Coach Yo’s winning rate improves, but rebuilding Lady Rebels is her goal

Today, at home in the Pavilion in Oxford, Mississippi, USA, Yolett “Coach Yo” McPhee-McCuin will lead her University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) Lady Rebels against the University of Georgia to open Southeastern Conference (SEC) play in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) women’s basketball.

As reported by Ty Wooten, the Media Chief at Ole Miss, the Bahamian-born coach called the SEC a “jungle”. She is looking forward to the challenge.

“We’re on the right track for where we want to go. I’ve just got to keep our kids uplifted through this because I call the SEC a jungle. We’re getting ready to go on a safari, and we better not have butter knives. We better be ready to fight. We’re going to lean on the players who played in it last year to understand that, and as coaches, we’re way more prepared because we’ve been through the jungle one time before,” said the Lady Rebels women’s basketball head coach following a huge 93-66 victory this past Saturday over Alabama State.

The win enabled Ole Miss to go into the game this evening against Georgia with a 7-6 win-loss record, and, positioned to be mentally strong and confident. The successes thus far this season have come more steadily for “Coach Yo” than her first time out, leading the charge for the University of Mississippi Women’s Basketball Program.

However, the lady who turned the University of Jacksonville’s program completely around, is grounded and focused primarily on rebuilding. She said as much to me.

“For the record, I have absolutely no win-loss expectation this year, especially after our best player (freshman Sarah Dumitrescu) tore her ACL (anterior cruciate ligament),” said Coach Yo, sounding quite resigned to the road ahead without the quality player from Romania. “I took over an awful situation and this will take time, but, I signed the number one recruiting class in the SEC and number 13 in the country and I have two redshirts sitting out. We will be better next year. Patience! My wins this year will come from the foundation I’m building,” she concluded with emphasis.

Well, although a cautious outlook is indeed appropriate, given the cards she was dealt, so far Coach Yo and the Lady Rebels are doing quite well. They are on a winning rate that will propel them easily beyond the nine total wins last season (three coming in the SEC).

The victory over Alabama State indicated just how “explosive” Ole Miss could be this season. Wooten informed that the points total against Alabama State was the most for “a Rebels team in more than two years”.

Inclusive were season highs of 31 and 29 points in the third and fourth respectively. Without a doubt, although the insistence is that rebuilding is key, and understandably so, Coach Yo, at this point, seems to have a much better squad than she did last season.

If the winning pace continues throughout for the rest of the season, the Ole Miss Lady Rebels will certainly contribute largely to electrifying and heightening the University of Mississippi’s sports program.

Go Coach Yo! Go Ole Miss Lady Rebels!

• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at e-mail address or on WhatsApp at (242) 727-6363.

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