Tag: Ole Miss Rebels

Mark Gottfried

NC State, Ole Miss among eight teams in 2016 Paradise Jam

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While the 2015-16 season has yet to get underway, some in-season tournaments have already begun the process of finalizing teams for the 2016-17 campaign. Wednesday evening the Paradise Jam revealed its eight-team field for the 2016 edition of the event, which is scheduled to be played November 18-21, 2016 at the University of the Virgin Islands.

NC State, which has reached the NCAA tournament in each of the last four seasons under head coach Mark Gottfried, is part of the event as are Andy Kennedy’s Ole Miss Rebels. Completing the field are Creighton, Loyola-Chicago, Oral Roberts, Montana, Saint Joseph’s and Washington State.

Of the eight teams just two have made prior appearances at the Paradise Jam. Phil Martelli’s Saint Joseph’s team finished fifth in 2009, with Ole Miss finishing third two years later. Washington State may have the most interesting connection to this tournament, however.

The father of forward Josh Hawkinson, who was the Pac-12’s Most Improved Player last season and will be a senior in 2016-17, created the Paradise Jam back in 2000. That should make for a fun return to the Virgin Islands for Josh next November. Nels Hawkinson is the executive director of Basketball Travelers, a company some may be familiar with as they’ve set up foreign tours for many college basketball programs over the years.

While NC State and Ole Miss are the lone teams in this field to reach the NCAA tournament last season, Montana is one of the favorites in the Big Sky entering the 2015-16 season and ORU is expected to be a factor in the Summit League. Scott Sutton’s Golden Eagles were picked to finish third in the Summit League preseason coaches poll.

VIDEO: ‘Randy Kennedy’ makes his return to Ole Miss

Randy Kennedy (Ole Miss Athletics)
Ole Miss Athletics
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While Andy Kennedy has been the head coach at Ole Miss since 2006, leading the program to seven postseason appearances and seven 20-win seasons, he also has an alter ego who want some respect for his own coaching chops. “Randy Kennedy: Landshark Legend” is the winningest coach in city youth league history, and in the video below he interrupts ESPN analyst Jay Bilas’ preparations for an interview with the Ole Miss head coach.

Unfortunately for Randy, the city youth league (8 and under division) he claims to have dominated does not keep score. So we’re not sure exactly how many “wins” he has on his resume. 

As for Andy Kennedy’s accomplishments in Oxford, he’s the program’s all-time winningest coach (192 wins). And prior to his arrival Ole Miss had a total of seven 20-win seasons and nine postseason victories throughout the history of the program. Andy’s matched those numbers, and with senior guard Stefan Moody leading the way for a group that returns three starters from last season the hope in Oxford is that they can put together another successful season. 

Here’s to hoping that at some point Andy Kennedy shows up on the sidelines as Randy, but we’re not holding our breath. 

VIDEO: The return of Randy Kennedy

Andy Kennedy
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Monday marked the return of Randy Kennedy, the head coaching alter ego of Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy. Randy coming back meant some rambling press conference responses in a video from the Ole Miss twitter.