SEYBERT GUIDING UP-AND-DOWN TEAM
By Chris Burrows
OXFORD Regan Seybert doesn’t live in a fantasy world and doesn’t have any ego problems.
She knows the members of the Ole Miss Lady Rebels basketball team aren’t campus celebrities like the male athletes. She’s not the least bit surprised when other students don’t distinguish her from any other junior that majors in mathematics.
Seybert recalls being introduced by a friend to a classmate as a member of the national powerhouse Lady Rebels.
“He looked at me hard for a couple of seconds and said, ‘You are Regan Seybert, aren’t you? I didn’t recognize you with your clothes on.'”
And she laughs. “I’m sure he meant ‘regular’ clothes on.”
Seybert finds humor and insight easily but the Anderson, Ind., native describes herself as “shy” and “ordinary.” It’s the only misconception she has about herself.
“Oh no. She is anything but ordinary,” said Lady Rebel head coach Van Chancellor. “Regan is the most overachieving player I’ve had and she can be great if she would be willing to visualize herself that way. She’s definitely not ordinary.”
The facts back up that evaluation. Seybert keeps a permanent spot on the Ole Miss and SEC honor rolls. She tutors a local high school student in math. She’s one of the best guards in the league, which, in reality, makes her one of the best guards in America.
“Really, I was fortunate to come into a great situation. Things just fell into place,” Seybert said. “I got an early opportunity to play and it’s a huge step from high school. I had doubts whether I would be good enough, but I’m doing O.K.”
The numbers say better than O.K. Seybert is the school’s career record holder in 3-point shots (145) and is shooting an SEC best 48.7 percent from 3-point land. Lest you think she’s dominating the ball, check out her assist average of 4.4 and a brilliant assist-to-turnover ratio of 2:1 (68-33). She was second-team All-SEC as a sophomore.
“If anything, Regan is too unselfish, because she’s always looking to pass. She thinks pass first,” Chancellor said. “That’s an admirable quality, but she needs to think more about shooting, because she’s one of the best in the country from 3-point range.”
Seybert’s journey to Ole Miss needed a bit of direction.
“I was recruited by (assistant) Coach (Steve) Curtis and we hit it off right away,” Seybert said. “He told me he was from Ole Miss and I had to ask where Ole Miss was. Then he explained Ole Miss was the University of Mississippi.
“I met with (assistant coach) Peggie (Gillom) and I liked her a lot. Coach Chancellor came up and met with my family. He was a hoot. But he impressed my parents and me by being honest about how hard basketball was going to be here. I appreciated that.”
Seybert adapted quickly to small town campus life in the South, despite the differences from Anderson. “It’s different. But it’s different in a good way. I understand it and like that. … even though I’m still getting used to some of the stores closing down so early.”
What Seybert has the most trouble getting used to is her club’s penchant to run hot-and-cold. The Lady Rebels have a handful of quality wins over NCAA Tournament-caliber teams, but have lost a couple of games Seybert still seethes about.
“If we win the games we’re supposed to win, we’d be in position to win the SEC,” Seybert said. “How good are we? It depends which Ole Miss team shows up. When we’re ready to go, we’re as good as anybody.”
You see, Seybert doesn’t mind being perceived as ordinary off the floor but she can’t stand the thought of the word in describing her teammates or team performance.
“We’re a close group here. Everybody respects and cares about each other,” Seybert said. “We want to be the best and we’re not going to be satisfied with anything less than that.”