the NCAA tournament since 2002, the longest drought in the SEC.