Rebel players meet the press in Birmingham

Seniors Todd Abernethy and Bam Doyne represented Ole Miss men's basketball at this week's Southeastern Conference media sessions in Birmingham, Ala., while senior Armintie Price carried the banner for the women's basketball program. Here's what they had to say.

Todd Abernethy, the 6-1 senior guard from Carmel, Indiana: "We are going to be a better team this year, and there are a lot of reasons why. The number one reason is our new coach, Andy Kennedy. He is an awesome teacher, an awesome motivator and a great coach. He has given us a lot of confidence this preseason."

"We only lost one senior (Londrick Nolen), and we have a lot of guys coming back. Dwayne Curtis broke his foot, but he will be back with us shortly. We are also very motivated because we saw two SEC teams go to the Final Four that we fought hard against and could have beaten. We only lost by eight points to Florida, and we had two chances to beat LSU. We are capable of winning against teams like that. We have a different style this year. We are playing a different tempo. We are hoping to pick it up on offense and defense."

"There is a lot of excitement because of the coaching change, and I have been really impressed with practice. Our guys are excited to practice, and practices have been fun and competitive. We all know you have to practice hard to win."

Bam Doyne, a 6-4 senior guard from Little Rock, Arkansas: ""There is a totally new outlook this year with our new coach. We believe in him, and he has shown us things that will help us this season. He has taught us how to approach the game in a different way, and he has shown us how to scout the other teams. He has made us believe in ourselves."

"We are motivated because we saw two SEC teams make it to the Final Four, and it would be a great feeling if we could make it to the Final Four. The SEC is all I know, it is a big conference and all of the teams are strong. Every night is a battle and anybody can beat anybody on any night. You have to give it your all every game."

"It is exciting to play at home with the home fans and feel the excitement in the air. It is great to represent your school and town."

Armintie Price, the 5-9 senior guard from Myrtle High School who is a unanimous All-SEC preseason pick: "I am grateful for the honors and I am grateful for everything everyone has picked me for. But this is a team. Everything I get is because of them. I can't pass (the basketball) to myself ."

"I think we have great leadership. Ashley Awkward, senior, Jada Mincy, senior, and myself all came in the same year. Just been ready to roll ever since and now it is our turn to step up. We have five great freshmen coming in and ready to play. I think they have all experienced a championship in their high school days and they came in very aggressive the first day of practice."

"I have a sense for the block. When someone shoots the ball, I can exactly tell where it is going to land, how it's going to bounce. It is just a superwoman power I think I have. I'm just very quick to the ball, I just react and know everywhere that it's been passed and know everywhere it's going to be shot and just try to react first."

"You never know what is going to happen. Hopefully you will just give all you got and leave it all out there on the court."

The Ole Miss men have an open practice tonight (Friday, Oct. 27) at 6:30 at Tad Smith Coliseum.

The women have an exhibition game on Sunday, Nov. 5 at Tad Smith at 2 p.m.

The men have home exhibition games against North Alabama a week from tonight on Nov. 3 at 7, and another on Monday, Nov. 6, against Delta State, also at 7 p.m.

The regular season opener for both teams is on Friday, Nov. 10. The women play Southeastern Louisiana at Tad Smith Coliseum at 11 a.m., while the men play Mississippi Valley State, also in Oxford, at 7 p.m.

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