Coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin commands her Ole Miss Lady Rebels, who make their return trek to The Bahamas for another Thanksgiving tournament.
#By BRENT STUBBS
#Senior Sports Reporter
#After coming off a 10-point loss in their last game, coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin hopes to get her Ole Miss Lady Rebels back on track tonight before they make their return trek to The Bahamas for another Thanksgiving tournament.
#The 23rd ranked Lady Rebels, with eight new players on their roster, won their season opener 91-44 over Queen’s North Carolina on Monday, November 6, and suffered an 80-70 defeat at the hands of the No.25th ranked Oklahoma Sooners last Thursday.
#Ole Miss, with Bahamian rookie forward Rhema Collins sidelined with a concussion before the season started, will be back in action tonight when they take on Temple.
#Then, it’s time to prepare for their trip to Atlantis to compete in the women’s segment of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament from Saturday, November 18 to Monday, November 20.
#The teams participating are the University of Arkansas, DePaul University, the University of Michigan, Middle Tennessee University, the University of South Dakota, Howard University and the University of Memphis.
#Grand Bahamian native McPhee-McCuin, who was the first Bahamian female to earn a female division one basketball scholarship to attend Miami Dade Community College from 2000-2002, said she’s looking forward to her Lady Rebels performing in the Battle 4 Atlantis. They open play against Temple on Saturday at noon. “We played a top 25 team and we lost to them after we played so well against a non-ranked team for the win,” McPhee-McCuin said. “Our non-conference games are going to be our test to see where we’re at as a team and where we want to go.”
#As they prepare to come back for their first appearance in the Battle $ Atlantis, having played here last year in another tournament at Baha Mar, McPhee-McCuin said they’re still trying to figure things out as a team.
#“We lost Rhema before our first game after she suffered a concussion the day before we played,” McPhee-McCuin said. “So we’re still trying to figure things out with her. She won’t play in the Bahamas either.
#“She’s okay. She will see if it makes sense to red-shirt her this season or allow her to play whenever she gets back playing with the team. I know a lot of people wanted to see her come home and play with us, but she will be there. She just won’t play.”
#Despite her absence on the floor, McPhee-McCuin said she hopes that doesn’t diminish the local crowd support for her Ole Miss team in the stands.
#“We want as many people to come out and watch us play,” McPhee-McCuin stressed. “We know this is a high-level competition, much higher than the tournament we played in Baha Mar. So we want as many Bahamians to come out and support us, support me as a Bahamian and support our team, even though Rhema won’t play.
#“This is our second year in a row coming home to play and this time it’s going to be some top tier competition. So we will need all of the support we can get to get through this tournament. It will definitely be a good opportunity for us to see where we are at so we know what to expect when we return to play our conference games.”
#With eight new players on their roster, McPhee-McCuin said the Battle $ Atlantis will be a very good opportunity for her and her players to come together and gel before they pick things back up in the United States
#“We gave up 80m points in our last game. We can’t give up 80 points and expect to be in the game,” McPhee-McCuin stated. “We have to be able to defend the ball a lot better than we did in that game. But everybody is still trying to figure out their places on the team.”
#She admitted that there’s a lot of expectations for her team, but she encouraged the fans to be a little more patient as they try to figure things out.
#“We just want the Bahamian people to come out and support us. That’s going to be important,” McPhee-McCuin summed up.
#Having missed what she calls “valuable time,” McPhee-McCuin said when they return from the Bahamas, the team’s doctors will further assess Collins’ medical condition and make a determination on her status for the remainder of the season.