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Author Topic: Andy Kennedy stepping down at Ole Miss at the end of the season  (Read 159 times)

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Re: Andy Kennedy stepping down at Ole Miss at the end of the season
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2018, 06:18:30 pm »

Hugh Kellenberger‏Verified account @HKellenbergerCL

New from @AntonioCMorales on why Andy Kennedy made the decision he did, cutting all speculation off at the pass and going out on his own terms.

OXFORD ó Less than a week ago, after his team just suffered a loss to Missouri, its sixth in a span of seven games and fourth straight, Andy Kennedy sat in the media room at The Pavilion and singled out Ole Miss' team awareness as a reason why.

"Unaware people are unsuccessful people," Kennedy said. "Whether it be basketball or what have you."

Kennedy called Ross Bjork on Sunday and told the Rebels' athletic director he was ready to step down.

"I didn't foresee some of the things that have transpired," Kennedy said. "Again, I'm accountable for that. It's my responsibility. I haven't been able to reach this team like I would have hoped. I try not to be frustrated ... but we're constantly trying to figure out how can we get this group to play."

As the season progressed, he didn't want to divide the fan base any longer.

"I didn't want the rest of the season to be about: What's Andy Kennedy's status? Are you for him or against him? I didn't want to divide our fan base," he said. "I respect us too much for that. I didn't want people to have to choose a side."

Well, there's six regular season games left and at least one game in the SEC Tournament. Kennedy will coach three more times in The Pavilion. The first of those is Tuesday night against Arkansas (6 p.m., SEC Network).

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Re: Andy Kennedy stepping down at Ole Miss at the end of the season
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2018, 06:38:07 pm »

Hugh Kellenberger
‏Verified account @HKellenbergerCL

Andy Kennedy did as well as anyone could have at Ole Miss. It was also time for both sides to make a clean break.

Heís the all-time winningest coach and has led the Rebels to an SEC tournament championship and two NCAA tournament appearances. Heís the fifth man in SEC history to win at least 20 games nine times in his first 11 seasons; the others are Billy Donovan, Joe B. Hall, Tubby Smith and Nolan Richardson. Thatís very good company.

But this is the third-straight year where Ole Miss is not near the NCAA tournament conversation. In fact, this is his worst team ó the 2017-18 Rebels are 11-14 overall and losers of five straight and seven of their last eight.

Thatís why Kennedy is resigning, effective at the end of this season. He knows the deal, the same way everybody else does. The same way that some coaches dig their head into the ground and pretend to ignore what is plainly obvious to everyone else? Thatís not Kennedy.

"The product is not good enough and that's my responsibility," he said just last week.

His worst-ever season came at a rotten time, considering Ole Miss chancellor Jeff Vitter wrongfully stepped in last spring and denied Kennedy a contract extension. Vitter made this season into a prove-it year, and whatís happened is a team tied for 10th place and falling fast.

Even though Kennedy will never say it publicly, this team is just not very good. Itís disinterested in defense, not nearly as good on offense as it believes itself to be and lacks any kind of post presence. Kennedyís best seasons from 2013-15 were built around Murphy Holloway, Jarvis Summers, Marshall Henderson, Stefan Moody and Reggie Buckner, most of whom were either under-recruited or on a second chance. But they thrived under Kennedy, who tried to build the next generation of stars in similar ways but with dissimilar results.

That is Kennedyís fault. He bears ultimate responsibility for his roster, of which a consistent theme has been turnover. There were four new players to merge into the rotation this season, the way there were four the year before that and six the season before that. With that much roster churn, youíre more likely to end up with a few duds and suffer losses along the way to finding out who can and cannot play. It puts you in a bind, and it can get away from you real quick.

But Kennedy has also done exemplary work at a program that lacks any discernible advantage over its peers other than the three-year-old Pavilion. Thereís no history of producing NBA players at Ole Miss. No history of sustained success. In a sport dominated by the shoe companies, Ole Miss is way down Nikeís priority list and likely to remain there. Youíre second to Mississippi State for almost every in-state prospect (if only because here lately it seems like almost all of them are the offspring of former MSU players) and second in Memphis to Memphis. The fanbase is only casually interested in basketball, and as a whole has never embraced Kennedy.

Add in the fact that he conducted most of his tenure recruiting to Tad Smith Coliseum, a venue so meager Kennedy actively kept recruits from seeing the place during campus visits, and itís a testament to Kennedyís coaching acumen that Ole Miss ever made it this far under him. An American Athletic Conference or Big East school would do well to swoop up Kennedy. If not, heíll quickly be ESPNís most popular analyst not named Jay Bilas.

In Oxford, though, it feels like the moment has left Kennedy, rightly or wrongly. Ole Miss could very well hire another coach who fails in a way Kennedy never has. But Ole Miss is also justified in believing, after having built its new arena, that it should have a coach who can galvanize the fanbase, get them to show up to games and make the NCAA tournament more than twice in 12 seasons.

Ole Miss has to ask itself what are realistic expectations for its menís basketball program. There are severe hindrances to it ever becoming a consistent power, or even a program that goes to the NCAA tournament year-in and year-out. But can it do more than two in 12? That seems fair.


Re: Andy Kennedy stepping down at Ole Miss at the end of the season
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2018, 07:00:44 pm »

Parrish Alford
‏ @parrishalford
2h2 hours ago

#OleMiss coach Andy Kennedy announces resignation plans. http://www.djournal.com/sports/rebels-kennedy-announces-resignation-plans/article_66d303c4-c2ac-5698-98f0-e3e3ae2da2bb.html Ö @DJournalnow

The decision, and its timing were Kennedyís alone, both he and vice-chairman for athletics Ross Bjork said.

Bjork has repeatedly said his expectations for the basketball program are for the players and staff to wake up on Selection Sunday knowing they are solidly in the field or that they are such a part of the conversation that with one or two things turning their way they end up on the inside.

That hasnít happened since 2015, the second of Kennedyís two NCAA tournament trips. They came within a three-year window.

Kennedy was hopeful that a deep and talented cast of guards would off-set the loss of All-SEC center Sebastian Saiz and help the Rebels get back in the NCAA tournament conversation this season.

ďI didnít foresee some of the things that have transpired, and again, Iím accountable for that. Thatís my responsibility. I havenít been able to reach this team like I would have hoped,Ē Kennedy said.

He said he hopes the announcement takes pressure of his players.

Kennedy believes he leaves the program in good position for future success.

ďThe landscape has changed, and honestly the foundation is set. Itís ready to take that next step. Iím regretful that I couldnít get it there, but Iím also accountable for that. I want to see it get there, and I think it can.Ē


Re: Andy Kennedy stepping down at Ole Miss at the end of the season
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2018, 05:36:32 am »

Brody Miller‏ @BrodyMillerCL

Listen to @AntonioCMorales and @WillSammon talk Andy Kennedy stepping down and what's next for Ole Miss.

Will Sammon and Antonio Morales react to the surprising decision of Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy to step down, and what happens now for the Rebels.

A list of the topics discussed in this episode:

    Why now?
    Possible candidates.
    The difficulty in identifying candidates vs. football coaching searches.
    The importance of ďfitĒ in a coaching search.
    Why was Andy Kennedy never truly embraced by Ole Miss fans?
    The individual candidates of Steve Forbes, Eric Musselman and Kermit Davis.
    Does youth or experience matter more?
    Assistant coaches worthy of a look.
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