The Ole Miss Rebels have been one of the bigger college basketball storylines this season.
Early on, Marshall Henderson‘s ability to be a ball hog polarized an entire nation, all while being the funnest player in the nation to watch. Then, Henderson’s fame quickly blew up while his team’s winning ways went away. Those things aren’t directly correlated, but head coach Andy Kennedy could feel the pressure starting to mount on him, as his team became a national talking point while they started to falter on the court. Considering they were ranked at one point, and now on the NCAA Tournament bubble, Kennedy is starting to feel the walls closing in.
That’s not even mentioning that he is only one game away from becoming the Rebel’s winningest coach in the history of their program. That’s just another little tidbit of pressure that Kennedy is dealing with. However, while he acknowledges the pressure, he has talked about dealing with it. Here is Kennedy on “pressure” and being on the bubble:
“You can’t be oblivious to it if you have a television. The reality is, the only thing we can control is the next one.”
Kennedy has yet to take Ole Miss to the NCAA Tournament, and thanks to early season success, I don’t think it be bode well for his future if they miss it again this year. While Ole Miss might not be the greatest hoops program in the country, seven years of no dancing might be enough for them to pull the cord on his coaching career.
Although, between Kennedy’s mounting pressure and Henderson’s polarizing but awesome nature, I can’t help but find myself rooting from them to get an at-large birth to the tourney.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone