Following Tuesday’s win at home to get to 8-0, Ole Miss fans would probably have expected a happy Chris Beard as his team is off to a program best start in the last 15 years.
Well, he is less than happy and honestly downright irritated. He opened by saying the greatest gift you can give someone is high expectations and then said a lack of discipline is what led to Ole Miss not blowing its game with Mount St. Mary’s open.
Again, this is a nine point win in December during finals week in front of a less than enthused crowd. Beard said his expectations are for eventually sold out crowds and full effort from his team despite what night or time the game tips off.
Beard said his team also was playing the scoreboard or looking up at the scoreboard instead of just playing all out and finishing off its opponent. This is the kind of post game press conference Ole Miss fans likely have never seen in basketball.
“We have to do the right thing every single time, and we do it some of the time,” Beard said. “And that’s an eighth or ninth place mentality.”
The first year coach did shoulder some of the responsibility in saying he and his staff need to coach better as well.
Far and away, the direct tone and message for fans and players at Ole Miss is that for Beard 8-0 with some buzzer beaters in front of a 2⁄3 full arena is not where he wants this program to stay.
It’s a huge breath of fresh air for a program that has not won big. Beard is here to do exactly that, and until he does, complacency on his roster and staff is not going to have a home.
The Rebels play UCF on Sunday, Dec. 10 in Orlando at 3 p.m. CT on ESPN+.