Andy Kennedy has signed a four year contract extension with the Ole Miss Rebels; his salary jumped from 1.4 million dollars a year to $1.8 million a year. This comes after he led his team to an SEC tournament victory over the Florida Gators and a victory over the Wisconsin Badgers in the first round of the NCAA tournament. He is the coach with the most basketball wins in Ole Miss history.
He might have had the fastest opinion turnaround by a fan base in NCAA basketball history. Ole Miss fans were calling for Kennedy to be fired after he led the Rebels to a 6-0 SEC start (during the win streak the Rebels became nationally ranked), only to lose six of the next ten games. Then he won the SEC tournament and all of the sudden the firing talk settled down.
Kennedy needs to think about where his team is headed. Brash 2012-2013 leading SEC scorer Marshall Henderson has apologized for his crazy antics, but does Kennedy really want his program to be known for that? He has to settle this team down. He can ride out this whole Henderson thing until the end of next year, but if he’s not careful, that’s the type of players the Rebels will be known for. Kennedy needs to slow this team down and show that he’s the one in control, not the players, if the Rebels are to have a successful season next year.
The Rebels should have a decent 2013-2014 season. The SEC will be much better than it was this season though, so the Rebels will have to step up their game if they want to win back to back SEC championships. Kennedy will pull all the pieces of his team together to give them a shot at just that.